Autobody News: Second-Generation Utah MSO Has Polyvance Welders in All 3 Locations
Carlsbad, CA, March 13, 2018 (Newswire.com) - NOTE: This October SPS profile was originally published in print in September 2017, and published online in October 2017.
When operating their shop together, Higgins brothers Matt, 27, and Jacob, 25, are not afraid to adopt new technology that helps them repair cars more efficiently at Higgins Paint & Body, a body shop with three locations in the Salt Lake City, UT, area.
While other shop owners and managers are sometimes a little reluctant to embrace cutting-edge tools and equipment, the Higgins brothers have quickly made their Polyvance 6059 Nitro Fuzer Welding System an integral part of their daily operations, which is why they have at least one unit in all of their shops.
The potential to repair bumper covers, splash shields, washer bottles—you name it—if it's plastic, you can repair it with this equipment. All three shops get a fair amount of bumper covers to fix rather than replace, and we can save a lot of wheelhouse liners as well. The more you learn about the Polyvance 6059 Nitro Fuzer Welding System, the more it enables you to do more things with it.
One year ago, the Higgins family, led by their father Gerald who started the business back in 1981, purchased a Polyvance 6059 Nitro Fuzer Welding System for all three of their shops’ locations. They were motivated to make the purchase once they saw the machine in action after hiring a new technician from a large MSO who had his own Polyvance unit.
“We found out rather quickly that our new tech does nothing but plastic repair and is making more than $100,000 every year by reconditioning strictly plastic parts,” Matt Higgins said. “He came here and taught me the plastic side of things and I am not an expert yet, but we have him working for the company, which is nice. He is an expert with the welder, so if we ever have any questions about the machine or how to use it, he’s right there to help us.”
Adhering to the mantra of “repair rather than replace,” Higgins is fixing items that before were headed for the dumpster, he said.
“The potential to repair bumper covers, splash shields, washer bottles—you name it—if it’s plastic, you can repair it with this equipment,” he said. “All three shops get a fair amount of bumper covers to fix rather than replace, and we can save a lot of wheelhouse liners as well. The more you learn about the Polyvance 6059 Nitro Fuzer Welding System, the more it enables you to do more things with it.”
By using the plastic welder, Higgins can see that it is strengthening his relationships with his DRPs.
“All of the insurance companies are definitely promoting plastic repair for basically two reasons—they can save money on the paint side of things and the turnaround is significantly better,” he said. “We can get these types of repairs in and out of here a lot faster and our people are getting better at using it, which means we’re fixing more things with the machine. We have at least two people in each shop who are adept at using the Polyvance 6059 Nitro Fuzer Welding System and in fact, two of our apprentices are already using it with a certain amount of skill. They spent roughly 10 hours working with the unit and picked it up rather quickly, but it’s like anything else—practice makes perfect.”
Saving a plastic bumper keeps more money in the shop, and by using less paint during the process, it’s a win-win, Higgins explained.
“For instance, if you have a difficult color to match on the fenders and the repair is needed in the middle of it, by repairing that section of the bumper, we don’t have to paint the entire thing,” he said. “This makes our color matching easier and we can hit it dead-on, which is of course a big plus.”
The Polyvance training was comprehensive, hands-on and convenient, Higgins said.
“They came here and spent a full day demonstrating the welder and answering all of our questions,” he said. “They did not leave until they were confident that we knew the ins and outs of the system. Since then, their technical support has been great and we couldn’t be happier with the company and the product. When you get the Polyvance 6059 Nitro Fuzer Welding System, you also get their great support, including the training, which is a big part of it.”
Back in 1981, Polyvance was formed to address the needs of bumper recyclers and supply products to repair urethane bumper covers. As auto manufacturers began using other materials in bumper covers, Polyvance began developing products to repair those types of plastics as well. By focusing intently on plastic repair and refinishing, Polyvance is reinventing the process of plastic repair and developing products to address each step, changing the collision industry one repair at a time.
With long careers in collision repair still ahead of them, Matt and Jacob enjoy working with each other and are excited about the future of the industry.
“My brother and I learned from my dad, who set us up for success,” Higgins said. “I run the front and Jacob runs the back, and it works very well because we have a crew that shares our passion for this business. That’s why we enjoy coming to work every day.”
Higgins Body & Paint
West Valley, UT
Company At A Glance...
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 55
In Business Since: 1981
Number of Locations: Three
DRP Programs: Eight
Combined Production Space: 52,000 square feet
1128 Kirk Road
Rainsville, AL 35986
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Source: Autobody News