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Snap Shop: O’Neill’s Auto Body

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SHOP: O’Neill’s Auto Body   LOCATION: New Holland, Pa.  OWNERS: Tom and Carla O’Neill

SIZE: 13,000 square feet STAFF: 15 (4 full-time body technicians, 2 owners, 2 detailers, 2 painters, 2 preppers, 1 parts manager, 1 estimator/manager, 1 secretary) ANNUAL REVENUE: $1.8 million

1) In the past, things were awfully claustrophobic at O’Neill’s Auto Body in New Holland, Pa. So, in June 2015, owners Tom and Carla O’Neill moved their shop from a 4,500-square-foot structure to a 13,000-square-foot facility. Now, the business is set up in a much more efficient manner, especially on the 12,000-square-foot shop floor.

“Our team has made our location a more organized, workable space―it’s just a breath of fresh air,” says Carla O’Neill.

Among the tweaks the O’Neills made to their shop floor a couple of years ago: Moving the detail area in close proximity to the paint department to get vehicles cleaned up for customers as quick as possible.

2) Another key element of O’Neill’s change of location―which resulted in annual revenue increasing from $1.2 million in 2014 to $1.8 million in 2016―was adding an additional spray booth. The new spray booth features ceilings that are 14 feet high―4 feet taller than normal. The taller booth was added because O’Neill’s often does work for a nearby trailer company.

“The larger spray booth has helped us,” O’Neill says, “to be able to do so many different types of jobs.”

3) A unique fixture at O’Neill’s that often sparks intrigue is an antique van with the business’s logo emblazoned on the side. The O’Neills often utilize the 1962 Ford Econoline for advertising, sometimes out front of the shop, and sometimes at community events.

“It was just a cool, old van that was rusted out, and my husband had the vision to see what we could do with it,” O’Neill says. “It’s always a conversation piece.”

4) The newer O’Neill’s location features a 1,000-square-foot lobby area, located across a driveway from the business’s shop floor. The aim of that area is to make customers as relaxed as possible, while an estimate is prepared, for instance. The lobby area features a lunch room and Wi-Fi access.

5) O’Neill’s garners attention each May during its annual motorcycle/car benefit ride, which has raised about $50,000 total over the last five years. O’Neill takes great pride in her shop’s charitable endeavors.

“Each year there’s a need, and I think that really brings the community together,” O’Neill said of her shop’s annual spring event. “There’s something personal to what we’re doing, and people can relate to that family or that person.

“Giving back to the community is important to us.”


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