Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We Believe in I-CAR and I-CAR Believes in Us




        At Mike’s Auto Body, we believe in the precepts of the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR), because it’s the educational and training organization that keeps us informed and proactive in pursuing the latest collision repair techniques available. With all of our fully-trained technicians learning and using factory repair techniques taught through I-CAR classes, customers at Mike’s Auto Body can rest assured that each and every repair we perform is safe, complete and according to the car manufacturer’s instructions. With today’s new cars and their amazing navigation systems, accident avoidance systems, composite metals and new plastics, etc., we need to be highly-trained and knowledgeable in order to succeed in today’s collision industry, and I-CAR helps us to achieve exactly that.  
        Formed by the collision industry in 1979, I-CAR is a not-for-profit training organization focused on education, knowledge and solutions for the collision repair industry. The primary goal of I-CAR is to achieve complete and safe repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer. I-CAR develops and delivers technical training programs to professionals in all areas of the Collision Repair Inter-Industry. In addition, I-CAR provides a communication forum for anyone interested in proper collision repair. The organization’s primary funding is derived from student tuition and services, which assures that I-CAR can remain unbiased in developing programs and services on an industry-wide basis.
        With top instructors throughout the country, I-CAR leads the way when it comes to education. Many of our techs go through extensive schooling to reach their goals professionally and by constantly pursuing the latest classes, all of the professionals at Mike’s Auto Body are some of the best in the business. And that’s why each of the 12 locations owned and operated by Mike’s Auto Body is an I-CAR Gold Class certified shop, according to Business Development Manager David Wedding.
        “At Mike’s Auto Body, we believe in I-CAR, because we want our paint and body technicians to be the best-of-the-best in the collision industry,” Wedding said. “I-CAR provides the necessary training needed to achieve that and that’s why we make certain that each and every tech undergoes all of the I-CAR training available. I-CAR is the delivery mechanism that enables our 135-plus technicians to repair vehicles back to their OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) specs. That way, we can return every vehicle we work on back to its pre-accident condition each and every time.”
        Gene Lopez, I-CAR’s Southwest Regional Manager, described how important I-CAR training is for any body shop and how it translates to the customer. “Based on statistics, I-CAR shops get better Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) numbers from their customers,” Lopez explained. “69% of all the shops out there are not currently I-CAR, so when you do find one, you can rest assure that they’re elite. By maintaining a Gold Class ranking, it means that the shop is investing in the finest training in the industry. It also means they have multiple certifications from carmakers and equipment manufacturers, in many cases.”
        At Mike’s Auto Body’s headquarters in Concord, CA, the company hosts I-CAR classes primarily held on weekends and weekday evenings; so that its technicians can take the classes they need without traveling out of the area. The classes are also made available to local insurance people and techs at other body shops, according to Wedding.
        “It’s convenient for us and a win-win situation for Mike’s Auto Body and I-CAR,” Wedding explained. “Our techs can get the education they need and we always welcome anyone else that wants to do the same, because if the entire collision industry is doing a better job, it’s good for all of us.”
        Fixing cars to their pre-accident condition since 1972, Mike Rose and his family has built Mike’s Auto Body into a 12-shop organization known for its honesty and integrity with an emphasis on exemplary customer service. With two locations in Concord and Walnut Creek and one in Lafayette, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Richmond, Fairfield, Napa and now one in San Ramon, Mike’s Auto Body is known for being an outstanding business partner in every city where it serves the public. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

To Be Green, Mike’s Auto Body Using Waterborne Paint

    
For a healthier planet, Mike’s Auto Body uses waterborne paint manufactured by PPG in all of its 12 locations. This environmentally friendly paint is part of the company’s plan for being a responsible, forward-thinking and conscientious part of each business community in which they repair cars.
          Mike Rose opened his first shop 42 years ago in Concord, CA with five employees in a 3,000 square-foot facility. Today, Mike Rose’s Auto Body has 12 locations employing more than 275 people and repairing approximately 1,800 cars every month. By opening new locations as the East Bay grew in population, Mike Rose’s Auto Body has expanded as opportunities have presented themselves over the years.
          Owner Mike Rose explained that several years ago they switched to a waterborne paint that would help the air while producing high-quality paint jobs time after time. “We were loyal to the same brand for 18 years and their products were performing just fine. But, we wanted to see if there was anything better out there. We’re always looking for ways to be a better company and improve our production, so we started doing our research and trying different products.”
          PPG was on their short list, but the Roses always perform their due diligence before making any decisions, especially one as important as this, Mike Rose said. “It was a careful process that started with discussions with PPG. Then, we toured quite a few shops to see them using their product. Finally, after seeing a ton of demos, we began using PPG’s waterborne product Envirobase® High Performance on a trial basis.”
          To test the product first-hand, the Roses installed the PPG Envirobase High Performance system into their Brentwood location for 90 days, Brennan Rose said. “We wanted to start with one location and then introduce it to each shop over a period of time. We chose Brentwood, because that’s where our most critical painter, Kevin Cordua (pictured), is the head painter. He gave us a very positive review and we loved the finished product, so we made the decision to switchover in all our locations at that point.”
          When they visited other body shops and collision centers using PPG, the Roses and their staff kept hearing about the company’s exemplary customer service. “Great support is what we kept hearing,” Brennan Rose said. “When it comes to any product or piece of equipment that we buy, we want a partner—not just a vendor. It’s not always about price, because in the end it comes down to the support. With 1,500 cars coming through our shops every month, we require a 100% commitment from every company we work with, and we get it with PPG.”
          Once Mike Rose’s Auto Body signed on the dotted line with PPG in October of 2009, the first task was to get its painting staff trained on using the product. It was easily done, because PPG’s training center is in Concord, CA, centrally located for all of Rose’s shops. “All of our painters and preppers went through PPG’s one-day training class, as part of the PPG’s Convert with Confidence program,” Brennan Rose said. “The training is excellent and within a very short time, everyone was comfortable painting with the Envirobase High Performance. Since then, we’ve had zero comebacks and no glitches and our staff is putting out the cars like clockwork.”
          By working with its local paint jobber, FinishMaster, Mike Rose’s Auto Body has taken full advantage of all the benefits and value-added things PPG offers. “By working with Dave Atwater at FinishMaster, we’ve been able to make this switch as seamless and painless as possible.” Brennan Rose said. “They’re very proactive and accountable, which makes it a great relationship.”
By using waterborne paint made by PPG, Mike’s Auto Body is proud to say that they’re a green business and focused on the bigger picture when it comes to fixing cars in an environmentally responsible way.
           

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mike Rose’s Auto Body Honored by Farmers Insurance

Only eleven Multiple Shop Operators (MSOs) in the United States participate in the Farmers Insurance coveted Circle of Dependability (COD) MSO program.  At a special presentation during the Farmers Insurance National MSO Conference that was held in Olathe, Kansas on March 4, Mike Rose’s Auto Body of Northern California received the Farmers Insurance 2013 Regional Multiple Shop Operators Group of the Year Award.  Farmers recognized Mike’s high-caliber ability to create and manage processes that deliver operational consistency and unsurpassed customer service, helping Farmers to improve policy holder retention and overall customer value.

 Mike’s Auto Body’s CEO Brennan Rose and COO Steve Kelly were present to receive the award for this family owned and operated business. For 42 plus years Mike’s Auto Body has been returning cars to their pre-accident condition. The business was founded in 1972, and has grown into 12 locations today with two locations in Concord and Walnut Creek and one in Lafayette, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Richmond, Fairfield, Napa and San Ramon. 

 As COO Steve Kelly states, “This award is given based on many categories and performance metrics including outstanding customer service,” Kelly explained. “We became members of Farmers COD MSO program two and a half years ago, so to win the Farmers 2013 Regional Multiple Shop Organization Group of the Year award is a big deal.”

 Mike’s Auto Body values its participation in Farmers COD program for a wide range of reasons, Kelly said. “We have been actively involved and part of the COD program since the early ‘90s. Farmers is one of our major strategic insurance partners, so inclusion in their CODMSO program is very important to us at Mike’s Auto Body. The COD MSO program also allows us to network with other leaders in the collision industry and share useful information. We’re always looking to be better and provide the best service we can and this group is a great way to help achieve these things.”


 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tire Safety Tips from Mike's Auto Body

 
At Mike’s Auto Body, with 12 locations in the Bay Area, we like to offer safety tips from time to time, because we want you to live a productive, injury-free life. Inflating your spare tire is one of those tips we’d like to share, because every driver has had their car break down due to a flat tire at least one time. Most newer vehicles now have space-saver spare tires that are much smaller than the tires on the car and intended only for temporary use. Because the tire is smaller, they usually require much higher air pressure (usually about 60 p.s.i.), a fact many drivers don’t know.
 
So why do we so often find dangerously low or even flat spare tires? Mainly because it just sits in the trunk until you need it. The regular tires on your vehicle are constantly moving and flexing as you drive your vehicle, which keeps the rubber seated to the rim for a good seal. The spare, however, does not move and flex, so any small leak around the bead does not have a chance to seal up.
It’s always a good idea to check the air pressure in your spare on regular intervals (for example at every oil change). You don’t want to be out on a cold, rainy or crazy windy night and get a flat tire—only to find that your spare is also dead flat!
Fixing cars to their pre-accident condition since 1972, Mike Rose and his family has built Mike’s Auto Body into a 12-shop organization known for its honesty and integrity with an emphasis on exemplary customer service. With two locations in Concord and Walnut Creek and one in Lafayette, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Richmond, Fairfield, Napa and now one in San Ramon, Mike’s Auto Body is known for being an outstanding business partner in every city where it serves the public.