Piscataway Auto Body’s new collision center was built in 1991 to meet the shop’s business needs and keep up with volume demands.
Piscataway Auto Body, an I-CAR Gold Class certified shop in New Jersey, first opened for business in July 1977, when owner Paul Zebro purchased an existing body shop.
Piscataway Auto Body
Type: Collision Repair
Over these past four decades, many changes have positively impacted the shop, such as the construction of a new collision center in 1991 to meet the demands of a changing collision industry. Now, Piscataway is a 5,200-square-foot shop whose 13 employees repair an average of 50 vehicles monthly.
A major change for Piscataway Auto Body came ten years ago when Zebro decided to convert to Prospray’s solvent-based paint system. “Prospray offers what we feel is a quality product for less cost, and our technicians like it because it is easy to use and they do not experience any issues when they work with it,” Zebro said.
Switching to Prospray’s system was “not difficult at all,” Zebro said, “and while we have only had to call Prospray’s customer service department a few times in the past ten years, the outcome was very good each time we faced a challenge that required their assistance.”
Prospray’s paints allow Piscataway to deliver high quality repairs at a lower cost.
The type of reliability provided by Prospray and their products is imperative for Piscataway Auto Body. The shop participates in three DRPs but works with nearly every insurance carrier. Zebro’s employees love how easy it is to use Prospray’s products; plus, the versatility of the paints allow for excellent color matching capabilities.
In addition to Prospray’s paint system, Piscataway Auto Body utilizes a variety of equipment in their repairs, including a downdraft spray booth, Prospray mixing system, Future Cure Nitro 9000, two uni-body frame racks, two drive-on lifts, various welders, a plasma cutter, Chief’s Velocity measuring system, and a Snap-On scanner.
Zebro believes that the future of the collision repair industry will see “more technology, requiring more diagnostics. Use of a scanner may be necessary even on small bumper repairs due to various sensors being installed on modern vehicles. Also, with the push for lighter vehicles, the repair process will change, and shops will need to learn new techniques to prepare for all new materials being used to construct these cars.”
Additional trends in the industry that Zebro has observed pertain to cycle times and the parts being used. “Insurance companies are pushing for repairs to be completed faster without taking into consideration the multitude of issues that can arise during the repair process. Sometimes, we receive damaged parts that need to be replaced, or we may need to order additional parts before finishing the repair. When it comes to trial fitting of aftermarket parts, we could need to fit the part several times, causing even more delays, and waiting for approval on supplements can cause us to exceed desired cycle times as well.”
Zebro’s employees love how easy it is to use Prospray’s products.
Zebro also expressed concern with some insurance companies dictating the parts that they want used in the repair. “Insurers are pushing for us to utilize used and aftermarket parts, even on new vehicles. Consumers do not really understand their insurance policies, and no insurance company is going to tell them that, in order to save money, they are allowing the insurance to pay for parts that may not necessarily be the best fit for their vehicle.”
Consumer education is a vital component of customer service for Piscataway Auto Body. “We try to educate our customers on the repair process and keep them up-to-date with our progress," Zebro explained. "To do this, we use a program called Autowatch, which allows our customers to see the progress of their vehicle through the various phases in the shop. We attract many of our customers through referrals and word of mouth with some families of customers spanning multiple generations, from grandparents to their children and even grandchildren.”
Piscataway Auto Body is also dedicated to their community. They sponsor local school and athletic clubs, and the shop is very active with their local vo-tech high school. In fact, according to Zebro, “Several of our current employees started working here in high school through the cooperative career and technical education program. They decided to stay with us and have been valued employees for over a decade.”
Environmental conscientiousness is also important to Zebro, and his shop recycles paint thinners and other recyclable materials. Using heated nitrogen while spraying requires less material and dries faster; plus, they have installed solar panels on the roof to decrease their reliance on other, less “green” means of electricity. Prospray’s wide range of VOC-compliant applications allows Piscataway Auto Body to comply with OSHA and EPA guidelines without compromising quality or cost effectiveness.