It didn’t take long for Kent Forman to realize his Honda dealership in Brandon, Manitoba needed a body shop. After years of taking vehicles to local body shops in town, he opened a shop of his own. The location wasn’t ideal to begin with which meant a lot of trips across town from the dealership, but when Forman began building relationships and a reputation with car owners, it became clear a larger shop was needed.
After some shuffling at the dealership and nearby spaces opening up, Forman was able to open a larger body shop, Forman Collision Centre, in the building next to his dealership. With eight bays and a new state-of-the-art paint booth in a newly-renovated facility, Forman was ready to service vehicles from the dealership as well as those of his loyal customers. Except what they got was far from state of the art.
“We had issues with it right off the bat,” explains Mike Tuttle, manager at Forman Collision. “Once we had more vehicles coming through, we found it couldn’t keep up with our productivity.”
They decided they needed an upgrade to shift that booth to a secondary role. Mike began the search in 2011, which led him to SEMA, an automotive trade show, in 2012. What he found wasn’t encouraging. “I quickly realized there are only so many companies who can put booths up in Canada, more specifically in Manitoba,” says Tuttle. “The regulations are a lot stricter, and once they knew where I was from, they said they couldn’t really do much for me.”
A company that could do something for him was Global Finishing Solutions. At the GFS booth, Tuttle spoke with GFS distributor Dormer Finishing Systems from nearby Winnipeg. With GFS, he found a company that can handle the stringent regulations in Manitoba, and he quickly built a relationship with Dormer Finishing. Back in Canada, the search continued as he looked into some other routes and got pricing within the next year before, as he puts it, “deciding to go with a more reputable business.”
GFS Ultra® XC downdraft booth with attached Ultra® XD mix room
Forman Collision decided on a GFS Ultra® XC downdraft booth with an attached Ultra® XD mix room. The Ultra® booth is fully equipped with AdvanceCure Blade®, Paint Booth Sound System, Parts Hanging System and Access Turntable. A state-of-the-art booth and then some.
After a frustrating experience with their first booth, Forman Collision had a much better time working with Dormer Finishing Systems. “We were surprised at how seamlessly everything came together without us having to deal with any of it,” said Tuttle. “We never had to call any contractors and they did a really good job working with everyone around the shop.”
Transition from unproductive prep area to new, profitable paint booth
The booth has alleviated what was at one time a bottleneck in the shop. The newer Ultra® XC booth handles the painting, allowing the original, problematic booth to still be used productively for prep work. Because they chose to put the new booth in an area formerly used for polishing and was therefore not making them any money, the shop’s footprint was barely altered while turning a wasted space into profitable space.
“The AdvanceCure® system works really well,” Tuttle says of the Ultra® XC. “The booth cycles have been much quicker and the paint jobs cleaner. It’s a much bigger booth than we are used to, so we are getting some bigger booth cycles going.” He also added that the guys in the shop are enjoying GFS’ exclusive Paint Booth Sound System.
Access Turntable, Sound System and interior of the booth
Adding the Paint Booth Access Turntable also helps increase shop productivity. By adding the turntable, painters have easy access to pre-mixed paint from inside the paint booth. It also allows for a technician to be mixing paint while another is working in the booth.
With this new GFS equipment, Forman Collision Centre finally has the state-of-the-art booth they thought they had when renovating their new facility. Instead of hindering operations by creating a bottleneck for a shop handling over one thousand repairs per year, the Ultra® XC downdraft booth can handle the workload while making productive use of what was wasted space.
To learn more about Forman Collision Centre, visit formancollision.com.