Facilities for the future

2017-10-18

When working on high-end vehicles such as Porsche, Audi, Tesla and Bentley there are always challenges.  But equally there are ways in which a business can overcome them. The first is having workers with the right skillsets and the second is having access to the correct materials, tools and processes that will help meet the strict approvals that are put in place by the leading manufacturer brands. We sat down with Leon Coupland, owner of Poole Accident Repair, to discuss how investment and expansion can help futureproof a business. 

“Our business has grown tremendously since we opened the doors in 2004.  So we took the decision to acquire a new 8,000 sq ft multi-material repair facility in June 2017 to complement our original 10,000 sq ft site. 

This new site is an addition to help us meet a gap in the market for aluminium repair, which we noticed in 2004 when we installed our first aluminium repair bay. Now 13 years down the line, with manufacturers incorporating aluminium into their newer vehicles, we noticed that there had been a large increase in the number of jobs that required the bay, which is when we decided to bring a new facility online. The new site has a 16-bay workshop, which allows us to repair aluminium vehicles such as Audi’s R8, Bentley Bentayga, all Teslas as well as composite vehicles including the Porsche 911, 991 and Audi’s A4, A6 and Q7, and has meant we can meet the demand from our customers for this type of work and enable us to increase the number of employees that work on that side of the business. In addition, the facility has allowed us to futureproof ourselves, so we can adapt and evolve the business to ensure that we are ready for the work that will come from the rapidly expanding market in composite vehicles. 

The expansion is part of the ongoing business plan but not the only piece of investment that has taken place. For us, we knew that to complement the new facility our team of 32 workers needed access to high quality tools that would assist in meeting the stringent requirements of the manufacturers’ approvals. Therefore, after hearing several recommendations from peers within the industry, we decided to invest in Mirka’s air tools and hand blocks, along with the full range of Mirka’s Non Corrosive abrasive range, which we use for aluminium preparation and final flat and polish preparation, and just under half our staff work with them on a regular basis.

For us, we see the products we use on-site as an extension of our workforce, so it is essential to have the right equipment on hand. Since they arrived on site, we have reaped the benefits from an efficiency standpoint and the quality of repair it allows us to turn out. This then provides our customers with peace of mind to know that work is completed safely and to a high standard, so that when they collect their vehicle, it will look just like it rolled off the assembly line.

Personally, I am not worried about the hours put into the tools as I know they are well-built, reliable and versatile enough to handle working on multiple surfaces for long periods of time with ease and that any issues can be rectified with the minimal amount of downtime. These may seem like small benefits but in the short, medium and long term they allow our team to focus on the requirements of the work at hand and not have to worry about what the tools are doing.

Overall, we have found a synergy between Mirka’s products and our business because we aim to offer high-quality end products that meet the demands of the customer. Mirka’s products do exactly what they have been developed for and will not become obsolete as vehicles change, so my skilled workers can do what they do best, which is meet the requirements set-up by high-end vehicle manufacturers for repairs carried out on their vehicles.”