There are infinite ways to innovate — let these CCS members show you how
No two collision centres are the same; every management team has its own approach to achieving success and a culture of high performance within its organization. That is a fact Consolidated Collision Services (CCS) knows and celebrates, working closely with each of its industry partners to conquer collision centre-specific and sector-wide challenges alike.
After nearly a decade of CCS entering the market, its mission remains the same to this day: to become Canada’s largest and most preferred new car dealer collision network. “One thing that becomes immediately clear about CCS is the quality of the locations in our network, and the quality of the people and teams at these locations,” says Mike Beier, general manager of CCS. “Being new car dealer exclusive, offering a cooperative ownership structure and the ability to tap into the unique ways CCS supports is members—those are just a few of the CCS principles that have attracted some of the largest and most successful dealership-owned collision centres in the market.
“As a result, we have found ourselves with members that are pushing the limits of innovation and who are offering a truly world-class experience for their customers,” added Beier.
Built from the ground up by dealers, for dealers, CCS works with its network of new car dealers across the country to focus on three key opportunities for growth; retaining more collision customers, managing and improving collision centre performance, and creating opportunities for locations to be put on the map with its national insurance partners.
CCS have been working overtime as of late, creating new partnerships with dealers and industry; forming new strategies to optimize throughput in today’s environment, and supporting its network with weekly training opportunities through CCS University— remaining keenly focused on fostering an environment of innovation across its 85 locations.
Collision Repair mag checked in with some of CCS’s top performers to hear how they’re managing today’s challenges and staying ahead of the competition:
UPHOLDING A LOCAL LEGACY
Collision centre manager, Heffner Collision Centre
BARRY MINTY knows how to keep operations fresh.
As the manager of Kitchener, Ontario’s Heffner Collision Centre and a longtime member of Canada’s collision industry, Minty is an expert on keeping collision operations streamlined.
It becomes clear when you look at the company’s employee retention. “The majority of our technicians have been here for more than 10 years; we have one person in the dealership that’s been here for almost 40 years,” Minty told Collision Repair.
Given its association with the Heffner Toyota and Lexus dealerships and its status as a founding member of CCS, the Heffner Collision Centre also lauds a loyal customer following. On top of that, most of the vehicles sent through the facility are between one and five years old, which means keeping on top of emerging technologies and knowing your way around a complex repair is key for the collision repair team.
“Most of our customers have purchased their vehicles here. When they walk into the store, the expectation is very high,” explained Minty. “We have a duty to our customers. We need to stay ahead of the curve, adapt and know how to repair both new and emerging technologies.”
Heffner aims to be a one-stop shop, offering dealership, detail, collision, mechanical, glass and calibration services all onsite in its 1,800 square-metre bodyshop. Further, OEM Certifications from Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Stellantis, Genesis and more help to boost customer confidence, said Minty.
“Making sure our customers are comfortable and confident in how their vehicle is repaired is a top priority for the Heffner team.”
In fact, as one of the few Lexus-certified repairers in its locale, Greater Toronto Area-based drivers often make the trek to Heffner seeking repairs of the highest quality.
Heffner also stays ahead of the curve where environmental sustainability is concerned. The company’s campus generates power via solar panels and is fully equipped for electric and hybrid vehicles. And Minty says there are no plans to slow down, where optimization is concerned.
“Our next step [for the collision centre] is continuing to evolve, particularly in training for electric vehicle repairs and advanced computer systems.
“There’s a lot of training out there, whether it be through I-CAR, BASF, CCS or others. Our goal lies in making sure our technicians fully understand and feel 100 percent safe when faced with an electric vehicle.”
The team also welcomes newcomers looking to learn more about a career in the trade.
“We’re always actively looking for apprentices that are willing to learn; we have a second-year apprentice on staff now. We’re prepared to offer a chance to anyone that has a passion for vehicles and a hunger for knowledge.”
MODESTY IN MOUNT PEARL
General manager, Capital Collision Centre
MARCUS NEWMAN began his career on the production floor, first as a prepper and later as a painter. He says these skills play a big part in leading the operations at Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Capital Collision Centre.
Newman just celebrated five years of service with Capital Collision in June 2022, though the facility is a relatively new name in the CCS ranks, joining the network amid the pandemic.
The facility boasts 1,300 square metres (14,000 sq. ft.) of space with three paint booths, three prep stalls and nine technicians on the production floor. In terms of OEM certifications, Newman says the team is fit to serve any automaker under the Certified Collision Care certification banner, as well as BMW, Mini, Hyundai, Genesis, Subaru and Mitsubishi. Customer retention is a top priority for Capital Collision; Newman estimates approximately 95 percent of the vehicles repaired at Capital are sold through its dealership partners. He says the facility pushes between 110 to 120 repair orders per month and works with all major insurers— something CCS has played a key role in. “Mike Beier, and his team helped a lot in our facility securing new insurance partnerships and having the opportunity to be top performers for them,” said Newman. “It was a long conversation and the CCS team were integral in getting everything lined up for us.”
As a top provider of quality repairs—the team uses AllData to acquire procedures and recently implemented adasThink— organization is a high priority.
“We use the Repair Centre production grid—we keep it up on the production floor all the time. I organize it based on department: you’ve got your body, your prep, your paint and then who the lead tech is on each. Everybody can see who and what are in each area, and the due-in and due-out dates.”
Such organizational strategies have proven productive in streamlining operations. “We have a production meeting every morning, to outline what we have coming in, what’s expected to go out, who’s working on what. That’s been key in avoiding hiccups in the production line. Everybody knows the flow for the day.”
These tactics have also been beneficial in offering exceptional customer service— something Capital Collision is well-versed in. The team won the CCS Customer Service Matters contest in Q1 2022, an honour presented to a member of the network that proves outstanding customer service. Quarterly winners are selected based on real customer feedback from the CCS CSI portal.
“We didn’t have to implement much to alter our customer approach,” said Newman. “We always pride ourselves on quality and customer satisfaction.” Newman is taking the same modest approach into the future.
“I’m not going to say things won’t change around here [in the future], but we’re in a really good place for the time being. I prefer change to be gradual yet consistent. “We have a pretty big facility, though—we could take on some mechanical repairs. But, in terms of collision, I feel like we’re as good as we can be.”
ANOTHER DAY IN HAILSTORM ALLEY
Operations manager, South Pointe Toyota Collision Centre
OPERATING in Canada’s hailstorm alley keeps the team at South Pointe Toyota Collision busy; but, in the words of Operations Manager Trent Dayton, “you just deal with it as it comes.” Dayton has been a driving force behind the success of the South Pointe Toyota Collision Centre. He originally ran the detail department for the South Pointe Toyota dealership before his expertise was called in to kickstart the company’s collision operations.
“The collision repair industry is a different entity, that’s for sure,” said Dayton, who’s been a “dealership guy” his whole life. Dayton credits much of his success in those beginning stages to support from industry partners.
“Having that fresh perspective but also looking at things from a dealership perspective helped me greatly, but I had a ton of support from Mike [Beier] and the CCS team; and from Color Compass and BASF.”
When the hail does hit the Calgary-based bodyshop, it’s a bit of a mixed-bag feeling, according to Dayton. On one hand, there’s ample money to be made; on the other, that’s a whole lot of cars that need fixing.
“If a hailstorm hits, the claims are immediate. Not only that but, as a dealership facility, we’re now repairing those cars—we can’t sell them until they’re fixed. South Pointe Toyota Collision Centre goes full throttle; we’re open seven days a week at that point.” South Pointe teamed up with a duo of confident paintless dent repair techs who set up business inside the collision repair facility, working out of three bays inside the 2,000 square-metre facility. “We’ll have additional paintless repair techs come from out of town. They’re willing to work extended hours to get stuff done.” The facility is also certified for Toyota and Lexus repairs and touts ties with Stellantis and other OEMs via Certified Collision Care. It also offers full collision repair and mechanical service in addition to PDR, glass and windshield repair.
South Pointe prides itself on being progressive and process-oriented while remaining focussed on customer service and retention. One recent practice carried out by Dayton, implemented to mitigate current parts delays, has been the concept of disassembly for estimates; the team will take driveable vehicles, disassemble as much as they can while keeping the vehicle driveable, and put it back together again. The whole process takes between one to two hours, said Dayton.
“We explain the required job to the customer and then order the parts,” he explained. “Our goal is zero supplements on parts. We do everything we can to capture all the parts on the initial estimate.”
The South Pointe team was an early adopter of the BASF Advanced Process Solutions (APS) program, a customized module centred around adding consistency and predictability to bodyshop operations.
“The formula just made sense to me,” said Dayton. “The best part is how the program incorporates your team. I’m a big believer in having my team write their own processes.” And, being associated with the Toyota brand, the idea of kaizen— or continuous improvement—is top-of-mind.
“You could say I’m always looking to see what we’re ‘failing’ on—marks or goals that we may have come shy of—in addition to promoting all the good stuff,” he explained.
“Our team has a solid understanding that, without considering the negatives, there is no way for us to improve.”