Survey shows high levels of business reinvestment

By Mike Davey

Toronto, Ontario — October 28, 2013 — Sustainability isn’t simply a matter of making sure more money comes into the business than goes out the door. Reinvestment in the business is essential for a collision repair facility that wants to stay in business for the foreseeable future. 

We recently surveyed our readership on the sorts of investments they’ve made over the past year in their collision repair facilities. The survey found that, in general, reinvestment was high, whether it was in new equipment or upgrades to the facility’s physical plant or landscaping. 
The first question asked respondents to indicate which new items of equipment they had purchased in the last year. Office equipment actually topped this list, with new welding equipment coming in a close second. Some respondents (14 percent) indicated that they had purchased no new equipment in the last year. 
Large items of equipment, such as spray booths, prep stations and frame racks or jig systems did not put in an appearance this year. These systems are often major investments in and of themselves, and not likely to be the sort of equipment a facility purchases every year. 
The “other category” revealed some interesting answers, including a video snake, an alignment machine and plastic welding equipment. 
Upgrades to the facility’s exterior, including signage, were common, with 54 percent of respondents indicating that they had made some sort of investment in this area. It’s not surprising that over half of the respondents indicated that they had improved the building’s exterior. After all, it’s the face that presents the business to the world. 
Looking to the building’s grounds, however, we find a sharp reversal, with only 30 percent of those surveyed indicating they had invested in the grounds of their collision repair facility in the last year. In some cases at least, the building has no grounds to speak of, or all landscaping is handled by a property management firm, such as the case with facilities located in industrial malls or similar venues. 
The shop area itself is the centre of the collision repair facility, so it’s not surprising that 33 percent of our respondents said they upgraded or renovated the production area in the last year. Renovations and updates to the shop are a key to remaining a progressive facility, impressing customers and last but not least, attracting high-performing staff. 
Speaking of impressing customers, the waiting room received attention from a high percentage of survey respondents this past year. While a majority (54 percent) indicated no updates to the waiting area, a strong minority (41 percent) indicated an investment had been made in this area. 
Do you have an idea for a survey? Let us know! Please contact Mike Davey at editor@collisionrepairmag.com with “Survey Idea” as the subject line. 

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