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SHOWCASE

SHOP AND PRODUCT

TOOLS l TECHNIQUES l TESTIMONIALS

October 2019 l autobodynews.com BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

EQUALIZER

ACCUDRAFT

Highway 18 Collision Center

Honey Creek Collision Terre Haute, IN

2-3

Brainerd, MN

20-21

EQUIPMENT GATEWAY

AKZONOBEL

Jack Hart Body Shop

R Jones Collision 1 Des Moines, IA

4-5

Radcliff, KY

22-23

ALLDATA

LUSID TECHNOLOGIES

Bennett Dunlop Ford Collision Centre

Consumer Auto Body

Regina, Saskatchewan

White Plains, NY

24-25

6-7

MATRIX WAND

AUTEL

Beal’s Auto Body & Repair

Today’s Collision Repair Centers Massachusetts Locations

AUTOBODY

Prescott, AZ 8-9

AXALTA COATING SYSTEMS

26-27

MOBILE ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS Metro Dent Lewisville, TX

28-29

Rick’s Auto Body Inc. Missoula, MT

10-11

Rick Case Honda Collision Center

CAR-O-LINER Dick Hannah Vancouver Auto Body Shop Vancouver, WA

PPG Davie, FL

12-13

30-31

SATA DAN-AM COMPANY No.1 Automotive Body Repair

CARSTAR

Bellingham, WA

32-33

CARSTAR Auto World Collision San Francisco, CA

14-15

Priority Collision Center

CCC INFORMATION SERVICES

Chester, VA

Patrick BMW Collision Center Schaumburg, IL

16-17

Custom Auto Body Inc. 18-19

34-35

SPANESI AMERICAS Briggs Auto Body Manhattan, KS

DEBEER REFINISH North Canton, OH

SHERWIN-WILLIAMS

36-37

USI OF NORTH AMERICA No. 1 Collision Centres Canada & Washington State 38-39


2 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


Honey Creek Collision Sees More Throughout, Quicker Cycle Times With Accudraft Titans

by Autobody News Staff

As a family-owned-and-operated shop, Honey Creek Collision and Custom Paint in Terre Haute, IN, employs 23 collision repair professionals who repair up to 180 vehicles monthly in the shop’s 24,000 square feet of production space. In order to see that amount of productivity, owner Bob Prose knows that the products in which he invests need to improve efficiency on the shop floor. When Prose relocated Honey Creek to his current facility earlier this year, he explored paint booth options to determine which company’s offerings best fit his needs. “During my research, I found out about Accudraft and I learned that they sold high-quality paint booths at an affordable price,” Prose shared. “Accudraft’s Titan paint booths are really efficient. With the added air flow, the bake cycle is quicker which means more throughout and quicker cycle times.” Although Accudraft’s Titan paint booths are large enough for most jobs, measuring 28’ long, 14’ 4” wide and 11’ 6” high, they are surprisingly quiet. According to Prose, “It’s amazing how quiet they are; you can’t even hear them run. My employees love how quiet they are, plus they flow a lot of air. Everyone’s happy and there haven’t been any complaints.” Before committing to the collision repair industry, Prose worked in aerospace machinery and fabrication, but in 1999, he began custom painting race cars and motorcycles on the side, calling his small shop Bob’s Auto Body and Custom Paint. Over the next seven years, “it grew to the point where customers needed collision repair work and that’s how Honey Creek Collision got started,” Prose recalled. In 2006, Prose and his wife Bobbi opened Honey Creek Collision at 775 West Johnson, but with unprecedented growth over the past 13 years, they opened a new facility at the beginning of 2019. While they are currently operating exclusively out of their new facility, Prose plans to reopen the original location in the near future. Honey Creek Collision is an ICARGold shop with OEM certifica-

Honey Creek Collision

Location: Terre Haute, IN (812) 232-9735 www.honeycreekcollision.com Company At A Glance...

Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: 23

In Business Since: 2006

Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Five

Combined Production Space: 24,000 square feet Honey Creek Collision relocated to its new facility earlier in 2019.

tions from Nissan, GM, Ford and Honda’s ProFirst program. All of the shop’s technicians are I-CAR and ASE certified, boasting over 120 years of combined experience in the collision repair industry. Honey Creek Collision converted to waterborne paints five years ago in an effort to help preserve the environment. The Proses are very active in their community, sponsoring local sports teams as well as supporting school and church activities in their town. Bobbi Prose shared, “We know that the Lord has blessed us and we are very thankful for that. We also attribute the success of our business to our customers. When they are treated with respect and kindness and their vehicle is repaired correctly, they tell their friends and family about us. Customer satisfaction is extremely important to us.” Bob Prose believes that being family owned and operated is key to Honey Creek Collision’s success. “My wife and I are very involved with the business as owners – we’re here all day, every day. Our daughter Alison began working in the office this year and our son Nathan plans to join us at the shop after he graduates high school. I think it helps that we are so hands-on with operations at the shop because our employees see how hard we work and we’re setting a good example of our expectations. We also have really good employees who are more like family and all of our guys have been here for quite a while because we take care of them.”

Prose also has a great relationship with his distributor, Sullivan’s Equipment. “Our distributor is a good friend of mine and I can trust him to only sell the industry’s best products like the Accudraft Titans,” Prose said. “Implementing Accudraft’s Titan paint booths was easy because Sullivan’s Equipment worked with the engineer as our new shop was being built. He ensured the pits were built in the exact right spot, so when the booths showed up, it was completely seamless.” Sullivan Equipment and Accudraft sent a specialist to Honey Creek Collision for a half-day of training on the new booths, and regarding the customer service he has received from Accudraft, Prose reported, “They’ve been great so far.” While Prose conceded that the Titan booths are very similar to his previous paint booths in some ways, he has noticed improved quality and he also noted, “The appearance of the Titan booth is really nice and you want your shop to look attractive, especially when it has just been built.” When setting up the new shop, Prose also invested in an Accumix SS Mixing Room and an Accudraft Cut-In Room. He stated, “We love the cut-in booth that Accudraft made. They custom built a piece of equipment just for us and it fits the area perfectly. We’re able to paint small parts in it and they turn out great. We’re really happy with the efficiency and quality we’re receiving from our new Accudraft products.”

According to owner Bob Prose, “Accudraft’s Titan paint booths are really efficient [with] more throughput and quicker cycle times.”

Bob and Bobbi Prose are very involved with the daily operations in the shop. Their daughter Alison recently joined the team. (Pictured left to right: Nathan Prose, Bob Prose, Bobbi Prose, Alison Prose)

Accudraft 961 Rt. 10 E, Ste 2K Randolph, NJ 07869 (800) 524-0340 x112 Info@accudraftpaintbooths.com www.accudraftpaintbooths.com

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 3


4 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


Only Woman-Owned Shop in Des Moines, Iowa, Relies on AkzoNobel to Make Repairs Better

by Autobody News Staff

R Jones Collision 1 is the only collision repair shop in the Des Moines, Iowa, area that is owned and operated by a woman, Christy Jones. No newcomer to the industry, Jones knows real value when she sees it, and although spraying with AkzoNobel’s Sikkens delivers a high-quality product, Jones believes the real value in her relationship with AkzoNobel lies not only in the products they offer, but in the services they provide, such as their North American Performance Group meetings. Jones states, “AkzoNobel is not focused on selling paint; they’re focused on making us better.” “My guys have never shot anything other than Sikkens, but AkzoNobel’s service, more than their products, has made R Jones Collision 1 a better shop,” Jones explains. “Our relationship with AkzoNobel isn’t just about paint – there are a lot of auxiliary benefits as well. Their service is what makes them stand apart. They provide robust educational training for the techs, front office and owners. The training is supplemented with a service consultant who can answer our questions and help us address any shop specific production problems we encounter.” Jones continues, “It starts with someone who has their boots on the ground, someone who is solid, consistent and wants me to succeed. We have a great jobber, The Body Part Store, who makes sure we’re happy and well-serviced. If there’s ever a color-matching issue or any simple question, we have a direct line to them and they’re usually at the shop that same day. We’ve never had anything other than positive experiences with them.” R Jones Collision 1 was founded in 1971 by Bob Jones and a silent partner, but in 1979, Bob bought out his partner and brought his brother, Richard, aboard to do body work while he took care of the estimates. Two years later, Ann Jones, Bob’s wife, joined the team in the accounting and human resources arena. Christy Jones began working for her father full-time in 2001, taking over her ill mother’s duties and moving to estimating and sales in

R Jones Collision 1

Des Moines, Iowa (515) 278-4170 www.rjonescollision.com Company At A Glance...

Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: Nine In Business Since: 1971

Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: One The collision repair professionals at R Jones Collision 1 have become even better at their jobs thanks to the information they receive through AkzoNobel’s North American Performance Group meetings.

2004. In 2015, Bob and Richard Jones retired, leaving Christy as sole owner of R Jones Collision 1. The I-CAR certified shop repairs an average of 65 vehicles each month. As the only female body shop owner in her market, Jones takes women’s struggles with automotive repairs quite personally. She points out, “Women are often stereotyped as uneducated when it comes to cars, and unfortunately, women sometimes get taken advantage of. My shop makes a concerted effort to ensure that women feel safe and secure, not intimidated, when they enter our facility. When they walk out, they can be confident that they received a safe, proper repair and they know we treated them right.” Jones partners with a mechanic and an insurance agent to educate ladies on what happens to their car in collision and mechanical shops. “We teach attendees many important things they need to know about their cars to help them feel empowered. They also learn pertinent information about their insurance to prevent them from feeling intimidated by the process.” The shop also participates in other community services, including supporting NABC’s extrication classes and partnering with other local shops to donate vehicles to Recycled Rides. Additionally, R Jones Collision 1 belongs to four local business chambers and supports local high schools, in addition to recycling all waste from cardboard to metal scraps.

Developing trust with clients is vital to Christy Jones and is exactly what she expects in a company to whom she gives her business. Her father and uncle began spraying with Sikkens from AkzoNobel in the early 1990s. “R Jones Collision 1 has used Sikkens since before my time,” Jones admits. “We still shoot it,” she points out, “But if the product wasn’t performing like I need it to, I wouldn’t use it; however, it consistently meets and exceeds my requirements.” AkzoNobel is dedicated to ensuring that Sikkens products achieve high quality results for their customers. In addition to being focused on technical excellence, high performance, innovation and sustainability, the company goes the extra mile – or ten – to guarantee that clients receive the expert service, training and advice needed to get the most out of their products. “My productivity and profitability are exactly where I need them to be; The Body Parts Store would let me know if my business was suffering because it would impact them as well – what I buy from them,” Jones quips. “The quality is great, but the service is more important than the label. Service is vital, and both AkzoNobel and The Body Parts Store are very strong in that respect. My team and I have learned and grown so much from attending AkzoNobel’s North American Performance Group meetings. AkzoNobel wants to make me a better body shop and I truly appreciate that about them!”

Combined Production Space: 4,800 square feet

R Jones Collision 1 enjoys excellent productivity and performance with the use of AkzoNobel’s Sikkens paint system.

Christy Jones owns R Jones Collision 1, making it the only female-owned-and-operated collision repair facility in the Des Moines area.

AkzoNobel 1845 Maxwell Drive Troy, MI 48084 www.akzonobel.com

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 5


6 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


Canadian Collision Centre Uses ALLDATA to Thrive in a Non-DRP

by Autobody News Staff

For all of its collision repair information and automotive diagnostics, the crew at Bennett Dunlop Ford Collision Centre constantly calls upon ALLDATA to repair approximately 200 cars monthly. This dealership group has four locations in Canada and three of these feature body shops, all of which are busy and consistently receive five-star reviews from its ecstatic customers. Collision Centre Manager Bryan Leier runs the show at Bennett Dunlop Ford in a competitive market that consists of 65 collision repairers serving 300,000 people. Canada does not have a DRP system like in the United States. Everything is run by Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), which was created in 1945 and is a provincial Crown corporation that has been developed over the years into two linked operations. The Saskatchewan Auto Fund is the province’s compulsory public auto insurance program, operating the driver’s licensing and vehicle registration system, and is financially self-sustaining, operating on a break-even basis over time. Leier has 42 years of experience in collision repair and most of it is as a manager and an owner of a shop, he said. “Like many other people, I began working at a shop as a student for two summers. One day, I found out that a local shop was coming up for sale and with some financial help from my father, I purchased the shop. I did that for 27 years and then in 2002 I had an opportunity to sell the business.” “Saskatchewan does not have DRPs, so a customer files a claim and they have a choice to have their appraisal done at an accredited shop or at a government claims centre. There is a little bit of jockeying at that point, because once the customer has the estimate in hand, they can take their vehicle to any approved shop they choose. Usually, if we do the estimate, we retain that customer, because we have built a strong reputation for quality

Bennett Dunlop Ford Collision Centre

Location: Regina, Saskatchewan (306) 522-6612 www.bennettdunlopford.com Company At A Glance...

Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: 23

In Business Since: 1978

Number of Locations: Three

Production Manager Alex Zdanowski at Bennett Dunlop Ford Collision Centre can be more efficient and productive using ALLDATA every day.

and service. Our shop has I-CAR Gold status with all of our journeyman technicians trained to I-CAR Platinum level guaranteeing repairs are done to OE standards.” One year ago, Bennett Dunlop Ford Collision Centre switched to ALLDATA to accommodate more brands as they were added to their accreditation list. “After the John Eagle case, we realized that we need to have full access to every vehicle we repair and ALLDATA has more than everything out there. SGI wanted us to use it and it’s been a great move. Our estimators pull up the information when they build the claim, so that when the tech starts the job, they don’t have to spend a lot of time looking it up. It also avoids questions about OE vs. aftermarket parts and it enables us to create a game plan when it comes to our repair processes for each vehicle. Leier’s service writers, painters and technicians can turn their Android and Windows 10 tablets into a powerful, professional scan tool, thanks to ALLDATA Diagnostics, with ALLDATA Collision built-in. With eight of his collision technicians, four painters and two estimators adept at using ALLDATA, Leier touts his crew as one of the finest in the Great White North and proud of what they achieve on a daily basis. “We invest in our people on many levels and it pays off,” Leier said. “We meet for one hour every

Thursday to check in and I never have to micromanage them. We let them feel at home and compensate them well and that’s why they like working here.” When it comes to its diagnostics, Bennett Dunlop Ford Collision Centre saves time and money by counting on ALLDATA. “They provide us with an all-in-one scanner, which means we don’t have to buy a lot of different ones for all of the brands we work on,” Leier said. “We trained our production manager, as well as all of our estimators and technicians on how to use it and it’s the only diagnostics tool we use now. Our production manager and two of our techs are adept at it and that’s why they do most of our diagnostics. Their training is simple; it’s all done through a series of conference calls. We have WiFi throughout the shop, so our people upload the diagnostic information after every scan to be integrated into our insurance claim. We get everything we need on our tablets, so that all of us are on the same page.” Leier also received exemplary support from ALLDATA and that is one of the main reasons why he’s enamored with the system. “They have an 800 number and they never leave us on hold,” he said. “They have an incredible library service we use when we’re having problems finding information and their Library team always responds quickly.”

Combined Production Space: 27,000 square feet

Collision Centre Manager Bryan Leier has eight of his collision technicians, four painters and two estimators adept at using ALLDATA.

Bennett Dunlop Ford Collision Centre switched to ALLDATA to accommodate more brands as they were added to their accreditation list.

ALLDATA (877) 380-3084 www.alldata.com/collision

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 7


8 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


MSO Saves Time and Money With Autel for ADAS and Diagnostics

by Autobody News Staff

Some shop owners and managers will drag their feet when it comes to acquiring new, cutting-edge tools and equipment, even though they know they can help them to be more efficient while saving time and money. Body shops that are reluctant to come to the technology party can easily be left behind while early adapters can lap them and capture more repair work as a result. When it comes to embracing the latest and the greatest, Bobby Cobb, the owner at Today’s Collision Repair Centers with three locations in Chelsea, Stoneham and Malden, MA, isn’t afraid to step up and change his operation for the better. He’s so forward-thinking and willing to use new technology, that Cobb might as well change his company’s name to Tomorrow’s Collision Repair Centers, because he knows the future is now and those shops that don’t change and adjust at a rapid rate, can easily be out-distanced by the competition. To provide world-class automotive diagnostics services, Cobb proudly uses scanning systems made by Autel, a company that has been one of the planet’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of professional diagnostic tools, equipment and accessories in the automotive aftermarket since 2004. Once Cobb decided to bring all of his automotive diagnostics in-house, he began searching for scanners and an ADAS calibration system that would be reliable, easily updatable and user-friendly. The company currently has six MaxiSYS MS906BTs, one MaxiSYS MS906TS and a MaxiSYS Elite to perform J2534 module programming, in addition to the Autel MaxiSYS Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) Calibration tool package, to make sure all modern vehicles equipped with radar and camera safety systems are calibrated perfectly before leaving his shops. In a state where Direct Repair Partnerships (DRPs) are prohibited, Cobb has to do everything he possibly can to wow and retain each customer that comes through the doors. That’s why he stresses top tier customer service, pursues OE certifica-

Today’s Collision Repair Centers

Location: Malden, Chelsea and Stoneham, MA (781) 321-6080 www.todayscollision.com Company At A Glance...

Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: 65

In Business Since: 1989

Number of Locations: Three

Combined Production Space: 37,500 square feet (combined) Body Technician Stevin Cadavid uses Autel’s diagnostic tools on a wide range of cars, including Tesla at Today’s Collision Repair Centers.

tions and makes sure that his entire crew is thoroughly trained, which means that most of his veteran technicians are I-CAR Platinum. Cobb has one Autel scanner in Chelsea; two in Stoneham and three in Malden, he said, to accommodate each facility’s production needs. “All of our body men can do pre and post-repair scans. One of them specializes in Tesla, because it requires more steps than the other OEs do,” he said. “We are proud to be the first collision repair company in Massachusetts to acquire the Autel MaxiSYS Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) Calibration tool package, which is located at our Malden location. We used to have to transport some of our cars to local dealerships to get our diagnostics, especially with the newer models. But now we send maybe five percent of the cars we work on to the dealerships for diagnostics, so it’s very rare.” Taking cars to the dealerships for his diagnostics was a major hassle and something Cobb doesn’t miss anymore, he said. “The dealers are ten miles away, which means I have to tie up two people for nothing less than an hour to take the car there. Then, they may have the car for one to two days, so it really impacted our cycle times before acquiring these Autel tools.” Autel really steps up when it comes to staying current and continually updating all of its OEM in-

formation, Cobb said. “They update themselves through our annual subscription, which is ideal. It really helps, because we work for the Port of Entry in Boston for Subaru, which means that we’ll be working on 2020 cars very soon. They get damaged in transport and we need our scanners to have the latest codes in there in order to repair these cars.” Adam Landry, one of Cobb’s mechanical technicians is taking the reins when it comes to his Autel’s MaxiSYS Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) Calibration tool package. “He is not afraid of this technology and is getting better at using the system every day,” Cobb said. “After a short training session, Adam was good at it, and if he ever has any questions, Autel’s support is excellent.” Recently, Cobb invited half a dozen insurance adjusters to an informational and training class held at his Malden location and taught by Autel’s National Trainer/Commercial Product Sales Manager Michael Flink. “It was a real eye-opener for the adjusters and we got nothing but great feedback from them about Mike’s presentation,” Cobb said. “The main goal was to educate the adjusters about automotive diagnostics in general and how we use our Autel tools when we repair their customers’ vehicles. This way, they will know what they’re paying for and be able to describe diagnostics to their clients and fellow adjusters.”

Today’s Collision Centers relies on its Autel MaxiSYS Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) Calibration tool package every day.

Today’s Collision Repair Centers has Autel scanners at all of its three locations in Chelsea, Stoneham and Malden, MA.

Autel 175 Central Avenue Farmingdale, NY 11735 (855) 288-3587 www.Autel.com

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 9


10 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


Rick’s Auto Body Committed to Axalta’s Top Notch Products Rick’s Auto Body Inc.

by Autobody News Staff

The collision repair industry holds a plethora of challenges for body shop owners who intend to deliver high-quality repairs. With OEM certifications rapidly becoming more important and technical, shops like Rick’s Auto Body in Missoula, MT, rely on paint suppliers to remain steadfast and provide value beyond the products they sell. Rick’s Auto Body sprays with Cromax ® CHROMAPREMIER®, and owner Paul Flores shares, “We have used Axalta products since the 1990s. They were leading the industry and we wanted to do the same in our market.” “Axalta’s products are top notch, but the business development aspect, especially the business councils, has brought tremendous value to our organization,” Flores added. “Our local rep, Gene Fenske, as well as every Axalta client under his service, has been great to work with. Whenever we had complications with a product, Axalta has helped us navigate the situation as quickly as possible.” Rick’s Auto Body was founded in 1976 by Rick Booth as a part-time business doing total-loss rebuilds, custom painting and restoration work before he expanded his hours to fulltime status in 1979. Over the decades, Booth focused on growing his brand and reputation until beginning the process of selling the shop to Flores in 2013. He officially retired in 2019 after completing the transaction of selling the entire business to Flores. The shop is an 18,000 square foot facility employing 34 collision repair professionals who repair an average of 200 vehicles each month. In addition, Rick’s Auto Body holds nine DRP contracts and is certified in FCA, Ford, Ford Aluminum, Nissan, Hyundai, Honda ProFirst and Subaru. According to Flores, “I believe our production model sets us apart from other shops. We have dedicated Disassembly/Blueprint teams, Body teams and Paint teams. This increases our production capacity and provides greater benefits to our customers in reduced wait times to schedule for repairs and to decrease repair cycle times.”

Location: Missoula, MT (406) 549-5400 www.ricksautobodymissoula.com Company At A Glance...

Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: 34

In Business Since: 1979

Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Nine Rick’s Auto Body has been using Axalta products since the 1990s and can’t imagine wanting to switch brands.

“Our focus on OEM certifications and providing our customers with OEM certified repairs is important. This involves a heavy commitment to on-going training, equipping and tooling in every area of the business. Our team is also highly dedicated to improving upon our communication skills—both internally and with our customers and business associates,” Flores said. “OEM certifications are huge. First notice of loss has been captured by insurers; however, advanced telematics will transfer first notice of loss to the OEMs. This has the potential to decrease the value of direct repair programs and put emphasis on OEM certification or at least bring equal value to the two.” Looking to the future, Flores adds, “I see the potential of the allmakes, all-models type of shop going away. Specialization in the form of OEM certification will be the primary focus. The cost of correctly repairing multiple brands may limit shops to only selecting certifications with the largest OEMs represented in their market place. The threat of liability for repairing a vehicle that you are not approved to repair may also lead to specialization with specific OEMs.” Flores notes, “The landscape’s changing rapidly, and the information necessary for all parties to make the right decision is moving much slower. Access to the necessary information is a road block due to insurers’ unwillingness to acknowledge the need for the subscription fee. To accurately repair a vehicle, you must

access the repair information from the OEM sites as they are the only ones who have the most up-todate information. Understanding OEM repair procedures on every repair is also a culture change that requires communication, education, time, patience and a consistent commitment to our technical development.” Rick’s Auto Body is also committed to lessening its impact on the environment through best practice processes and procedures in addition to using fully integrated UV primers to reduce the amount of coverage necessary to achieve a better quality product. Flores recalls, “We tested new primer products for Axalta in the mid-2000s and then integrated the products into our daily production. Axalta was outstanding in helping us field test, and they continued to provide excellent support if we had any questions when we rolled out for full production. Implementing new Axalta products has traditionally been a seamless process.” The technicians working at Rick’s Auto Body love Cromax® CHROMAPREMIER® because it’s so easy to spray and produces a flawless finish, and their experiences with other Axalta products have also been very favorable. Flores points out, “We’ve been partners too long now to remember anything but Axalta, but with all the benefits they offer, why would we want to?”

Combined Production Space: 18,000 square feet

Axalta’s flawless finishes allows Rick’s Auto Body to produce superior repairs that keep customers coming back.

Rick’s Auto Body employs 34 collision repair professionals who repair an average of 200 vehicles each month.

Axalta Coating Systems Company Contact: Heidi Stillwell Heidi.stillwell@axaltacs.com (610) 358-5353 www.axalta.us

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 11


12 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


Washington Shop Has Clear View of OEM Certification With Car-O-Liner Products

by Autobody News Staff

Dick Hannah Vancouver Auto Body in Vancouver, WA, belongs to a Pacific Northwest automotive group established in 1949 and consisting of 16 dealerships and two collision repair facilities. The business is constantly growing, and recently, the shop relocated to an 80,000 square foot facility just outside the auto mall where it was previously located; however, physical growth is not as important to Dick Hannah Auto Body as educational growth. The ICAR Gold shop actively pursues OEM certifications because “If you’re not OEM trained and certified, you’re going to be left in the past,” predicted Collision Center Director, Rick Stoker. “These aren’t your 1980s and 1990s vehicles anymore,” Stoker continued. “Cars need to be pre- and post-scanned to ensure all safety systems are functioning properly. Everything is computerized and sophisticated now. On every repair, we need to be asking if the safety systems are working as intended by the OEM.” Dick Hannah Auto Body is certified in Chrysler/Fiat, Nissan, Honda/Acura ProFirst and Volkswagen. Seven years ago, the shop’s partnership with Volkswagen led Stoker to explore Car-O-Liner’s booth at SEMA since the OEM required the use of Car-O-Liner’s benchrack and the CTR12000 resistance welder as part of its certification program. “Since then, our relationship with Car-O-Liner’s products has evolved,” Stoker said. “In addition to the Volkwagen rack, we now have two 6300 truck racks and fifteen 4200 benchracks, as well as the CTR12000 resistance welder, the Car-O-Tronic Vision X3 Measuring System, and the EVO1, EVO2 and EVO3 universal fixtures. Car-OLiner’s products are easy to set up, and our techs love how easy they are to use.” Implementing the new products in the shop’s daily processes was completely seamless, according to Stoker. “We put the racks in our facility, and Car-O-Liner provided a two-hour training session to go over basic safety requirements. After that, our techs took off running, producing work in a fraction of the time it used to take.” The Car-O-Tronic Vision X3 Measuring System has also been

Dick Hannah Vancouver Auto Body Shop Location: Vancouver, WA (360) 944-3252 www.dickhannah.com Company At A Glance...

Type: Dealership Automotive Group Facility Employees: 52

In Business Since: 1949

Number of Locations: Two DRP Programs: Five Collision Center Director Rick Stoker praises Car-O-Liner’s products from their Car-O-Tronic Vision X3 Measuring System to their CTR12000 resistance welder and all three EVO universal fixture kits.

easy for the technicians at Dick Hannah Auto Body to learn and use. Stoker stated, “The X3 has fewer components than other systems which makes assembly a breeze, and the database is second to none – it has more vehicle data than any other system we’ve tried, and updates for the computerized measuring are always current. All of our techs love the Car-O-Tronic Vision X3 because all the information they need is accessible and easy to navigate, and that ease of use turns them into more productive techs.” Dick Hannah Auto Body’s distributor, LDC Equipment, has also been a huge aid in enhancing their relationship with Car-O-Liner. Stoker shared, “John Leddy is only a phone call away when we have questions, and if he doesn’t know the answer, he reaches out to Car-O-Liner. We can also reach out to Car-O-Liner’s tech support directly, and their customer service has been spectacular, completely unparalleled.” Customer focus is an important part of Dick Hannah’s business model, and the automotive group’s slogan is “Believe in nice.” Stoker said, “We really care about our customers. We want them to come back for service, after a collision, and when they’re buying a new car – every part of the process can be handled at one stop.” Seventy years ago, Dick Hannah Auto Body was founded by Bill Hannah, Dick’s father. The business is now run and operated by the family’s third generation, Jason and Jennifer. Dick Hannah Auto Body began

in a small shop in Vancouver in 1949, moving in the mid-80s before relocating to a larger 20,000 square foot facility in the auto mall in 1994. Earlier this year, Dick Hannah Auto Body moved to its 80,000 square foot facility outside the auto mall. While the shop’s 52 employees’ currently average 400 repairs per month, Stoker’s goal is to locate more talented painters, bodymen and damage appraisers and increase the shop’s volume to 1,000 vehicles monthly with the additional space afforded by the recent relocation. In addition to Car-O-Liner’s products, nine paint stations help the techs at Dick Hannah Auto Body increase productivity, while the shop’s heated airlines ensure the sealer and basecoat dry instantly. Dick Hannah Dealerships and Auto Body Shops are very involved with local charitable organizations, including the American Red Cross, the Boys and Girls Club, Make-AWish, and Meals on Wheels, among many others. Their website boasts 430 donations with a total of nearly $700,000 given, stating “We live here. We work here. We give here. [We’re] committed to supporting those who share this community and its resources with us.” The environment is another focus for Dick Hannah Auto Body. The shop was among the first in the Northwest to convert to waterborne paints. Additionally, Dick Hannah Dealerships launched its Arbor Day Foundation in 2007, planting a tree for each sold vehicle. The organization has since planted 186,253 trees in Southwest Washington.

Combined Production Space: 115,000 square feet (both collision facilities)

One of two body shops in the Dick Hannah Automotive Group, Dick Hannah Auto Body has been in business since 1949 but moved into their new, larger location earlier this year.

Dick Hannah Auto Body relies on Car-O-Liner 4200 benchracks for ease of use and increased productivity.

Car-O-Liner (800) 521-9696 car-o-liner-us.com

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 13


14 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


CARSTAR Auto World Collision Triples Profits After Joining Network

by Autobody News Staff

Auto World Collision in San Francisco was founded in 1993 by Jason Wong, and although he enjoyed moderate success during the first two decades in business, he decided to join the CARSTAR network in November 2017. He explains, “We decided to join CARSTAR because it grants us access to such a high caliber of collision repair industry professionals. There is no better avenue to get exposure to that level of knowledge and experience, and the willingness of CARSTAR’s team to share their expertise has made CARSTAR Auto World Collision a better facility.” Although Wong admits that the process of advancing his shop to meet CARSTAR’s standards presented challenges, he adamantly insists that the benefits far outweigh those initial obstacles. “The immersion process was one of the most difficult processes our shop has ever gone through since it impacted every aspect of the business. We had to remodel the exterior and interior of our facility to meet standardization requirements as well as adhering to CARSTAR’s requirements for the continuing education and training of our staff,” Wong states. “But now we have better trained technicians who are more productive, and in less than two years, we’ve tripled our profits.” Wong adds, “After the compliance changes were made, it was easy to implement CARSTAR’s processes because of the commitment exhibited by the entire team at CASTAR. The operations and field team were very committed to our success and coached us accordingly. Since our facility’s re-branding, we have doubled our business, and we expect to hit the tripled mark within the next six months – that is in less than 24 months since joining CARSTAR. In the same time period, the net profit at CARSTAR Auto World Collision has tripled due to increased sales and the CARSTAR procedures in place.” The training provided to locations in the CARSTAR network is one of the most important advantages offered, according to Wong. “CARSTAR operations and field managers conduct very informative training with my team. The trainers are very hands on, ensuring comprehension, and they visit us on a monthly basis to provide continuous training. CARSTAR also grants us easy access to training webinars

CARSTAR Auto World Collision Location: San Francisco (650) 250-1800 www.carstar.com/locations/ca/ san-francisco-15363/ Company At A Glance...

Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: 17

In Business Since: 1993

Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Three CARSTAR Auto World Collision joined North America’s largest MSO network of independently owned collision repair facilities in November 2017.

through their web portal, CARSTAR University.” Education is vital to a store’s success and continued improvement because Wong believes OEM certification will be key to the industry’s future. In addition to being an ICAR Gold facility and ASE-certified, CARSTAR Auto World Collision has received OEM certifications from Volkswagen and Subaru in addition to factory training from Audi, Porsche, Honda and Toyota. Wong shares, “We are an OEMprocedure driven repair center. OEM procedures are becoming increasingly more important in the collision repair industry as vehicles continue to advance. Repairers need to follow OEM manufacturers’ repair recommendations, including pre- and post-scan, recalibrations, structural sectioning, and replacement. In the future, we believe the automotive repair industry will be pushing for OEM certifications, and we want to be ahead of the game.” As a CARSTAR network facility, CARSTAR Auto World Collision enjoys access to systems and relationships that have given them a leg up on other shops in the area. Wong said, “CARSTAR uses a management platform called EDGE which is integrated with CCC. It allows us to track important KPIs and workflow. We also have better access to vendor relationships which makes us more competitive in our market.” At CARSTAR Auto World Collision, 17 collision repair professionals repair an average of 140 vehicles each month. The 17,000 square foot production space is outfitted with the industry’s best tools and equipment, including a Chief EZ Liner, Car-O-

Liner benchrack, Car-O-Tronic Vision 2 measuring system, four car lifts, a Genesis measuring system, and a variety of welders and other tools. The shop sprays with Sherwin-Williams. Wong knows the success of his facility relies on the people performing the repairs every day, and he takes their opinions about the business very seriously. That’s why he asked for their input when he was considering the opportunity to join the CARSTAR network. Wong recalls, “We held a company meeting with all employees, and everyone at our company felt 100 percent sure about making the transition.” “Now, my team can’t wait to come to work in the morning,” Wong continues. “Company morale has definitely improved since we joined the CARSTAR network.” CARSTAR Auto World Collision also believes environmental awareness is imperative. According to Wong, “We use a waterless car detailing system to prevent contaminants from going into the water drainage system. We follow the San Francisco Department of Public Health Clean and Green Program.” Community is also an important part of the CARSTAR network’s business model. The company’s charity of choice is supporting the fight against cystic fibrosis, which it designated over 20 years ago when a franchise partner’s granddaughter was diagnosed with the disease. CARSTAR also supports Military Appreciation Month, NABC’s Recycled Rides program, SkillsUSA, the Women’s Industry Network (WIN), and the It Can Wait initiative to discourage texting while driving.

Combined Production Space: 17,000 square feet

While rebranding was definitely a growth opportunity for the shop, owner Jason Wong reports that net profits has tripled since joining the CARSTAR network.

Wong believes OEM certification is the industry’s future, and is grateful that CARSTAR provides all the education and training his team needs to stay competitive in the market.

CARSTAR (844) 906-9764 www.CARSTARFranchise.com

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 15


16 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


Collision Center Manager Uses CCC ONE® Three Different Ways

by Autobody News Staff

Trent Jensen, the shop manager at Patrick BMW Collision Center in Schaumburg, IL, located 32 miles outside of Chicago, surely has no issues when it comes to multi-tasking. In addition to managing a crew of 22 collision professionals that repair approximately 220 cars every month, Jensen is an I-CAR instructor and teaches a series of Continued Education (CE) classes for insurance adjustors year round. Jensen uses CCC ONE in three ways—to keep his shop running on all cylinders, as well as to educate techs and insurance adjustors in his classrooms. Patrick BMW Collision Center (a part of the Patrick Dealer Group) is fully geared for aluminum repairs and certified to fix BMWs, MINIs, Cadillacs, Volvos, Jaguars, Land Rovers, Hyundais and Genesis. If any Patrick Dealer sells a nameplate, they’re able to fix it along with any brand that comes their way. Jensen, 55, is grateful for the new technology that makes his job easier and his crew more efficient. Things were not that way when he entered the industry at age 25, he said. “My father-in-law had a body shop and one day he offered me a job as an estimator. Back then, we had to write all of the estimates by hand, which was difficult and time consuming.” One piece of modern technology Jensen and his crew rely on every day is CCC ONE. Jensen said CCC ONE is great, because of it’s capabilities—managing parts electronically and automating the entire procurement and tracking processes from start to finish. The crew at Patrick BMW Collision Center is able to receive live quotes, purchase parts on the spot and receive electronic invoices through CCC ONE seamlessly. In a high-production environment, CCC ONE is like an additional employee who works quickly and is smart, Jensen said. “It allows us to save at least 15 hours every week and eliminate errors that we used to encounter. With so many jobs and the associated parts, it’s a huge undertaking and that’s why we need to get the right part the first time. One missing part or inaccu-

Patrick BMW Collision Center

Location: Schaumburg, IL (888) 314-9807 www.patrickautobody.com Company At A Glance...

Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: 22

In Business Since: 1907 DRP Programs: Eight Assistant Manager Tim Odachowski at Patrick BMW Collision Center uses CCC ONE every day to the point where they call it “an additional employee”.

rate order can set us back several days. With CCC ONE, we get direct access to our parts suppliers, and can automatically apply our supplier’s preferences and do the quotes or parts orders the way our insurance partners want.” When orders are confirmed, supplier invoices flow back through the CCC® Repair Workflow management system, which completely strips out the need for manually entering any data on the back-end, Jensen explained. “If we can avoid inputting parts numbers, that is important, because that’s when mistakes can happen. With CCC ONE, everything is organized and it’s easy to navigate through. To get into another program, we do it tabto-tab, which saves time.” At Patrick BMW Collision Center, Jensen has his parts manager, production manager and three of his estimators trained and adept at using CCC ONE and its Repair Workflow feature. When anyone encounters issues or has any questions, CCC ONE is always poised and prepared to help Jensen and his crew. “The customer service is over the top, because it’s easy to access and their information is always on the money,” he said. “Most of the problems we have are on our end and the tech folks at CCC are usually able to solve them within minutes. Our CCC rep Eric Christiansen is extremely responsive and they also have talented technical people on their team.” In addition to streamlining every

aspect of the parts game, Jensen also calls upon every capability featured within the program, he said. “We use it for scheduling and tracking every aspect of our production. In most cases, the car comes in and we are able to set up the timeline, write the estimate and start ordering the parts needed for the repair immediately. The vehicle has been here less than a few hours and we already have everything in the works.” Jensen relies on CCC ONE every day to run a world-class operation that works primarily on highend vehicles. But, he also uses it as a teaching tool as he plays two different roles for I-CAR and CE classes, he said. “I realized four years ago when I began as an I-CAR instructor that there was a lot of information and knowledge on CCC ONE that was ideal for my students. I teach ten different classes for I-CAR and I can safely say that CCC ONE can be used to educate techs, estimators and painters.” Jenson utilizes CCC ONE in the classroom as he continues to teach insurance adjustors through CE classes. “We get ten-30 agents every class and I often use CCC ONE to impart information and show them things about how we process vehicles, acquire parts and generate production and scheduling reports. We discuss topics such as crashworthiness, new repair techniques, airbags, computer systems and others and CCC ONE often plays a part.”

Combined Production Space: 32,000 square feet

Shop Manager Trent Jensen at Patrick BMW Collision Center uses CCC ONE as a tool as a teacher for I-CAR and Continued Education classes for insurance adjustors.

Patrick BMW Collision Center uses literally every capability featured in CCC ONE.

CCC Information Services, Inc. Company Contact: Tom Williams (877) 208-6155 www.ccc-one.com

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 17


18 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


Custom Auto Body Enjoys Improved Color Matching and Cost With DeBeer Refinish Solvent System

by Autobody News Staff

Randy Tietze, general manager of Custom Auto Body, Inc. in North Canton, Ohio, grew up in the collision repair industry. His father, Ron Tietze, founded the business in 1961, and Randy recalls, “I was born the same year and there weren’t any preschools in that era so I was always taken to the shop with my mom, Judy, who was the secretary. I can remember riding my tricycle on the sidewalk out front.” “Once I hit high school, I arranged my class schedule so I could come in around noon to sweep floors and help out in whatever way I could,” Tietze continues. “I grew up with the business and developed an undying passion for cars.” Ron Tietze was employed as a fabricator before he founded Custom Auto Body, but because he really loved working on cars, he bought a two-car garage and converted it into a shop where he’d work in the evenings until he decided, “This is what I’m going to do,” his son shares, noting, “The business just grew from there. We relocated to North Canton in 1968 where we grew from a two-bay garage to a 10,000 square feet production space.” Tietze credits the shop’s success to their emphasis on performing high-quality repairs. He says, “Being in business for 58 years says something about our workmanship and I strive hard to exceed our customers’ expectations for quality. My team knows that delivering a safe and proper repair every single time is far more important than the quantity of vehicles we restore.” Of course, a successful collision repair facility with 21 employees repairing an average of 150 vehicles each month still needs to keep an eye on volume, cost and other metrics, such as cycle time, but Tietze put Custom Auto Body in safe hands in 2013 when he opted to begin spraying the BeroBase 500 Series solvent refinish system by DeBeer Refinish®, a Valspar® Automotive brand. According to Tietze, “We use all of DeBeer’s liquid products. When we first explored the possibility of switching paint brands, we dis-

Custom Auto Body Inc.

Location: North Canton, OH (330) 499-8922 www.customab.com Company At A Glance...

Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: 21

In Business Since: 1961

Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Five

Combined Production Space: 10,000 square feet Custom Auto Body has seen improved color matching and decreased product cost since they started using the DeBeer Refinish solventborne refinish system.

covered that the DeBeer Refinish solvent system was cost effective compared to our previous product, and when we tried it out, the color matching was spot on. Being able to avoid time delays caused by tinting and other color concerns led to a definite increase in productivity; only having to paint a vehicle once has saved us a lot of money, so we’ve also seen improved profitability.” DeBeer Refinish BeroBase 500 Series is also very easy to use – implementation of the new product was a breeze for Custom Auto Body. Tietze shares, “There’s always a bit of a learning curve upfront with a new paint system because each product sprays out differently than what you’re accustomed to, but the transition to DeBeer Refinish solvent was almost seamless because their system is so dang simple. It only took us a week or so to really get into the new system, learn it well and figure out how the paint reacts. DeBeer Refinish brand solvents, thinners and catalysts can be inter-mixed with one another and that makes using the system much less confusing compared to other brands.” Representatives for the DeBeer Refinish system also provide clients with superior customer service. “When we have any questions, they’re right there like Johnny-onthe-spot,” Tietze says. “They keep us informed of new products that might help us become even more productive and profitable. They’re always available to provide us with guidance

and help us grow our business.” The collision repair professionals employed at Custom Auto Body also appreciate the DeBeer Refinish product line and the support they receive. Tietze notes, “My guys have been using it for years and they love the DeBeer Refinish solvent system because it makes their jobs easier.” His employees’ satisfaction is important to Tietze. “We’re a family-run business and we treat our employees well because they are a huge contributing factor to the shop’s success,” he explains. “We have a super slow turnover rate; if it wasn’t for some prior employees retiring, our entire team would have over 30 years’ tenure with Custom Auto Body.” Discussing current trends and the future of the industry, Tietze observes, “Cars’ electronics are getting so sophisticated and it’s exciting to see how vehicle technology is constantly changing; however, it requires training and education to stay on top of it.” Tietze adds, “I have a lifetime of experience. I know Custom Auto Body – this is my life. I stick to what I know and how we do business, and I know business has improved since we started using DeBeer Refinish. With all the other changes in the industry, paint is one area we don’t have to worry about because we know we’ve got a simple, easy to use paint system that provides better color matching at a lower cost.”

Custom Auto Body was founded in 1961, the same year General Manager Randy Tietze was born, and Tietze grew up in his father's shop.

Collision industry professionals at Custom Auto Body ensure that all vehicles receive a safe and proper repair, and they are able to deliver on that promise more efficiently with the utilization of DeBeer Refinish paint and products. DeBeer Refinish, A Valspar® Automotive Brand 4440 Warrensville Center Road Warrensville Heights, OH 44128 (800) 321-0672 www.de-beer.com Facebook.com/OfficialDeBeerRefinish Instagram.com/OfficialDeBeerRefinish YouTube.com/OfficialDeBeerRefinish

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 19


20 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


Shop Acquires Equalizer® Glass Tools to Keep More Money In-house

by Autobody News Staff

Business consultants say that one great way to build a strong team and drive performance involves empowering employees and giving them more responsibility. In this scenario, that’s exactly what happened when a general manager took his lead detailing technician and made him his go-to glass expert after acquiring a glass repair system made by Equalizer®. By relying on Equalizer’s Raptor glass tools and setting up his new glass technician for success, this Minnesota shop is clearly excelling in the world of automotive glass repair and installation. General Manager Erik Abrahamson, 28, at Highway 18 Collision Center was born to be in the body shop business and believes that being a second-generation owner comes with its own responsibility and accountability. And that’s why he stresses high-quality repairs and works hard to be an exemplary employer and an outstanding member of his community in Brainerd, MN. By offering a wide range of different services in addition to collision repair including full mechanical, RV and boat repair, as well as auto restorations and soon commercial truck collision repair, Highway 18 Collision Center isn’t afraid to multitask to say the least. Diversification and capturing more revenue are always attractive to Abrahamson, and doing his own glass work is a big part of that. “Since we are not a DRP shop, we have to find different ways to please our customers and doing glass work is one great way to do it,” he said. “By keeping it in-house and controlling the entire process, we make more money and are able to maintain our cycle time. We put out the word about our glass work and we’re already picking up more and more of it.” To learn how to use their Raptor and the rest of their Equalizer glass tools, Abrahamson sent his Head Detailer Russell Hendrickson to Texas for the one-week 40-hour Equalizer® training program at the company’s Auto Glass Academy. On day one, he was introduced to the basics in a classroom environment, followed by four full days of hands-on instruction working on vehicles donated by local shops. “Without quality and up-to-date

Highway 18 Collision Center

Location: Brainerd, MN (218) 828-0181 www.hwy18collision.com Company At A Glance...

Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: Nine In Business Since: 1994

Number of Locations: One

Left, National Instructor Gilbert works with Head Detailer Russell Hendrickson from Highway 18 Collision Center at Equalizer’s Auto Glass Academy.

education, technicians simply cannot be their very best,” said Gilbert Gutierrez, global education director and the company’s national instructor at Auto Glass Academy. “Not knowing the proper tools, methods, rules and limitations can drastically affect somebody’s life. Learning to be your best is the key to complete success in the auto glass industry. Receiving AGSC training accreditation is a recognition that Equalizer’s Auto Glass Academy is committed to enabling technicians with everything possible to do their job most effectively.” Now that Hendrickson has taken the reins and is essentially running his company’s very own in-house glass repair department, Abrahamson sees the results and they’re encouraging. He added, “We’re making roughly 20 percent more by keeping all of our glass work right here as opposed to sending it out. In the past, we had to use an outside vendor and we were at their mercy. If they were busy, we had to wait three to four days in many cases and the windshields were always an issue. Now we are able to turn around all of our glass work either the same day or next day, which is excellent!” The Equalizer Raptor is powerful, small, light and easy to maneuver on all types of auto glass. It is a cord and wire auto glass removal device designed to dramatically improve the power of the vacuum cup with the integration of its AirForce™ Constant Vacuum Cups. This technology has been specifically developed by Equalizer® to create a quick placement and constant vacuum to

the glass so that the Raptor™ stays in place and resists sliding. Automotive glass professionals who are interested in completing continuing education in order to maintain their Auto Glass Safety Council™ technician certification have access to four AGSC™ approved CE courses from Auto Glass Academy. The Auto Glass Academy is a member of the I-CAR® Industry Training Alliance®, which is an alliance that’s committed to the ultimate in automotive training and education. The Industry Training Alliance exists to recognize the accomplishments of training through I-CAR approved providers. All programs approved for inclusion into the Training Alliance must support the I-CAR vision that every person in the collision repair industry has the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer. When it comes to working closely with any tools or equipment vendor, customer support is crucial. Acquiring any product is easy, but what will its manufacturer or local jobber do for you once you’re onboard? “The people at Equalizer make it easy,” Abrahamson said. “With some companies, you have to call and then they get back to you in a day or two. With Equalizer, we simply call and their technical people have immediate answers. If we’re not clear on anything, they’re more than willing to walk us through the process or deal with other issues. We work directly with them and that is definitely an advantage.”

Combined Production Space: 20,000 square feet

Head Detailer Russell Hendrickson is enabling his shop to make roughly 20 percent more by using Equalizer glass tools and keeping all of their glass work in-house.

Highway 18 Collision Center in Brainerd, MN, is not a DRP shop, so they have to offer a full menu of services, which includes automotive glass work.

Equalizer Company Contact: Shauna Davis 512-388-7715 Ext. 508 sdavis@equalizer.com www.equalizer.com

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 21


22 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


Shop Saw Miracle Steel YouTube Video and Was Sold by Autobody News Staff

Since 1965, Jack Hart Body Shop in Radcliff, KY, has been stressing quality and accountability and that’s why they’ve been able to establish a great reputation in a town with a population of roughly 23,000 people. To keep his customers happy and coming back, Co-owner Buddy Hart is always looking for cuttingedge equipment; so, he bought the Miracle Panel Repair System from Equipment Gateway, a company that’s known for distributing some of the world’s most innovative tools and equipment in the collision repair industry today. Hart’s father bought an existing shop in 1965 and Buddy joined the business 19 years later. “I started here in 1990 after I attended college for a minute to join my brother Steve,” he said. “He is five years older than me and I tell people that he’s book smart and I’m street smart. He handles all of the legal and administrative stuff, the books and the payroll, while I do more of the production-related things, and it works out well.” Hart is happy to be working in the collision repair industry at the right time in history, he said. “With all of these sophisticated ADAS systems in today’s cars; OE certifications being more important than ever and autonomous vehicles coming closer and closer to reality, I can’t see things getting any better than this,” Hart said. “The transportation sector is going to change in huge ways within the next decade, so that’s why we are always trying to stay ahead of the game by keeping up with the technology.” One of Hart’s main deliverables is purchasing new products, tools and equipment to fix approximately 125 vehicles monthly. He performs his due diligence and researches every product thoroughly, but once Hart saw the Miracle System in action, he was sold. In this case, Hart watched a YouTube video to learn more about the system and was convinced even before the threeminute clip ended. To seal the deal, Hart contacted another reputable shop owner in Kentucky that had been using the

Jack Hart Body Shop

Radcliff, KY (270) 351-3637 www.jackhartbodyshop.com Company At A Glance...

Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: 20

In Business Since: 1965

Number of Locations: One

Combined Production Space: 20,000 square feet Jack Hart Body Shop is removing dents faster and easier with its Miracle Panel Repair System from Equipment Gateway.

system for at least two years. “He told me it was a must,” he said. “They’re using it every day without any issues, so it was really a nobrainer after his endorsement. When you hear something positive from another shop owner about any piece of equipment, it means a lot, because we’re all in the same boat and the goal is to fix these cars correctly. I’m a skeptical person by nature, but once I can see that something works, I’m not afraid to pull the trigger.” The Miracle System was developed in Japan more than three decades ago. Most of the other dent repair systems on the market today are simply inferior copies of the Miracle System that are designed to hit a lower price point. The system is made with a proprietary alloy of titanium and aluminum, which means that it will thrive in a harsh body shop environment while lasting a lifetime. Available in A, B and C packages depending on a body shop’s specific needs and applications, the Miracle System is well known for not sacrificing quality or durability, according to the company’s website. Hart is sold on the system, because he has seen it work and his crew gives it nothing but kudos. “I love this piece of equipment,” Hart said. “We’ve been using it for around 18 months now and it’s awesome. We’re removing dents faster and easier than ever and this system has already paid for itself. It enables us to do the work in a more

controlled fashion and we never burn the backside of the metal, which was an issue before we got the Miracle Panel Repair System from Equipment Gateway. With any piece of equipment, the goal is to make our lives easier and provide value and that’s exactly what we’re getting with this system.” Prior to the Miracle System, Hart’s crew was fumbling around with a stud welder and a flat hammer to achieve questionable results. But, now it’s one of his shop’s go-to tools and something they’re using daily, he said. “I have two techs that are really good at using it, and it’s pretty amazing to see the finished product when they’re done. The bottom line is that we are now repairing dents that we had no chance of fixing before. Our actual Bondo time has been reduced significantly, which means we save time and materials. It allows us to straighten the metal precisely and align it exactly, so we can repair panels instead of replacing them.” To become adept at using it, a trainer from Equipment Gateway came to Jack Hart Body Shop to get his crew up and running with the Miracle System. “It took just one day to explain the system and its nuances, and my guys were using it almost immediately. The system is user-friendly and we haven’t had any problems with it. In fact, we haven’t had to call them at all since we got this equipment, which is exceptional.”

Steve (left) and Buddy Hart are always looking for equipment that can save them time and money, and that’s why they bought the Miracle Panel Repair System.

Jack Hart Body Shop has been around for more than five decades by stressing quality and embracing new technology.

Equipment Gateway (866) 588-7599 sales@equipmentgateway.com www.equipmentgateway.com

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 23


24 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


Consumer Auto Body Commends Lusid GenRock for High Quality Finish at a Low Cost

by Autobody News Staff

Michael Fusco founded Consumer Auto Body in White Plains, NY, in 1993 after renting a garage and repairing vehicles on his own for four years. His ability to turn his small shop into a successful business was made possible by his strong reputation for delivering a quality repair. “We give every customer 100 percent from entry to exit, both personally and in terms of work performed,” Fusco said. “We have 25 years of repeat customers and their family and friends who have become our friends and that guaranteed quality is reflected in our five-star review rating.” Fusco discovered a new way to enhance the quality of his shop’s repairs in 2015 when his distributor, Cold Spring Automotive Distributors, told him about the GenRock paint line by Lusid Technologies. Fusco shared, “Doug, my supplier, told me what a great product Lusid offers, so I agreed to a demo. After we tried it in the shop for a few weeks on our own, the machine never left. We use the complete Lusid system, from Lusid’s primers to their GenRock Basecoat and 5010 clearcoat.” Implementing Lusid’s GenRock into his daily business operations process was easy from a procedure standpoint, but getting his employees buy-in was a bit more challenging initially. “Like any new product you introduce to your shop, most employees are reluctant to adapt to it at first – until they see the end result quality and how it really makes their job easier,” Fusco noted. “The body men like the primers for the smooth application it applies. The prep department likes the easy sanding qualities, giving them an easier and faster production. Our painter who is fairly new to the shop has said he spends less time completing jobs from start to finish compared to his previous job which uses a well-named label,” Fusco continued. “Lusid’s product proved itself in performance, quality and cost, as well as ease of application.” Fusco began working in collision repair facilities while he was still in high school; even as a child, he did body work on his model cars. Fusco’s industry experience has allowed him to notice some industry

Consumer Auto Body

Location: White Plains, NY (914) 993-0768 www.consumerautobody.biz Company At A Glance...

Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: Six

In Business Since: 1993

Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Two Michael Fusco pursued his lifelong passion for cars by opening Consumer Auto Body in 1993.

trends. He observed, “Photo inspections are becoming more prevalent which is dangerous to the insureds who aren’t knowledgeable enough to request their vehicles get inspected properly, so they could be unknowingly driving unsafe vehicles.” “Each model year, vehicles get more technical and complex,” Fusco said. “Fortunately, new equipment and products are constantly being developed to keep up with the industry’s demands, but shops need to invest in training to ensure they are restoring customers’ vehicles to their pre-accident condition. You have to stay up with the industry to survive.” After opening his shop in a local garage in 1989, Fusco was able to incorporate the business in 1993 and buy his current building. Consumer Auto Body’s six employees repair an average of 50 vehicles each month in the shop’s 3,000 square feet of production space. They service two local dealerships in addition to participating in two DRP relationships. Because customer service has played such a large role in Fusco’s success, it’s one of the most important qualities he seeks when determining which companies he buys products and equipment from. Lusid excels at meeting this need as well. According to Roy Santana, shop foreman at Consumer Auto Body, “Whenever we’ve had any question or concern with GenRock, Lusid’s customer service department has been quick and responsive to our needs, allowing me to spend less

time on the phone and more time on the actual repair.” GenRock is Lusid’s “flagship product” and was designed for quality, coverage and color matching. The line offers a complete range of high quality 2K single stage, two stage and three stage basecoats. Due to super high pigment loading, GenRock provides excellent coverage with only two coats, saving shops time and money. Quick flash off means painters spend a minimal amount of time waiting for the basecoat to dry before they can apply clear. Distributed in North America, Lusid’s GenRock features over 90,000 formulations, spectrophotometer, worldwide color match capability—and a lifetime warranty. Overall, Fusco is very pleased with his decision to convert to the GenRock color system manufactured by Lusid Technologies. He explained, “Over the years, we have used several name brand paint products, all of which came with higher costs. At Consumer Auto Body, we are committed to high standards, and with Lusid, I can ensure that I’m providing my customers with the quality they deserve, a return to their pre-accident condition finish, at a lower cost than I have previously experienced.” Fusco added, “GenRock is also a more user-friendly system that allows us to be more productive which is important for a smaller shop that repairs as many vehicles as we do monthly. Thank you Lusid Technologies.”

Combined Production Space: 3,000 square feet

As they admire the factory finish achieved with GenRock, owner Mike Fusco and shop foreman Roy Santana appreciate the lack of buffing required with Lusid’s paint line, which saves the shop a ton of time and effort.

Mike Fusco urges shops, “You have to stay up with the industry to survive.”

Lusid Technologies (801) 966-5300 www.lusid.biz

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 25


26 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


Beal’s Auto Body Discovers All Damage Up Front With Matrix Wand

by Autobody News Staff

Efficiency is vital to Tim Beal, owner of Beal’s Auto Body in Prescott, AZ. One of the largest inefficiencies many shops contend with is estimate supplements. Beal made huge strides in overcoming that challenge at the end of 2018 when he invested in the Matrix Wand. “In addition to ensuring that we are repairing vehicles correctly and efficiently, the Matrix Wand allows us to feel certain that we’re billing for all damage before repairs begin,” Beal said. Because use of the Matrix Wand means fewer negotiations with insurers, Beal’s Auto Body boasts the best cycle time in their market, with Beal reporting 6.8 days keys-to-keys cycle time. “The Matrix Wand has benefitted our shop in terms of productivity and profitability by helping us to discover all of the vehicle’s damage up front,” Beal explained. “The result is that we no longer experience delays in the process from added supplements, allowing us to pre-close 95 percent of our repair orders after the blueprint, before we even begin the actual repair.” Beal’s father was a technician who taught him the trade. Beal began pursuing an automotive career in 1988 when he rented a small stall in a building for $20 per day, equipped it with an air compressor and fan, and started working as a custom painter. Due to his passion for the industry, Beal said, “It was never work—I just loved it!” Over the past three decades, Beal’s Auto Body has grown to a 12,000 square foot collision repair facility. He largely credits the success of his business to having a great partner, his wife. Beal shares, “She had just graduated and was starting to work as a nurse when I opened my business. Her income made it possible for me to pursue my dream.” Open since 1988, Beal’s Auto Body’s 12 technicians repair an average of 155 vehicles each month. Although Beal identifies “getting in-

Beal’s Auto Body & Repair

Location: Prescott, AZ (928) 445-2295 www.bealsautobodyandpaint.com Company At A Glance...

Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: 19

In Business Since: 1988

Number of Locations: One DRP Programs: Two

Combined Production Space: 12,000 square feet

Technicians at Beal’s Auto Body love the Matrix Wand because it’s easy to use and it ensures they bill for all damage up front.

surers to pay for OEM certified repairs” as one of his biggest obstacles in operating his business, he predicts that the industry’s future focus will continue to be “repairing cars to OEM standards to relieve the liability shops have taken on as well as to ensure the safety of our customers.” Beal said innovation is necessary to stay competitive in the market. His visionary approach to business has included converting to waterborne paint and implementing a TEAM employment structure. “Attitude is everything,” Beal said. “My guys are stakeholders in my company and we’re creating a culture where we all work together for a common goal.” Additionally, Beal consistently invests in equipment and tool upgrades, such as the Matrix Wand. “The ability of independent shops to stay in business will hinge on efficiency in the future,” he said. “Lowering cycle times will require fixing cars faster to stay competitive and the Matrix Wand improves our efficiency right from the start of the process.” The Matrix Wand is the tool of the future, enhancing productivity and efficiency with every use. The Wand provides comparative measurements and generates all chosen

data into a 3D color photo of the customer’s vehicle within 15 minutes. The Matrix Wand’s emphasis on full discovery of all cosmetic and structural damage makes blueprinting modern vehicles easier. In addition to offering an individualized illustration of the particular vehicle being repaired, the Matrix Wand allows the technician to identify the areas of concern in the preliminary diagnosis and then view the re-measured dimensions post-repair. The Wand’s elaborate reporting features provide the technician with access to a pre and post-repair report that depicts the actual vehicle, including the damaged parts and misaligned control points as well as the alignment of the points, the repair parts and the parts that were repaired prior to painting. Beal’s employees love the Matrix Wand for its ability to identify all damage at the start of the repair process and for its ease of use. “After two days of training, provided by Matrix, we were able to integrate the Wand into our process immediately,” Beal said. “If you can operate the camera on your cell phone, you can operate the Matrix Wand. Working with Matrix’s customer service department is just as easy; they’re the best—five stars!”

Beal’s Auto Body boasts a 6.8 day cycle time thanks to productivity benefits derived from using the Matrix Wand.

The Matrix Wand is the tool of the future, enhancing productivity and efficiency with every use.

Matrix Electronic Measuring, Inc. (800) 424-8023 matrix@thematrixwand.com www.thematrixwand.com

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 27


28 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


Mobile Environmental Solutions Portable Paint Booths and PDR Tunnels Provide Flexibility Metro Dent Needs

by Autobody News Staff

Metro Dent, based in Lewisville, Texas, got its start in 1993 as a paintless dent repair (PDR) shop serving hail damage and retail door ding claims. Over the years, the shop has added other cosmetic repairs to its repertoire, but with PDR as its largest source of revenue, their steady volume occasionally sees a large increase due to seasonal storms. Owner Mike Nosker’s business needs vary from month to month, depending on hail storms in the area, since PDR continues to be the shop’s primary focus. Metro Dent repairs an average of 50 vehicles each month with weather-related fluctuations being common. The number of employees at the shop also varies by season, ranging from ten to 50 industry professionals comprised of both full-time employees and subcontract labor. Although the only permanent location consists of 23,000 square feet in production space, Metro Dent is able to set up satellite repair facilities as needed thanks to Nosker’s investment in portable paint booths and an inflatable estimating and PDR tunnel, manufactured by Mobile Environmental Solutions. After meeting Mobile Environmental Solutions President Tom Williams at SEMA in 2018, Nosker invested in an inflatable estimating and PDR tunnel as well as several portable, inflatable paint booths. According to Nosker, “Mobile Environmental Solutions is a local company with excellent customer service. They utilize the highest quality materials and their products are made in the USA. They are flexible with meeting my needs as Metro Dent’s business grows, plus they have a fast response when we have increased needs and demands.” Nosker continued, “The portable paint booths from Mobile Environmental Solutions are amazing and a perfect supplement for what we need at the permanent facility to our baking booths for paint. Temporary facilities and ceramic coating specialists love the inflatable booth to prevent dust and other contaminants where high baking temperatures are not required and pollutants and dust are in the air.” Discussing the Estimating and PDR tunnel, Nosker shared, “The estimating tunnel is light years ahead

Metro Dent

Lewisville, Texas (214) 735-8365

www.hailfreecar.com

Company At A Glance...

Type: Dent Repair

Facility Employees: Varies by Season (ten-50)

In Business Since: 1993

Metro Dent has been servicing the PDR needs of the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1993.

of any potential competition as it was completely thought out without room for improvements. Other estimating machines remove the human element and are supposed to be trusted to perform better, but in reality, they can be inaccurate and were rushed to market before a complete product was ready. It performs indoors and outdoors, creating an environmentally safe structure to remove the risk of human error by providing ultimate estimating conditions. The tunnel can also be utilized under the same conditions to provide additional work space.” The estimating and PDR tunnel is a high-quality product made from durable materials. According to Nosker, “Mobile Environmental Solutions’ estimating tunnel helps in so many ways from a PDR perspective. It provides an ideal environment for writing estimates since it creates the correct depth perception and distortion needed. The tunnel offers the same lighting and view as techs work with in our permanent location, so they’re able to see the dents better and don’t miss any minor cosmetic damage – it allows the estimator to accurately capture all damage to the vehicle. The tunnel is very versatile and is the perfect setting to complete a high-quality repair.” Implementation of Mobile Environmental Solutions’ products and processes has been very easy, but that ease is just one of the benefits Nosker lists when discussing Metro Dent’s experience with the manufacturer. He shared, “Productivity has increased because the products from Mobile Environmental Solutions have allowed me to set up

satellite centers faster to meet demand and they provide me with quick, high quality, additional space to meet volume increases. Profitability has also increased because the booths allow me to set up additional space faster without the need for much pricier, more permanent solutions that would be counterproductive to my business model. The flexibility is vital to Metro Dent’s continued success.” “I have also just signed a deal with Enterprise, and the inflatable paint booths will allow me to increase production and service clients in need of fast cycle times,” Nosker continued. “Other great partners of mine, LKQ/Keystone and AkzoNobel, in combination with Mobile Environmental Solutions, give me a complete solution for delivering the highest quality repairs by providing me the best products to do so.” Nosker added, “My employees could not be happier with the investment in Mobile Environmental Solutions’ portable paint booths and the inflatable estimating and PDR tunnel. They love the products and the ideas from the company on utilizing their equipment to streamline our workflow and productivity.” Most importantly, the products from Mobile Environmental Solutions meet the flexibility required by Metro Dent’s business model and the company’s customer service department also understands those needs. “As my demand and needs rise, I have been in constant contact with requests that Mobile Environmental Solutions has always been right on top of, servicing my business with zero negative issues,” Nosker stated.

Number of Locations: One plus satellite repair facilities as needed DRP Programs: Zero

Combined Production Space: 23,000 square feet

Mobile Environmental Solutions’ portable paint booths, inflatable estimating and PDR tunnel provides Metro Dent with the flexibility it needs to perform high quality cosmetic repairs wherever they are needed.

Metro Dent’s volume fluctuates frequently based on market demand, but owner Mike Nosker is able to quickly expand his operation space with the use of portable paint booths manufactured by Mobile Environmental Solutions.

Mobile Environmental Solutions 1150 McCaleb Road, Suite E-1 Montgomery, TX 77316 (888) 321-1320

www.mobileenvironmentalsolutions.com

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 29


30 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


PPG is a Best-Case Scenario for World-Class Collision Center

by Autobody News Staff

In most states, waterborne paint isn’t mandated, but for early adopters and those shops that are environmentally-conscious, it’s a viable alternative to solvent paint without sacrificing quality and reliability. In this case, a large collision center in Florida embraced PPG’s ENVIROBASE® High Performance waterborne system and it’s been a wonderful experience since making the move. Collision Director Scott Kendig at Rick Case Honda Collision Center in Davie, FL, was instrumental in his shop’s migration to PPG’s Envirobase High Performance waterborne system. By relying on its dead-on color matches while improving cycle times and garnering five-star reviews across the board, Kendig is looking good-just like the finished product his crew is consistently producing with PPG waterborne. With seven painters and two preppers refinishing approximately 250-300 cars monthly, Kendig was hired at Rick Case Honda Collision Center three years ago. It took one year for him to persuade his superiors to acquire PPG’s Envirobase High Performance waterborne paint system and by doing so, he’s now delighted for many reasons. PPG’s Envirobase High Performance waterborne refinish system was introduced to the collision repair industry in 1999 to meet low VOC legislation, and it was quickly embraced by body shops throughout North America. In a busy shop environment, Kendig can’t tolerate re-paints or comebacks and has to provide a superior product without exception. “Reliability and consistency are vital to our success,” he said. “If we have to slow down to tint color or re-work anything, that’s wasted time we can’t get back. With PPG’s Envirobase High Performance, we get the peace of mind that any shop wants. I don’t have to ever worry about the process and the quality, which is so important.” To adapt to the ever-changing world of collision repair, Kendig did not hesitate to embrace PPG’s Envirobase High Performance waterborne paint for its outstanding track record for best-in-class color accuracy and durability. But, he did it for several other reasons as well. “I know we aren’t mandated to use waterborne here in Florida, but I had experience with the waterborne product

Rick Case Honda Collision Center

Location: Davie, FL (855) 384-9659 www.rickcasecollision.com Company At A Glance... Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: 38

In Business Since: 1986

Number of Locations: One Production Manager AJ Poulin (left) and Refinish Technician Jason Ramsaran at Rick Case Honda Collision love the dead-on color results they get every time with PPG’s Envirobase High Performance waterborne system.

while working at another company and saw the benefits of using it,” he said. “Customers today know what they want and are so much more knowledgeable about their cars, so when they see their vehicles and say wow, it all pays off.” PPG’s Envirobase High Performance waterborne has Kendig and his paint department looking good and feeling good about the product they spray every day. “When the cars come out of the booth, it looks like the paint has a lot of depth, but we are actually using less product and getting better results than the solvent product we were using previously,” he said. One of the leading advantages of using PPG at Rick Case Honda Collision Center is the simple fact that its color matching capabilities are unmatched in the industry, Kendig said. “We use their RAPIDMATCH® XI spectrophotometer and it hasn’t failed us yet. We used to have issues with silvers, golds and taupes, which is an intermediate shade between dark brown and gray, but no more. PPG’s camera and PAINTMANAGER® software system enables us to precisely match all of the oddball colors out there like Moonwalk Grey (Hyundai); Oh La La Rouge Mica (Toyota) or Blue Pearlcoat (Dodge).” Rick Case Automotive Group was founded in 1962 in Northeast Ohio and has been proudly serving Atlanta and South Florida since 1986, under the ownership and operation of Rita and Rick Case. The company has a total of 16 locations, with Honda and Hyundai dealerships in Cleveland, Ohio; Audi,

Mazda, Hyundai and Kia in Atlanta, GA; and Honda Cars & Cycles, Acura, Hyundai, Volkswagen and FIAT dealerships in South Florida, as well as Rick Case Alfa Romeo in Davie, FL, and Rick Case Kia in Sunrise, FL. To keep an adequate amount of product available to support numerous shop locations and high car throughput, the paint crew at Rick Case Collision Center needs an accurate and easily accessible inventory control system. Our jobber is Single Source, and their Logic inventory system fits the bill, according to Kendig. “We never have to order product anymore, which is a real benefit,” he said. “A rep from our jobber comes here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and in some cases, he spends an hour here replenishing everything, including basecoats, clearcoats and toners. We have a room that looks like a walk-in safe and by using Single Source’s Logic system, we know exactly what we have in there at all times, and I don’t have to assign an in-house employee to manage it.” With any product, tool or piece of equipment, customer support is key and with their relationship with PPG and their jobber, life is sweet at Rick Case Honda Collision Center. “If we ever have an issue, which is rare, our jobber Single Source in Pompano Beach, FL, is here promptly,” Kendig said. “We’ve called them after hours and when we open at 7 a.m. they’re standing there ready to help. We also have an excellent PPG territory manager, Guy Vignola, who will provide us with additional support if we require it.”

Combined Production Space: 40,000 square feet

To paint 250-300 cars every month, Collision Director Scott Kendig needs a product that he and his paint crew at Rick Case Honda can count on every time. That’s why he chose PPG’s Envirobase High Performance waterborne system.

The entire team at Rick Case Honda values the reliability and consistency of PPG’s Envirobase High Performance refinish system.

PPG Cathy Rusnak (440) 572-2800 Rusnak@ppg.com www.ppgrefinish.com

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 31


32 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


Shop Doubles in Size and SATA Plays a Role No. 1 Automotive Body Repair

by Autobody News Staff

Painters will often experiment with different equipment in search of a better-finished product, while others find what works and use it for their entire careers. In this case, a topnotch painter at a growing shop started using SATA guns nearly two decades ago and he hasn’t deviated one iota since. Bruce Sorensen, age 37, kicked off his career in the collision repair industry when he was 17-years-old, he said, but it all began several years before. “My uncle took a few auto tech classes and he was a natural, so I learned a lot from him,” he said. “When I was 15, I got a hold of a 1973 Chevy Nova and I was so excited. I was working at a local body shop part-time, so I was learning from their techs in addition to my uncle. I painted the car dark blue with sapphire metallic flakes. I was hooked the day I saw that car.” Sorensen works at No. 1 Automotive Body Repair (No. 1 ABR) in Bellingham, WA, a company with one location in the U.S. and four in Canada. To accommodate its increase in work, the shop more than doubled in size from 10,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet. The two separate facilities are only 50 yards apart, so it’s easy to move between the old and the new. While many body shops are scrambling for cars to fix, No. 1 ABR is looking to add employees and deal with the deluge of work coming their way. “Our volume has increased quickly in a short time and we have a lot more work available,” Sorensen said. “It’s a big investment, but when the car count goes up, you have to be prepared to do the work and that involves the right people, training and equipment.” When it comes to using the right equipment, Sorensen is a passionate advocate of SATA, with a collection of 23 guns—ten of them that get heavy usage. It’s an impressive arsenal and he proudly calls them “members of our crew.” As the only in-house painter, Sorensen has to meet his daily quota, which means he doesn’t have the luxury of slowing down with a jammed gun. “It all comes down to consis-

Location: Bellingham, WA (360) 671-3222 www.no1abr.com Company At A Glance...

Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: 19

In Business Since: 1993

Number of Locations: Five

Combined Production Space: 120,000 square feet (combined)

Painter Bruce Sorensen at No. 1 Automotive Body Repair in Bellingham, WA, has an impressive collection of SATA guns in his arsenal.

tency,” he said. “I’ve been using SATA guns for almost my entire career as a painter and every time I use one it reinforces the feeling that these are the best in the industry.” Sorensen’s relationship with SATA was love at first sight, but there was a honeymoon period at the beginning, he said. “When I put one of these guns in my hands for the first time, it was amazing,” Sorensen said. “I didn’t know much then, but after a while I started learning more about how they worked and how I could use them. I embraced all of the nuances with my SATA guns and started improving my painting techniques.” Today, Sorensen does not have to think about his spray guns, which is the way he prefers it. “I trust them now because they’ve proven themselves many times over,” he said. “I have a ton of confidence now and the finished product is perfect every time. I don’t have to mess with the settings, so that I can keep rolling along, because I need to paint roughly 30-40 vehicles every week. No quirks, no issues and awesome product support, why would I ever think about using another gun?” Since he never has any trouble with his SATA guns, he rarely has to contact his jobber or SATA itself for help, but when he does they respond

promptly and with accurate information. “We get a ton of advice and support from Jeff Brooks from Wesco Autobody Supply; Ryan Stronk from Western States Marketing and Ron Fleenor from SATA who often comes here and introduces some of their new products to us. They are always willing to help us and I can’t say enough positive things about the support we receive across the board.” We asked Sorensen what are the three top things you want from a spray gun and he responded almost immediately. “First, it has to be reliable, because I don’t have time to switch out guns in the middle of a job. Secondly, the spraying pattern has to be precise without deviation. And lastly it has to be durable, especially when we are busy here and the clock is running.” After the expansion, No. 1 ABR in Bellingham is repairing 120 cars monthly as opposed to the 85 vehicles they were fixing previously. “Very soon, we will have 150175 vehicles in here every month,” Sorensen said. “With so many exciting things going on, I know that my SATA guns will never let me down and that the money I invested in these guns is one of the smartest things I’ve done.”

Sorensen knows that his SATA guns will never let him down, which is essential in a shop that paints 150-plus cars every month.

Sorensen said he knows his SATA guns will perform the same way each and every time.

Dan-Am Company One Sata Drive P.O. Box 46 Spring Valley, MN 55975 (800) 533-8016 www.satausa.com

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 33


34 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


Sherwin-Williams® Automotive Finishes Ultra9K™ System Boosts Productivity and Profitability for Virginia Shop

by Autobody News Staff

Priority Collision Center Chester decided to make a huge change in late 2018. They began using the Ultra9K™ Waterborne Basecoat System manufactured by SherwinWilliams Automotive Finishes. Color matching capabilities and a high quality finish were among the immediate benefits reaped by Priority Collision, but the shop has also enjoyed significant increases in both productivity and profitability as a result of using Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes’ Ultra9K products. According to Daniel Trapp, director of body operations for all three Priority Collision Centers, “Our productivity has risen 11 percent and our profitability is through the roof. It’s everything we were promised and more.” Priority Collision Center Chester is one of three body shops that are part of the MSO founded by Dave Perno in 2003. The three locations boasts 70,000 square feet in production space with 61 collision repair professionals repairing an average of 455 vehicles each month. Priority Collision Center Chester participates in six DRP relationships and the shop has received OEM certifications from Toyota and Nissan. Since Priority Collision Center opened its doors, many changes have taken place in the shop. The changes that took place were one of the largest hurdles to overcome when management made the decision to switch to the Ultra9K Waterborne Basecoat System from Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes, since it came shortly after the completion of the last major transition. In late 2018, the collision repair facility had only been using its current paint system for about a year. Trapp shared, “[Our previous paint switch] in October 2017 was a really tough transition for the team, so even the indication that we were considering another paint brand seemed like a cruel joke – no one was laughing! With the training we received, it was a seamless transition from a process and procedure standpoint. After dealing with everyone’s reluctance for change created by the previous experience, our team has come to really love the Ultra9K product.” The Ultra9K Waterborne Basecoat System manufactured by Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes is one of the most user-friendly refinishing systems on the market. The non-stirring mixing system is

Priority Collision Center

Location: Chester, VA (804) 520-2443 www.priorityrva.com

Company At A Glance...

Type: MSO

Facility Employees: 61

In Business Since: 2003

Number of Locations: Three DRP Programs: Six The employees at Priority Collision Center Chester love spraying with the Ultra9K Waterborne Basecoat System manufactured by Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes.

comprised of 68 toners and a single reducer, promising shops receive dependable color and reliable application properties. Priority Collision Center’s willingness to risk another paint brand change originated from a desire to save money on paint and materials, and the shop quickly found that the partnership with Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes provided them with so much more. Trapp shared, “Our total paint and material cost by percentage exceeded 11 percent before we switched to Ultra9K, and we’ve now reduced that to less than 6.5 percent – I never thought that was possible!” The non-stir Ultra9K Waterborne Basecoat System minimizes cycle times and enhances overall efficiencies by incorporating Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes’ premium undercoats and clearcoats, while allowing for repeatable performance by shops. Priority Collision Center Chester has also noticed increases in shop productivity and efficiency as a result of Ultra9K’s color retrieval experience; Color Access is a spectrophotometer and global color box that makes it easy to match even the most challenging colors. “We’ve had very few color-related issues because Ultra9K has the best color match capabilities I’ve seen from the three major paint brands I’ve used,” Trapp continued. “When we made this switch, we were looking for a strategic partner that would help improve our business on multiple levels and SherwinWilliams Automotive Finishes has not disappointed us in the slightest. This product has exceeded all our expectations.”

Discussing some of the industry’s current challenges, Trapp noted, “There are a lot of uneducated adjusters and insurance companies that don’t know what it takes to repair a vehicle, and they refuse to believe that scans and computer resets are important, taking no consideration for our common customer’s safety. It’s a big issue and seems to be getting bigger.” Looking to the future of the collision repair industry, Trapp predicted, “Vehicles are getting smarter and that will lead to fewer accidents, making it tougher for small shops to compete. The price of education and equipment is skyrocketing, which will leave customers with fewer options and higher costs since only consolidators and dealer shops will be able to afford the necessary investments to continue performing safe and proper repairs.” Priority Collision Center Chester has made efforts to be environmentally conscientious through the utilization of Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes’ Ultra9K Waterborne Basecoat System as well as by cutting down on paper and plastic masking products. “We are moving towards reusable spray masks to eliminate some waste,” Trapp said. Priority Collision shops are also very involved with the community and charitable organizations. The company is a major sponsor of the SPCA and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, plus they support local sports teams. Trapp stated, “We recently donated $250,000 to area high schools to purchase new helmets specifically designed to prevent concussions.”

Combined Production Space: 70,000 square feet

Employees at Priority Collision Center Chester always ensure that their customers are receiving a safe and proper repair.

Using Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes’ Ultra9K Waterborne Basecoat System has improved productivity and profitability for Priority Collision Center Chester.

Sherwin-Williams® Automotive Finishes 4440 Warrensville Center Road Warrensville Heights, OH 44124 (800) 798-5872 www.sherwin-automotive.com

Facebook.com/sherwin-williamsautomotivefinishes Youtube.com/SWAFC Instagram.com/swrefinish LinkedIn.com/Sherwin-WilliamsAutomotiveFinishes

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 35


36 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


Briggs Auto Body Saves Time With Spanesi Paint Booth Briggs Auto Body

by Autobody News Staff

Briggs Auto Body in Topeka, KS, is the newest addition to Briggs Auto Group which includes seven dealerships, two internal body shops and two additional free-standing collision repair facilities. Opened in May 2019, the newest facility boasts 10,000 square feet of production space. Eight employees at Briggs Auto Body are currently repairing an average of 40 vehicles monthly, and they are positioned to increase their workload thanks to their investment in time-saving products from Spanesi Americas. Established Briggs Auto Group collision repair facilities began using Spanesi’s products and equipment in 2018, so when the new facility opened, it was set up with a Spanesi prep station, welders and several Michelangelo spray booths. According to Dwayne Miller, general operations manager at Briggs Auto Body, the decision to begin using Spanesi products last year was easy. “Spanesi was competitively priced for their high quality products and everyone I questioned about their booths just loved them,” Miller said. “The paint booth system turns out clean paint jobs, eliminating time-consuming dirt denibbing and buffing. Their three-torch Q5.2 inverter welding machine is very userfriendly.” Miller reported that implementing the new Spanesi equipment into the daily operations at Briggs Auto Body was extremely easy once the paint booths and the prep station were installed. The shop’s employees also appreciate the increased speed provided by the new equipment. Cycle times have improved, as well as confidence that the end result will produce a high quality repair back to OEM specifications. “Our painters love the booths and the body techs love the welders. Spanesi’s products are easy to use and definitely make everyone’s jobs quicker,” Miller shared. Spanesi’s Michelangelo spray booth features a new front portal with glazed windows, combining high performance with a state-of-the-art design that places the booth at the top of its category. The booth boasts 34,000 m3/h air flow capacity, which provides the ability to spray waterborne paint without the addition of fans or other drying devices. Along with a direct flame burner, it features an electronic control panel display as

Location: Manhattan, KS 785-329-2639 www.briggsauto.com Company At A Glance...

Type: Automotive Group

Facility Employees: 300+ In Business Since: 1979

Number of Locations: 12 (includes three collision repair facilities) DRP Programs: Six

Briggs Auto Body saves time in the repair process due to the clean paint jobs produced by the Michelangelo paint booth from Spanesi.

well as internal devices that automatically control booth pressures. Briggs’ booth was also configured to include options for side-load or rearentry. The Michelangelo spray booths are completely customizable based on shop needs. Spanesi’s Q5.2 is a multi-function welding machine with three torches: steel, silicon bronze and aluminum. It utilizes a single-phase 208-220V power supply based on cutting-edge IGBT inverter technology. These synergic welders boast full digital controls and provide premium welding quality on all materials in both MIG/MAG and pulsed/dual-pulsed MIG welds. The Q5.2 also features spatter-free welding for minimal cleanup, storage space for two gas cylinders and a support for the three torches. Saving production time is an ongoing effort for Briggs Auto Body. Miller explained some of the shop’s efforts: “We implemented a production lean six sigma process for improved cycle times, quality and cost. We also have a paint production area that is on rails to move vehicles laterally rather than the conventional straight forward and back system which helps using our square footage more efficiently.” Miller said Briggs Auto Group also excels at safe and proper repairs due to utilization of OEM repair procedures. There is a lot of effort put into facilitating effective communication with vehicle owners, due to their very busy lives. The Briggs Auto Group attributes a lot of their continued success to “maintaining the same small town focus we’ve always had,” Miller added.

Russ and Ilene Briggs started Briggs Auto Group in 1979 with a small used car lot which they’ve since grown into an expansive company comprised of 12 locations. Their largest collision repair facility in Manhattan, KS, repairs an average of 225 vehicles each month. Briggs credits their success to a strong focus on putting customer satisfaction before profit, and the shop also stresses that vehicle owners must be treated with respect. Superior customer service is one of the benefits Briggs Auto Body enjoys from their relationship with Spanesi as well. Miller shared, “Spanesi has been very responsive to any issues we’ve had. Their support is excellent. They can even remotely access our paint booths to diagnose any issues without coming to the shop.” Briggs Auto Body is PPG refinish certified and is an I-CAR Gold Class shop. In addition to collision repair work, the shop offers PDR, windshield repair and replacement, and storage. The Briggs Auto Group is also involved with the community through the Greater Topeka Partnership and the Washburn Tech College Advisory Board. In addition, they contribute to their local Boys and Girls Club and numerous other charitable organizations. Although Miller noted a concern surrounding receiving pressure from insurance companies for shorter and shorter cycle times, the shop’s technicians are able to save time during the repair process due to the accuracy and efficiency of Spanesi’s products.

Combined Production Space: 10,000 square feet (new location)

Briggs Auto Body opened in May 2019 and is the 12th location for the Briggs Auto Group, founded in 1979.

The decision to invest in Spanesi’s paint booths, prep station and welders was easy because the high quality products were priced so competitively.

Spanesi Americas Timothy W. Morgan (COO/Managing Director) (224)-SPANESI (224-772-6374) www.spanesi.com

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 37


38 OCTOBER 2019 AUTOBODY NEWS | Shop and Product Showcase


18 USI Italia Booths and Still Counting at No. 1 Collision

by Autobody News Staff

Milford Cumberland, facilities and equipment manager at No. 1 Collision, often answers questions regarding any piece(s) of equipment. Cumberland, 66, has insight on many of the tools and equipment that the facility obtains. One aspect of Cumberland’s job at No. 1 includes overseeing the acquisition, installation and ongoing maintenance for 18 USI Italia booths. It’s an enormous investment that keeps paying for itself over and over again, and as a result, Cumberland is likely North America’s number one expert about these Italian-made, high-end spray booths. The No. 1 Collision Centre in Richmond, British Columbia, invested $19 million in an impressive 70,000 square feet state-of-the-art location on two acres. “We call our facilities the superstars of the industry and our largest one definitely has that ‘wow’ factor,” Cumberland said. “Other shops and many of the OEMs request tours of this shop. When they see a dozen USI Chronotechs here set up sideby-side and a range of high-end luxury vehicles, they are impressed—no doubt.” If you walked into any of the No. 1 Collision locations, you’d find Teslas, Land Rovers, Jaguars, Porsches, Mercedes-Benzes, Audis, Volkswagens, MINIs, Ferraris, Maseratis and even a few Rolls Royces being repaired. Certified to work on this impressive assemblage of 10 OE certifications, No. 1 Collision works hard to stay current with the training and equipment required to make this list. CEO Rob Walker and his brother and COO, Scott, purchased a shop in 1993 and today No. 1 Collision repairs more than 1,000 cars every month. Walker Group Inc. has built an impressive business that includes four collision centers in Canada and one in the U.S. This MSO has invested approximately $1 million in its USI booths

No. 1 Collision Centres

Location: Canada & Washington State (604) 231-9614 www.no1collision.com Company At A Glance...

Type: Collision Repair

Facility Employees: 160

In Business Since: 1972

Number of Locations: Five

Combined Production Space: 150,600 square feet

Refinish Technician Ben Yi paints primarily high-end vehicles in a USI Chronotech spray booth at No. 1 Collision.

after acquiring their first one in 2009. When it comes to acquiring any tools, equipment or training, Walker isn’t afraid to pay for something of good value. “We learned rather quickly that trying to cut costs isn’t the best way to go,” Rob Walker said. “When we started looking at paint booths, we realized that the European ones were superior and that USI was the best. Our Chronotechs are like BMWs, while some of the others are more like KIAs. We will never buy another type of paint booth, because these have proven to be superior across the board. The technology is unmatched with incredible lighting, better air movement and sturdy construction.” Cumberland agrees with Walker and is more than willing to expound on the capabilities and advantages of using USI booths, he said. “We are impressed with the USI direct drive system and its powerful motors. Some paint booths contain cheap components and in the end they’re nothing more than cargo boxes with lights. A great booth is one you can install and then not worry about it for 20 years. That’s what we have with USI.” Whenever he purchases anything, Cumberland makes sure the

support is both accessible and accountable. “We made sure that the support from USI was going to be strong before we acquired the booths,” he said. “At the very beginning, all of the USI people gave me their phone numbers, which was a blessing. They’re responsive and you can tell they love what they’re doing. Every employee is willing to answer our questions. We can’t afford to be down at any time if we want to maintain our reputation.” “I always tell people that to succeed in this industry, you should never skimp on things such as air compressors and paint booths,” Cumberland said. “We’ve been very fortunate with USI and now they’re an integral part of everything we do here.” When it comes to maintenance and upkeep, Cumberland has a huge calendar that tells him what to replace and when with every USI booth. “With 18 of these babies, we have to stay on top of it, so that they will perform at a high level all the time. With USI, we don’t have to replace the filters or the intake and exhaust cubes as frequently as we would with another brand, which gives us another advantage over the competition.”

Refinish Technician Anman Sanju (left) and Facilities Manager Milford Cumberland at No. 1 Collision use USI’s EPS system to find the best way to paint every car.

No. 1 Collision has one of the largest facilities in North America, with a 70,0000 sq. ft. state-of-theart shop in Richmond, British Columbia.

USI of North America Company Contact: Stefano Moretto s.moretto@usius.com (201) 405-7760 www.usius.com

Shop and Product Showcase | AUTOBODY NEWS OCTOBER 2019 39


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October 2019 Autobody News Shop & Product Showcase  

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