Members of the Coyote Group tour Budds' Collision in Oakville, Ontario. The facility received the Coyote Group Shop of the Year award at the previous meeting in Palm Springs.

By Mike Davey

Oakville, Ontario -- August 23, 2017 -- Shop owners from across North America were recently treated to a tour of Budds’ Collision in Oakville, Ontario. About 50 repair professionals representing nearly 100 collision centres took part in the tour of the facility, which has a reputation as one of this country’s most progressive and advanced collision repair shops.

The touring owners are all members of the prestigious Coyote Group, a gathering of elite shop owners who come together to discuss best practices and compare benchmarks. Each year the Coyote Group grants the Shop of the Year award to one organization. The winner is selected based on a variety of measures including employee retention rates, community values, business mix and the volume of the shop (as measured per sq. ft.). Budds’ Collision took home the Shop of the Year award at the Coyote Group’s February meeting held in Palm Springs, Florida.

As the Shop of the Year award winner, it fell to Budds’ Collision to host the most recent meeting of the Coyote Group.

“They wanted to see what we were doing differently, and how we do what we do,” says J.R. Martino, General Manager of Budds’ Collision. “During the tour, we had stations set up with representatives from some of the vendors that we use, so vendors could speak on the tooling they’ve provided us with.”

Those stations included representatives from Dedoes outlining the Acet paint mixing machine, RS Finishing discussing the company’s Wolf spray booths, and representatives from FinishMaster and ComCept providing information on Budds’ Collision’s lockers and material control management system. These essentially take the form of vending machines, automating inventory control and ensuring material usage is properly tracked.

The 'vending machines' at Budds' Collision. Provided by FinishMaster and Concept, the system helps to automate and streamline inventory control.  
The 'vending machines' at Budds' Collision. Provided by FinishMaster and ComCept,
the system helps to automate and streamline inventory control.
 



Sam Piercey, the former General Manager of Budds’ Collision until his tragic passing in July 2016, was a long-standing member of the Coyote Group, and a mentor to Martino. Under Piercey’s leadership, Budds’ was an early adopter of lean processes and Six Sigma, as well as the first facility in Canada to install a full aluminum room. Aluminum repair facilities have become more common over the years, but Martino notes that the facility has stayed on the cutting edge.

“There’s over $1 million invested in our aluminum repair capabilities, including three different types of aluminum welders,” says Martino. “During the tour, we outlined our processes, which are somewhat unconventional compared to traditional shops. We have the technicians themselves writing larger estimates, and we have certain types of equipment that allow us to do repairers that some shops would shy away from.”

This includes not just aluminum repair, but carbon fibre replacement.

“We were one of the first shops in Canada authorized to replace carbon fibre,” says Martino. “In fact, we were able to outline the process for the Coyote Group members. We had a BMW i3 in the shop when they came through. When they came in, we had the repair mapped out and the disassembly was complete. They could see the process we were going to follow.”

After the tour, Coyote Group members returned to the host hotel, Park Hyatt in Toronto, for a question-and-answer session. The meeting concluded the next day as Coyote Group meetings always do: by taking a hard look at numbers.

“We dive into the numbers and talk about which financial measures are working and which ones aren’t. It’s extremely comprehensive. You really get to know what you’re doing,” says Martino.

For more information, please visit buddscollision.com.

 

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