Recycler's Approach Earns A Following
Glenn Clarke bought Peconic Auto Wreckers seven years ago. His philosophy is simple, treat customers the way you want to be treated.
PHOTO: JESSICA GUADAGNO
Glenn Clarke, owner of Peconic Auto Wreckers, Inc. located in Speonk, N.Y., has earned the admiration of both his peers and employees.
"He has single handedly turned this yard into a clean, profitable and pleasant place to work," said employee Silvana Paolillo. "He also goes out of his way to help any one of his employees."
Clarke bought Peconic Auto Wreckers just seven years ago, but has been in the business for more than three decades. He got his start in 1974 working for Sal Palicino at a New York facility and spent the following decades building a base of loyal contacts.
"I guess about eight years ago, I said it was time for me to branch out do something on my own," Clarke acknowledged. "I had gained enough knowledge plus, I gained a large customer following. I said now it is time for me to try something."
That was Peconic Auto Wreckers, a Long Island, N.Y. business open since 1964. Clarke immediately poured two acres of concrete and updated all of the buildings with new wiring, plumbing, walls, floors and computers. He also bought all new yard equipment, loaders, forklifts and three delivery vehicles.
"Working at other places, I found they didn't put enough back into the business. You spent half the day getting the equipment up and running," said Clarke. "Here, we go out, turn the key and the equipment starts right up. That's why I bought new."
Clarke is a hands-on boss who works 11-hour days, five-days-a-week plus, he works an extra eight hours on Saturday. He likes to set an example for his 10 employees.
"I try to maintain a calm and positive work experience," stated Clarke. "That's why most of the guys have been here since I started. I don't tell anyone to do anything I wouldn't do myself. Just today I cleaned a toilet bowl."
"He makes all of us feel like we own part of his business," added Paolillo. "He has showed us how to work together. Glenn has turned this facility from a junkyard into an environmentally clean and safe automotive recycling facility."
Peconic Auto Wreckers has five acres and about 650 vehicles. It processes more than 1,200 vehicles a year. Clarke keeps inventory fresh by buying 30 vehicles a week at auction and off the street. Parts from all makes and models are stored in a 7,000-square-foot warehouse and sold from a 5,000-square-foot office.
Clarke's customer service philosophy is simple; he treats customers the way he wants to be treated.
"If there is every anything wrong with a part, I gladly give customers their money back," he explained. "There are no hassles. That person that had a great experience will come back and bring their friends. We've developed a large following off the street because of it."
Business has more than doubled since Clarke took over and sales have grown five to eight percent every year.
"I have a very strong, supportive family behind me," Clarke acknowledged. "They were instrumental in helping start this business. My family and friends have been very supportive throughout my entire life.
"I really enjoy coming to work every day," added Clarke. I enjoy building the place up and improving it."