A-Abco Fridley Grows Along With The Twin Cities
DAVID BANK STUDIO
An auto recycling facility may not be the first business one thinks of when imagining the Twin Cities Metro area. But, a facility that continues to grow and thrive, offers a lifetime warranty on most of its parts, and is a valued member of its community, is what you’ll find at A-Abco Fridley Auto Parts (www.abcofridleyautoparts.com).
According to VP of Operations, Chris Clos, the five acres on which A-Abco Fridley Auto Parts was first located, has been in the Haluptzok family since 1946. Derek Haluptzok purchased the land in 1988, to start A-Abco Fridley Auto Parts and, just like the Twin Cities Metro area that surrounds it, it has been growing ever since. Clos reported that nine or 10 years ago A-Abco Fridley Auto Parts bought the warehouse half a block south of original location, because they just ran out of space.
“Our production was going up, so we got this warehouse,” he explained. “We stored our drive trains there, and we kept operating our sales floor at the Fridley location.”
“I’ve always wanted to do it, but I never felt like we
A-Abco Fridley Auto Parts operated like this for two years before production went up, and it again outgrew its space.
“That’s when we went a mile north on the freeway (Highway 65) where we put up a second storefront,” Clos explained.
The company now had somewhere to move all the items that shouldn’t be outside (electrical, air bags, etc.), and the new location also had a big office area that was remodeled into a beautiful sales floor.
“The Fridley location was smaller, so there were times we had lines out the front door,” Clos said. “We figured that with this new storefront we could have a nice place to better accommodate our customers while they wait.
Even More Growth
“After we got our second location we thought, ‘Okay, now we’re good’,” added Clos. But in less than two years production went up, and the business was out of room again, so a salvage yard to the west of the existing company was purchased.
“We decided we had to purchase that, because we were out of space,” Clos explained. “That gained us nearly eight acres, taking us close to 13 acres. At this point, we thought, ‘We finally have the space we need to operate’.”
That extra space lasted approximately five years, until the end of 2014, when Haluptzok and Clos decided to step up production one more time. Property was purchased to the west of them.
“The new property has a beautiful shop, that will more than double our production,” Clos explained. This newest addition will be 100 percent operational in the next three months.
According to Melissa Diemart, A-Abco Fridley Auto Parts’ Purchasing Manager and Network Administrator, one of the challenges of continued growth is training new staff.
“When I started we had eight employees, and it was very easy to communicate new issues and standards. However, at our size now that becomes a greater challenge,” she said. “We’re learning every day that communication is key!”
The challenges, however, do not outweigh the benefits of being the Twin Cities’ largest auto recycling facility. “Being part of something that continues to grow and succeed is the best part of our company,” said Diemart.
As if growing from three to 68 employees and serving the needs of the Twin Cities wasn’t enough to keep the folks at A-Abco Fridley Auto Parts busy, it is now preparing to be one of the yard tours for the 2016 Upper Midwest Auto and Truck Recyclers Convention and Tradeshow. “I’ve always wanted to do it, but I never felt like we were ready. This year I just decided to say ‘yes’,” Clos stated.
Clos’ daughter Alexia, who’s been working for the company since she was 14 and plans someday to open her own auto recycling business, is looking forward to the upcoming tour.
“In order to prepare we’re focusing on cleaning. This is always our focus in the spring,” she said. “I’m hoping that people will be able to improve their businesses by visiting us, or they may even be able to help us improve. I’d also like to use this opportunity to improve our relationships with other auto salvage yards.”