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Mountain View Auto Has More Time with Customers Thanks to CCC

Mountain View Auto, owned by Mike Daniel, recently opened a new location at 96 Newark Pompton Turnpike, Wayne, NJ.

What started as a diner company in the ‘30s got its humble beginnings in collision repair when Mountain View Auto opened in 1957 with Les Daniel II, succeeded by Les Daniel III in the ‘80s.

Despite his shop owner lineage, Mike Daniel, son of Les Daniel III, said he didn’t see himself following suit until six years ago.

Mountain View Auto
Location: Wayne and Ridgewood, NJ
(973) 694-1433
Facebook: @MountainViewAuto
Instagram: @mountainviewauto

Company At A Glance...
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 49
In Business Since: 1957
Number of Locations: Three
Combined Production Space: 57,000 square feet

“I went to college, got my CPA license, and worked at Deloitte and Touche in financial audit and finally in mergers and acquisitions,” explained Daniel. “As years passed, conversations began with my dad as to what the next steps would be for the business.”

After five years at Deloitte, Daniel began worrying he’d wake up in his 40s and regret not giving the auto body industry a shot.

“We discussed keeping the company status quo as I continue on my financial career path or join the family business,” he recalled. “So, after thinking about my father’s success, I decided to go for it.”

About four years ago, Mountain View Auto added a second shop and recently made a sizable addition. The Wayne, NJ, business then expanded to three locations a year ago.

When hiring and maintaining quality technicians, Daniel said Mountain View Auto is thankful to be one of the few shops with little to no issues.

“If you’re efficient and run your body shop the right way, your technicians and your labor not only are your highest cost, they’re also your biggest profit,” he explained. “We treat our people properly.”

Pictured is the frame department of Mountain View Auto, housing four machines. The New Jersey collision repair business expanded to three locations last year.

On top of that, Daniel said Mountain View Auto always stays updated on the latest technology.

“About five or six years ago, I attended a trade show and saw the capabilities CCC Intelligent Solutions had compared to the program we were using,” said Daniel. “I told my dad, ‘We got to make the switch.’”

He said they haven’t looked back since.

“Now, here we are, with CCC pretty much running our operations,” Daniel added.

Daniel said using the CCC ONE® platform has benefitted their collision repair business in various ways.

“CCC ONE is used by most insurers we work with, so we can automate a lot of the administration of the repair process and get paid quicker,” he said. “CCC ONE is so fast that we spend less time in front of the computer and more time helping our customers.”

Daniel is a member of the CCC ELEVATE program, which offers repair facilities guidance on industry best practices and maximizing the return on investment for the CCC ONE Total Repair Platform.

“The CCC Elevate team has helped us with processes to reduce our cycle time and automating our parts procurement so we can better serve the needs of our customers,” he said.

Daniel added that Mountain View Auto built a great relationship with CCC and looks forward to the future.

Pictured is the teardown section, where Mountain View Auto owner Mike Daniels said technicians disassemble 100% of the damaged area of the vehicle to create a repair plan.

Regarding community involvement, Daniel said Mountain View Auto sponsors various athletic clubs, including the Wayne Boys and Girls Club.

“We buy the uniforms for the kids, things like that,” he said. “We do our part to help them get out there and play.”

Daniel is also one of 12 Passaic County Technical Institute automotive committee members.

“Once a month, we talk with the instructors, principal and superintendent about the budget, the latest vehicle technology and what they should add to the curriculum to get the kids ready for this ever-changing industry,” he explained. “With that, we have the opportunity to select students to work with us either through a work-study or summer program so that they can get hands-on experience.”

Daniel said, unfortunately, out of a 30- to 40-person first-year class, only about 10% stay in the industry.

“As committee members, we need to look internally and see where these kids get placed and what kind of work they’re shown,” he said. “I don’t think many collision repair students see a path to financial comfortability and success.”

Daniel said it starts with the family enforcing outdated stereotypes.

“We need to show parents that this industry has changed; if you’re on the tech side, you rarely get dirty---you’re on the computer diagnosing cars,” he explained. “And even if you’re getting dirty and using your hands, as an A Tech, you can make $40-$45 an hour.”

Daniel emphasized that people in the collision repair industry can make good money and provide for a family.

“You don’t have to work in a subpar shop with dust everywhere,” he said. “Many shops, especially around me, have invested in equipment and technology that allow for a clean work environment.”

Daniel concluded that collision repair is a “lost art,” and he hopes more tech students have a chance to experience the many opportunities in this industry.

CCC Intelligent Solutions
Company Contact: Mark Fincher
(877) 208 -6155

To read more auto body shop profiles in the October 2022 Shop and Product Showcase, click here.

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