When Universal Collision opened a new facility, owner Frank Gandy knew it was time for a change in equipment manufacturers. To keep up with their increased production, he upgraded to two Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) Performer® XP1 Paint Booths and an Ultra® XD Mix Room.
Please introduce your business and tell us your story: My partners and I opened our first collision center in September 2001. When we started, we only had four employees. After years of growth and expansion, we now have 50 employees spread across three locations. Our two older shops do not have GFS equipment, but I can tell you GFS equipment will be the only equipment we put in our facilities in the future.
“I am very, very pleased with GFS. It is one of the better companies we have teamed up with since we started our business. They are honest. The people who installed my equipment were first class. They did a phenomenal job. ”
What services do you offer and how many jobs do you usually perform? We focus primarily on collision work and are in the process of having a full-blown mechanical shop, in which we do everything in-house. We pretty much scan all of our cars. We try to do everything here, so we control the cycle time. Our goal is eight cars in and out a day — no matter how big or small the repair.
“With our new booths, we are running 12.7 hours a cycle. It’s amazing. We are very, very happy with it. I can honestly tell you we will never change from GFS equipment. It is a company that is staying cutting-edge. They don’t just continue making the same pieces of equipment. GFS works every day to better their equipment. The people I have met that are affiliated with the company all have that same mindset, too.”
How did you decide on GFS equipment? It came down to the service. When you spend a couple thousand dollars with a company and you can’t call and ask for help, that doesn’t cut it. If a booth breaks down, that means we’re not painting cars in it. If I have an issue with the equipment, they are here to fix it the next day. It shows me a lot — that they care. To have someone who is willing to fix a problem is a big deal for us.
“Jason Garfoot (GFS’ senior technical advisor) is one of the most amazing technical people in the painting industry that we’ve ever talked to. He fits right in with my people, and they all like him. He’s not arrogant. It’s really big for us.”
What is your plan for the future of your business? Our vision is to keep growing and add locations. We would like to have about 10 shops throughout Florida, as well as expand into South Georgia and South Alabama.