Snap Shop: Louisville Collision Center
LOCATION: Louisville, Ky. MANAGING PARTNER: Steve Olson SIZE: 39,000 square feet STAFF: 42 (31 on shop floor; 11 in front office) AVERAGE MONTHLY CAR COUNT: 200 AVERAGE REPAIR ORDER: $4,600 ANNUAL REVENUE: $10 million
1. EXPANSIVE FACILITY
Five years ago, Steve Olson, the managing partner of Louisville Collision Center, encountered what he considered a good problem: his body shop—a former BMW certified collision repair center of the year—was so busy, it required a larger facility.
So, last year, Olson shifted operations to an old BMW dealership, more than doubling his body shop’s square footage, to nearly 40,000 square feet.
The move to the former car dealership has provided Louisville Collision Center’s staff with significantly better workflow, and a paint area that increased four-fold, to 12,000 square feet. Now, the body shop staff can handle additional work like alignments on-site.
2. ON-SITE TRAINING
Louisville Collision Center—the only BMW, Volvo and Lexus certified shop in the state of Kentucky—and its staff occasionally lead training events for insurance adjusters, such as BMW workshops. Olson feels it’s imperative to lead such educational sessions due to vehicles’ rapid evolution these days. One session might explain the intricacies of carbon fiber in a 7 series BMW, for example.
“We invite them for an early dinner, and then we have BMW employees come in and co-lead the” training, Olson explains. “Because the technology is changing so much.”
3. PULLING FOR EMPLOYEES
In an effort to keep pace with the growing complexity of vehicle repairs, Olson is more than willing to invest in state-of-the-art equipment, such as approximately $26,000 for a dent-pulling station by Flatliner.
“Fifteen years ago, a lot of technicians would repair a dent with a hook, or stud welders,” Olson says. “And, because of that, you risk burning the corrosion protection. This dent-pulling station doesn’t burn the back side.”
4. CATERING TO CUSTOMERS
Louisville Collision Center caters to its clients in several ways, including with air-conditioned estimating bays, a luxury lounge with a fireplace, and a coffee bar that features white leather bar stools. The new facility’s customer waiting area is 9,000 square feet.
“We realize that customers come in and they’re going to be in our presence for 15-20 minutes, and we want it to feel as comfortable as possible,” says Olson. “We don’t want it to feel like a doctor’s office.”