Running a Shop Technology Tools Office Tech Front Office Tools

The Mitchell 2016 American Road Show Heads to Wisconsin & Minnesota

Order Reprints

Winters in the Midwest can be harsh, especially on vehicles, Collision Center of Milwaukee North spent its winter with a backlog of jobs booked out more than a month in advance. Customers know that Collision Center of Milwaukee North produces quality repairs, and they’re willing to wait for the results, shop manager Rachel Draeger says.

Draeger started out as a receptionist in a collision department and worked her way to her current management position. Her 15 years in the industry have taught her a thing or two about growing a business, and she is putting that knowledge to good use in her current role.

The shop, formerly Bodyworks by Concours, was bought out by Umansky Motor Cars on February 16. Throughout the transition, Draeger has made it her priority to make positive changes, which include looking into making the shop more efficient.

The shop currently has four body techs, one painter and one prepper. At 20–25 repair orders per week and a waiting list of customers, Draeger is thrilled with the success, but is looking for ways to expand the shop’s workload capacity to fit the demand, which may include adding more staff.

Being such a popular location, it’s essential that Collision Center of Milwaukee North stays organized. That’s why the team has exclusively used Mitchell RepairCenter and Mitchell Estimating (also known as UltraMate).

“I had never used a management system before, but I love Mitchell’s,” Draeger says. “It helps with scheduling and knowing exactly what’s going on in the shop. It helps me know what’s coming in, figuring out what supplies I’ll need in stock, and it also helps me keep track of how much money will be going out the door each week.” According to Draeger, working with Mitchell has been phenomenal. She says that the Mitchell team is always available to answer questions and when they say they’ll be there, they always are.

“Our local rep from Mitchell, has been phenomenal to work with. He has taken the time to personally stop by our shop to update us on newer features in both Mitchell Estimating and Mitchell RepairCenter,” Draeger says.


Crossing the border into Minnesota, the Mitchell Road Show made a pit stop at Wayne’s Auto Body in Hastings to check in with owner Mark Beer.

Beer took over Wayne’s Auto Body from his neighbor, Wayne Pietruszewski, and kept the name in memory of him following his passing in 1997. As a kid, Beer used to go over to Pietruszewski’s house to help him with his hot rods. Beer credits Pietruszewski with being the person that convinced him to go to school for auto body. After finishing school, Beer worked at Wayne’s Auto Body and eventually took over the shop when Pietruszewski passed. All that Pietruszewski did for Beer and the local community has been an inspiration to Beer to keep Wayne’s Auto Body’s legacy alive in the small town of Hastings.

Beer has owned the shop for 16 years now and has seen the shop go through many changes, including moving from the original location with four stalls to a new facility with six stalls. The new location produces between 20–25 ROs per week.

When asked about the biggest challenges in the collision repair industry, Beer was quick to respond with “keeping up with technology.” Mitchell’s products have helped keep his shop on the cutting edge. Wayne’s Auto Body has been using the Estimating System since 1997 and the RepairCenter Management System for the past two years.

Beer likes Mitchell because of its efficiency. Mitchell’s estimating system has a complete listing of parts, so it’s easy to find and select the part you need, he says. He also likes that it provides a clean printout for the customer. Since using RepairCenter, he’s noticed that his shop has become more efficient because it allows you to track the jobs that are the most profitable.

Beer has used other systems in the past but says he’s partial to Mitchell.

“Mitchell has been great, that’s why we’ve stayed with them,” he says. “Their tech support is great, we always get our updates on time. Even when GM came through with parts pricing, they were able to pull that up right away. They are a great company to work with.”

The constant support and willingness to help from his local Mitchell reps is another reason Beer has stuck with the company.

“They’re always there to help with tech support or any problems that come up. They’re friendly and always willing to show you shortcuts on how to do things.”


Make sure to stay tuned for Mitchell’s next Road Show stop, in Indiana and Michigan. mitchell.com/usroadshow

Recommended Products

2016 Education & Training Survey: Complete Report

2016 FenderBender KPI Survey: Complete Report

Related Articles

The Mitchell 2016 American Road Show Heads to Texas

The Mitchell 2016 Road Show Heads to Indiana and Michigan

The Mitchell Road Show Heads to New York and New Jersey

You must login or register in order to post a comment.