Ponto’s Auto Service treats the customer as they’d want to be treated.
Rick Ponto, owner of Ponto’s Auto Service in Bradenton, FL, believes that a key to success is providing excellent service at the best possible price.
Ponto’s Auto Service
Type: Collision Repair
“Since our inception, we have always tried to give the best service for the best price, while always maintaining a quality repair with the customers’ well-being in mind,” Ponto stated. “Our policy has always been to treat the customer as we would want to be treated.”
Ponto’s Auto Service was founded in 1981 after Ponto and his father, Norm, moved from Indiana to Florida, where they opened a two-bay garage in Bradenton. Norm recently passed away, leaving his son to continue the family business, but the values he instilled remain a key component to Ponto’s success. According to Ponto, “We don’t really advertise, other than school benefits or sponsors, because word of mouth is still the best form of advertising you can get. Being a ‘mom and pop shop,’ our personal service is most important.”
The importance of personal service also extends to the companies Ponto does business with, such as their jobber, Final Finish, who suggested Ponto try Lusid Technologies’ Genrock system. “We have known Final Finish for over 20 years," Ponto explained. "As a small jobber with a family feel, they are a great group to work with. Working with them and the Genrock product has been easy, and they are meeting all of our needs.”
In August 2015, Ponto’s Auto Service started using the Genmax clear coat and “had great success,” Ponto said. “We tried the clear coat and loved it as well, especially because of its blending properties, so we installed a complete mixing system, including basecoat and 2K, in October 2015. We have also implemented their primer, which has been a blessing to our technicians. With our other paint systems, we were having issues with die-back, but there are no such issues with their system. Lusid Technologies’ system has been great!”
Spraying with Lusid Technologies’ Genrock system allows Ponto’s Auto Service to increase productivity and profitability.
Ponto’s nine employees “are totally satisfied with this system and impressed with the final results,” he says. “The products we utilize from Lusid Technologies are very user-friendly, and spraying the basecoat is a breeze for my guys. Tinting this product is a bit easier as well. Changing over to Genrock has been a very easy transition, and it is probably one of the easiest products we have ever used.”
In fact, Ponto’s Auto Service has noticed significant improvements since they switched to Lusid Technologies’ Genrock paint system. “Because we experience no problems with this system, we have increased production by approximately 18%, and this increase has translated into a 20% boost in profits!” Ponto said.
The customer service from Lusid Technologies also provides exactly what Ponto needs. “Our painters have a direct number to technical help or a service representative, and when we’ve occasionally needed to call on colors or procedures for different products, we always receive a quick return call from Lusid. They give us the type of service that we strive to offer our customers.”
Ponto’s Auto Service extends their dedication to customer service by staying involved in their community, sponsoring sports program at local schools and even some local soccer clubs. The shop is also environmentally conscientious. In addition to ensuring that they consistently maintain compliance with all OSHA and EPA standards and regulations, they recycle solvents and antifreeze and use bio-safe cleaners and wash materials.
Rick Ponto says Lusid’s primer has been a blessing to his technicians.
The I-CAR certified facility is comprised of two buildings on adjacent lots with 8,000 square feet of combined production space. Ponto’s nine employees repair an average of 120 vehicles each month, using a variety of equipment that includes three benches, two laser measuring systems and two heated paint booths. Ponto’s Auto Service participates in two DRPs with Mercury Insurance and State Farm.
Looking to the future, Ponto notes the lack of qualified technicians who are available to work as well as the unavoidable challenges inherent in repairing modern vehicles as “manufacturers are building safer vehicles to protect the consumer with more high-tech options which require more training and different equipment to properly repair. I also see a future trend as it regards the availability of qualified technicians. This will be a challenge in the near future, even though trade schools are trying to fill spots.”
Lately, Ponto has experienced difficulties in receiving parts that are damaged or that were incorrectly packaged. “This delays repairs, and cycle times requested from some insurance carriers are unrealistic when performing correct repairs, especially when we don’t have everything we need because we receive an incorrect part or a part that could not be used,” he explained.
“On a positive note,” Ponto added, “We have developed amazing relationships with insurance companies, their adjusters, and especially our customers over the years. We value those relationships and look forward to them growing over the upcoming years. I believe that the future of this industry depends on us all working together to provide a better tomorrow for our consumers and the next generation of collision repairers.”