Running a Shop Operations Estimating

Shelton Collision

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Courtesy Shelton Collision

Shelton Collision was started by Dale Shelton in 1976. His son, the current Second-generation owner Brad Shelton doubled the size of his family’s 40-year-old repair business in 1993, a year after taking over management from his father, Dale. Shelton took over ownership in 1999, and in September of 2013 renovated and expanded the facility again. In all that time, the business has steadily grown.

“Some days are challenging,” Shelton says. “But it’s rewarding returning people’s cars to pre-accident condition.”

1   During renovations, Shelton wanted the revamped facility to have curb appeal, but still represent the business. The existing building was used up almost entirely by the shop floor, so Shelton’s Collision had to add offices and a customer lobby, which was finished with an aluminum-siding exterior to reflect the nature of the business: metal work.

2   Shelton didn’t want to have an estimating bay right near the front of the facility for aesthetic reasons. Instead, a canopy provides protection from the elements while offering enough light that the Shelton’s Collision team can perform estimates outdoors. Shelton says the lighting is good enough to even do a hail estimate, which he sees a lot of in Kansas.

3   The original building wasn’t originally built to be a shop, so with the renovation, Shelton made extensive changes. He shifted departments around, but giving the structures size and shape, the only way to effectively move vehicles in and out of various repair departments was to have multiple garage doors that aligned with the bays. Holes had to be cut along the entire length of the building for to create the doors. At first, Shelton wasn’t so sure about the setup; he wanted one that had a traditional flow. Now that the new shop is up and running, Shelton says he wouldn’t have it any other way. “Nothing gets bottlenecked,” Shelton says. “This building is laid out as efficient as it can get.”

4   Shelton Collision’s theme colors are red and black, a theme that is carried throughout the interior. The lobby lacks clutter. The floor is simply polished concrete, which Shelton says makes it easy to clean. The furniture has the same metallic theme as the exterior.

5   When the office and lobby areas were being built, Shelton had the opportunity to build his own purpose-designed office, something he didn’t have in the old building. Before he was working out of a makeshift office in an old closet. Now he proudly gets to show of his “Taj Mahal of offices” to clients when he sits down with them to do business.

6   Shelton says the final quality inspection station sets his business apart from other shops. Even though it has quality inspections after each step, Shelton’s Collision has a dedicated person performing a final check to make sure everything truly is returned to pre-collision condition. On top of that, they’ll also polish and detail each car before giving it back to the customer.

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