Thursday, 25 August 2011 15:52

Arizona’s Auto Body World Expands to Chandler with Eighth Location

Written by David Brown

Auto Body World, the largest collision-repair company in Arizona, opened its eighth store in May at 6815 W. Chandler Blvd., near Interstate 10. “We’re conveniently located close to Ahwatukee, Sun Lakes and Tempe to better serve our customers in the East Valley,” says Mark Turner, the company’s president.

The 34,000-square-foot 40-bay facility was formerly occupied by Advanced Auto Body. The existing down-draft Ameri-Cure booths were refurbished to Auto Body World standards. Here, and at all ABW locations, PPG Waterborne Paint, distributed by Finish Masters, is used exclusively.

The new facility is staffed by seven technicians and five administrative staff, and Turner hopes to increase the full-time employees to 28, led by Ryan Downs, the store’s general manager. The ABW administrative team includes David Fait, CEO, the 1999 Phoenix Chamber of Commerce “Small Businessman of the Year,” David Bybee, DFO, and Lorie Kinman, chief administrative officer.

The company was started in 1946 in South Dakota by Warren Fait, David Fait’s father. He relocated his company to Phoenix in 1962, building his first collision center at 27th Avenue and Maryland Street in 1968. David slowly built the business through the following decades.

Today, ABW’s eight facilities repair more than 10,000 vehicles annually. Auto Body World has received an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau since 1998 and won First Prize from Auto Body Repair News in its inaugural “2009 Top Shop” national competition.

 

The repurposed Chandler facility was reconfigured and remodeled to incorporate ABW’s Lean-inspired Rapid Production Model process. The ABW-trademarked RPM ensures quality companywide—from greeters, initial acceptance of a vehicle, through estimating, parts ordering, completion of repairs by the technicians to quality control and follow-up after delivery of the customer’s vehicle.

Seven years ago, to improve efficiency throughout the company, Fait and his management team began implementing Lean business concepts, based on the Toyota Production System (TPS) at its branches. “Lean teaches fundamental principles for maximizing efficiency and continuous improvement, and our Chandler store personnel have learned and are implementing these beautifully,” explains Turner, who became ABW president in 2007.

Since its implementation, RPM has eliminated waste in the process of delivering superior products: increased satisfaction levels with suppliers, insurance companies and customers. Turner: “Our goal at the new Chandler facility, as throughout the ABW family, is to process a vehicle at the highest quality and speed in the most efficient manner.”

Turner adds: “The success of our RPM and our people are the reason we survived the economic downturn and have still been able to grow our business. We are excited about our Chandler addition and the opportunities that it will provide to us as an organization and the great people that work for us.”

He notes that ABW plans further expansion following the new store. “We are currently prospecting for opportunities in acquisitions and start-ups,” he says.

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