Snap Shop: Apland’s Auto Body
APLAND’S AUTO BODY LOCATION: MEDFORD, ORE. OWNERS: MIKE AND JODIE APLAND SIZE: 5,500 SQUARE FEET STAFF: 7 (2 technicians, 2 painters, 1 detailer, 1 estimator, 1 office manager) AVERAGE MONTHLY CAR COUNT: 65 ANNUAL REVENUE: $1.2 MILLION
FOCUS ON COMFORT
Not long ago, when owners Mike and Jodie Apland remodeled their 1970’s-style collision repair facility in Medford, Ore., they did so with a goal of easing customers’ stress. That’s why, when you arrive at the downtown location, you’ll notice vaulted ceilings, contemporary leather furniture, and plants and candles around the shop.
“We were looking for comfort and relaxation as the customer comes in—a comfortable place for them, while being in a stressful situation, to relax,” explains Jodie Apland, who says she invested more than $8,000 in new shop furniture in 2018.
FRIENDLY FIRST IMPRESSION
Visitors at the Medford location (one of two Oregon shops the Aplands own) usually receive a warm, enthusiastic welcome from Keno, an employee of five years—who happens to have four legs. Apland says the 74-pound labrador mix helps with employee morale and usually calms customers.
The dog “actually diffuses a lot of the customers,” Apland says. “Because they’re coming in here and they’re mad after an accident—and agitated—and the dog greets them at the door. Before we even greet them, they end up petting the dog and talking to the dog.”
In the Medford location’s recently revamped office area, Apland made a few design tweaks worthy of inclusion on an HGTV show. One wall is decorated in recycled barn wood and stained gray, and other facility walls feature decorative texturization.
Apland says she put great detail into the design of the shop’s interior, so customers will assume the same attention to detail is being paid to their vehicle’s on-site repair.
During the Medford facility’s recent remodel, the building’s exterior was revitalized, receiving fresh coats of paint and plenty of glass panels. Apland says customers have taken note of the body shop’s improved curb appeal.
“As it gets overcast, you can look inside the shop and see the beautiful lights we have hanging from the ceiling,” she notes. “We get a lot of customers that stop by just to tell us what a great job we did remodeling.”
INNOVATIVE MEASURING SYSTEM
The Medford facility recently became the home of a brand new, roughly $60,000 Chief frame machine. While such measuring systems aren’t cheap, Apland felt the investment in new equipment was worth it.
“You have to stay up on the technology,” she says. “With the new vehicles and new technology, we want to make sure that we’re doing [repairs] correctly, due to the liability piece. We need to make sure that we’re doing the best repair that we possibly can.”
Of the roughly 65 cars the staff repairs each month, several belong to entities like the state police, or the city of Medford. Apland appreciates the value that such consistent repair work provides her business. That’s why she makes sure those fleet vehicles are protected overnight not only by locked gates and a security system, but also by employees of a security company that periodically drive around the shop property.
Apland says fleet clients typically demand such security for their vehicles, and that she’s more than happy to deliver.