After acquiring the adjacent land from the former site of Midtown Transmission, the expansion saw P.A. Autobody grow from 7,500 square feet to more than 16,000, doubling their operating capacity.
Shane Goller, general manager, also continued work on a project that tracked every car that came into P.A. Autobody over the course of two years, comparing the time it took to start work on each vehicle, the average wait time per customer, delays, expected delivery dates and on-time dates. Then, the company created a new scheduling process; categorizing each job, assigning a dedicated parts person to order and sort parts so technicians can focus on repairs, and sorting extra parts into dedicated bins to save time at the end.
The results, Goller says, were encouraging.
“I went back and I looked at what we were good at, and then I focused on our weak spots,” he said.
“Once we changed things, it allowed us to keep a more even pace and our on-time deliveries skyrocketed.”
P.A. Autobody is a member of the National Business Council, the only shop from our province. The council works to promote best practices in the industry and brings owners together to share information and learn about new opportunities. As body shops get bigger and the industry changes, Goller said it’s important to stay on top of new trends and focus on doing things right. Representatives from the National Business Council are scheduled to be in Prince Albert this month to review operations at P.A. Autobody and make recommendations about what works and what could be done better.
“Our industry’s changed more in the last five years than it has in the previous 40,” Goller said.
“You have to do your home work to be a part of this group (and) you have to be able to take criticism.”
P.A. Autobody has a long history in Prince Albert. After years in the insurance business, Doug Brown decided to invest in the auto body industry in 1983, then building the shop in its current location at 250 15th Street East. Goller joined the business and became a partner with Brown in 2002 after 13 years as a journeyman collision repair technician.
The company currently has 17 full-time employees, seven journeyman technicians and two apprentices, with most being long -term employees. P.A. Autobody is open Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. P.A. Autobody has also been featured in an article by DuPont Refinishers.