As the owner of Icon Collision in Memphis, Tennessee, Tim Russell runs a body shop that fixes approximately 210–230 cars every month, does $6 million in business annually and oversees six busy divisions—including two detailing businesses, a PDR department, a glass division, a retail collision branch and a wholesale body shop. Specializing in high-end luxury vehicles, Icon works with several Memphis-area car dealerships that don’t have their own collision centers, such as Lexus of Memphis, Wolfchase Toyota-Scion, Performance Toyota and Wolfchase Dodge, Chrysler Jeep. Russell needs a paint system that will produce top tier paint jobs each and every time, either waterborne or solvent, depending on the job. That’s why he’s pleased to be using both of Pro-Spray’s paint systems—the Solvent Basecoat and the H2O Waterborne Basecoat.
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Russell, now 51, worked for sixteen years at a Memphis dealership group running their collision center and servicing their eight dealerships. When the group was sold to a large company, the climate changed rapidly. Russell wasn’t happy with the new corporate environment, so he decided to start his own shop. Icon Collision was opened in 2006 and the business grew at an alarming rate. The shop did $80,000 in sales the first month and doubled that the second month. Today, the business grosses roughly $500,000 every month.
When Russell opened the doors at Icon six years ago, he initially signed with another paint company. “In the end, I left them because their color matches were not accurate enough. We just weren’t able to hit on a lot of the colors. They brought in their managers and it got to where I couldn’t even hit white pearls for Lexus cars anymore and it got embarrassing. So, we started looking around for a better solution.”
The 2012 Women’s Industry Network (WIN) Conference is scheduled to take place at the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, May 6-8, 2012.
“We are extremely excited about the selection of Atlanta for our 2012 Conference, as it has always been at the top of the list when we asked our members,” said Katie Henwood of DuPont, who serves as WIN’s Conference Committee Co-Chair along with Tina Clark of Collision Solutions. “We are working hard to gather an amazing array of speakers and activities for 2012, and we look forward to sharing more details, including a conference brochure, in the near future.”
“WIN is proud to offer a unique educational experience for the industry,” said Victoria Jankowski of State Farm, who also serves as WIN’s Chair. “This will be the 6th year for our WIN conference and we continue to develop a formula for conference content, based on WIN member feedback, that offers something meaningful for a diverse audience.”
For more information about WIN member, go to www.womensindustrynetwork.com.
First let me say that there is no “right” answer to most of the challenges a collision owner faces today. Things that worked in the past will no longer cut it today and we need to constantly re-invent the wheel. I will give some examples of ways to cautiously move forward in today’s market.
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One example is advertising, in the past we would get a bigger yellow page ad, and maybe we would do newspaper and maybe some TV. In today’s market the consumer rarely picks up the phone book and newspaper sales are at an all time low, while TV is still questionable with DVR’s people can fast forward through your expensive 30-second commercial.
Another example is purchasing equipment and your ROI. In the past a shop would buy a thirty thousand dollar frame rack or measuring system and they would be able to close a sale based on something they had that their competitors didn’t. Today, repair standards and requirements to repair a collision have become so advanced that most decent collision facilities have the same equipment. So purchasing a large piece of equipment in today’s market most of the time offers “no” return on your investment.
PPG’s most recent MVP conference, held last month in New Orleans, was conducted with the theme: “Reveal the Power of Performance.” The conference focused on how collision centers can maximize overall performance and profitability despite the current economic climate.
The three-day conference at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel included keynote speakers, breakout seminars, and workshops designed to assist collision centers in addressing market realities using effective, productive business strategies and practices.
The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) awarded the group’s annual scholarship to attend NACE to the two top-placing female winners at SkillsUSA.
This year’s recipients are Alexandra Domer, who placed eighth in the automotive refinishing technology category, and Elizabeth Moore, who placed 10th in the collision repair technology category.
The WIN scholarship includes airfare, lodging and associated expenses, as well as a full access NACE Expo Pass provided by the Automotive Management Institute (AMI) and Automotive Service Association (ASA).
Additionally, Domer and Moore were honored at the ASA sponsored industry awards ceremony on Oct. 6, and also will receive a 2012 WIN membership.
After high school, Domer attended the Waubonsee Community College, where she earned two Associate Degrees in Applied Science, one in Automotive Body Repair and Automotive Technology. She graduated in the spring of 2011 and hopes to have her own collision repair facility one day.
Moore graduated from Freedom High School in the spring of 2011, and is currently attending UTI in Houston.
“The WIN NACE scholarship goes to the heart of WIN’s mission to support and encourage women who are entering the industry, particularly those in the technical ranks. Surrounded by our amazing WIN members, this scholarship has consistently been a wonderful way to introduce young women to the collision industry,” said Teresa Bolton, Director, Collision Repair Test Development, ASE who also serves as WIN’s Scholarship Co-Chair and Treasurer.
For more information go to www.womensindustrynetwork.com.