Industry Insiders: Differentiate Your Business with Scott Robertson (Part 4)

July 14, 2015

Hollander Excellence sat down with Scott Robertson of Robertson Auto Salvage, in Wareham, Mass. The conversation ranged a variety of topics, especially focused on how the company differentiates itself from other salvage yards and the competition level of the auto recycling industry. Part 4 of 4 upcoming posts is below.

Hollander:  Absolutely.  You know, the next question is more about your personal experience.  What has been the best part of it running your own business and working in this industry?  What have you taken out of it on a personal level?

Scott: I get to see my father, uncle and brother every day.  I work with them every day.  Go to lunch with them every day.  As far as the perks of running your own business? You know, you can make changes pretty quickly.  You don't have to go to a committee to make a change.  If you want to steer your company, or if you see an opportunity to conduct business in a different manner you can do that with ease. You are your own boss. You know, you can beat yourself up sometimes too.  I mean it is not as easy as people think; you can have a lot of sleepless nights.

Hollander:  We hear that. Is there a plan for the next generation to be taking over?

ScottWell, I have two daughters and a son.  Both my daughters will be in college next year.  They are both going into the Medical Field. My son is only going to be in 5th grade. Who knows what he wants to do. 

Hollander:  Start him off early. 

Scott Yeah, yeah, yeah.  You know, this industry is going to be totally different 10-15 years with the automobiles made better.  They are not breaking the way that they used to.  You know, the accident avoidance systems they have, cars not getting into accidents the way they use to.  There are definitely challenges ahead for this industry.   

Hollander:  Speaking of the future, is it hard with all of the new hybrid cars?  Does that affect you at all?

Scott:  It is not affecting us. What we need is we need more training on how to properly dismantle that vehicle, so that we can avoid accidents. Hollander can help us out with that by getting us information the OEMs and they can provide us that information.  You know, where a certain part is located.  Vehicles have so many computers now, and where are they located?  How do you gain access to them?

Sometimes, it is as easy as removing the glove box door.  Then you can fish your way to the left and it is right there.  There are bulbs.  If we had that information it would make our life a lot easier, as well as with the Hybrids.  You know, proper procedures.

Hollander:  Absolutely.  Thanks for speaking to that.  We have one final topic that we would like to discuss with you. Scott Ryan, who connected us with you, mentioned the topic of certification and some issues with unlicensed salvage sales generally happening in or outside of the industry.  We were kind of wondering if you have had to deal with that, or if you have seen anything like that in your area?

Scott: Well, there are two types of unlicensed salvage sale people.  There are the gatherers, the junk gatherers that I would call a gypsy.  That is just a name that we call them.  They are not gypsies, but we just call them gypsies. They will be someone who has a pick-up truck with a trailer and they go around and see a junk car, or they see a car with a for sale sign on it, they will go and buy it, and then they might take some parts off of it. You know they might drain the fluids, take some parts and list them online, they may do a number of things. Then they will take them and junk them with a salvage yard.  They might take them to the shredder.  You know, that guy there, who is like his own little entrepreneur, one-man-gang. 

Then you have the other unlicensed recycler or person that sells parts, would be the exporter.  The guy who comes over here from overseas and he goes to the auction and he picks up the cars.  Sometimes they take them apart here, sometimes they don't. Sometimes what they do is they ship the parts back to their home country, and what they do is make life hard for all of us other recyclers by driving up the price of salvage.

Hollander:  It is something you guys are dealing with?  It is something inherent to the industry?

Scott Oh, absolutely. You know, the gypsies have always been there.  The exporters have also always been here, but they have been most prevalent the past 10 years.

Hollander:  Got it.  Good insight.  Thank you.  You have given us such great information.  We appreciate you know sharing your background with us.  Is there anything else you would like to add or share with our Social Media audience at Hollander Excellence?

Scott: Well, the good thing about our industry is that no two salvage yards are run the same.  There is no right or wrong way to run them. As long as you are making money and you find a market that is under utilized, and you seize the day and seize the opportunity to make money, you can do it. 

It is not like selling shoes or operating a gas station. There is not a right or wrong way—it is your way, and that is what is great about our industry. 

Hollander:  That is awesome.  That is a perfect sign-off. 

ScottOkay, good. 

Hollander:  Well, thank you very much again for taking the time, Scott.  We really appreciate it. 

Scott: No problem!

This concludes our 4-part blog post with Robertson Auto Salvage owner, Scott Robertson. To learn more about him and what his company is doing, please visit

{generic_cta_relationship var_prefix="cta"} {/generic_cta_relationship}