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Spanesi 360 Concept Works with Shop’s Willingness to Evolve to Drive OEM Certifications

Spanesi Americas' equipment, including spray booths and Multibenches, has enhanced Richard's Body Shop's operational capabilities.

Richard’s Body Shop in Chicago was founded in 1985 and has since grown to encompass 50,000 square feet between multiple buildings, each dedicated to a particular step in the repair process.

Richard Zipperstein launched his venture into the automotive world as a humble mechanic, a role that soon evolved due to customer demand for a reliable place to have collision repairs done. This push led to the birth of Richard’s Body Shop in 1985, a move narrated with pride by his son, Eddie Zipperstein.

Richard’s Body Shop
Chicago, IL

Company At A Glance...
Type: Collision Repair and Mechanical
Facility Employees: 50
In Business Since: 1985
Number of Locations: One
Production Space: 50,000 square feet

Fast forward to today, transformed under Eddie’s stewardship, Richard’s Body Shop sprawls across a 50,000-square-foot campus of multiple buildings for mechanical, body, structural and refinish. The body shop also boasts an impressive array of OEM certifications, including prestigious names like Tesla, Jaguar, Range Rover, Volvo and Rivian. A significant chunk of their work, about 85%, caters to Tesla vehicles, a testament to their expertise and market demand.

Eddie attributes the shop’s standout quality to its remarkable cleanliness, a feature so pronounced that he boldly claims, “It’s so clean you can eat off the floor.”

thumbnail image1Among the Spanesi equipment at Richard’s Body Shop are three custom designed spray booths, tailored for large vehicles like Rivian’s Amazon electric delivery vans.

This commitment to excellence has seen the shop through transitions, including the retirement of Eddie’s parents and the entry of his son, Isaac, into the business. This imminent addition heralds the dawn of a third-generation legacy at the collision center, with Isaac bringing a fresh perspective through his computer science and business studies, especially in areas like social media and operational flow.

A pivotal partnership in the shop’s journey has been with Spanesi Americas, particularly highlighted by their custom paint booth project. Initially encountered at the Las Vegas SEMA trade show, Spanesi caught Eddie’s eye, marking the beginning of a fruitful collaboration. Their offerings, celebrated for being compact, clean and efficient, have significantly enhanced the shop’s operational capabilities. The collision center now houses three custom designed spray booths, tailored for the massive Rivian Amazon electric delivery vans, reflecting both innovation and foresight in accommodating larger vehicles.

Eddie’s engagement with Spanesi transcends more than mere transactions; it’s built on responsive and reliable support. The team always provides invaluable assistance a mere text away. “Spanesi was able to build oversized booths in a building that had several obstacles because of its design and age. Then they made adjustments on site to get past roof joists and walls that were not square and true; you would never know looking at the finished product,” Eddie said.

When it was time for Richard’s to expand, Spanesi was right there to aid in adding additional equipment, as well as insights into the flow of production in the shop. Extending beyond mere implementation, Spanesi conducted assessments of multiple areas of Eddie’s business, culminating in a custom recommendation to optimize performance and efficiency.

thumbnail image0 webRichard’s Body Shop counts on equipment from Spanesi Americas Inc. to improve workflow and productivity.

Richard’s needed a better work flow, which was solved by the addition of Spanesi Multibenches in the body and refinish areas. Thanks to the Multibenches, technicians can stand when performing their jobs instead of working off the floor or constantly bending over. This improves employee efficiency and productivity for all processes. “There was a noticeable production difference right away after adding these benches,” Eddie said.

The relationship between Spanesi and Richard’s extends beyond the equipment currently in production. “Spanesi creates custom made equipment prototypes that they then bring here for us to try out,” said Eddie. “They’re currently developing a portable spray station, almost like a spray booth.”

Eddie said the portable spray booth will come in handy for a variety of situations. “Let’s say you’re doing a core support, and you want to paint the vehicle before and not have to go back and forth to the spray booth,” he explained. “They’re meeting a need we have, and we’re excited to see if the product is a good fit for our business.”

The shop’s positive trajectory has also resonated with the community. Recent renovations have transformed a once-dilapidated building into a neighborhood gem, contributing to local pride and community engagement through events like the “Lot Jam” Block Party. Furthermore, Richard’s Body Shop has taken proactive steps in nurturing future talent through a pay-based internship program for local high school students, emphasizing hands-on learning and career development in the automotive repair industry.

Eddie’s narrative is not just a story of business growth but a testament to community involvement, innovation and using the right equipment. After all, it’s his deep-seated commitment to quality and efficiency, as well as his principles, that have propelled Richard’s Body Shop into a realm of exceptional service and community trust.

Spanesi Americas Inc.
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Facebook: @spanesiamericas
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Instagram: @spanesiamericas
LinkedIn: @spanesi-americas
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To read more auto body shop profiles from the June 2024 Shop and Product Showcase, click here

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