Inside the Goff's Collision Center facilities
Next year, Goff's Collision Repair Centers in Wisconsin will be celebrating 50 years of business. Angela Goff, who co-owns the MSO with her father, Robert Goff, credits their success and growth to well-trained technicians equipped with the latest technology.
Goff's Collision Repair Centers
Type: Collision Repair
“Our technicians are OEM certified for several OEMs, as well as I-CAR Gold Class,” said Angela. She added that she has sent technicians to the east coast to become Toyota and Lexus certified. “We invest a lot in training our folks."
Goff's Collision Repair Centers added an aluminum clean room two years ago when they began working heavily on aluminum vehicles.
“Everybody who works for us is certified to use aluminum repair tools,” she said. The MSO also implements specific repair planning no matter how minor or drastic the damage.
“We do a complete disassembly of every vehicle that comes in. We have different technicians work on the vehicle in different stages throughout the repair process,” said Angela.
Customers seem to appreciate it. “Their vehicles are being looked at one time for hopefully one supplement,” Angela explained. “We can find everything additional if needed at that time, instead of multiple times throughout the repair process.”
Goff's Collision Repair Centers also go above and beyond to stay environmentally friendly, from recycling paper in the office to utilizing a compressor to recycle air.
Goff's Collision Center waiting room, where customers can relax while their vehicles are repaired
“At every opportunity we get, we will repair a panel instead of replacing it,” she said. “We also use plastic nitrogen welders, which allow us to repair a lot of bumper covers instead of throwing them in the landfill.”
Angela added that all six shops switched to LED lights, which allows them to earn energy credits. Their lights also run on motion sensors.
When it comes to paint, the MSO started using Axalta about four years ago for both waterborne and solvent-based coats.
“Axalta's greatest value besides their products is their people,” she said. “They send consultants to help with anything from finding talent, to pay plans, to training our staff, to customer services; you name it. They're a great group of people who come in and help you run your business and create processes that take you to the next level.”
When Autobody News asked Angela what her top concern is as a shop owner, as well as for the industry as a whole, she had the same answer. “My number one concern beyond a shadow of a doubt is people; we don't have enough people coming into our industry who are skill-trained, or just in general,” she said.
“There is a severe lack of help and interest. If I were to give you my top three concerns, they would be people, people, and people."
Clean and refurbished vehicles under the shop's LED lighting
And Angela's concerns don't end at technicians. “...estimators as well, even down to customer service. People who are able to communicate and have interpersonal communication skills seem to be a thing of the past, especially with smartphones and other forms of communication. Communicating face to face seems to be a lost art form,” Angela said.
The shop owner has tried to combat the issue by joining the board at a local technical college.
“It helps for these younger people to have an interest in automobiles, as well as parents who are supportive of you going into this industry versus a four year college,” Angela explained. “Even if we are able to get students interested in pursuing this as a career opportunity, a lot of parents may feel it's not a suitable path for their child.”
She also recruits students from the local college to work at Goff Collision Repair Centers. “Because of the way we do things in our shops, we are able to hire apprentice techs and pair them with a more experienced tech,” Angela explained. “In our old system, it was every man for himself, but because we have changed to teams, we are able to bring younger people in with lower skills levels.”
Angela is also a member of the National Auto Body Association (NABC), the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), Automotive Service Association (ASA), and the local I-CAR.
Another way she stays in touch with colleagues and customers is through social media and updating the shops' website. “We use Facebook and Twitter, and we just launched a new, more automated website a few weeks ago,” Angela explained. “Customers can make appointments online in real time by viewing what times are available. We've had a huge influx of people using our website, which reduces number of phone calls to shop.”
Look for Goff's Collision Repair Centers in Waukesha, Pewaukee, Germantown, West Allis, New Berlin, and Oak Creek.