Mitchell Road Show Stops in Illinois

Sept. 29, 2017
Two Illinois shops discuss how partnering with Mitchell has benefited their businesses.

CP Concepts

The Mitchell Road Show rolled into Illinois to visit shops that are using Mitchell products to help grow their operations and stay on the cutting edge of the latest trends in collision repair.

Since opening in 2011, Craig Powers has grown his shop, CP Concepts in Joliet, Ill., from a 1,750-square-foot shop where he was the sole employee to a 7,000-square-foot shop that employs five.

“I’ve already outgrown it,” Powers laughs.

Always looking to the future, Powers is looking at expanding into different states and looking at larger facilities. And, he contributes a large part of that growth to partnering with Mitchell.

“Our shop has grown so much that we needed a company like Mitchell to offer customizable packages that would grow with us,” Powers says. “As we grew, we upgraded packages that we could customize. It was a game changer.”

Powers has only been using Mitchell products for a few months; the shop has been using Mitchell Estimating/UltraMate since January and RepairCenter since June. He says that both of the products have been a “blessing.” His office manager, Lauren Grigus, couldn’t agree more.

Grigus joined the CP Concepts team without any prior knowledge of the collision repair industry. She says the Mitchell products have made her more efficient in day-to-day operations and that the support staff at Mitchell have helped walk her through tasks she wasn’t totally comfortable with before. Now, Powers says she’s a pro with both Mitchell Estimating/UltraMate and RepairCenter.

“UltraMate has helped me put together estimates,” Grigus says. “Before, I had to go out and grab Craig for help. Now, with the visuals, I can sit in the office and put together estimates without a problem.”

Writing estimates, a process that used to take hours, now takes only a few minutes.

RepairCenter has helped Grigus with payroll and monitoring where cars are at in the Repair process. This has helped her keep customers updated, something that CP Concepts prides itself in.

“If someone calls and asks me what’s going on with their vehicle, I know right away,” Grigus says. “Before, I would have to put the customer on hold and run out into the shop. Now, it’s just a matter of a few clicks.”

Grigus says RepairCenter has helped speed up the process because all of the vehicle information is included and detailed perfectly within the system.

“I feel like Mitchell blows other estimating systems out of the water,” Powers says. “Their support team will bend over backward trying to find the answer to your questions.”

Powers says that Mitchell has helped drastically change his shop in the past six months and he has no plans to slow down.

“We’re going to sign up for TechAdvisor in the next few days and we’re looking at their new products, including [the new cloud based] Mitchell Estimating,” Powers says. “This is the future for us.”

The Mitchell Road Show continued its cross-country journey to a shop just over an hour away in Wauconda, Ill. Collision Technique Center is a brand new adapter of Mitchell Diagnostics.

Harry Walat, president of the 10,000-square-foot Mercedes-Benz shop, is dedicated to keeping his shop on the cutting– edge of the latest trends.

“I figure it’s better to be on the wagon rather than dragging behind it,” Walat says.

An issue that many in the industry face—including Walat—is getting paid for their work by insurers.

"I spent 45 minutes the other day arguing with an insurance representative about something I charged for,” Walat says. “In the end, they agreed to pay, but that was 45 minutes out of my day that I had to waste.”

Walat decided to look into Mitchell Diagnostics, the first comprehensive diagnostic system designed for the collision repair and automotive claims process, after noticing the prevalence of scanning and insurers’ increasing use of Mitchell products.

“I figured if they’re part of Mitchell’s program, it’ll be harder for them to decline what I need to be paid for,” Walat says.

Mitchell Diagnostics has a camera attached to it, a feature that Walat particularly likes, which allows the user to take a photograph of anything related to the vehicle.

“My end goal is to be able to show photos to the insurance agencies and have proof and documentation that will get me paid for the work that we’re doing,” he says. “It’s hard to discredit a photo.”

In addition to getting paid for his work, Walat says that Mitchell Diagnostics saves him time and is also capable of doing things that his old scanner couldn’t, such as calibrate and clear codes, which means he doesn’t have to run vehicles to the dealership.

“We’ve been using Mitchell products since I opened my own shop in 1997,” Walat says. “The products are easy to use and the support is good. I want to stay ahead by keeping up with the latest information so I can educate insurance companies. That’s why I’m running with Mitchell.”

Check out highlights from past Mitchell Road Shows at

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