At age 14, he started working officially at a body shop and turned heads almost immediately for his work ethic and eye for detail.
“Detailing vehicles is a lot more than just washing cars. A good detailer can really make or break a shop,” he said. “I’m the last person to touch a vehicle before it goes back to the customer, so it’s not just wax on, wax off; it’s also about quality control. I knew early on that I wanted to perfect my craft and do the best work I possibly could, and working for a great shop like Elite helps.”
Having the finest products available helps enable Holman to perform a spectacular job on each and every vehicle.
“3M is the standard in this industry, and I’ve been using their products from the very beginning,” Holman said. “One morning I came in for work and the 3M™ Trizact™ Hookit™ Foam Abrasive Disc, 8000 grit was sitting there. They told me to try it, and I realized immediately that it would make my life a lot easier.”
Holman’s boss at Elite Paint & Body is the shop’s owner, John Hauser, who proudly repairs expensive European cars for his discerning customers in the Palm Beach area.
“Many of our customers drive Audis, Jaguars, Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs and expect top customer service and quality,” Hauser said. “These cars have to be pristine when they leave here, whether it’s a Hyundai or a Jaguar, so Holman’s role here is critical.”
Hauser uses a lot of 3M products and is always looking for new things that can help him do a better job.
“Our 3M rep, Jay Guadalupe, picked us to test their 3M™ Trizact™ Hookit™ Foam Abrasive Disc, 8000 grit for 30 days,” he said. “3M wanted our feedback before it goes national on June 1, and we have nothing but positive things to say about it.”
It used to take Holman 45–60 minutes to detail a car, but now by using 3M™ Trizact™ Hookit™ Foam Abrasive Disc, 8000 grit he’s more efficient than ever.
“I’m saving at least 15 minutes on every job, which is awesome. It removes the smallest scratches to eliminate the need for compounding and it also reduces the total polishing time. We haven’t really been able to figure out how much money we’re saving yet, but I’m sure it’s significant.”
Holman is cutting detailed finishing and polishing steps with 3M™ Trizact™ Hookit™ Foam Abrasive Disc, 8000 grit, he said.
Left: Elite’s Detailing Technician Michael Holman is delighted with the results he gets with the 3M™Trizact™ Hookit™ Foam AbrasiveDisc, 8000 grit system. Right: Holman and Elite’s Owner John Hauser are all-in when it comes to 3M and its products.
“I’m getting a fast and extremely consistent cut and able to skip the 5000,” he said. “I’m going straight directly from 3000 to 8000 and removing even the smallest scratches easily. The 8000 is a fine grade abrasive that really delivers refined finishes to auto clear coats, and is also great for wet sanding in order to reduce dust and prolong sheet life. If I detail eight cars daily, for example, that means I am saving two hours every day, 10 hours a week. When we’re busy and I need to turn things around quickly, that means a lot, so I’m pleased with this system.”
“I learned many years ago that quality and safety are more important than just making money, and we’ve built our business around that. We won’t skimp on parts or products because in the end, we’re serving the customer, and they deserve the best,” said Hauser.
Part of Hauser’s success stems from the fact that his team members are dedicated to their jobs and are loyal to the shop, he said. His small but highly productive crew consists of two body men, one painter, one combo tech and the aforementioned Holman. He is able to retain them while other shops struggle to find good people.
“I’m often asked, what’s the secret for getting the best people and keeping them around?” said Hauser. “I tell them to pay them well and don’t treat them like employees, and it will work. I told myself that when I got a shop, I’d make sure to treat my customers right, and that’s why we’ve been around for 36 years.”
Starting on June 1, the 3M™ Trizact™ Hookit™ Foam Abrasive Disc, 8000 grit system will be available nationally, so ask your 3M rep about it and request a sample. Selected detailers and painter helpers like Michael Holman at Elite Paint & Body have already seen the system in action, so they know it’s the real thing.
“We’ve used it all up during the testing process, so we’re anxious to get more in here and make it part of our daily production,” said Holman.
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St. Paul, MN 55144-1000
To read more auto body shop profiles from the June 2019 Shop & Product Showcase, click here.