Wow, 100 blogs! That went by pretty fast. But when you’re one of the top equipment manufacturers in an ever changing industry, you’ve got lot of information to get out. That’s why we decided to sit back, take a breather and reminisce (blog about) the 5 most important things we’ve come to know over 100 posts.
1) Safety is THE Priority
Let’s face it, you’re not making pillows out there. You’re using fire to cut metal, you bend steel with massive force and you heat things up so hot that it fuses with other stuff. That’s dangerous work! So it’s up to you to ensure your shop is as safe as possible. Whether it be keeping harmful fumes out of the air or dangerous dust particles from collecting on the floor, having the right tools in your shop is necessity for safety. You also need to keep your techs educated on the safest and most efficient ways to do their job. As a responsible owner, safety in your shop should always be your number one concern.
2) Training is Key
Having the most up to date equipment is nice, but without solid technicians to operate it, your quality of work will be low, and so will be your customer’s impression. That’s why hiring the right people for the job is so critical, especially in the collision industry. But’s it not enough just to hire smart and qualified techs, with the ever changing landscape, it’s just as important to keep them updated on new tools and techniques. An ongoing training program will ensure your employees stay current and up to date, and continue to produce the quality work that your customers demand.
3) Customer Service Never Goes out of Style
We understand that getting customers in the door can be tough, but getting a dissatisfied one to come back, well that’s next to impossible. Improving the customer service with existing clients will help to ensure you get new ones. Customers understand mistakes are made and it’s how you reconcile those issues that will either build a trusting relationship, or send them to Yelp with a few choice words. Bottom line, good service equals more customers, and more customers equals more money.
4) Aluminum is Here to Stay
We have talked a great deal about the stringent CAFÉ standards, and what companies are going to do in order to meet them. Well, we can sum that up in pretty much one word: Aluminum. Getting your shop equipped with aluminum repair tools, as well as getting your techs up to speed on aluminum repair practices will put you in the driver’s seat when these vehicles hit the road. And they will be hitting the road, with the F-150 and Camry leading the way, aluminum is here to stay.
5) The Right Equipment Makes Life Easier
There is no doubt that having the right tools for the job makes life easier. If your shop looks more similar to a medieval blacksmith’s stand than a cutting edge collision repair facility, it may be time to upgrade. There are a few questions to ask yourself in order to determine the correct equipment: Which rack is the best fit; do you expect to repair aluminum bodies, heavy duty trucks and vans or high end vehicles? Answering these questions will help with your equipment decisions, and help reach your shop’s productivity and monetary goals.
We really are just getting started, and we hope you stick around for the next 100. With the collision industry growing and changing so rapidly, we’re excited to see where it’s going and to share the ride with you!