Amidst the evolving automobile industry, technology has become vital to a business’s success. Meet Troy Webber, CEO of Chesterfield Auto Parts and innovator behind Yardsmart. Discover how his cloud-based system is changing the game for self-service auto recyclers.
Growing up as the third-generation owner of the auto recycling yard is a source of pride for Troy Webber, CEO of Chesterfield Auto Parts and Yardsmart. Originally, the company was Royal Wrecking Company, until his grandfather purchased it in 1947, and continued by his father. Fixing junk cars was his favorite pastime from the age of 10. His love of all things automobile-related has fueled his success as owner of Chesterfield Auto Parts and now, with his new venture, CEO of Yardsmart, a cloud-based comprehensive auto yard parts management system designed for self-service operations, based in Richmond, Virginia.
“My Mom always says I was born with gears in my head! I have always loved cars and anything with an engine. When I was a kid, I would spend all summer going to work with my Dad and playing around in the junkyard. There, I loved working on a junk car to get it up and running. After hours, I drove around the yard when the customers left, and my Dad was working late. I could drive a manual transmission before I was seven years old,” according to Webber.
The Yardsmart app is a SaaS product which is cross-matched to any self-service yard, with customizable point-of-sale features for credit, cash and specific products. Options include extended warranties, labor services and aftermarket parts sales. Integrated pricing from several core buyers, it provides an operator with the ability to track scrap and core sales and process the sale of cars from a resale lot. The app was in beta testing for two years with several yards, including Webber’s three locations, prior to its release in December 2022.
Due to the frequent changes in the automotive industry, the business grew, and its needs changed. With three locations and 100 employees, Webber’s understanding of, and need for a new technology and a cloud-based software system, verged on becoming a crisis. The reason it was imperative to create a new way of managing and connecting the auto recycling business to the world, is because there is no effective software available to do what his self-service auto recycling operation required. Basically, Chesterfield operates differently than other auto recyclers, because it is a retail market. Individuals from all over the world, search for custom and regular auto parts and go to them for their auto parts.
Necessary components of the operating system include an onsite point of sale system, as well as a reporting system for when vehicles move from place to place. Yardsmart sends a notification to state and federal agencies and employs a POS system to accept payment for parts.
According to Webber:
“My light bulb moment occurred when we understood that Microsoft would no longer support the latest version of Windows that our old software utilized. The old application was written in such an antiquated language that it would not function on Windows 11 or newer operating systems. Of course, we knew this for years, but due to the continual updates of Windows 10, we simply bought new computers in order to survive.
“When we couldn’t solve the issues in that way, there was a rush to develop something new before all of our old computers died! That was the void that I was trying to fill. The clock was ticking, and if we couldn’t get something developed and in place soon, we would be stuck without an operating system.”
Yardsmart employs a team of product managers, developers and engineers who regularly communicate with users about the features or any improvement they would like to see. A support team is available to assist with any issues or problems installing or utilizing the product.
One happy customer is MPG Companies, a multi-state company that specializes in recycling, waste processing and transport of recycled autos. Terresa Bourbon, of MPG, said:
“The user interface is easy. Yard Smart is very intuitive on how to use it. Sales reporting is clear and concise, and all information you need is at your fingertips. We love Yardsmart!”
As a hands-on yard owner, Webber was able to identify the need, strategize with his team for solutions and pivot to make the changes a reality, and that is what he does best. “We have been able to survive because we have been willing to adapt. The only constant in the auto industry is change. Manufacturers make it a point to change and improve with every year, and we have to be able to do the same if we want to be a part of this industry.”
To find out more about Yardsmart, go to www.yardsmartapp.com