Quanz Auto Care opens third collision center in Rio Rancho
Rio Rancho, N.M.—When Adam Quanz, general manager of Quanz Auto Care, began to experience overcapacity at his family’s main body shop at Paseo Del Norte and Eagle Ranch Road NW in Albuquerque, he stopped to analyze where the additional customers were coming from.
Confirming his suspicion, the exercise revealed that 22 percent of customers reside in New Mexico’s fastest growing city, the Rio Rancho community northwest of Albuquerque. That led the Quanz family to invest $2.5 million in a 20,600-square-foot body shop in Rio Rancho, expanding the 38-year-old business again after only three years. Today the family-run MSO, founded by his father, Rick Quanz, operates three locations.
After a six-month construction period, retrofitting a vacant power sports dealership, Quanz opened the Rio Rancho location last December.
“The goal was to reduce volume at the main shop and take it to Rio Rancho,” said Quanz, referring to the 15,000-square-foot facility that opened in 1993, run by brother, Daniel Quanz. This location continues to serve longtime mechanical and collision customers and includes a third brother, Andrew Quanz, who helps in the parts department. Quanz’s second location at I-40 and Juan Tabo is run by longtime team member Shawn Gaffney.
“When you open a new location you don’t exactly know what to expect,” Quanz said. To his surprise, the Rio Rancho shop repaired 60 cars in the first month alone, resulting in close to $250,000 in sales. “This is where I projected to be in six months,” he said, adding that it didn’t negatively affect the volume at the main shop.
The Rio Rancho facility was designed to accommodate growth, and it sits on 3.5 acres of land.
Several key vendors assisted in the layout and design of the shop, such as Garmat distributor Paint Booth Services, general contractors BCL Enterprises, and BASF jobber Professional Paint Supply, who were particularly helpful, Quanz said.
The six-month process went surprisingly smooth, with the only hiccup occurring at the onset of the project when construction equipment and tools were stolen from the site.
“The City of Rio Rancho was great to work with,” he said, adding that the opening date only extended two weeks beyond schedule.
Jay Bowen, manager, and Daniel Lopez, production managers in Rio Rancho and team members of over five years, were key in successfully launching the new shop, Quanz said.
To other shop owners who are considering expansion, Quanz says it’s important to do due diligence.
“Know your surrounding market and do data research on where your customers are at, have discourse with DRPs, and have a good manager that knows your systems and processes before opening.” Cash flow is also critical in the first three to six months, he said.
Another added benefit of the third shop was the addition of a few more DRPs, he said, adding that he plans to add several major OEM collision repair certifications to their repertoire, matching those with the top makes of the vehicle population in the area.
Major equipment installed in the shop includes two 32-foot Garmat Frontier modified downdraft paint booths, six Rotary scissor lifts, one Rotary two-post lift, a Chief EZ Liner S21 frame rack coupled with a Velocity frame measuring system, a Car-O-Liner resistance spot welder, a ProSpot SP-5 welder, and several Innovative parts carts.
To finance the project, Quanz said they worked hard to save well in advance of expansion and took out a small line of credit to finance the remaining balance.
Prior to opening, he hired 16 new team members, and transferred several others, in order to have them trained as a team before the doors opened. Even though that added expense, he said it was a big reason they were able to hit the ground running on the first day. As volume increases, he intends to add 15 more employees in a year or two.
The shop was launched with BASF’s Advanced Process Solutions (APS) method, which is based on lean processes.
Paint and body team members work as a single team, Quanz said, with everybody touching the same car and compensated under the same pay plan.
The goal is to achieve an average cycle time of seven to eight days, with a per-vehicle touch time of four hours a day. “Obviously this is aggressive, but it can be done.” Currently, touch time is sitting at three hours a day with cycle times at 8.16 days.
In addition to focusing on production processes, Quanz pays equal attention to instilling the proper culture in the shops.
Assisting him with leadership and culture is Next Progression trainer G.B. Outlaw. “It’s some powerful stuff, not only for professional, but personal life.”
The most significant factor is getting the shop to work as a team, he said of the training. Team members are viewed as internal customers and must work as a team to serve the shop’s customers well.