Home » Snap Shop: Cockrell’s Body Shop Running a Shop Tools Shop Production Indy Shops Snap Shop: Cockrell’s Body Shop January 1, 2019 Melissa Steinken No Comments Order Reprints KEYWORDS Alabama cockrell's Body Shop diagnostics small town 1. A New Beginning Mike Hawthorne worked for Cockrell’s Body Shop for 15 years and has been with the company since it was a Big Four MSO location. Now, Hawthorne is 50 percent owner, and operates and manages the independent shop. When Hawthorne came on board as the owner, he was in his early 30s. He made the decision to rehire a new team of technicians due to his younger age. Part of the decision also came because older technicians did not want to work for him in the owner transition, he says. Now the shop has seven full-time employees, with three technicians in their early 30s or younger, as well. 2. Staying Cool The Alabama heat index can reach 115 degrees, Hawthorne says. And the shop is not air conditioned. As a result, he invested $3,000 for a MasterCool machine, which the team can attach a water hose to and the fan will blow out air to cool the shop. The machine saved the shop money that can later be invested in expanding the facility. 3. Outfitting the Shop Hawthorne pushed for the shop to buy pre- and post-repair diagnostic scanning equipment. The previous owners did not want to invest and preferred sending vehicles they couldn’t work on to dealerships, he says. But, there are no dealerships in the town of Robertsdale. The shop had to sublet vehicles to dealerships that were about a 30-minute drive away in either direction. Since purchasing an iTECH diagnostic machine about a year ago, the shop has only had to sublet one vehicle to a dealership, for a camera recalibration. 4. Rearranging Tools Since expanding jobs at the beginning of the year, the team had to build an additional parts room on the shop floor. Hawthorne purchased two new parts carts and two parts racks in addition to building the room. The room was built in the back of the shop building, between the body shop floor and the paint area. While paint, body and parts are each in separate areas, the rooms are all attached to one another. “The parts room butts up against the body shop floor,” Hawthorne says. He says the separation has kept each area cleaner and more organized. SHOP: Cockrell's Body Shop LOCATION: Robertsdale, Ala. OWNER: Mike hawthorne and Joey Lambeth SIZE: 7,000 square feet STAFF: 7 AVERAGE MONTHLY CAR COUNT: 50 ANNUAL REVENUE: $780,000 for 2017 Melissa is a staff writer at 10 Missions Media, where she contributes to all three publications. Recent Articles by Melissa Steinken The First Year as Shop Owners A Point of Customer Contact Envisioning a Collision Repair Future Related Articles Snap Shop: Ted’s Body Shop Snap Shop: Pronto Body Shop Snap Shop: Frank's Accurate Body Shop You must login or register in order to post a comment. Report Abusive Comment Thank you for helping us to improve our forums. Is this comment offensive? Please tell us why.