Shop Profile - Collision Repair

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Body shop trio skillfully serves dealership chain’s varied repair needs

Friday, April 6, 2018 - 07:00
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Serving 18 Woodhouse Auto Family new- and used-car dealerships throughout Nebraska and Iowa, “with a couple more on the horizon,” the three Woodhouse Collision Center locations combine a high production output with a family oriented atmosphere.

Not only has Woodhouse – known throughout the region for its mammoth “Truck Mountain” outdoor display area – been annually celebrated by Ford as nation’s No. 1 seller of F-150 pickups going back to 2003, the company also markets a multitude of other models along with carrying a selection of recreational vehicles, motorcycles and boats.

At a Glance:
Woodhouse Collision Center
Blair, Neb.
Main location
Jason Pittack
Josh Aufenkamp
Paul Cech

Owners
3
No of shops
43
Years in business
5 days
Average cycle time
Axlata (Redshaw Paint Supply)
Paint supplier
Car-O-Liner
Frame machines
CCC, Mitchell, Audatex
Estimating systems

When nameplates from Ford, Lincoln, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Ram, Mazda, Hyundai, Nissan, Porsche, Alfa Romeo and Maserati are in need of body work they are all directed to the trio of Woodhouse Collision Center shops in Omaha and Blair, Neb.

“The only way to know it’s fixed right is to bring it to us – we jump through all the hoops” to ensure that every vehicle is precisely repaired to the respective OEM specifications, says production manager James Rodis, who is based at the 30,000-square-foot main Blair location. (The three shops are internally designated and differentiated as Blair; Omaha Lincoln, Mazda, Porsche; and Buick/GMC.)

Up-to-date training is an ongoing aspect, especially as it relates to complexities of collision avoidance systems and other sophisticated electronics. “That’s something everyone needs to know,” Rodis reports.

“We have some amazing body technicians and painters,” says Blair body shop manager Jake Aufenkamp. “With that said, I think our ability to stay current with the latest repair information is one of the biggest strengths.”

Jake Aufenkamp

Aufenkamp elaborates that “we take great pride in researching and printing OEM procedures for every job that we do. We understand that repair procedures are not simply guidelines, but are requirements that we need to follow to repair vehicles correctly for quality and safety.”

“As a repair facility, we strive to make an invisible repair. There aren’t many shops that focus on the little things” he says. “When replacing body panels, we not only refinish the outside of those panels but we also refinish the inside to match the factory finish or e-coat tint. It’s not something everyone thinks about, but it’s an important step to restore a vehicle to pre-accident condition. We want our repairs to be virtually impossible to recognize, especially in the event of a re-inspect.”

This attention to detail is reflected in the dealership’s marketing materials because “we want our customers to understand how important this is as well,” according to Aufenkamp.

James Rodis

The focus has been further enhanced by the recent addition of a new Global Finishing Solutions painting system. Rodis expresses appreciation for the expertise provided by the GFS installation crew. “They helped us out a lot with the planning on the paint side. It takes a lot of work to set up the best production flow,” he explains. “You can think that you want it ‘like this,’ but they put up thousands of booths, so they know what is the best route to take.”

Able to accommodate eight body technicians and five painters, the latest Blair facility upgrades were completed in May of last year. Along with the three GFS downdraft booths “we have added an alignment rack and a 2-post hoist to perform all necessary mechanical labor to help process repairs through our shop,” says Aufenkamp, whose twin brother Josh is a co-owner of the dealership.

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