An Owner’s perspective to obtaining customer satisfaction
This week Modern Auto Body celebrated their new 13,600 SF shop with a ribbon cutting celebration. Shop owner, Scott Loscheider, enthusiastically expressed satisfaction of his new location and space.
“The floors of the shop look as clean on Friday as they started on Monday. They are amazing!”
Curious as to how this could be, Scott explained to me it’s because of the new air exchangers that immediately pull the dust from the air. “In our old shop we didn’t have these so the air and floor were full of sanding dust. We had a vacuum system for our sanding tools, but they would catch only 85% of the dust.” Scott said that made for a very unhealthy environment and explained that repair procedures have changed over the last 25-30 years. In the 1990’s, they exclusively wet-sanded all panels needing paint. Today, it is almost exclusively dry-sanding, so more dust is being created than before.
“Taking care of your body and health is very important and I couldn’t stand the thought of our employees having to breath the dirty air. We pride ourselves in maintaining a clean facility and these air exchangers, one for every two stalls, have allowed us to accomplish both a healthy and clean environment.”
With a larger shop, Modern Auto Body is able to service more vehicles at the new facility. While the old facility treated them well throughout the years, Scott said it became very inefficient with many constraints. “Times have changed from when we used to work on one car at a time, to the technicians now working on multiple throughout the day. When there is down time on a vehicle, they can easily shift to the other.” Scott said at the old shop, they would have to swap vehicles while waiting for primer to dry, etc. as they had one working bay each. Due to the setup of the old shop, that often meant waiting for someone to finish a task in front of the doorway, such as washing a vehicle, and that created a lot of unproductive downtime. “At the new shop, every technician has two bays to do their work. It is set up so there is always a way to get in or out of the shop.” Scott said removing the constraints has really increased their efficiency. “And that is good for the technicians and the customer!”
Another primary must-have in auto body shops are paint booths and Scott confirmed that his new booths are very efficient and more than what he even hoped for. “We were unable to have manufactured paint booths in our old facility due to code requirements that mandate they are three feet away from any wall. We did not have the space. The new paint booths have allowed us to have cleaner paint jobs, increased production, and savings on materials.” Scott said the new air flow in the booths move the overspray at a much faster rate. That means less chance of overspray settling on the fresh paint, reducing any tiny bits of dust that embed in the paint. Scott planned for one booth at standard size, another three feet longer and three feet wider to accommodate for larger vehicles. “The nice little surprise I did not anticipate, is the ability to paint 2-4 vehicle parts in one booth at one time.” The air flow and exhaust prohibits one color from interfering with another color. Also, Scott said when painting more than one vehicle’s parts at a time, the technician can mix the sealer and clear coat volume based on how many panels are in the booth so, instead of having leftover waste two or three times, they have leftover waste one time. “Meaning less waste of materials, which is good for our bottom line and good for the environment too! Win/win in my opinion!”
Scott said he is enjoying all of the efficiencies of his new building. “Efficiency to me means the customer’s vehicle will be serviced as economically and quickly as possible.” Scott said not every job will be faster, but they already have noticed that the turn-around time has improved on at least half of the repairs in their two months of occupancy. “If we can get the customer’s vehicle back to them faster, they are happier. And, this means insurance companies have to pay less money for rental cars if we can get a repair done in two days versus three days. Helping with these costs keeps the price of insurance down for everyone.” Modern Auto Body now has a drive-in estimating bay rather than having to inspect cars outside. “While I do like to go outside on a nice day, it will be great to bring cars inside on rainy and cold winter days, not only for me, but for the customer.” Scott explained that most customers prefer to be with an estimator inspecting the vehicle. “They will appreciate not having to stand out in the rain or 30 below zero weather!” Right. Especially here in North Dakota!
Scott and team are enjoying the aesthetics of their new shop which he says creates a professional look to its primary function.
“A customer shouldn’t have to enter a shop that is dirty and unappealing. It should be a comfortable place to come as they are not at our shop for a very fun reason. Our goal is make the repair process as smooth as possible.”
Scott said customers are his first priority. “There is nothing better than performing well to receive customer satisfaction!” Modern Auto Body is looking to hire extra technicians as they have had a 4-5 week backlog of work for the past eight years. Scott said while it is great to have plenty of work, that is too long for customers to wait. “The faster we get your vehicle repaired, the faster you can forget it ever happened!” I couldn’t agree more, Scott!