California Shop Credits Mitchell’s Ultramate and RepairCenter for Managing Growth

California Shop Credits Mitchell’s Ultramate and RepairCenter for Managing Growth

Precision Body Shop & Detail, with two locations in Colma and San Rafael, CA, has grown rapidly, with more and more cars coming through every month. Having lots of work can be a blessing or a curse, because organizational and production bottlenecks can arise in minutes within a busy work environment.

Precision has not only survived, but thrived during a recession. They give a lot of credit to Mitchell International Inc. and the decision to adopt their market-leading business management systems.

Precision Body Shop & Detail was started 10 years ago with just three employees detailing cars primarily for new car dealerships throughout the Bay Area. In 2004, Precision’s dealerships started inquiring about doing minor body work on their fleets and the company jumped at the opportunity.

“We started out doing primarily paint, panel and hanging bumpers to go with our detailing for dealerships,” Caprini said.“Then, we realized we should do it all. So, starting in ’06, we began pursuing all forms of collision repair and it’s been a great business model for us.”

Caprini and his partner Lou Hanhan have tapped into their complementary skills to create a company that makes a profit and is poised for expansion.

“I’m more of a numbers person and a production process guy and Lou is very connected to the car dealerships in this area, so we make a very effective team. On top of that, we have an excellent crew. They’ve definitely played a major role in our success,” Caprini said.

Today, Precision does nearly $4 million in sales annually and employs 59 people working out of two locations totaling 22,000-sq.-ft. The Colma location will be expanding with an additional adjacent 6,000-sq.-ft of space within the year.

Precision’s relationship with Mitchell has been highly beneficial for controlling and monitoring the company’s production flow.

“You can’t store 120 cars every month in your head. You’re going to lose track of where each vehicle is in the repair process, if you can’t accurately keep this information in one location that you can access and alter easily. That’s what the Mitchell’s RepairCenter brought to our business and it’s proven to be invaluable,” Caprini said.

Precision initially purchased the Ultramate Estimate program then added RepairCenter last year, and the shop has already seen some significant improvement on several fronts.

“We’ve used their RepairCenter now for about seven months and it’s been a great experience. They help us manage the entire day-to-day repair process and give us real-time control and analysis of everything we do. It’s quickly become a big part of our lives around here and it’s provided us with a shop’s single integrated access point. That’s maybe the most important thing. Every tech, painter and estimator accesses identical updated information, so we’re all on the same page all the time,” he said.

According to Mitchell, “The RepairCenter is the collision repair industry’s first single shop workspace to manage the repair, the customer and the business—and just about everything in between. RepairCenter’s repair and opportunity management capabilities help shops to capture more business, identify workflow bottlenecks and improve functionality.”

When Precision added Mitchell RepairCenter in order to access all of the program’s additional features the shop wanted to incorporate, it proved to be a wise decision. Caprini feels that the RepairCenter is indispensible to his operation.

“It’s been a huge part of everything we’re doing here,” Caprini said. “I look at it a minimum of 6–10 times every day. It’s our lifeline and we love it because it’s always on. The most important things it does for us are by acting as a virtual real-time whiteboard; the parts management and vendor management aspects are also very important, because it helps us to effectively order, receive and track parts. By making our daily lives easier, Mitchell has allowed us to concentrate on other things—like acquiring new business and cutting our cycle times.”

One of the main benefits Caprini appreciates about Mitchell includes the training his shop received when they converted to RepairCenter.

“Mitchell’s trainer came here for three full days and made an extremely professional presentation. He was easy to work with as he trained our entire front office staff. He answered all our questions while he was here on-site, and was available for follow-up questions for several weeks afterward. We can call them anytime and they’re quick to get back to us. If we ever have an issue, they’re right there to help us and that’s so important.”

A series of how-to videos produced by Mitchell also provided Precision with valuable ongoing education.

“Their videos are excellent. You can get a grasp of what they’re doing quickly and easily. We refer them to them all the time and our estimator and office manager don’t have to deal with that whiteboard ever again, because everything is right there on the RepairCenter. Their lives are easier now thanks to Mitchell,” he said.

Three months ago, Precision also added Mitchell’s Shop Clock, adding further track ability to its shop.

“Now we’re able to see how long it takes take to do each job. If a repair takes 10 hours, for example, I can see where we’re at right there on the computer screen. If we’re ahead or behind on any repair, we can make changes on the fly, because the Shop Clock feature keeps us current and allows us to anticipate what we need to do to get it done within the allotted hours.”

“Our cycle times are much improved and we’re able to better manage our shop overall. We’re doing 25% more work, yet we haven’t had to hire anyone new. Our efficiency is up and our productivity is the best it’s been. So, we’re feeling more confident about pursuing more business, because we know we can do it and do it well. Instead of spending all our time dealing with problems, we’re producing great work and Mitchell has played a significant role in our success.”

Precision Body Shop & Detail
245 Collins Avenue
Colma, California 94014

2nd location: 623 Irwin Street
San Rafael, California 94901
(650) 992-9775

Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist and Autobody News columnist based in San Francisco.

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