Supreme Collision has always taken an innovative approach to business.
Supreme Collision has been a family business in operation since 1963. “Traditionally we’ve grown our business organically, by Greenfield sites and through acquisition,” says its president, Marty Reddick.
Reddick has spent his whole life around cars and grew up in racecar shops and collision shops. Although he could have chosen the academic route, Reddick decided his true calling lay in the family business. “ I’ve done everything from sweeping the floors to managing multiple shops and strategic planning,” says the 51 year-old Reddick.
With three locations now operating on the edges of the Greater Toronto Area, one in Aurora, one in Thornhill and another in Bolton, Supreme Collision has worked hard to build a premium reputation for quality work and service. Reddick and his team also place a strong emphasis on innovation and an “outside-ofthe- box” approach when it comes to implementing new processes.
The Bolton facility—like Supreme’s other locations in Aurora and Thornhill (which is due to be expanded to 13,000 sq.ft.)—is highly efficient. On the back wall, Reddick shows me the production board, which is the heartbeat of each facility.
The production board is a visual tool used for all internal stakeholders that provides a daily production plan. It is essential to the shop’s operations and shows what vehicles are currently in the collision repair production process, which ones are coming in and the timeframe for completing repairs. “We run our production meetings first thing in the morning to make sure we’re proactive and within five minutes, our management system mirrors what’s happening on the floor,” says Reddick. This way, if a customer or other stakeholder inquires about production on a specific vehicle, anyone is able to quickly answer them, since all the data is readily at hand.
In the back end, the shop is organized so that repairs work in a continuous loop with a predictable flow. Each vehicle is washed and thoroughly inspected (including any pre collision related defects). It is then sent to X-Ray Repair Planning for complete disassembly prior to production and then it is earmarked for repair.
Vehicles can be slotted into the system as and when required, while those that are heavily damaged are placed in the middle of the shop floor, where the frame equipment is located. Once these vehicles have received the major work required, they are then pulled into the outside loop and continue through to prep, paint, detailing and delivery to the customer.
With customer service a top priority, Supreme Collision also has an onsite Discount Car and Truck rental office, to ensure customers are able to be on their way as soon as possible in a replacement car, while their vehicle embarks upon the collision repair process.
With vehicles becoming ever more complex, along with the techniques and tools required to repair them, Supreme has made big investments in both training and equipment. These include state-of-the art Car-O-Liner and Wedge Clamp frame machines, Car-O-Liner Car-O-Tronic electronic measuring equipment, as well as Car- O-Liner and Pro Spot compression spot welders, plus Saima paint booth and prep stations.
Supreme Collision has also been a pioneer in the concept of lean procedures, being one of the first shops in North America to attend PPG’s first Lean Green Belt training in 2006. “There were probably about 30 shops in North America that attended,” says Reddick. “It was very interesting, because we were already using many of those kinds of processes—we’ve always been focused on finding better, more efficient ways of doing things.”
In 2016, Supreme Collision saw the future, when Reddick met with Leanne Jefferies to discuss the Certified Collision Care Program. “I’d looked into the Assured Performance Network before, but prior to Leanne’s involvement there really wasn’t a Canadian specific program,” he says.
Reddick says he felt Certified Collision Care was exactly what he was looking for. “It just made sense,” he states. “Helping shops obtain OEM certification on multiple platforms via an approach that’s cost effective and easy to implement into an existing business model is a win.”
Each of Supreme’s locations were placed on the path to certification, but as the first MSO in Canada to go through the process, a significant amount of documentation and administration was needed, since Reddick and his team were venturing where no shop had previously gone. “I have to really credit my daughter Jenny,” says Reddick. “She was involved in all aspects of the process and was the key person who spearheaded the effort and worked with Leanne and her team to complete the certification process.”
And now, several months after achieving a significant first, what has been the impact? Reddick says the feedback from staff in being a Certified Collision Care facility has been excellent. “Certification is the way forward,” says Reddick.
“Jenny feels there’s a great sense of pride within our organization knowing that we’ve accomplished something special. It hasn’t been easy but we’ve seen an increase in business. Reddick says the Collision Care program will become more meaningful as it reaches a critical mass of shops enrolled in the program. It will then allow Certified Collision Care to market the program nationally, which will create awareness among consumers and drive home the importance for OEM certified repairs. “I think it will be a very good thing, not just for our business, but the industry as a whole.”
AT A GLANCE
• Facility: Supreme Collision Bolton
• Location: Bolton, Ont.
• Size: 6,000 sq.ft.
• Staff: 12 full time
• Equipment: Car-O-Liner, Wedge Clamp, frame and measuring; Car-O-liner, Pro-Spot compression spot and pulse welders; Saima and Spraybake spray booth and prep stations
• Notes: Certified Collision Care facility from May 2016