CSN Keizer’s Collision and Automotive Centre based in Sackville, Nova Scotia is a family-run business.
John Keizer first opened Keizer’s Collision Centre in 1980. Dale, the current owner, is second generation but a third generation is also working in the business. Justin, Dale’s oldest runs the OK Tire business that‘s fed by both collision facilities. Dad runs Keizer’s Auto Sales and looks after Keizer’s Properties while Mom runs the accounting department. Dale’s youngest son, Jordan, works on the floor at the Sackville location. So it’s a true family business! The Keizers also own CSN – The Coachworks in Halifax.
“We really structure ourselves to collision repair and when Dad first started it, there really wasn’t a great population for our services. So we went right after the insurance work and grew that side quite heavily,” says Dale Keizer. “Then we diversified. We looked at all aspects of our business. We got into mechanical because we wanted to become a true one-stop shop—we wanted to make it easy to do business for all our clients. We looked at process, how we could run a more transparent shop for all our staff.” The process on Keizer’s floor is very consistent. Every facility is run exactly the same way. A big factor was making sure the process and standard operating procedures were consistent in each business. “That’s how we were able to grow our business,” Dale says proudly. “We move a lot of vehicles faster through our processes!”
User-friendly and adaptable
CSN – Keizer’s and CSN – The Coachworks use Wedge Clamp for all their frame equipment needs. “The equipment is very user-friendly, adaptable to any size repair you need. It doesn’t take up any floor space at all and that’s very important to us.
“PPG is our paint supplier of choice because of their service! They have great training, awesome lean processes that you’re able to take advantage of and the courses for our staff are wonderful. They can learn all aspects of the business,” Dale tells us.
PPG trains Keizer’s staff, who recently completed a repairplanning module. Keizer employees went through a lot of capturing 100 percent of broken parts, making sure of great pictures, telling the correct repair story and making sure the image shows exactly what the insurance partners can see has to be done.
Six years ago, Keizer partnered with the CSN network because brand awareness was getting stronger and stronger. “What really appealed to me most about CSN was that it chose the ‘best collision centre facilities!’ CSN chose strong facilities, good businesses, entrepreneurs that ran their businesses with the correct values. This was a network I could reach out to, that’s involved, that’s a sounding board, so if I had any issues I could pick up the phone and talk to them about it. To be one of the CSN members you have to work at it, you have to perform!”
Training has always been a big factor at Keizer’s. “It’s continually changing. Cars are more complex, customer expectations are higher than ever. This is why we maintain our I-CAR gold status. We’re also Honda & Acura certified and Ford aluminum certified.”
Dale believes the best thing they’ve done is developed a mentoring program. “We have our A-Technicians work directly with our junior techs. They take the time to teach and mentor them through the complex repairs, working on top quality repairs, proper and efficient repair times. This results in a great feeling of accomplishment for all,” says Dale Keizer.
With all the new technologies, Dale believes there’ll be a lot more diagnostics done—a lot more mechanical, a higher severity on the vehicles, and a lot more estimates having to be sent at the end of the repair rather than upfront. “We’ll always keep improving our process, so profit will take care of itself,” he says.
For this family business it would seem things are only going to get better!