Shop: D&M Auto Body
Owner: Dennis Cataldo Sr.
Location: Old Bridge, NJ
Staff Size: 4
Shop Size: 8,000 square feet
Average Monthly Car Count: 25 to 40
Number of DRPs: 1
Annual Revenue: $1 million
A Clean Start
Dennis Cataldo Jr., manager and estimator for D&M Auto Body, helped purchase the shop from its previous owners in 2014.
“When we took over, the shop was dingy and dirty,” says Cataldo. “It looked more like a junkyard than an auto body shop.”
But Cataldo acted quickly to turn that image around. After they purchased the shop, Cataldo got to work restructuring the layout of the shop, starting with the front office.
“We moved the office from the middle of the shop floor to the outside edge of the building,” says Cataldo. “The old office was dingy and adding large glass windows made it brighter and more welcoming.”
A Needed Expansion
Soon after acquiring the shop, Cataldo realized the need for expanding the shop floor.
“We expanded the shop about 1100 square feet,” says Cataldo. The addition was just enough to add another garage door, two cars deep, with two more racks.
The addition brough the total number of garage bays up to four. “We would have liked to add more, but the state wouldn’t allow it.”
Unfortunately for D&M Auto, the floor layout is mostly dictated by their shops’ smaller size. “We can’t reorganize in any other way,” says Cataldo.
A Trusted Logo
The exterior of the shop has stucco walls met with brick rising from the ground. “During our expansion, we were able to clean up the exterior of the shop quite a bit,” says Cataldo.
There is one sign on the outside of the shop. A circular logo, printed in black and white with the ‘D&M’ centered.
“I actually designed the logo myself in photoshop,” says Cataldo. “I wanted it to be clean to resemble the rest of the shop.”
A common comment that Cataldo gets is on the cleanliness of his office and shop floor. “Many customers say that it is much cleaner than other shops they have worked with,” says Cataldo. “I really want people to feel that the space is inviting and friendly.”
A Unique Mindset
What really sets Cataldo’s shop apart from the rest is the commitment to achieving a high quality repair.
“We only do work with one DRP,” says Cataldo. “And that is because they are a local insurance company. I have no intentions of doing work with any national insurance company.”
Cataldo does right by the customer. In his view, they are the ones paying the bill so he will do what is best for them. “I will not cater to an insurance company, I will get the repair right without cutting corners.”