If you ask Zack Wiygul, the success of his family’s 45-year-old company is due to its strong senior management team, dedicated sales force and talented team of technicians who show up for work every day—which is why when things got rocky at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wiygul family made the call to “take care of the people who have taken care of us for 45 years,” says Zack, vice president of Wiygul Automotive Clinic.
“Eighteen months ago, when the world fell apart, we had a decision to make as a family,” he continues. “Standing on our 45-year foundation, we relied on our core values and made the decision to guarantee our workforce, providing predictable stability for our team.”
This decision has allowed the Alexandria, Virginia-based company, which has eight auto service and repair shops in the Washington, D.C., metro area, to not only maintain its workforce, but allowed it to grow and add many new employees over the last 18 months, Zack explains. The recent results of this decision are record sales.
Innovation Meets Old-School Values
You have to have strong guiding principles in place to make difficult decisions during difficult times, Zack says, adding that he likes to think of his family business as a modern business that has stayed true to its old-fashioned principles. Some of those key principles include thinking about the team, honoring commitments and doing what’s best for the customer.
Before his grandparents, Sue and Oscar Wiygul, opened the first Wiygul Automotive Clinic shop in Alexandria in 1976, Zack says his great grandfather started the family tradition of success in the automotive industry as a Ford dealer over 60 years ago in Fulton, Mississippi. He had a simple operating creed: “Never lie, cheat or steal, ever,” Zack says. Today, Wiygul Automotive Clinic has locations in Virginia and Maryland with plans to keep growing.
Growth, Operational Goals
When asked about his goals for the business going forward from an operational perspective, Zack revisits that people piece of Wiygul Automotive Clinic. He emphasizes the importance of the professional Wiygul staff and how the company has taken specific actions to create a good working environment for them.
These actions include adding positions that allow the business to operationally manage and control policies and procedures, introducing creative compensation packages and a strong benefits package, Zack says. These efforts have helped Wiygul Automotive Clinic retain employees while also attracting top talent locally.
“It’s also helped us train from within,” he says. “We’ve revamped our training program, and we have crops of general service technicians that are becoming ASE-certified techs. Our team helps us home-grow the next generation of automotive service/repair professionals.”
Wiygul Automotive Clinic also pays for employee training and education, Zack says. The business invests in its people for any sort of training as it pertains to the automotive industry.
“We understand what got us here, and so it’s very simple: Our goal is to create the greatest work environment possible for our team,” Zack adds.