Dealer Collision Center
Location: St. George, UT
Company At A Glance...
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 31
In Business Since: 1996
Number of Locations: Three
Combined Production Space: 40,000 square feet
Due to his work ethic and ability to motivate his people, the numbers have been getting better over the years, and now the business has two other shops.
To get there, the company has proactively pursued ongoing training and acquired cutting-edge equipment, tools and products to stay ahead in the ever-changing world of collision repair.
A large part of the big picture at Dealer Collision Center involves its commitment to using PPG’s ENVIROBASE® High Performance waterborne system every day for precise color matches and an incredible finished product. In addition, the shop is helping the environment and providing a healthier workplace for its employees by using a waterborne product with low VOC.
When you throw in the superior customer support he receives through his distributor and PPG itself, Thompson is smiling ear to ear, because his customers are happy and five-star reviews are the norm.
Back in 2015, Thompson’s jobber, Automotive Industrial Supply (AIS), introduced him to PPG, a recommendation that has turned out to be a game changer.
“To get a feel for it, we sprayed some cars with the Envirobase High Performance system and it was amazing,” he said. “Then we sat down with our six painters and asked them candidly if they were comfortable using it because we never want to force a product on them. The reviews were 100% favorable, so we made the switch five years ago and it’s been nothing but positive.”
Lead Painter Robert Davis gets precise color matches with color tools provided by PPG.
Thompson and his crew are busy all the time with the help of his son, Scott Thompson, and Manager Tyler Wade, so it’s a busy environment. But they never lose sight of the most important thing---their customers’ safety.
“If a barber is cutting your hair and he nicks your ear, it will heal and it’s not the end of the world. But, in the world of collision repair, people can be seriously harmed and that’s why we take our jobs very seriously,” Thompson said. “We won’t ever put a family back into their car until we know it’s safe because we need to guarantee the work.”
The company has established a strong bond with the community through its philanthropy and outreach. This includes hosting events to train first responders and holding events, such as luaus and lunches, to give back to those who protect us and save lives.
“We thank the police department, firefighters and health care workers who are out there on the front lines by putting on lunches and other events,” he said.
At age 17, Thompson got a job at a small body shop and was lucky to work under an experienced head painter.
“He taught me a lot, but I knew that I needed some additional training,” he said. “So, I quit that job to attend tech school for one year and to get my paint certificate.”
Thompson was 18 years old when he painted his first car, a 1964 Ford Fairlane in blue, that kicked off a long and successful 28-year run as a painter.
“In 1997, I painted my last vehicle---a Ford F-150---and stepped out of the booth permanently to become a manager. I loved painting, but the time to move on was right. I admit it, I still get my hands wet every once in a while, it’s in my blood.”
Thompson’s jobber, AIS, enables him to keep his paint department operating efficiently and affordably.
“To be as lean as we possibly can, we don’t want a lot of product sitting around,” he said. “We don’t want to be a warehouse and AIS helps us to make that happen.”
To quickly and thoroughly cure the cars after they have been painted in PPG Envirobase High Performance, Thompson recently acquired a Phoenix 1000 from U.S. Autocare, a cutting-edge autonomous paint curing machine. It proves Thompson and his crew are not afraid to use new and innovative products and equipment to be a better business.
With happy customers and top reviews, Thompson is smiling ear to ear.
Training and customer support are two main reasons Thompson appreciates PPG’s Envirobase High Performance paint system.
“The support we get from AIS and our PPG Business Development Manager John Sturino is world-class and way over the top,” he said. “They really work hard to make sure that we are using the product the best we can to get the best results. The training is better than anything I’ve ever seen because they not only train our people; they also motivate them to improve their skills moving forward.”
With no plans to retire any time soon, Thompson is still passionate about this industry and wouldn’t change it if he could.
“I love this industry and that’s why I am still here at age 69,” he said. "With Tyler and Scott's significant growth across the board we are surely in very good hands. Our motto is tomorrow will be better than today, and that’s how we approach everything we do here.”
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To read more auto body shop profiles from the October 2020 Shop & Product Showcase, click here.