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Ball Body Shop

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Tim Hughes

SHOP: Ball Body Shop
LOCATION: Middleton, Wis. 
OWNER: Jeff Hepp
SIZE: 27,800  square feet
STAFF:  30
MONTHLY CAR COUNT : 242
AVERAGE REPAIR ORDER: $4.08 million 

1) When the shop was renovated two years ago to help accommodate the growing car count and DRP relationships, manager Jeff Hepp says that lean processes were front of mind. 

To start, customers drive up to the shop’s automatic glass doors and into the drive-through estimating bay. The bay features two lanes: One for estimators and one for insurance companies that want to use it for estimates

2) Hepp says that the company is moving away from writing estimates up front, so the company’s fleet of 35 brand-new Toyota loaner vehicles has become essential.

“That’s the biggest asset we have up there,” Hepp says. “We can see people pull in, [and we] can just jump up and put the customer into a new car.”

3) On the shop floor, each vehicle starts in the pre-wash bay. Every vehicle is pre-washed and then sent to the blueprinting specialists for a complete estimate.  

4) Hepp says that the shop’s two blueprinting specialists are then responsible for writing the complete estimates. The shop’s blueprinting department features tablets, cameras, a lift, measuring equipment, and light pulling equipment.

5) During the renovation, one of the most important aspects was accommodating the shop’s growing car count, which was creating bottlenecks in the paint department. To that end, the shop installed four downdraft paint booths and four prep stations. 

The prep stations are all drive-through, so Hepp says all the prep work is completed and the vehicle is then sent directly into the paint booth. The shop has two painters, each working out of two booths, and two preppers, each working out of two prep stations. Each of the paint department employees averages roughly 120 labor hours a week. 


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