Since Al Brodeur opened his shop in 1970 in a small rented space down the street from his current operation, he has been very involved with the local auto body associations. He served as Treasurer and Director of the Central Massachusetts Auto Rebuilders Association, which has now merged with AASP-MA, for over 25 years. Molly is currently the Treasurer for AASP-MA as well as the President of the Midstate Chapter of AASP-MA. Molly notes, “Being so involved at the association level has put us in a unique position to always be at the front line and directly impact legislation and regulations that affect our industry every day. In late March 2012, AASP-MA was successful in killing a DRP bill and an anti-fraud bill that were positioned to move out of Committee. Both would have been extremely detrimental to our industry here in Massachusetts.”
Beyond their involvement with the collision industry, Al Brodeur’s Auto Body is a member of both the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Marlborough for over 20 years. They have also sponsored multiple youth sports programs and participated in various community fundraising events. Regarding environmental concerns, the motto at Al Brodeur’s Auto Body is borrowed from a Native American proverb: “We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.” Everyone at Al Brodeur’s Auto Body understands the impact that the collision industry has on the environment, so they strive to reduce that impact as much as possible.
Al Brodeur’s Auto Body ensures that their painters are certified sprayers of DuPont advanced waterborne paint repair systems. They also use SATA high volume-low pressure spray gun technology, and their DeVilbiss spray booth is equipped with superior filtration systems rated at 99% efficiency, exceeding ASHRAE and EPA requirements.
Additionally, they comply with all EPA regulations regarding how to properly handle hazardous waste by participating in hazardous waste recycling programs, and their recycling efforts extend to include the recycling of used parts, sheet metal and cardboard.
The shop uses Spies Hecker paints, and while their customers own a mixture of older and newer model vehicles, they have recently noticed an increase in older model vehicles, 2007 model and older. Due to this, they have also seen more total losses in the past year due to the vehicles’ age and mileage. Luckily, Al Brodeur’s Auto Body rarely has issues with matching paint, even on older vehicles, due to their experience refinish technicians and the sophisticated paint matching systems that they use.
Al Brodeur’s Auto Body is housed in a 6,800-square-foot shop with 14 employees. They complete repairs on approximately 90 to 100 cars monthly. In addition to standard lifts, welders, the shop utilizes Car-O-Liner frame equipment and a DeVilbiss Downdraft Spray Booth. In addition, they upgraded their management software in 2010, and it has completely changed the way they operate by enhancing every facet of their business.
All of the technicians employed by Al Brodeur’s Auto Body are I-CAR certified platinum, and their refinish technicians are DuPont certified in waterborne paint applications. Though direct repair programs are illegal in Massachusetts, Al Brodeur’s Auto Body negotiates repairs with all insurers operating in the state in order to best serve their customers. They sublet towing, storage, paintless dent repair and rentals to other local vendors.
In discussing current trends in the collision repair industry, Molly Brodeur notes that it is inspiring to see news about shops who have successfully filed lawsuits against insurers for short pays by utilizing the Assignment of Rights form. “It’s encouraging to see shops taking advantage of the mechanisms available to be properly reimbursed for repairs.” She also notes that steering continues to be an issue in the Massachusetts market as does the labor rate compensation from insurers as Massachusetts has the lowest reimbursement rate in the country.
In regards to the future of this industry, Molly says. “Our industry will continue to strive to meet whatever challenges lie ahead. We are a resilient bunch and will always work hard to rise above any roadblocks. Relationships with customers, insurers and employees will always remain our focus.”
Al Brodeur’s Auto Body, Inc.
87 Mill Street Central
Marlborough, MA 01752