Schaefer Autobody Centers
Location: St. Louis, MO
Company At A Glance...
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 205
In Business Since: 1985
Number of Locations: 10
DRP Programs: 12
Combined Production Space:
191,035 square feet
Additionally, the MSO is loving the extra support from Sherwin-Williams® Automotive Finishes.
Schaefer Autobody Centers owner/president Scott Schaefer, 39, is a second-generation operator who works every day to improve his business,
which is why he switched to the Ultra7000 solvent system a decade ago. His company repairs roughly 1,200 cars out of its 10 locations every month and steadfastly adheres to its motto, “Turn whoops into wow right now!”
Schaefer credits much of his company’s growth and success to his father, Steve.
“My dad was a mechanic by trade and worked for a Cadillac dealership until he decided to go out on his own,” Schaefer said. “Eventually, he bought a body shop and ran both businesses until 1999 when he decided to shed the mechanical shop to concentrate 100 percent on the autobody side. He said it was easier for him to build a faithful customer base in collision repair, so that’s why he pursued it. We haven’t looked back since.”
By providing a wide range of services, including fleet work, glass repair, PDR and towing, Schaefer is a one-stop company that wants to do it all. Everyone in Missouri is familiar with the shop’s signature “Never Happened” approach to doing business, a slogan it has been using in all of its advertising since 2000, Schaefer said.
“We take care of every aspect of the collision repair process from start to finish, and all the customer has to do is give us their keys. We coordinate everything, including car rental, estimate and interaction with the insurance company and enable them to check the status on our Online Collision Tracker to see our progress. The next time the customer hears from us, it’s to tell them that their car is ready to pick up. We make it look like it never happened, and it’s become something we’re known for.”
The shop is also well-known for the quality of its paint work, as illustrated by the company’s five-star reviews. When it comes to being a better company, Schaefer is not afraid to pursue goals such as OE certifications and top training, as well as the use of cutting-edge tools and equipment. All of his shops have earned I-CAR Gold status; one of its locations is a Tesla repair center, and another is adept at performing aluminum repairs on Ford F-150s.
Left: Wimpee and the entire painting crew at Schaefer Autobody Centers use the Sherwin-Williams Ultra7000® PROSPECTOR Color Reference System for dead-on color matches. Right: Scott Schaefer is the forward-thinking, second-generation owner/president of the 10-location Schaefer Autobody Centers.
For the past 15 years, Schaefer has been spraying Ultra7000 by Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes after using two to three other brands for several years. Head painter Jahn Wimpee has been spraying the Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes refinish system for a decade and values the product on many levels.
“First off, it saves us a ton of time, especially when curing the vehicles,” Wimpee said. “With other brands I’ve used in the past, the drying times were around 45 minutes, but with Ultra7000, we’ve cut that in half. In addition, when we spray wet on wet, it always stays glossy, unlike other brands that will pinch back.”
With superior coverage, Wimpee is applying significantly less basecoat on every job, particularly when applying whites, he said.
“It’s so noticeable and really makes a difference. We’re able to cut our base application time down significantly on most of the vehicles we paint when compared to anything else out there. The two main factors that stand out to me with Ultra7000 are its speed and gloss retention,” he said.
When color-matching, Schaefer’s paint crew is able to access the enormous chip deck provided by Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes, which is crucial for any MSO.
“We use their PROSPECTOR® Color Reference System, and it saves us a lot of time,” Wimpee said. “Our guys can see the actual color that they will be spraying before they spray it, and they have more than 8,500 sprayed chips that can be used for matching solid and metallic colors. Everything is indexed, and in most cases, we have multiple chips of each color that all of our locations can refer to. Whenever I make a custom color formula, all of our painters can see it through the network, which really helps us.”
Company support is also crucial, which is why Schaefer loves the no-hassle approach he receives from Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes, he said.
“We have one sales person and one person for technical support, which makes it so much easier,” he said. “They often meet with our painters and visit all of our locations every month. They review our performance and track our usage, so that we never order too much product, and they’re willing to answer all of our questions promptly.”
By using Ultra7000, Schaefer Autobody Centers is able to provide a superior finished product to its customers and adhere to its “Never Happened” promise at all 10 of its locations.
To download a PDF of this article, click here.
Sherwin-Williams® Automotive Finishes
4440 Warrensville Center Rd.
Warrensville Hts., OH 44124
To read more auto body shop profiles from the June 2019 Shop & Product Showcase, click here.