At Mike’s Auto Body our motto is “Quality Counts” and if you’re an employee for the company, it also should be “Hard Work is Rewarded”. Just ask Lester Ramos, who is our assistant manager in Concord (VDM) and Josh Pachan, who holds the same position in Antioch. They both started out as estimators, but by continually learning and doing everything they could to be better, they are now in management and hope someday to become store managers.
Junior Estimators at Mike’s Auto Body assist estimators with imaging and mapping vehicles; assist with administrative tasks, customer communications, and vehicle repair coordination. They work directly with a journeyman estimator learning the technical side of estimating with an expectation of eventually becoming a journeymen estimator.
To be hired as an estimator, we are always looking for a minimum of five years of experience in areas such as customer service, sales and/or management. They do not need to be directly connected to the collision repair industry. We have discovered that good applicants often possess outstanding oral and written skills and be knowledgeable about cars, as well as being highly organized, detail-oriented, punctual and with excellent telephone and interpersonal skills.
Ramos, 33, worked in the retail world as a server at a restaurant, a salesperson and a department manager prior to applying for a job as an estimator at Mike’s Auto Body in 2012. He received more than one year training under estimator Juan Vargas at our Brentwood location, and the experience was invaluable, Ramos said.
“I learned a lot from Juan by shadowing him and watching him in action. In this job, you have to be learning all the time, because the technology changes literally over night in some instances. Juan helped me to be more comfortable and once I was ready, I was transferred to our Pittsburg location, where I worked for almost two years as a junior estimator.”
To excel within the position, Ramos uses certain skills every day that he can later call upon at Mike’s, including communication skills, and eye for detail and the ability to handle several projects simultaneously.
“I learned how to multi-task when I was working in the restaurant, which is really important if you want to be an estimator in the collision repair industry,” Ramos said. “I write detailed estimates on 30-40 cars every week, so I need to be juggling a lot of things all the time to excel at this job. My former employment set me up for success and enabled me to move up the ladder at Mike’s Auto Body.”
Three months ago, Ramos was promoted to assistant manager, where he oversees the other estimators in Concord and performs some training as well. “In this position, I deal more extensively with other people within the company and motivate them to succeed,” he said. “Customer follow-up, problem-solving and time management all come into play as an assistant manager, and I enjoy every aspect of it.”
Josh Pachan, 32, came from an automotive service background and has been employed at our Antioch location for the past four years. He worked for an auto parts retailer as a store manager for five years before landing a job as a service advisor at a local car dealership for approximately 18 months. The experience and knowledge that he accumulated in those positions helped him tremendously as an estimator and eventually as an assistant manager at Mike’s Auto Body.
Working well with customers is one of his major strengths, Pachan said. “Transparency and accountability are probably the most important qualities that an estimator can have. When people bring their cars to us for repairs, they’re initially skeptical and usually not in a great mood. But, if you’re honest with them and show them that you really want to help, the entire process becomes a lot easier. We have some excellent estimators here at Mike’s who are great teachers and most of our store managers started out as estimators, which is helpful.”
Two years ago, Pachan became an assistant manager in Antioch–a role he enjoys for a wide range of reasons. “It’s never boring and totally satisfying,” he said. “I have been able to refine my skills through training and by excelling every day in a busy environment that is never the same. It’s not just a job; it’s a great career and something I want to do for the rest of my life.”
Both gentlemen are happy to be on the Mike’s Auto Body management team and agree heartily that the company is an awesome place to work. “You can make very good money here with a base salary and performance bonuses,” Ramos said. “We get health insurance; everyone here works well together and the Rose family truly treats us like family.”
Pachan loves his job and covets the company’s passion for doing exemplary work across the board. “They recently took all of us on a 3-day cruise to Mexico–how many companies do that? We work hard here, but we also have fun, which is excellent. Our supervisors are not just our bosses, but they are also friends and that makes it all extremely satisfying. In the end, the motivation to do good job has to come from you, but Mike’s sets you up for success here if you’re willing to learn and grow and progress within the company.”
We are always looking for viable candidates, so please feel free to contact us today at www.mikesautobody.com if you are interested in applying for a position as a junior estimator to set up an interview and get started!