Transmissions and More in Fairfield, Ohio
The employees of Transmissions and More in Fairfield, Ohio are dedicated to what they do. The president was even willing to take time to talk to Transmission Digest in the middle of his workday.
“Sure I’m on a test drive but we can handle it,” President Steve Meyers said, when he received the call.
Transmissions and More has been in business since it’s founding in 2009, according to Steve. But he himself has been under the hood far longer.
“Well I’ve been myself in the transmission industry since, well, my father was in it and I was scraping gaskets off at five years old! And I actually have had my own businesses before this. I had businesses where I sold hard parts and rebuilt transmissions. So, I’ve been doing this for quite some time. I showed Anil a picture the other day. I’ve known Anil a long time and he asked me the other day ‘how long you been doing this?’ and I showed him a picture of me at five years old helping my dad, it’s pretty cool,” Steve said. He was referring to his friend Anil Sachdeva, Area Manager at Transtar Industries.
It’s certainly a family trade for Steve, in fact, it’s the sort of work he takes home with him- quite literally.
“Actually, my fiancé is the owner of this business- so it’s really a minority, female-owned business. I just work for her,” Steve said.
The owner of the business, his fiancé, is Tina Adkins, whom Steve praised for her work and her good treatment of the business’s employees.
Transmissions and More currently has four employees and one part-time employee.
Steve said that he’s, “Got a builder that’s been in the business for at least 35 years, and I’ve got two R and R guys that are probably at about as many years in the business as well. And I’ve got a sales manager and he’s really kind of fresh but he comes from a car sale lot so he’s working out pretty good.”
The sales manager may be fresh to the transmission industry, but that hasn’t dissuaded Steve.
“He doesn’t know transmissions as well as he should yet but we’re working on that,” he said.
Steve continued that the recent hire of the sales manager was primarily to help him take some weight off of himself.
“That’s really just to relieve a little stress from me because, you know, for years I was repairing them, rebuilding them, R and R, selling them and we recently acquired him to relieve a little stress from me,” he said.
Steve said that Transmissions and More operates six bays with “one drive-on lift and four regular two-post lifts,” and those lifts stay busy.
“We probably do 6-10 depending on how much we’re doing that week,” Steve said.
So what does the “and More” bit of Transmissions and More mean? Steve said that the business branches out beyond transmissions often.
“Well, we’ve been doing a lot of rear ends, a lot of total suspension-type jobs, drive shafts and the ‘and More’ also comes from selling hard parts,” he said. he also said that he’s known to the area because of his past in selling hard parts. “A lot of the shops in the tri-state know me very well.”
Despite successful business, Transmission and More can have some difficulty keeping up, as many shops have experienced, with the fast-paced track of technology.
“It’s getting so tough lately. It’s getting really tough. But you know, we typically attend the ATRA every year, I’m purchasing the books, and then you know we study them pretty hard. A lot of that stuff we don’t see for two or three years afterword, but recently we’ve been seeing that stuff right away, as they’re coming out. As they’re coming out with the new information, we’re seeing these things. Used to be, two or three years later after getting the information we’d see the stuff but we’re seeing it right away,” Steve said.
The business manages to stay busy in part because of work they do for used car lots.
“A lot of what we do are car lots business. This is probably the used car lot capital of America, here in Fairfield, so a lot of what we do is wholesale jobs like that,” he said, He continued, “The regular customers we get in are only about 40-45% of what we do. And we’re so competitive with our prices compared to other shops in town I’d like to think we’re getting most of the business but I’m sure there are other business owners who feel the same way.”
But every business must deal with some customers that are somewhat less than easy to please. But Steve focuses on making people as happy as he can, and is always attempting to stay ahead of negativity with responses to feedback.
“Well you know I’ve had a couple difficulty customers, and one wrote a review on Yelp. The only recourse I have on something like that is to get back on Yelp and write an answer to whatever they’ve written and try to make not only that customer but others aware that we’re not dealing with 350 transmissions anymore, or even 700s. And the customer that wrote the bad yelp was upset about a $3,200 6T70E, which I thought was priced pretty good. This was a few years ago. So that’s really the only recourse I have for unhappy customers. And I get some that come in that are a year or so out of warranty and they think it should be done again for free and what I’ll do is just charge the parts, because one bad customer out there that’s on the internet is just going to show a 100,000 people, so I try to keep everybody happy.”
Steve is happy that the business is located where it is, and finds that Fairfield is an enjoyable place to live, as well as work.
“Fairfield’s a wonderful city and we’re just outside Cincinnati so we’re getting a lot of draw from the Cincinnati area. Fairfield’s just a great town. We get a lot of foreigners, a lot of Hispanic customers, and the guys are great, hardworking people and they come in and they pay for their transmissions. I’ve had a lot of good luck with them,” he said.
Steve continued that he had witnessed others moving to Fairfield because of the opportunities there.
“Fairfield is a great place to live, but not only to live, but also to run a business. It seems like everybody here is hiring. I’ve had friends come here from as far as Cleveland, Ohio just for employment because Fairfield is always hiring.”
At the end of the day, Steve said that his fiancé was the best part of Transmissions and More, and having a successful transmission business run by a woman made it stand out.
“You don’t find too many women in the transmission business, that know what they’re doing and are making a profit and here it’s just dynamite. And she takes care of the employees here, you know, if they have family problems or can’t come into work. We just take a lot of value into they guys we have because of their experience,” Steve said.