Castle Coachworks value Mirka

2011-07-04
Changing to Mirka abrasives and refining the process has helped Castle Coachworks in Northampton make significant savings without compromising on quality.

Changing to Mirka abrasives and refining the process has helped Castle Coachworks in Northampton make significant savings without compromising on quality.

In an economic climate where costs are increasing but income has not kept pace with inflation, keeping a closer eye on running costs and materials has never been more important. However focusing on price alone is not always as beneficial as it may first appear.

Castle Coachworks in Northampton is a modern, independent bodyshop who have a number of prestigious vehicle manufacturer approvals including Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Mazda and Fiat. They are also Kitemark certified and are a prestige repairer for Aviva and RSA. A year ago they re-evaluated their consumables costs and processes and have been measuring the results ever since.

“We changed some of our product range from 3M to Mirka in May 2010 and have had good results in terms of our costs per hour sold,” said Darren Browne, Bodyshop Manager, Castle Coachworks.

“I have always been price driven but it is also important for me to use quality products and processes that meet the approval criteria from our work provider and vehicle manufacturer partners. When Steve Smith (Senior Technical Sales) from Mirka came in for a meeting, he didn’t over promise, but said he would like the opportunity to introduce us to Mirka’s products.” We set up some dates and spent two days showing the staff the new processes. “Steve was very process focused, engaged with the technicians and presented his products very well,” said Darren. “His attitude was refreshingly different to what we have seen from some others.”

Steve built up a good working relationship with the technicians and returned regularly to see how they were getting on. “He didn’t just pop in for a half hour meeting with me, but spent the whole day here checking to see if the new processes and products were saving us money,” said Darren. “As we refined the processes we started to see our dry goods cost per hour sold drop and one year on we are now making a significant saving.”

“The guys like using Mirka products,” added Darren. “They recognise Mirka as a technology driven quality brand, not a cheap alternative. We have had other companies approach us since, and though they left samples, our guys in the workshop like how Mirka performs and appreciate its benefits.”

Steve Smith said that with the right training Mirka can help reduce costs and improve the productivity of many bodyshops. “By his own admission, Darren is price orientated, but it’s been great to see Mirka can improve productivity and reduce wastage, while meeting all his quality criteria too.”