Futrill Auto Parts Reinforces The Basics
PHOTO: KANDICE CRAWLEY
The owners of Futrill Auto Parts, Inc. have seen the auto recycling industry change a great deal since the company’s founding in 1957, but their philosophy is the same: Keep it simple.
“We always try to provide good, quality service to our customers, keep our relationships with customers and keep things as simple as possible,” said Parts Manager Patrick Futrill. “We just come in day-by-day and do what needs to be done and try not to make it more complicated than the industry already is.”
This approach has worked well for Futrill Auto Parts, based in Poulan, Ga. It is now one of the oldest and biggest salvage yards in Georgia and is well known throughout the region. The company processes about 500 vehicles per year and deals with all makes and models.
Futrill Auto Parts traces its roots to the early 1950s, when Patrick’s grandfather, Richard Primrose Futrill, started selling used items, such as bricks, soft drink bottles and scrap metal.
“Then my grandfather had an old car that stopped working, and his friends needed some parts, so he sold a few parts,” Patrick explained. “It just went from there.”
By 1957, Futrill’s focus was entirely on auto parts. In 1959, he moved his business to its current location, a 55-acre yard that has been home to Futrill Auto Parts, Inc., ever since.
After Richard Primrose Futrill died in 1966, his four sons, R.L., Wayne, Roger and Jack took over the company. Wayne died in 2009 and Jack now has his own auto recycling business in a neighboring county. R.L. and Roger, who is Patrick’s father, own Futrill Auto Parts today. Roger’s wife, Barbara, and R.L.’s wife, Kelsey, also work at the company.
“We try to keep it family-oriented, and not like a corporation,” Patrick said. “I believe in treating other folks the way I want to be treated, with respect and honesty.”
Office manager Barbara Futrill agrees.
“The brothers still get along and work together well and work together for the good of the company,” she admitted. “I think the employees enjoy their jobs and the atmosphere here. They’re dedicated to their jobs, and we’re dedicated to them.”
The company employs 12 workers. Several employees have been with the company for close to 30 years, while one has worked there for more than 30 years, and another retired after 30-plus years of service. Most employees stay for at least five to 15 years, Patrick said.
“I guess they enjoy what they do,” he said. “I try to have a good working relationship with employees. They help me out, and I help them out.”
Futrill Auto Parts not only has loyal employees, it has loyal customers, too.
“We get customers in from time-to-time who remember coming here 20 or 30 years ago,” Patrick stated. “Some remember coming here with their parents as kids.”
Barbara believes customers keep coming back because of Futrill Auto Parts’ reputation for reliable service.
“Our service is the number-one thing,” she said. “We work at keeping customers happy, and we have a lot of return customers. For example, when there is a problem with a part, we make it good. Most parts have a 90-day return policy. If something is not right, we either get the right part or refund the money. We do everything to suit our customers.”
“We still deliver parts,” Barbara added, “and a lot of places don’t do that around here anymore.”
What’s next for Futrill Auto Parts? Patrick says the company is simply “trying to keep up with modern times.” “I look at how to keep up with the latest trends and how we can improve the way we do things,” he said.
For example, he would like to have more of a presence on the Internet. The company website, www.futrillautopartsinc.com, went live last year.
“We’re still slowly growing the website,” he said. “It’s a work in progress. Just being out on the web and putting parts on the Internet is our goal.”
“It’s a complicated industry now,” he added. “It’s not as simple as it used to be. Our plan is to slowly update while keeping our clientele supplied and serviced.”