Rusty Eck Ford Collision Center
That’s because the shop has 20 employees, juggles 10 DRPs, operates a Quick Repair Lane and fixes approximately 400 vehicles every month out of a 28,000-square-foot location. While many managers might feel rushed by this crazy production schedule, Rusty Eck Ford's Collision Center's director, Steven Fielding, likes it this way.
"Our attitude here is ‘let's keep it moving,’" Fielding said. "We paint roughly 10 cars every day without interruption, so we don't have time to redo work, and of course, comebacks can kill any shop. We also recondition a lot of cars for our used car lots and do a fair share of fleet work here. In a high production facility like ours, we need a paint that won't fail us, and that's why we use Sikkens by AkzoNobel."
The history of the Rusty Eck's dealership group is a story of a self-made man with a family that supported him and shared his passion. In 1953, O.L. “Rusty” Eck bought the only Ford dealership in his hometown of Haven, KS and immediately began upgrading the facility, including the addition of a collision center.
Fourteen years later, Eck acquired a second dealership in the Wichita, KS area, and today, the company owns and operates a total of seven locations in Kansas and Missouri.
Fielding has been on the management side for the past two decades, which is impressive when you discover that he is only 40. He credits much of his success in the collision repair industry to a great mentor that he worked with during those educational years. "At one of my first jobs, I got to work hand-in-hand with one of the owners there, and I guess he saw that I had some talent, because he put a lot of faith in me. He put me through a lot of trials and tribulations and was pretty hard on me, but it gave me the opportunity to be a manager, and I sure learned a lot from him."
Rusty Eck Ford's Collision Center's director, Steven Fielding, also appreciates the planet-friendly aspect of using the Sikkens Autowave waterborne system.
At Rusty Eck Ford's Collision Center, the paint crew sprays Sikkens waterborne paint to achieve optimum results and be more environmentally responsible, Fielding explained. "We use the Sikkens Autowave waterborne system and it has been a great product for us," he said. "We're happy with it and our painters love it too, so it's a win-win across the board. On top of that, we're being green, which is also a big deal."
Why did the collision center choose to switch over to using primarily a waterborne system, even though its use is not mandated in Kansas? "In the end, in came down to two things--cutting down on our waste disposal and being a green operation," Fielding explained. "By using the Sikkens Autowave waterborne system, we have been able to cut our waste by at least 50%, so that's huge. Plus, the quality of the finished product is excellent, so we are not sacrificing or compromising anything by using the waterborne."
For accurate color matches, Rusty Eck Ford's Collision Center uses a digital system designed by AkzoNobel. "It makes it so easy, and all of our painters know how to use it," Fielding said. "We're hitting our colors 90% of the time the very first time, and that means it's helping our cycle times, which is exceptional. It makes life a lot easier when you can dial them in like that."
Head Painter Sam Frail likes the Sikkens Autowave waterborne system for an amazing finished product each and every time.
As a member of the Acoat Selected Program, Rusty Eck Ford's Collision Center is a certified shop and is recognized for its excellence by AkzoNobel. By actively helping Acoat Selected members to create a sustainable business and build a robust customer base while achieving higher profits, Fielding is tapping into all of the benefits available to him through this world-class program.
"It's a great program because they truly help us to be a better business by showing us how to improve our repair processes; tracking customer satisfaction and other key indicators; sharing best practices in live events and on the web and providing additional training for technical and other personnel when needed.
They can also assist us with our marketing through print, internet and other media. AkzoNobel is an experienced and knowledgeable consultant for us and we value their assistance and advice. We've integrated a lot of what they've taught us here at the shop and I can say they've really helped us in a significant way."
Performance, durability and reliability are always the three main things that any body shop owner or manager demands from any paint, according to Fielding. "With three painters pushing out the work, we need a finished product that will look great, hold up and impress our customers, and we get that with Sikkens. We love to see the expression on the customer's face when they come in to pick up their car. We never tire of that, and I don't think we ever will!"
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