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Dealing with insurers can be irritating for some in the collision repair industry, yet Jim Kleinsteuber possesses unyielding positivity. That’s a key reason why Quanz Auto Care in Albuquerque, N.M., where Kleinsteuber serves as production manager, has earned New Mexico Farmers Insurance Shop of the Year five out of the last seven years.

Kleinsteuber is consistently unflappable, despite juggling the requirements of numerous insurer programs.

“Working with eight DRP programs and numerous other insurance carriers can be challenging at times, but Jim is able to help key in on each carrier’s metrics,” general manager Adam Quanz says. “We continually have touch times of over four hours per day.”

Quanz, who nominated Kleinsteuber for a FenderBender Award, also praised his veteran staff member’s work ethic and compassion for more than 50 co-workers.

Kleinsteuber details how to maintain order in your shop when dealing with an influx of work, due to factors such as working with multiple DRP programs.


Communicate Ceaselessly.

Kleinsteuber makes sure to keep an open line of communication with those around him each workday. He openly admits he leans on his co-workers on a daily basis, especially because Quanz has a versatile, experienced staff.

He also makes sure to take advantage of every amenity offered by his shop’s management system, particularly utilizing its email function.

“We definitely work as a team. We definitely have a few different people that can get in touch with the customer, to make any changes—good, bad or otherwise,” says Kleinsteuber, who says the shop delivers approximately 70 vehicles each week. “I mean, if you’re not talking to each other and not letting each other know what’s going on with the repair, it’s like everybody’s in the dark.”


Forge Relationships.

Quanz has worked with a few insurance companies for nearly two decades. That familiarity pays off on occasion.

“We know our agents; they come in here regularly,” Kleinsteuber says. “The main thing is having a good, positive relationship with them and explaining any changes on the supplement, or a change on the repair.

“With some of our DRPs, it’s so easy to add on a part, or to change a repair time and get them the [supplement] at the very end. With the relationship we have, it’s pretty justifiable.”


Take Copious Notes.

Kleinsteuber takes notes like he’s in an advanced chemistry class, detailing every stage of the repair process.

“The main thing is documenting any damage that’s found, making sure you write notes on any changes,” he explains.

He utilizes an Excel spreadsheet, which organizes details on every vehicle on the premises at Quanz Auto Care; the two-page document notes each car’s insurance company, the estimator attached to it, the vehicle type, the original hours, and the date it was dropped off. Kleinsteuber prints that document out twice per day and keeps tabs on the repair process, noting if a car is in paint or body, for example. 

The industry veteran also urges co-workers to take an abundance of pictures to document damaged vehicles. When it comes to photos or notes, his philosophy is there’s no such thing as too much.

Ultimately, Kleinsteuber says he aims “to help better the end-product, to make the final result look good, and not be half-done. We want to make it done right the first time.”

Nominate Today: FenderBender Awards Insights feature past FenderBender Award nominees. To nominate an inspiring collision repair professional, or for more information, go to

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