The Perfect Partner


Strong partnerships can bring many benefits to business.  Economic, training and knowledge, connections, to name a few.  So what makes the perfect partner for a bodyshop? We sat down with Andy Pennell, group operations manager at Balgores Group, to find out what he looks for in a business partnership and the benefits he has experienced since choosing one. 

“We know that the industry is evolving and the jobs our technicians work on vary from day to day, so it is important to have access to a partner that can work with a business to respond to the constant changes, while still being able to provide the right tool for the job at hand. As a business, we want to be able to access the best tools and processes on the market, so we continue to provide our customers with the high quality end product that they have come to expect from us. This requirement led us to look into accessing what I like to call a total package, and our research led us to Mirka. What made Mirka stand out for me was the fact that it had a fresh approach. This approach is simple and to the point. They want to work with us to understand our needs and requirements in order to provide a package that has the ability to cover what we want with regards to surface preparation.

Initially, we decided to use Mirka’s products on only one of our sites. However, after a short time, we decided as a group to move over to Mirka’s products and sanding systems because they enable us to be fully productive and flexible within our bodyshops, and they also meet our stringent KPIs, which are constantly measured and reviewed and have a focus on efficiency. The focus we have within our KPIs has enabled us to measure that since the introduction of Mirka’s systems, there has been a major improvement on these numbers. In turn, this has led to an increase in output and profitability as well as a reduction in key to key times, which is beneficial to both our work providers and customers.

In addition, since the conversion, we have seen many subtle benefits that prove we have made the right decision and that the partnership is working well. Our close-knit partnership makes us feel as though we are in safe hands because we trust the Mirka commercial and technical experts we work with.

This trust has led us to continually work together to seek out new opportunities to improve our productivity across the group. For example, we all know dust is a health hazard to both the technicians and to our customers, so having access to tools and processes that enable us to have a dust-free work environment has enabled us to eradicate the age-old stigma that a bodyshop is a dusty environment. This change in perception has led our technicians and managers to regularly receive comments regarding the cleanliness of the vehicles and workplace, which shows our customers have noticed the change and feel that their car is being well cared for while it is in for repair.

In addition, the savings we have made since switching to Mirka has allowed us to focus our training into the more demanding areas within our business to meet the challenges thrown up by an ever changing industry.

Overall, we have seen that there is a good synergy between our business and Mirka and we feel that the company is an ideal partner for our current requirements and the demands of the future.”