A Crash Course in Collision Center Repair Success

It's Friday morning. As the owner of a collision center, you're dreading walking into a chaotic environment where jobs are piling up, multiple deadlines have yet to be met and unforeseen projects are likely to rear their ugly head.

"An owner came to me in tears, explaining how BASF has changed his life and the lives of those in his collision shop."

But instead of disorder, your shop is eerily calm. Cars are still being repaired, even more frequently than before, and suddenly you are at ease and can focus on what's important - growing your bottom line.

Thanks to BASF's Advanced Process Solutions (APS) system, many collision repair shop owners and employees are enjoying their workday more than ever before. Just two years since the launch of APS, BASF has partnered with nearly 30 collision centers to help them improve their business model.

"Probably one of the most inspiring moments was when an owner came to me in tears, explaining how BASF has changed his life and the lives of those in his collision shop," said Thomas Hoerner, Strategic Initiatives business solutions leader at BASF. "He continued by saying he didn't know if his shop would have made it if it weren't for BASF and the changes we helped him make."

The Success of the APS System

The APS system builds off of a core pillar for the BASF Refinish Business: helping its  collision partners be successful. Prior to the APS system, BASF offered tools and lean training programs. But something was missing - action.

Pictured above employees at Dunshee Body and Frame enjoy a chaotic-free environment after the implementation of BASF's Advanced Process Solutions (APS) system. Pictured above employees at Dunshee Body and Frame and BASF representatives during the planning portion of the Advanced Process Solutions (APS) system.

BASF was determined to take these trainings a step further by creating a program that required a system overhaul and delivered strong financial results for the collision center.

"We've been stuck doing things the same way since our existence, constantly chasing our tails and managing chaos," said Joe Townsend, General Manager at Dunshee Body and Frame in Kalamazoo, Mich. "By no means do we have it dialed into perfection, but once our employees got over the initial culture shock and got used to the way things are done now, the atmosphere of the shop calmed down and things began to flow. In fact, we just finished our best year yet. Sales were up by 20 percent."

Though results vary, BASF has found one common theme - the quality of life for the shop owner and employees increase as a result of the reduced chaos.

By shrinking supplements, decreasing parts issues and increasing touch times, repairs became more streamlined, efficient and predictable, allowing employees to actually work fewer hours with owners seeing increased profits. Plus, customers get their repairs done in a timelier manner, which keeps insurance companies happy - an overall win.

How it Works

First, the collision center owner must be dedicated to the change and have a sense of urgency. Then, BASF experts analyze the shop's performance through its VisionPLUS software and engage the owner in planning sessions to lay out every detail from process improvement to changes in personnel or responsibilities.

"These planning sessions easily translate into action," said Hoerner. "When you leave our session, there is no doubt what you need to do."

Next is implementation. This is normally where several programs fall short. But BASF is there throughout the entire deployment, working collaboratively with the owner, ensuring the process is seamless and assisting with any quick fixes or process changes as necessary.

"Before the APS program, our sales representatives were just the individuals that sold the paint," said Marcos Corradin, senior marketing manager for BASF Coatings Solutions. "Now, they are no longer sales reps - they are business partners."

Looking to the future, BASF plans to add another 20-25 businesses - incorporating nearly 65 customers into the program within three years.

If you think your shop would be a good fit for this program or would like additional information, visit http://www.refinish.basf.us/aps.