Collision Repair 11#1
Since gracing the Collision Repair mag cover in 2012, where Bruce Hemstreet celebrated the opening of the first CARSTAR west of Winnipeg in Red Deer, Alberta, the dedicated owner says he’s spent much of his time keeping up with the rollercoaster ride working in the automotive industry has given him.
Despite the challenges, Hemstreet now owns three CARSTARs in Alberta, and he looks back on the 40 years he has been in the industry with his head held high, happy with what he has accomplished. “The plan that we created back in 2004, we are still on track with that today,” said Hemstreet. “It was not a huge multistore network, but it was a multi-store network that was a great business to own and a great place to work at, and I think that still exists. We’ve stayed true to the course and have looked after a lot of employees over that stretch, and we’re quite proud of that.”
Collision Repair 11#2
FORMULA FIRST COLLISION
Formula First Collision has been paving its own unique path since its inception. With a licensed bistro in the front, tiled fl oor and chandeliers in the back, it is safe to say Formula First Collision is unlike most collision repair shops.Not only does the facility look much different than most shops but Formula First Collision has also stood out with its numerous luxury OEM certifications.
Frank Gobbato, owner of Formula First Collision and son of original owner Franco Gobbto, says Formula First prides themselves on fixing vehicles the way they were designed to be fixed.
“I believe the OEM repair procedures are the ones we really need to focus on. We need to get rid of the old way of doing things where if you have five different technicians, you will have fi ve different repairs. Now we should have the same repair all over the world.”
As for the future, Gobbato predicts technicians will have to become increasingly educated to properly repair vehicles. He also says following OEM procedures will and should become mandatory.
“With all the technology we have now, there should be a blueprint of every repair that you can’t deviate from,” he says. “It’s just like a doctor, if a doctor follows all the procedures on protocol for that operation and its checked over by another doctor you really can’t get into any trouble.”
Collision Repair 11#3
BONNEVILLE SPEED BUFFING
Francois Bonneville opened his business, Bonneville Speed Buffing in 1988. Today, Bonneville offers training programs where people from other shops can spend four days sharpening their skills and learning with the most advanced equipment. Over the years, Bonneville says he has trained more than 5,000 people in the industry, and he believes that the best way to keep a good employee is to give them all the tools they need to succeed.
“Of course, you give your staff some good money and they’ll be happy, but it’s far more than that. Everyone deserves to feel valued at work, and give people the tools they need to succeed, even if it seems basic. If you leave them alone with no air conditioning, no lighting, no tools—significantly less work will be done. It’s not only about bringing home the cash in the future, and I think the owner will always realize that.”
Bonneville says that having built something from the ground up is his biggest accomplishment in life. “When I started in 1988, I didn’t know I could make a living doing this,” said Bonneville. “I built every single little detail one by one just like a bird does when it’s building a nest.Nobody told me how to do it, so I am really proud that I did it all by myself.”
Collision Repair 11#5
DANNY, JOE AND GAETANO FRANGIONE
CSN BEMAC GROUP
Nine years ago, brothers and owners of multiple collision repair locations in Ottawa – Danny and Joe Frangione appeared on the cover with their father Gaetano. Since then, the brothers have been focusing on expanding their four CSN Bemac Collision centres—plus Carrosserie ProColor Demers—and keeping up to date with certifications.
“There’s been a lot of different moving parts,” said Danny Frangione. “We have taken on some new dealership affiliations, we’ve gotten certifications – we’re Tesla certified, we’ve opened up a new collision center. We now have four full capacity collision centres’ plus two satellite locations.”
Being the second generation in the industry, Joe and Danny have seen a lot of collision repair facilities come and go, and they say the key to staying in the game is to stay ahead. “I think you have to embrace the change. You’ve got to be ahead of the curve, if you want to survive,” said Joe Frangione. “As long as you stay with the technology, and the reinvestment in the technology and equipment you’re going to be fine. You don’t want to be the last guy in.”
Amongst their peers, Bemac Collision Group also received the 2019 CSN Consumer Choice Award for their excellent customer service.