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Standing Out from the Crowd

Innovation and continuous improvement are hallmarks of Birchwood Collision Centres’ success.

Since 1963, the Birchwood Automotive Group has been keeping Manitobans moving and serving the community.  Birchwood opened the doors to Manitoba’s largest state-of-the-art collision centre in the fall of 1999, Birchwood Collision Centre at Pointe West.  In January 2006, a second location was opened, Birchwood Collision Centre on Regent.  Since then, the Collision Centres have grown to over 100 team members, with further expansion planned in September 2017. During this rapid period of industry change, they have made significant investment in tools, equipment, training and technology and have made OEM Certification an important part of their business. Their facilities hold OEM Certifications with BMW/MINI, Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota/Lexus, Volvo, Pro-First Honda Acura, and Nissan, FCA and Ford through Certified Collision Care.

Advanced repair capabilities

At Birchwood Collision, innovation has been a key component of their success. Continuous improvement and lean principles have guided their rapid growth, as they have responded to new vehicle technologies and advanced material construction. Efficiency is enhanced by their repair blueprinting stations staffed with experienced licensed technicians working along-side their estimators, and a full-time colorist in the refinish department. Their investment in ICAR and OEM specific training ensures their team is qualified to repair current model vehicles to OEM specifications. And with their focus on safety, the environment and efficiency, it’s no surprise that staff at Birchwood have the opportunity for personal growth and to advance their careers within the business.

“Our people are important, and we make every effort to provide a work environment that will allow them to grow personally and professionally—so together we may prosper; provide customers with a superior collision repair experience; and consistently contribute to our communities and the overall success of the Birchwood Automotive Group,” explains Art Crawford, Director, Birchwood Collision.

A diverse workforce

All Collision Centre team members participate in internal training programs, some of which are mandatory including MVP onboarding and the Covey 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  “In addition, we pay 100 percent of our OEM certification technical training, specifically BMW/MINI, and Jaguar Land Rover,” adds Crawford. Plus, a continuous flow of Lean and Six Sigma training for all team members.

Birchwood currently employs 25 apprentices, all of whom are mentored to complete their Red Seal certifications.   Their diverse workforce includes 21 females and 14 visible minorities in technical, administrative and leadership positions, which reflects the positive culture of the business. “We understand the importance of attracting top talent and representing the community in which we live and work,” says Crawford.

Leadership philosophy

“As a recognized leader in the automotive sector, we feel a huge commitment to the welfare of the community we serve,” explains Crawford.  “Our longstanding support of the United Way, and local non-profit organizations are evidence of that commitment.”

The Birchwood Automotive Group adheres to a number of unwritten, common sense principles that provide the framework for its organization philosophy. Terms such as honest, fair, loyal and progressive accurately describe the Birchwood way of doing business. “Collectively these principles have been our business compass,” says Crawford.

“At Birchwood our leadership philosophy is based on reaching for excellence in three areas—Customer Enthusiasm, Team Member Growth, and Financial Performance. However, if a decision requires we choose a priority, customer enthusiasm will always carry the most weight,” explains Crawford.

All team members participate in internal training programs while external training is also provided.

Today, Birchwood has grown to encompass more than 100 team members.

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