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Central Collision Center

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Photo by Michael Whealan

SHOP: Central Collision Center  LOCATIONS: Seven in the Chicago area  OWNER: Mike Caruso

SIZE: 8,500–35,000 square feet STAFF: 84 ANNUAL REVENUE: $20 million

1)  When Central Collision Center decided to create an in-house training center, public relations manager Marissa Caruso says the company wanted a space big enough to accommodate all 84 employees across seven locations. The company looked to its Mokena, Ill., location, where a large room was available in another building nearby. Completed in the spring of 2012, the blue-and-yellow branded training center has created a convenient space for I-CAR classes, all-employee meetings, after-hours business, and other functions.

 2) As employees are walking into the room, the meeting agenda is displayed on a 106-inch screen, which Caruso says helps everyone get on the same page. The materials are also printed.

“The idea is that we highlight the most important points in the presentation and then we give them all of the information they would need,” Caruso says.

In addition, Caruso says having a meeting space has helped the growing company remain consistent in its message.

“Instead of our CEO going to each location and telling the manager and the manager telling the technicians, it’s one place where everyone is receiving the same message at the same time,” Caruso says. “And it’s also nice because people will ask questions that maybe other people didn’t think of at that time or would have later on.”

 3) The room features a wireless presentation system, which allows presenters to easily access information. Caruso says the company tested several systems before landing on this one, a projector that communicates between a laptop and screen. Caruso says the presenter can simply plug a flash drive into the company’s laptop and use a wireless keyboard and mouse to control what appears on the big screen.

The training center is also used for monthly CSR and managers meetings, where updates, changes in the company, SOPs, and process maps are discussed and reviewed. Caruso says the presentation system allows those documents and processes to be displayed during the meetings, creating better discussion.

4) All of the tables in the training center are on wheels, which allows the company to configure the room as needed. While the all-company meeting might require several rows of seating, the six-person management meeting only requires two tables to be pushed together.

“For our CSR meetings, we’ll move the tables into a U-shape because those meetings are more of an open forum,” Caruso says.

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