By Steve Campbell
Never Enough Auto Accessories Blossoms From the Owner’s Enthusiasm
Brad Vlastuin opened Never Enough Auto Accessories Inc. in 2006, and the company moved into this 30,000-sq.-ft. facility in 2011. Never Enough has also expanded into a very successful online operation.
From its inception, the automotive specialty-equipment industry has been built in large measure by enthusiasts who followed their passions. Brad Vlastuin fits that mold.
Vlastuin enjoyed cruise-ins and car gatherings around his hometown in Michigan back in the days when neon lighting and exterior accessories were the hot ticket for import cars. He owned a Toyota Matrix and found that others who attended the same events were in search of products similar to those he was interested in. He began to track down and offer accessories to his fellow enthusiasts, and he was soon running what was essentially a small business out of the trunk of his car.
No longer just a hobby, Vlastuin’s fledgling operation eventually moved to his home garage, expanded into his basement and eventually led him to purchase a small building and open Never Enough Auto Accessories Inc. in 2006. In 2011, the company moved into a 30,000-sq.-ft. facility that includes a 6,000-ft. showroom, warehousing, installation bays and service facilities for both modifications and general maintenance. Never Enough now specializes in truck parts and accessories—another of Vlastuin’s passions—and has expanded into a very successful online operation as well.
“We currently have about 20 team members, and we are looking to expand,” said Jason Myers, the company’s director of online marketing. “We do full retail, provide installations for everything we sell and are also a service center for standard maintenance items, such as brakes, alignments, tires changes, those types of things. Our service installers range from ASE-certified technicians to team members who are trained in-house.”
From the outset in the small building to the impressive new expansion, the company’s guiding principal has always been customer service.
“I built a name for this company by serving customers unselfishly and by providing superior service,” Vlastuin said. “I work very hard at offering my customers the best prices possible on the best products possible. Our business is large enough to save them a ton of money but small enough to deal with them on a personal level. That is something I take a lot of pride in. We don’t want you to just place an order—we want to start a satisfying relationship with you. We want to outfit your current vehicle and the next and the next.”
The facility includes a 6,000-ft. showroom that houses product displays and is large enough to comfortably exhibit complete vehicles. There are currently 20 team members employed at Never Enough, and the company plans to add more.
Never Enough’s customers are generally males, but their ages run the gamut. The initial customer on a given morning might be a young man who is working on his first vehicle, and he can be followed by a veteran builder who is completing his thirtieth. The repair and maintenance side is based in the retail location, but much of the aftermarket and performance-product sales come from the Internet. That is why Vlastuin and Myers are also enthusiastic proponents of the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC).
“We visited the SDC booth at the SEMA Show a couple of years ago,” Myers said. “We had a one-on-one session with a couple of SDC staff people, and I knew that it was going to be something special after just the first few minutes of conversation. The SDC has become one of our best resources for getting parts to market quickly and accurately. It is a flexible, user-friendly system that works to our advantage.”
Meyers said that about 30%–40% of the company’s most frequently sold brands are involved in the SDC as suppliers, and the ability to easily inventory and gain access to their products is a definite advantage to both the business’ team members and to its customers.
“We’re able to quickly load standardized data—whether for the website, marketplaces or the retail location point-of-sale system—without having to create all of that information manually,” he said. “Suspension is one of our biggest categories in online sales. Second would be general exterior accessories, such as mud flaps, bug shields, visors and tonneau covers. However, lift kits, leveling kits, shocks, sway bars and those types of products are our mainstays.”
Never Enough works with warehouse distributors as well as directly with manufacturers, depending on the part and the application, but Myers said that questions about involvement in the SDC have become a priority when the company interviews new suppliers or brands.
“Dealing with suppliers who are not part of the SDC can be a challenge,” he explained. “They can sometimes obtain information from a different data supplier, but we rely on non-SDC brands to supply their own internal data. That may be something as basic as a PDF or an Excel price sheet, but it’s often a mish-mash folder of random images, a spreadsheet with only half of their parts on it and then needing to copy and paste the rest from their website. That is a slow and mistake-prone process, because you have so many manual components to it and so many people involved. It means overhead, corrections and a lot more time. Something like that can take weeks to complete, while something from the SDC takes only hours.”
Never Enough Auto Accessories Inc.
Never Enough is involved with not only its online users but also the local community. The company’s staff works on the local municipality’s fire trucks and donates its time to local events and fundraisers. The company works with car clubs and can help customers with their group buys.
“We’ve also done some sponsorships locally for different events, such as mixed martial arts fights, local car shows and parades in town,” Myers said. “When we attend some of the Jeep shows within Michigan, we’ll set up a booth and even bring in reps from some of our brands to share the space and work directly with them and our customers.”
That commitment springs in part from the staff’s enjoyment of the truck and off-road segment of the industry.
“We specialize in that segment because we believe that it’s the most fun,” Myers said, “and the upper South Hall is the most fun place to be at the SEMA Show. Vlastuin has owned several lifted trucks himself, and many of our other team members are also truck and Jeep enthusiasts, so that’s where the hearts of most of our team are. We can supply anything that people ask for, but lifted vehicles are prevalent in the area around our retail location in Grant, Michigan.”
The company also offers a range of general automotive services, including mobile audio and video systems, remote starts, alarms, tint and heated seats.
“Our mobile electronics installer is DEI factory trained and has been doing installations of these products since they first came out,” Vlastuin said. “The installer means everything when it comes to these items, and ours is one of the best. We also don’t play games with customers by getting them in the door with a low price and then sticking them with add-on charges.”
Vlastuin and Myers continually emphasize that the commitment to customer service and building a strong team with a focused goal are what differentiates their company from their competitors.
“We put ourselves in the customer’s shoes to ensure that we handle each job correctly,” Myers said, “and we also invest a lot of time and money into the back-end technology that puts our company at the forefront of the market.”