Shop Profile - Collision Repair

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Integrity, community service attracts faithful customers to duo of Georgia shops

Tuesday, July 30, 2019 - 07:00
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Jamie White’s religious faith is strong, enduring and ever-present – put into practice throughout every aspect of his life. And when he speaks about being of service to his friends, neighbors and community by providing honest and competent collision repairs he really means it.

“People know us from our beliefs and our honesty. All of our decisions are based on quality and service,” says White, who owns the Ken’s CARSTAR and CARSTAR Dalton franchises situated 13 miles apart in Dalton, Ga. He additionally supports a daunting array of Dalton’s civic and charitable causes.

At a Glance:
Ken’s CARSTAR & CARSTAR Dalton
Dalton, Ga.
Main Location
Jamie White
Owner
2
No. of shops
22
Years in business
40
No. of employees
10
No. of DRPs
15,000, 35,000
Square footage of shops
15-plus
No. of bays per shop
$3,200
Average repair order
2.8 days
Average cycle time
$120,000
Average weekly volume
55
Vehicles per week combined
$6.2 million
Annual gross revenue
Axalta
Paint supplier
Car-O-Liner
Frame machines used
CCC
Estimating system used
www.carstar.com

“I am a firm believer in putting money into our local community, from Little League ball teams, high school sports and local organizations.” Although attracting patrons seeking vehicle repairs is decidedly not White’s main mission, “When you take care of your customers in and out of the business they will continue to come,” he explains.

White prefers to back endeavors that encourage the participants to be relaxed and reflective of the experience. “We make sure that we are concentrated in the areas that customers are made to sit and slow down, such as sporting events, school classrooms and local charities. I have a huge soft spot in my heart for my community and for special needs athletes.”

He coached a special needs softball team for seven years, and “that was a turning point in my life,” White reveals. “It opened my eyes – we tend to lose site of what we’re doing” during the more mundane challenges of everyday life, not paying attention to the plight of those who are less fortunate.

Self-questioning and self-awareness are important qualities to always keep in mind, according to White. “Am I making an impact now? We need to do everything today to make sure we’re presenting ourselves correctly.”

Maintaining high ethics at his two body shops is a longstanding practice dating back to when Jamie’s uncle, Ken White, established the business in 1997. “My uncle knew to go beyond just repairing the vehicle,” he recounts.

“We are well known in the community because we’ve been here to serve them for years. We’ve worked hard to give back and support local charities and schools where our customers go; we’ve literally grown up with them!”

Emphasizing a sense of gratitude and observing how “we are blessed with more than we deserve,” White points out that “we give full credit to Christ, and we have Bibles on the waiting room tables” to assist in spreading the good word.

Service is a constant. A collection of miscellaneous light bulbs is kept on hand to offer free on-the-spot replacements as a courtesy. Recently a driver came in seeking aid in identifying an annoying squeak. “We rode around with him for about 15 minutes and we fixed it – no charge. People keep coming in because they’ve heard of us.”

White describes the entire 40-person staff as “a big family committed to delivering the highest-quality vehicle repairs and customer service – both literally and figuratively. We believe in honesty, integrity and community service as the hallmarks of our business.”

Since 2011 just three people have left the company, evidence of White’s consistent efforts to instill employee loyalty. Financial details are shared along with expectations and results. “We’re a team. We’re open and we’re honest,” he reports, “and we’re very clear – this is how it is.”

It should probably come as no surprise that “we’re also open with our suppliers and vendors. We have open, honest communication and we pay a lot of CODs (cash on delivery). They know that when they drop the part off they’re going to get paid.”

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