Editorial Note: Since the publishing of this article, Fender Mender has been acquired by Classic Collision.
Shop: Fender Mender Summerville Owner: Carlos Huesca Location: Summerville, S.C. Staff Size: 19 Shop Size: 12,000 square feet
Number of Lifts: 1 Average Monthly Car Count: 165 ARO: $2,220 Annual Revenue: $4.4 million
Newly built four years ago, Fender Mender Summerville is housed in a modern building with the 34-year-old MSO’s distinct logo and trademark colors, silver and blue. With clean landscaping and just a small setback from North Main Street, the facility is easy on the eyes.
“It’s got great curb appeal,” says shop manager Kevin Scott.
Adding to the appeal is the shop's punny motto, beaming out over Main: “We Come Highly Wreck-A-Mended.”
Show the Work
Fender Mender Summerville’s lobby is a light-filled space surrounded by windows. There’s an industrial feel to it, with the air duct system above, exposed beams, and an epoxied concrete floor below.
Front office staffers sit together—there are no cubicles—which helps to create a cooperative space. That transparency also shows customers how things are done.
“They get to feel how much work we have to do,” says Scott.
Scott says his shop's floor is wide open with garage doors on both sides of the building for a drive-through effect. The shop has a dozen working bays, including one that houses the frame machine.
The entire shop setup is leaned out, says Fender Mender regional manager Bobby Lombardi.
“We try to implement some lean systems with the parts carts and mapping of the floor, where we have [everything] mapped out,” he says. “It’s one of our flagship stores, we’re proud of it.”
In terms of operations, one of Fender Mender Summerville’s most important features is its production board, says Lombardi.
Sometimes it resides on the shop floor, other days it’s taken outside—either way it needs to be somewhere with ample room so staffers can gather around it for daily meetings, which are critical, says Lombardi.
“[The meetings aren’t] the manager coming out and saying I need this, it’s everybody working together,” he says. “You’d be surprised by the buy-in from the teammates.”