Alejandro and Pablo Moreno didn’t start a shop together but found they could grow a business by working as a team. Alejandro got his engineering degree, worked at Bell Helicopter for a while, and went back to school to get his MBA. In the meantime, Pablo was an auto mechanic, went to flight school, and then decided to start Tandem Automotive with a friend to work on drift cars (hence the name).
When Alejandro finished grad school, he was looking for some sort of entrepreneurial venture and wanted to help Pablo. He crunched some numbers and made some changes at Tandem Automotive. His quickly discovered that something needed to change at the business if they wanted it to succeed. They looked at their current customer based and decided it was best to specialize in modifying and maintaining Toyota SUV’s and trucks.
Alejandro used his CAD skills and designed a custom wheel for their common application. While he thought it would be a great way to generate some extra profit, it turned out to be a real headache. Dealing with overseas manufacturing turned out to be extremely difficult and costly. But they overcame the hurdles and have had several hundred wheels produced.
Tandem Automotive has also undergone several ups and downs with employees. They have tried to balance the number of techs with the workload but have struggled to hire hard workers and keep them busy with work. They have put systems in place to track the time and verify that they are charging appropriately and making money.