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Tuesday, 12 May 2020 17:59

Two Shops in NJ Make Necessary Adjustments, Will 'Weather the Storm'

Written by Victoria Antonelli
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Fantastic Plastic, Inc., is located in Clifton, NJ. Fantastic Plastic, Inc., is located in Clifton, NJ.

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Autobody News reached out to two single-location shops in New Jersey that participated in the "Analysis of the Body Shop" survey and volunteered to elaborate further on their responses.

What is the name of your shop? Where are you located? How many employees do you have? What year did you open?

 

Domenic’s Auto Body; Beverly, NJ; Seven employees; 1982

 

Fantastic Plastic, Inc; Clifton, NJ; Six employees; 1982

 

Has the pandemic affected your productivity? How so? Have you been able to stay open? How much more/less productive have you been since the initial quarantine orders (percentage wise)? 

 

Nikki Donaghy, office manager at Domenic's Auto Body: "We have downsized, but we were able to stay open. Less people on the roads equals less accidents equals less work. While business is still way down from where it was, we have seen some increased accident activity in the past week [as of May 1.] I would say about 20% to 25% more than previous weeks. I have jobs on the schedule for the first time since this whole thing started. We will weather the storm; unfortunately some shops will not.”

 

Mike MacMullen, owner of Fantastic Plastic, Inc.: “The effects of the pandemic have cut my car count by 75%. We used to repair 12 to 15 cars per week; we are down to three to five.”

 

Have you had to layoff/furlough any employees? If so, what percentage?

 

Donaghy: “We did furlough about 70% of our employees, but I am happy to say everyone will be back this upcoming week [as of May 1.]"

 

MacMullen: “All but one of my employees have been with me for more than 15 years and the office manager has been here for 30 years. Early on when this thing looked like it would hit us hard, I held a meeting and told my employees that I would not lay off anyone, even if it meant I would have to go into my savings to pay them. These people are family to me.”

 

Have you implemented any changes at your shop, as far as cleanliness or other safety measures in light of the pandemic?

 

Donaghy: “For the safety of our employees and customers, we disinfect the vehicles prior to being brought in the shop, and as always, we clean the vehicle before it’s delivered. Another change we made is conducting all business outside. We don’t allow anyone into our main office. We do have a small office with a bell, so we can still receive deliveries.”


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