Done Right

Quality Control Is Key for Tennessee Auto Recycler

Gary Coln helped make his father Bobby Coln's dream - to own a used auto parts facility - come true.


Every part sold from Raceway Auto & Truck Parts in Savannah, Tenn. has been through at least four pairs of hands before it reaches the customer. Quality control is something sales manager (and future owner as of January 2012) Gary Coln takes very seriously for his late-model business. He set up a four-point checklist to make sure the delivered or shipped parts arrive as expected.

The check begins when the vehicle arrives. One of the company's eight employees does a complete walk-around to circle sheet metal damage. The vehicle is checked a second time in dismantling. A third check occurs when it sells a part. Each parts puller has a quality control checklist. If the puller finds additional damage, he enters the Pinnacle Pro system and adds a damage resolution to the work order. The resolution immediately flags the salesperson's work order and informs him or her about the damage. The part is checked a fourth time in the delivery holding area, before being loaded on the truck.

"If there is extra damage the salesperson can contact the customer to see if they still want the purchase,"said Gary. "There are no surprises."

Gary credits a part of his system to the United Recyclers Group (, which requires the initial walk-around check for URG 8000 accreditation. The business has been a URG member since 2004. It and a group of nine other facilities collaborate as one of Robert Counts' consulting groups and frequently get together to go over numbers and to maximize every angle of the business.

"That's one of the things that gave us ideas on how to control damage from parts pulling to deliveries,"Gary admitted.

Raceway Auto & Truck Parts ( is a full-service facility that started in 1986 as Bobby's Body Shop. Gary's father, Bobby Coln, had a dream to own a used parts business and the body shop was his start. That's when Gary joined the business.

"I came out of school in 1988 and was very energetic,"explained Gary. "I liked his dream. It really inspired me."

Gary got his first ideas by attending Locator on Location conventions. He prompted his father to buy the company's first inventory system, AutoInfo, and the parts business grew. By the early 1990s, the body shop was gone. Bobby's Body Shop switched inventory systems two more times over the next couple years and acquired a second facility, Raceway Auto Parts in Lawrenceburg, Tenn. in 1999. The Colns liked the name and changed Bobby's Body Shop to Raceway Auto & Truck Parts to keep the businesses consistent. They sold the renovated Lawrenceburg location two years later to an interested party for a profit. They then decided to focus on the original 8-acre Savannah location.

"It takes so much time running two yards, we wanted to spend as much time as possible here, working out the bugs," said Gary. "It has really paid off."

Raceway Auto & Truck Parts processes 600 vehicles a year. It recently added a third bay to its dismantling area, which will process an additional 18 to 28 vehicles a month.

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