Case Study 1 – 1st Class Collision of Murrieta, CA (Goliath G-1 Cart – Powered Mobile Workstation)

Customer Profile

1st Class Collision is a 21,600 square foot state-of-the-art auto body and paint shop located in Murrieta California. The company employs some twenty seven employees (eighteen on production), processing 150 to 200 jobs on a monthly basis. The shop’s equipment includes a heated down-draft Blowtherm paint booth with dual prep stations, Pro Shot 3 phase resistance welding, computerized estimating systems, CCCOne Management system, video imaging, two Chief SR21 frame machines, Genesis and Velocity computerized measuring systems and a vacuum system. Owner Bruce Newall has a lifetime of auto service repair experience as well as a passion for superior customer service and a commitment to quality and integrity. This passion is responsible for the shop’s long term consistency, high quality and continued growth.

The Challenge

1st Class Collision is a relatively large facility and, as such, the production manager and estimators were spending an inordinate amount of time going back and forth between the car being worked on and their desk. Tasks such as job estimation, the taking and sending of digital photos to the insurance company, the ordering of parts and the printing of the repair procedures were simply taking too long. Making matters worse, the employees would often become distracted once they were away from their job. Finally, the shop’s reliance on traditional “pen and paper” was leading to an unacceptable amount of errors in the job estimate, the wrong parts being ordered, etc. For an auto body shop that prides itself on employee productivity and 100% customer satisfaction, it was clear that there had to be a better solution.

The Goliath Carts Solution

In an effort to radically improve employee productivity and increase estimating accuracy, 1st Class Collision deployed three Goliath Carts G1 carts, each one equipped with a laptop computer, large screen monitor, digital camera, printer and remote desktop software. One cart is used exclusively by the Production Manager for supplements and production control, another one is used by the blueprinting department and the last cart is used as a “floater” for various tasks such as total loss estimating, mild disassembly and parts receiving. Each powered G1 cart provides the shop with “desk on wheels” functionality that allows the shop employee to work directly at the car with the technician.

The Results

By any measure of success, the Goliath G1 cart has had a very positive impact on 1st Class Collision’s business. Since the carts were deployed, cycle time per vehicle has improved from an average of 13.5 days to a current average of 9.8 days. In addition, the average supplement has gone from $350 per vehicle to a current average of only $98 per vehicle – a huge improvement that has drastically reduced the company’s receivables. Owner Bruce Newall further estimates that his production manager saves a minimum of one hour per day by not having to run back and forth between the car and office for items such as copies of the repair orders for the technicians. “Employee productivity is way up and we have even been securing new business as a direct result of deploying the G1 carts”, Newall was quoted as saying. “We can take the cart to any stall, perform a complete disassemble, write an accurate estimate, take the required photos, upload those photos, order the correct parts and print the repair order and procedures – all from the shop floor. When this is done in front of a customer, the estimator explains everything right at the car, showing the customer everything being repaired or replaced. This is a major competitive advantage and something that has clearly resulted in us securing new business. The G1 carts are now an indispensible part of our business.”