The business is constantly growing, and recently, the shop relocated to an 80,000 square foot facility just outside the auto mall where it was previously located; however, physical growth is not as important to Dick Hannah Auto Body as educational growth. The I-CAR Gold shop actively pursues OEM certifications because “If you’re not OEM trained and certified, you’re going to be left in the past,” predicted Collision Center Director, Rick Stoker.
“These aren’t your 1980s and 1990s vehicles anymore,” Stoker continued. “Cars need to be pre- and post-scanned to ensure all safety systems are functioning properly. Everything is computerized and sophisticated now. On every repair, we need to be asking if the safety systems are working as intended by the OEM.”
Dick Hannah Auto Body is certified in Chrysler/Fiat, Nissan, Honda/Acura ProFirst and Volkswagen. Seven years ago, the shop’s partnership with Volkswagen led Stoker to explore Car-O-Liner’s booth at SEMA since the OEM required the use of Car-O-Liner’s benchrack and the CTR12000 resistance welder as part of its certification program.
“Since then, our relationship with Car-O-Liner’s products has evolved,” Stoker said. “In addition to the Volkwagen rack, we now have two 6300 truck racks and fifteen 4200 benchracks, as well as the CTR12000 resistance welder, the Car-O-Tronic Vision X3 Measuring System, and the EVO1, EVO2 and EVO3 universal fixtures. Car-O-Liner’s products are easy to set up, and our techs love how easy they are to use.”
Implementing the new products in the shop’s daily processes was completely seamless, according to Stoker. “We put the racks in our facility, and Car-O-Liner provided a two-hour training session to go over basic safety requirements. After that, our techs took off running, producing work in a fraction of the time it used to take.”
The Car-O-Tronic Vision X3 Measuring System has also been easy for the technicians at Dick Hannah Auto Body to learn and use. Stoker stated, “The X3 has fewer components than other systems which makes assembly a breeze, and the database is second to none – it has more vehicle data than any other system we’ve tried, and updates for the computerized measuring are always current. All of our techs love the Car-O-Tronic Vision X3 because all the information they need is accessible and easy to navigate, and that ease of use turns them into more productive techs.”
Dick Hannah Auto Body’s distributor, LDC Equipment, has also been a huge aid in enhancing their relationship with Car-O-Liner. Stoker shared, “John Leddy is only a phone call away when we have questions, and if he doesn’t know the answer, he reaches out to Car-O-Liner. We can also reach out to Car-O-Liner’s tech support directly, and their customer service has been spectacular, completely unparalleled.”
Customer focus is an important part of Dick Hannah’s business model, and the automotive group’s slogan is “Believe in nice.” Stoker said, “We really care about our customers. We want them to come back for service, after a collision, and when they’re buying a new car – every part of the process can be handled at one stop.”
Seventy years ago, Dick Hannah Auto Body was founded by Bill Hannah, Dick’s father. The business is now run and operated by the family’s third generation, Jason and Jennifer.
Dick Hannah Auto Body began in a small shop in Vancouver in 1949, moving in the mid-80s before relocating to a larger 20,000 square foot facility in the auto mall in 1994. Earlier this year, Dick Hannah Auto Body moved to its 80,000 square foot facility outside the auto mall.
While the shop’s 52 employees’ currently average 400 repairs per month, Stoker’s goal is to locate more talented painters, bodymen and damage appraisers and increase the shop’s volume to 1,000 vehicles monthly with the additional space afforded by the recent relocation. In addition to Car-O-Liner’s products, nine paint stations help the techs at Dick Hannah Auto Body increase productivity, while the shop’s heated airlines ensure the sealer and basecoat dry instantly.
Dick Hannah Dealerships and Auto Body Shops are very involved with local charitable organizations, including the American Red Cross, the Boys and Girls Club, Make-A-Wish, and Meals on Wheels, among many others. Their website boasts 430 donations with a total of nearly $700,000 given, stating “We live here. We work here. We give here. [We’re] committed to supporting those who share this community and its resources.
The environment is another focus for Dick Hannah Auto Body. The shop was among the first in the Northwest to convert to waterborne paints. Additionally, Dick Hannah Dealerships launched its Arbor Day Foundation in 2007, planting a tree for each sold vehicle. The organization has since planted 186,253 trees in Southwest Washington. with us.”
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To read more auto body shop profiles from the October 2019 Shop & Product Showcase, click here.