This Kelowna, B.C, repair shop continues to go from strength to strength.
CSN Mark V, located in Kelowna, B.C., was first established more than 40 years ago. Back then it was known as Mark V Autobody and was one of the first businesses of its kind to be located close to Kelowna’s downtown core.
Since that time, the business has grown, as has the area surrounding it. “This is a high traffic area, with good demographic expansion,” says Mark Reineking, President and CEO of Lift Auto Group.
Started in 2016, Lift Auto Group has grown to become a large consolidator in the collision centre space in Western Canada. Currently, the group owns 15 locations and acquired Mark V Collision in 2018.
At the same time, Lift Auto Group partnered with CSN Collision Centres and since then both the network and the shops within it have gone from strength to strength.
“Lift’s objective was to forge a partnership with an organization who shared the same values of quality and safety above all else,” says Reineking, “as well as constantly seeking out cutting-edge solutions to enhance the repair process and create a better repair experience for its customers. [For us] the team at CSN was the natural fit.”
Since Mark V became a CSN facility, a number of upgrades have been performed at the 10,600 sq. ft. facility. “We have rebranded the exterior of the facility to modernize the look and feel and leverage the CSN brand,” says Reineking.
Additionally, he notes that the facility is having both the office and customer reception area renovated—all designed to deliver a best-in-class experience for the seven on-site staff and their customers.
Other improvements have been leveraging CSN’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) to boost touch time and increase shop productivity, as well as increasing both customer service and satisfaction.
“We leverage OneLocal, an online reputation management company that CSN is partnered with, to ensure we are offering our customers the experience they deserve,” says Reineking. He notes that since teaming up with OneLocal, CSN Mark V has more than tripled its Google reviews in just over a year.
Another advantage of partnering with CSN has been access to new DRP programs, expanding the shop’s scope of repair work.
As vehicle technology continues to change, Lift Auto Group has made significant investments at CSN Mark V. Because the facility tends to repair a lot of trucks, these investments have included equipment such as self-piercing rivet gun and Chief Goliath frame bench and a computerized 3D measuring system.
Other equipment purchases have included Pro-Spot i5 smart and Pro Spot SP-5 single phase, double pulse welders for performing silicon bronze welding and use for both aluminum and steel vehicles. There’s also a dedicated aluminum repair station and the shop utilizes a modern production dashboard to efficiently track all repairs.
In terms of training, Reineking says that Lift Auto Group strongly encourages training for all of its technicians. “As training is one of our core beliefs, we pay for all training as well as time away to attend this training. When it comes to investing in our future, no technician should have to choose between attending training and earning a wage.”
Ongoing training is seen as essential to ensure both Lift Auto Group and facilities like CSN Mark V are well-positioned for the future, especially given the significant changes taking place in automotive design, engineering and technology.
“To best succeed in this paradigm shift, the technician of the future needs to be able to problem solve, and holds an intimate understanding of technology, computer systems in vehicles, and the materials of which these vehicles are manufactured,” says Reineking.
He also feels the end result will not only mean new skills will continuously be needed, but also that collaboration between team members in the shop will grow, including technicians and repair coordinators.
Besides the investments in equipment and training, Lift Auto Group has placed considerable emphasis on building strong stakeholder relationships, including insurance partners and vendors.
“We also encourage each of our shops, including CSN Mark V, to foster relationships with local companies and organizations to service their vehicle fleets and limit downtime when these vehicles need repairs.” says Reineking.
As a community-focused organization, Reineking explains that Lift Auto Group is heavily invested in those communities in which it operates. “We are committed to the Lift family’s core values of Quality, Safety, Innovation and Respect,” he says.
“Ensuring the safety and well-being of our neighbours, families, and coworkers is of utmost important to us. Remember, you can always count on CSN Mark V to straighten it out.”