Press Release (ePRNews.com) - CARLSBAD, Calif. - Dec 05, 2017 - Jimmy Lefler is a third-generation body shop owner who knows his production and sales numbers like the back of his hand. That is why he’s delighted to be using Spies Hecker® Permahyd® Hi-TEC waterborne basecoat by Axalta, a product that he uses to paint roughly 380–400 cars every month at Lefler’s Collision & Glass Repair Centers.
Lefler has expanded his family’s business from one location to four in Indiana and Kentucky since purchasing the company stock from his uncle and dad in 2006. An integral part of his continued success and expansion can be credited to Axalta, the coatings manufacturer that Lefler has been partnered with for the past dozen years, with exemplary results.
Back in 1952, Jimmy’s grandfather, Leroy Lefler, opened the shop’s doors and named it Leroy’s Paint & Fender Repair. In 1976 his dad, Jim, took over the business. Jimmy credits his father for teaching him the technical side of the industry and stressing things such as quality and customer service, he said.
The entire team at Axalta from the top to bottom is very quick to respond to our calls providing solutions and assistance. You call them anytime that you need assistance and they are on it. The dedicated MSO team provides an additional layer of support that has been instrumental in our continued improvement and growth.
“He was a great man and an excellent tech, and he really taught me a lot,” Lefler said. “After the purchase, I was able to build my team and implement new processes and ideas. Hiring the right people who shared my values allowed me to build the kind of culture that I wanted to provide and be surrounded by. I don’t micromanage people. I give direction and allow them the freedom to think and decide how to handle the daily operations. Give your people clear guidelines and let them do their jobs. Trusting them and empowering them is probably one of the biggest reasons for our success.”
One very important number Lefler knows is that out of the 51 body shops in his region, he is capturing 28 percent of the overall market share, a number that he knows by a calculation devised by the people at Axalta. Information is king, and by tapping into Axalta’s resources, Lefler can know when and where to think about opening up new locations in the future.
“We are always looking to expand, and Axalta provides us with a lot of useful data that can help us,” Lefler said. “Is there going to be enough work in a market, because we don’t want to build a 20,000-square-foot shop there and find out later we should have built a 5,000-square-foot facility there. Those are the things we obviously want to know up front.”
One sure thing that Lefler knows is that Axalta is providing him with precise color matches, something his former paint provider wasn’t doing on a consistent basis.
“We were having a terrible time with the golds and the silvers matching up on the imported cars,” he said. “So, we brought three paint companies in at the same time and said, ‘Have at it.’ We let them all mix and spray out test panels for the silvers and golds we were working on, and Axalta won easily. It was a no-brainer at that point.
“We use their camera and also have some very good color decks. The people at Axalta are constantly on top of it and easy to communicate with. We have had some really tough colors in here, like a washed-out tan color that the local sheriff cars have, so that was a color matching issue we were having. So, when we finally dialed it in and got it perfected, the lab at Axalta changed the formula on their end. Now when we have to paint sheriff cars, we have that match and anyone else using the product has it too.”
Lefler is happy with the brand, but he also knows that the other things Axalta does for him and his business are just as important as featuring a quality product.
“Our jobber is Performance Refinish, and Bill Payne is our guy,” Lefler said. “Their support, training and customer service are phenomenal and the best in the industry, in my opinion. When we get busy and have a painter on vacation, they will come in and give us a hand. I don’t know of any other jobbers providing that level of service.”
Accessibility and flexibility are two qualities that Lefler appreciates from his jobber and Axalta itself, he said.
“The entire team at Axalta from the top to bottom is very quick to respond to our calls providing solutions and assistance,” he said. “You call them anytime that you need assistance and they are on it. The dedicated MSO team provides an additional layer of support that has been instrumental in our continued improvement and growth.”
The training from Axalta is ongoing and hands-on, Lefler explained.
“Any time they have a new product, they come into our shops and do an in-house training,” he said. “We also send our painters to an Axalta Learning and Development Center. Either way, the information is disseminated in such a way that our painters are up and running and knowledgeable about the new products quickly and thoroughly.”
Lefler’s Collision & Repair Glass Center
Company At A Glance…
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 97
In Business Since: 1952
Number of Locations: Four
DRP Programs: 18
Combined Production Space: 70,000 square feet (combined)
Axalta Coating Systems
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