Multi-Yard Owner Finds Success In Ohio
PHOTO: KELLOGG PHOTOGRAPHY
You might think that two recycling yards located 40 minutes apart would be natural competitors. But when they work together as seamlessly as Buckeye Auto Parts and Lancaster Auto Recycling, there are synergies rather than rivalries.
“Although they’re close, they’re also far enough that they have somewhat of a different customer base,” explained Scott Paine, co-owner, with his brother Greg Paine, of Buckeye Auto Parts in Columbus, Ohio and owner of Lancaster Auto Recycling in Lancaster, Ohio. “The Columbus location handles more of northern and western Ohio while the Lancaster location handles more of eastern and southern Ohio. There is overlap in the middle, but the people in that market generally are aware that we own them both. They’ll sometimes even order a part at one location and pick it up at the other.”
Scott Paine and Greg Paine are fourth-generation recyclers. The original auto recycling business was started during the Depression era; Scott estimated it opened in 1935.
“My dad, Marvin, worked for his father and uncles and also with his grandfather,” said Scott. “Then when that generation was ready to retire in the early ’60s, my dad moved to a new location and took over a yard known as Buckeye Auto Parts. In the mid ’70s, he moved it to the current location.”
Scott started as a young boy helping out. “I worked all through school-summers, Christmas vacations, the college years,” remembered Scott. “It didn’t matter what I did; I just wanted to go to work with my dad.”
After Scott graduated, his dad encouraged him to work for a couple of different places to see how they did things. Then, he returned to Buckeye Auto Parts full-time. “After I was there for a few years, my dad allowed me to pursue my own business.” That’s when Scott bought Lancaster Auto Recycler with a partner. He worked at the Lancaster location about 90 percent of the time, and the other 10 percent at the Buckeye location.
Today, Lancaster Auto Recycling is all Scott’s, and Buckeye Auto Parts is shared between the brothers, Greg is the vice president.
“We’ve got large shoes to fill,” stated Scott who talked about his dad visiting the business now that he’s retired. “We want him to understand that we appreciate where we come from, and are proud of what we’ve accomplished because of the legacy that he’s given to us.”
The advantages of two companies are that they can process more vehicles, an average of over 1,100 annually. But there are some disadvantages to having two locations. “There’s extra overhead,” explained Scott. “I also can’t be in two places at once. But we’re connected by computers, and we have good managers.”
The website (www.buckeyeautoparts.com) is important to the business, as it provides a glimpse to customers who will never see the location. “We’ve worked hard to update it and make it user friendly,” explained Scott.
He acknowledged that it is his team that are the key to the operation. “Without their hard work and dedication, our business would not be what it is.”
Both businesses have a strong environmental focus. They remove fluids and reuse them in the furnaces and in equipment.
“It’s so much easier to do things the right way with commitment, honor and respect,” he said, “and that’s what we strive to do. We pride ourselves on our best business practices and being very accommodating with our trading partners and our customers. We are all in this together, and our individual success is directly correlated to everyone’s success as a whole.”