For a healthier planet, Mike’s Auto Body uses waterborne paint manufactured by PPG in all of its 17 locations. This environmentally friendly paint is part of the company’s plan for being a responsible, forward-thinking and conscientious part of each business community in which they repair cars. By getting world-class support and advice from PPG and its jobber FinishMaster, Mike’s is set up for success now and in the future.
Once Mike Rose’s Auto Body made the decision to PPG in October of 2009, the first task was to get its painting staff trained on using the product. It was easily done, because PPG’s training center is in Concord, CA, centrally located for all of Rose’s shops. “All of our painters and preppers went through PPG’s one-day training class, as part of the PPG’s Convert with Confidence program,” Brennan Rose said. “The training is excellent and within a very short time, everyone was comfortable painting with the Envirobase High Performance. Since then, we’ve had zero comebacks and no glitches and our staff is putting out the cars like clockwork.”
Northern California PPG Regional Manager Rob Hengemihle knows the collision repair industry inside and out. He started in 1988 as a painter and has been with PPG for the past 18 years. “It’s a privilege to work with the Rose family and all of the people at Mike’s Auto Body, because they stress quality and PPG is a quality product,” he said. “The ENVIROBASE is a environmentally responsible paint with less pollutants in the air, but the painters still need to take the proper precautions and that’s why we are constantly working with Mike’s painters to learn the proper techniques and use them on a daily basis. We work closely with Territory Manager David Miller and Refinish Instructor Marlon Medina to use best practices and keep all of Mike’s locations informed, so that they can adhere to I-CAR requirements and become familiar with new products and processes. We also tell them in advance before PPG’s new colors come out, so that there are no surprises when it comes to dead-on color matches.”
To make certain that every paint technician at Mike’s Auto Body is as good as they can be, each one is re-certified annually at PPG’s Training Center in Concord, CA. “Mike’s painters, preppers, technicians and estimators come to the center and get some hands-on experience,” Hengemihle said. “We have a great instructor named Marlon Medina who has trained countless painters over the years. Refreshing their skills and learning new techniques is key and that’s why we make training a priority at PPG.”
To provide support and monitor things such as performance, quality and inventory control, FinishMaster’s Sales Manager Dave Atwater is invaluable to Mike’s Auto Body on several levels. Dave handles the East Bay/North Bay territory representing PPG with a highly-skilled crew consisting of six sales reps and two technical reps.
“We basically go to every Mike’s location at least monthly to find out how they’re doing and what they need,” Atwater said. “Our technical advisors are Junior DeAvila and Matt Luna and they’re some of the best in the industry. We want to set Mike’s up for success and make sure that every car painted with PPG ENVIROBASE looks incredible. We meet on a regular basis to get feedback from the management at Mike’s. We discuss issues with Lupe Algood and then he goes back to Brennan Rose and Steve Kelly to communicate what we’ve discussed.”
It’s a team effort that includes Atwater’s sales reps and technical reps with the ultimate goal of helping Mike’s paint departments to be more productive and efficient, Atwater explained. “There are a lot of different variables that can affect their production, such as the weather. We have a lot of microclimates all over the Bay Area and a waterborne paint is affected by things like humidity. So we have to continually monitor that carefully in order to make sure that Mike’s is producing the finest finished product available.”
By tracking paint usage and productivity, Mike’s works with FinishMaster to interpret the numbers and act accordingly. “Our Business Development Manager Sal Marano works with Mike’s to provide Key Performance Indicators (KPIs),” Atwater said. “This way, all of the shops can look at what they’re achieving and concentrate on the areas in which they can improve. Mike’s is a great company and a pleasure to work with, because they truly care about what they’re doing and focused on quality in everything they do.”
Mike’s Business Development Manager Lupe Algood runs the company’s training program and is proud to be working with both PPG and FinishMaster, he said. “I work in the areas of product procurement and training. We demo a lot of new products and equipment and all of our journeyman painters get ongoing additional training at the PPG Training Center. We teach them about things such as application, feathering, priming and blocking and how to use the mixing scale to get accurate color matches. I also teach I-CAR classes at the PPG Training Center. With our students, I work with them for 1-2 weeks and then they do 4-5 days of PPG training. With 17 locations and 20 facilities, it’s a big job, but FinishMaster and PPG have gone above and beyond to help us in so many ways!”
Our success is built on strong and mutually beneficial business partnerships and the service and advice we receive from PPG and FinishMaster is a big part of that.