Taking it to the next level
Bigger, better, faster – Glen August is delighted with his new SMART collision repair workshop in Petone, Wellington.
With millions of dollars invested, he’s put his money, experience and knowledge on the line.
The big build
Just one year ago, August Panel and Spray Ltd was operating out of three old, cramped, joined-up buildings. Staff spent a considerable chunk of their time shifting vehicles around as they moved through the repair processes – this often included driving around the block to come back to a rear entrance.
Today, his 2,000-square-metre workshop is equipped with all the latest and greatest in technology. “We bought the Rolls Royce versions of most of the big stuff to save time and money in repairs of cheaper, lower quality equipment.”
To build his top-of-the-line workshop, Glen gutted a warehouse and refitted it using his own design – informed by years of researching and studying overseas workshops. The layout reflects the internationally recognised SMART (small medium auto repair technology) processes.
“The result is that we can now work much more efficiently and put through around 50 vehicles a week. We could do more, so I’m building up staff numbers and always keeping an eye out for top technicians with great skills.”
The rapid repair line
Glen says there’s been a dramatic drop in the number of collision repair workshops in the Wellington area over the past few years. “The latest to close was just a couple of weeks ago.” It’s created a big problem. “People can now wait two to six weeks to get their cars fixed.”
The new workshop has a rapid repair lane as part of its design – so smaller repairs can be pushed through quickly from prep to repair, paint and bake. Glen has his eye on the future and plans to take on more premium work – European brands and high performance cars. “It’s one of the reasons for making sure our reception area and facilities are open, bright and top quality.”
He’s also got round the parking issues faced by most repairers. There are 20 carparks in front of the workshop. The build has taken a massive investment which Glen is determined will pay off. “We’ve increased the charge out rates to reflect the faster throughput and expect insurance companies to recognise our investment.”