Kate Millar of Sheen Panel Service Croydon celebrates 10 years in the industry. Sheen Group operates a wide network of bodyshops across Melbourne and at its Croydon arm, works our latest Women In Smash awards finalist Kate Millar. A mechanic by trade, Millar has been in the industry for a solid ten years. Now, she heads up Sheen Croydon’s administration operations. From bookkeeping, to payroll, to liasing with suppliers, Millar has her finger firmly on the pulse of the business.
Millar started working at the shop when she was studying at university, taking on a part time gig three days a week. As time went on, she found herself more and more involved with the business and is now integral to the team.
She lists her day-to-day role: “Office administration, book keeping - including accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll and tax liabilities.
“Liaising with suppliers - including parts ordering, parts crediting and account reconciliation. Liaising with fleet controllers - I currently have a couple of fleet clients that I manage repairs and end of lease inspections for.
“Customer service - I am the first point of contact for customers both on the phone and greeting them at the front desk when they arrive at our office.
“As a part of this my role is to help the customer understand the claim and repair process and try and assure them that we can handle the process for them.
“Liaising with insurance companies - including claim lodgments, assessment booking, assessing adjustment and repair invoices.
“Assisting with helping to train new bookkeepers at other branches and filling in whilst other bookkeepers are on leave when required.“
Her list of duties are endless and paired with her technical training in the mechanics field, Millar is a multi-tasking force to be reckoned with.
Sheen Group, under which Sheen Croydon operates is also involved with charity work, raising funds for kid’s organisation Variety for Children.
Millar oversees the initative’s in-house collection boxes and organises the selling of raffle tickets.
Speaking about working in the industry, Millar said that the shop floor is most certainly a place for women.
“It’s definitely better than it used to be. We’ve had female staff here on the floor as well and it’s always changing.“
In fact, Millar encourages any woman who wants to enter smash repair to simply take the plunge.
“If you want to, just do it.“
She believes that the industry presents many career paths for women and the opportunity to keep learning and undertake new skills always viable.
“In addition to Sheen Group internal training, in the past two years I have also completed Fusion Management Training courses for management and leadership development.
“During these courses I have learnt a number of skills including customer relationship management, employee conflict resolution and staff performance management.
“With the knowledge gained from doing this training I now perform my role with more confidence and ease.“
In five years’ time, Millar hopes the smash repair landscape won’t be much different except that it will evolve to be more inclusive of female staff.
“It will be going like it is, and I guess it will still be dominated by insurance companies.
“Who knows? We’re constantly changing and trying new things to improve the business.“

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