We visited this shop for the first time last year when it had recently moved into larger premises and were impressed, although it was yet to take home a trophy. Fast forward to a year later and all of the improvements owner Marcello Herrera indicated he would undertake were in place. Herrera is another fan of iBodyshop, which helps to keep his scheduling and reporting on track.
This is a business staffed by true petrol heads, which accounts for the restoration work on site. Although parking space and bays are limited (they have an overspill shed nearby) the shop is ogranised in such a way that the restoration work doesn't hold up the flow of regular repairs.
Herrera has created a great work environment with a bright, welcoming and rather stunning reception area (and serves a kick ass coffee) and bright workshop with a nicely designed paintshop as the focal point.
“You have to keep up with the times,” he said, “keep improving, always tweaking a bit here and a bit there to make sure everything is working out.”
This has included adopting a new, retro-contemporary business logo, but the improvements aren't just cosmetic. I-CAR training, taking advantage of MTA SA training and information and working with suppliers has all helped the business to improve performance.
“PPG has really helped with procedures. They are also great when we get new guys in. They might not be up to date with the latest techniques, sometimes they still wet rub and PPG teaches them the right processes so they can work efficiently with minimal mess.”
Like many boutique shop owners, Herrera realises that gaining a manufacturer badge is going to be pivotal to success going forward as is potentially having more than one location which is something he will work towards. There should always be a place for boutique repair shops as long as they establish their niche and Herrera doesn't think that bigger is necessarily better.
“Being a boutique shop we are able to provide a personalised, one on one, flexible service to our customers. Our friendly, professional staff provide a welcoming experience for all customers.”
We were very impressed that such a small facility has taken on three apprentices and it is admirable that they have a team willing to invest the time in training, supporting and encouraging the next generation of repairers. The fact that the crew are young by industry standards would help and it’s refreshing to see them quietly work hard at improving themselves and the business with confidence and enthusiasm.