Ty Elbert was only 5 years old when his father, Tom, started his business in 1990. Ty would watch his dad work and help with whatever he could.
Ty shares why this family-owned business has been able to stand out from its competition in the automotive industry.
What's the nature of your business?
We are an automotive maintenance service provider. We sell BG products and consulting services to independent automotive repair facilities and dealerships. In a fleet environment, our primary focus is reducing the cost of operation per mile driven for that fleet.
What's the connection between BG and Elbert Distributing?
BG (Bearings and Gears) are the products that we sell, and we own the territory rights to sell BG.
What's the history of your business?
My dad got introduced to the dealership world in Arizona back in the early '80s and later purchased this distributing business from the previous owner. When we bought it in 1990 it was just my father doing everything and my mom would work at the office in our house.
When I was a kid I would help my dad load the truck. Eventually we just built it up to where now we have 16 people in the company here in the Central Valley. I've been around it all my life.
What are your biggest rewards?
I love the aspect of helping people. It's that personal interaction and the personal friendships we've made over the past 24 years is what drives me to do this.
What are your biggest challenges?
Competition from other areas come in with products that aren't as superior quality. In our business you get people that sell stuff and it's not scientifically proven. They're out to make a dollar, and it gives us all a bad reputation. We have to fight that and prove to people that what we're doing is great for them, and it's going to make their car last.
What is your philosophy on customer service?
Customers deserve the best so give them the best. Treat them the way you would want your wife, sister or mother to be treated. Treat them with the utmost respect and give them what they deserve.
What is one unique memory from your time with your business?
We have several independent repair facilities that have been struggling, so we have gone in there with a maintenance program and helped them out. Even though it's not our business, we have helped them as a business owner and helped them grow their facilities.
What makes you stand out from the competition?
Our scientific testing. We have to go through testing and we can show them what a certain fluid is, what it entails, then we can say: Let's do a service.
What is the secret for staying in business for so long?
Being able to prove what you do and your worth to the customers. Anybody can go and do something, but if you prove yourself and show them that you're a business partner with them — at that point in time you can be successful.
Elbert Distributing Inc.
Owner: Tom, Nan and Ty Elbert
Location: 1550 N. Woodrow Ave., Fresno
Phone: (559) 454-0180
Annual sales: $2.8 million
Online: www.bgprod.com" target="_blank"__gt__http://
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