The holiday season always arrives a little earlier for deserving families in Contra Costa County when Mike’s Auto Body in the East Bay presents refurbished vehicles to disadvantaged and deserving families.
I got a phone call a couple of months ago from a caller who I didn’t know. He sounded concerned and very cautious.
“I got your home number from your office. I want to talk to someone at Autobody News, but I don’t want to tell you my name.”
What does a body shop owner expect from a paint booth? If you ask one, they’ll probably tell you things like: “I don’t want to have to worry about it; I want to buy one and maintain it, so that it can last for 20 years; I want it to work for me and not the other way around.”
They don’t have a football team or cheerleaders, but now the Ohio Technical College (OTC) has something no other institution of higher education can offer its students. It’s called the Rich Evans Academy (REA), and it’s the newest division within the automotive curriculum at OTC, the largest technical college of its kind in the country. Last year, the school was selected as the best top technical college in the nation.
ABN: How has the BAR changed most significantly since you took the position of Chief?
SM: I took the position four years ago and I think the organization has changed a lot in a relatively short time. Establishing open communication was the first step. I’ve been to every industry associations and group throughout the state, many of them more than once in my four years in this job. I wanted to get out and make sure that I was hearing from the industry what their issues were what their problems were so that I could go about resolving those issues. Any time you take on a new job, you want to be able to hear from your constituents. And then we started having our regular BAR Advisory meetings on a quarterly basis. Any time we got out to do regulations we also have a series of workshops throughout the state, anything that’s going to implement the industry, anything involving something we need to do or mandate that they have to do something that imposes on them, we try to get them in the loop early on and making sure that we hear all of them concerns and address those as we go through the process.
Italy makes amazing race cars (Ferrari), top-tier watches (Bulgari) and luxurious shoes (Gucci) and they also make some of the finest air compressors on the planet, respected by auto body and mechanical shops throughout the world.
An essential piece of equipment can make or break any company. If a body shop has problems with a lift or a paint gun, it can slow down their production significantly. That’s why Rod Salas, owner of an airbag mobile service company in Southern California, knows that his scanners have to work on every service call or he’ll lose time and of course, money. That’s also why he said he’s happy to use scanners made by Autoland Scientech, a worldwide leader in diagnostic tools since 1990.
If you don’t know SEO from [a] CEO, and PPC could be a new type of paint, or if ‘organic search’ sounds pretty much like a hunt for fresh but pricy vegetables, you might want to pay some close attention to Auto Body Guru. Don’t be embarrassed if you lack internet skills. Instead take a little while to understand what you might be leaving on the table, by ignoring the potential benefits to your business.
A long-time collision repair professional knows that the right equipment can make his job easier. But if a lift or another piece of shop equipment can fail during a busy period, it can break the business and cause chaos trying to meet those highly critical cycle times. Lee Haney, Jr., owner of 21st Century Collision, a 13-year-old shop in Oklahoma City, can cite equipment manufactured by Chief Automotive Technology as being a great asset to the overall success of his operation.
Giannini’s Auto Body in San Francisco’s Bay Area has learned that being green can lead to further green down the road, but that’s not the only reason why they do it.
In the busy daily life of a body shop, a product that will make techs’ lives easier while saving time and money is a breath of fresh air. In this frenetic, deadline-heavy existence, a useful piece of equipment can help a shop to meet its cycle times and exceed even the most discerning customers’ requirements.
Jeremy Weller, owner of Unique Auto Body, started painting cars in his early 20’s, and he’s now 39, so he knows what he’s talking about with paint.
Doug Albin, owner of Body Works Collision Center in Murietta, California, knows paint. He’s been painting cars since he was in high school and has owned a body shop for nearly a decade, so he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to paint and painting systems.
Precision Body Shop & Detail, with two locations in Colma and San Rafael, CA, has grown rapidly, with more and more cars coming through every month. Having lots of work can be a blessing or a curse, because organizational and production bottlenecks can arise in minutes within a busy work environment.