Friday, 21 September 2012 08:38

Micro Group Covers Greater Detroit To Toledo

The Micro Group was originally formed to focus on chrome plating car bumpers when Howard Hicks Sr. founded the business in 1948. Since then, it has expanded into several other areas of the collision distribution industry.

Current CEO, Howard Hicks Jr. began working at his father’s company in 1983. His brother, John, and sisters, Tammy and Kim, continue to be involved with this family-owned and operated business.

Since their beginning, the Micro Group has expanded into rim molding (manufacturing fascias) and injection molding. They added their paint business in 1982. The Micro Group now consists of three manufacturing plants and three paint stores which service the greater Detroit metropolitan area, as far south as Toledo, OH. As a result of their expansion, the Micro Group employs around 105 individuals who assist in the various facets of their organization.

Micro maintains a high focus on customer service. In discussing what differentiates Micro from their competitors, CEO Howard Hicks Jr. cites their “higher level of service compared to other local distributors,” in addition to the advantages of stream-lined production and being a single-line jobber. Micro’s dedication to their customers led them to joining the Refinish Distributors Alliance in April 2011, allowing them to offer their customers the unique benefits that come from being part of the elite association.

In recognition of their efforts, Micro earned certification from the NSF Automotive Collision Parts Distributor Program earlier this year. They were one of the first companies to receive this certification which requires distributors to possess quality management systems that address parts traceability, service and quality. This includes having ISO 9001 certified quality management systems, parts traceability and inventory tracking systems, the ability to administer a manufacturer’s recall, a defective parts procedure including a customers’ parts complaint process, formal correction action to complaints and an immediate recall plan. The program was developed to help close the gap in the supply chain between manufacturers and body shops as a response to the needs of collision repair shops, insurers and consumers.

Because Micro has received NSF’s certification, they are able to use the NSF Certified Distributor mark on their website and promotional materials, and they also appear in NSF’s online certification listings. As a condition of maintaining the certification, they will be subjected to ongoing quality system inspections, ensuring that they maintain the level of quality that allowed them to become certified in the first place. In response to receiving this certification, Howard Hicks Jr. stated “We are proud to be an NSF certified distributor as it is a formal recognition of the quality systems we have in place and continue to promote every day. NSF Automotive Collision Parts Distributor Certification provides an opportunity for Micro Platers and Paint to compete even more effectively with much larger distributors in the market.”

Since their expansion into the collision paint industry in 1982, Micro Paint has succeeded by having a single-line focus on BASF. They are one of few distributors nationally to offer BASF’s ColorSource line of paints, including the full line of waterborne paints. Membership in this program is by invitation only and was developed to assist BASF distributors who choose to only distribute BASF products; additionally, this designation qualifies Micro to support programs created specifically for the ColorSource program which are not offered to other BASF distributors. Micro also offers BASF’s Glasurit and R-M products which are all covered under a worldwide lifetime warranty.

Howard Hicks Jr. has developed a close rapport with BASF which led to him serving on the BASF Jobber Council where he was instrumental in aiding with the development of the ColorSource program for single-line jobbers. In regards to BASF’s Sales Management team, Hicks notes “they’re super guys who’ve taught me a lot about the business. They’re sharp, insightful businessmen who know the ins and outs of the business and were happy to share their knowledge. They’ve contributed a lot to our success.”

In addition to BASF paint products, Micro Paint also offers a complete line of body shop paint supplies to support their customers’ needs. They offer a complete line of supplies from 3M, Norton, Devilbiss, SATA, IWATA, Fusor, Maguiars, Upol, Evercoat, Gerson, SEM, Wurth, USC, Hercules, Mack (brushes), and Klean-Strip. Micro Auto Paint has three locations in Wayne, Highland Park and Flint, Michigan. Their Highland Park location can be reached at 313-865-4205.

For customers who purchase replacement parts from Micro Platers Sales, Micro Platers guarantees confidence that the parts will conform to the highest industry standards for fit and finish. They stock only quality replacement parts, including CAPA Certified Parts, and they are certified as an ISO9001: 2008 company. Micro Platers’ manufacturing plant is located in Highland Park, MI and can be reached at 313-865-4200 or 800-896-4276.

Micro Chrome specializes in dual nickel plating for the automotive, motorcycle and marine industries using a “Show Chrome Finish”. They strive to respect and handle every part with the care it deserves because they know that these parts hold significant value for their customers. As a result of the shift to plastic bumpers, Micro Rim was developed in 1991. Micro Rim manufactures bumpers daily and stock many standard bumpers. They specialize in class-A paintable plastic molding of prototype and production parts, and they are currently the only American-owned and made bumper manufacturer.

Micro Rim boasts the use of CAD design to aid customers in making their ideas a reality. They can work from whatever technical detail is brought to them to develop a working 3D CAD model, and from there, they can develop an exact CAD model for production. They also provide design, reverse engineering, tool design, and tool manufacturing. In addition, they offer custom packing and labeling for their customers. Micro Rim offers customers the option of having their molded parts painted using BASF ColorSource paints through Micro Paint; the paints meet auto quality adherence standards and satisfaction is guaranteed.

Micro Rim is also environmentally conscientious. They use recycled materials in the manufacturing process with carefully considered product strength requirements. Excess materials are recycled for use in future plastic injection molding activities. Micro Rim’s manufacturing plant is located in Highland Park, MI and be reached at 313-865-1090 or 800-896-4276.

Each of the Micro Group’s divisions offer their customers the assurance of a family-owned and operated company. According to their website, when you work with Micro, “your challenge becomes our challenge. We learn as you learn. We become better as your product develops. Every project we take becomes part of who we are.  Your project is our pride, our passion.”

Corporate Offices: 221 Victor Road, Highland Park, MI 48203
P. 313.865.4200 F. 313.865.1180