Lacombe Auto Service Centre Ltd., fresh off winning two Best of Lacombe Readers Choice Awards, has been named the CARS Magazine 2019 Shop of the Year.
Owners Elaine and Donnie Lysons purchased the shop just over one year ago and did not believe the news when they first heard they had won, beating out 27,000 other Canadian shops.
”When the editor of the magazine explained what they were looking for, we checked off every box so I guess it made sense,” Donnie said. When we purchased the shop, the shop already had a great reputation. It was known as a honest shop and the technicians were highly recognized in their field.”
After purchasing the shop, Elaine said they relied on a network of shop owners who helped them modernize the shop. This mentorship helped them make changes very quickly — including brand new software.
“We learned on their experience and it wouldn’t have been done so quickly and efficiently without that network,” she said.
After being interviewed by the magazine, the Lysons welcomed a CARS photographer into their shop — something she said the technicians really enjoyed.
“They had never had an experience like that before and for them it was all new and exciting. It was a real fun day,” she said.
Being able to share the award with their technicians in staff has been important to the Lysons. Donnie said it was their initial and ongoing buy-in which helped modernize the shop.
“They trained us on the back-end of the business and they are as much part of this success story as we are. Without them, we would never be here,” he said.
Going forward, the Lysons said they will continue to follow their vision for the shop.
”We came at it from the perspective of the consumer,” Donnie said. “I have used shops in the past, but I have never owned a shop.
“Now that we are owners, we know what consumers were lacking and what they wanted.”
Elaine added their goal is to continue to evolve.
“It will be an ongoing process and the goal posts keep moving. We are progressive and we like to stay on top with what recommended business practices are,” she said.
The Lysons said they are thankful for the validation of their journey.
“We need to thank the community for their support. This award is recognition from the industry, but just as special to us was the Lacombe Express Best of Lacombe Awards, which we won for best shop and best oil and lube provider,” she said.
She added, “Donnie and I feel empowered that we are on the right track. We have to keep doing what we are doing and hopefully we will keep making the customers happy.”