Pratts Auto Bodyshop in Carlow, Ireland, has recently been named Best Bodyshop in Leinster at the Irish Bodyshop awards. This 26-year-old business picked up the same award in 2015, and won the prestigious SIMI Bodyshop of the Year award in 2015.
Nigel Pratt, owner of Pratts Auto Bodyshop, explains how investing in the future has helped his business beat the recession, and why Cromax® has been the only paint brand for him almost since the business opened 27 years ago.
“When I first set up the business we were using a pre-mix colour system for paint repairs, but within a year I started looking around for a paint brand to supply a full range of refinish paints that we would mix ourselves. I was very impressed by every aspect of Cromax, from the quality of the paints to the professionalism of the team, so I signed up straight away,” he says.
In 2010, as well as a complete overhaul of the bodyshop, Pratt installed a Symach Robodry. In combination with the Cromax Basecoat system, this has had a hugely beneficial impact on Pratts’ working processes, and has reaped savings in both time and money.
He says, “Cromax Basecoat dries exceptionally fast with the robotic dryer and the short drying time of the clearcoat means we can process jobs much more quickly and save energy. We have calculated that we have reduced our overall running costs by an incredible 40%.”
But for Pratt, it is more than the individual products that help to drive his business.
“Cromax is a premium, global brand and we continue to be impressed not only by the quality of the products, but also by the services we receive. The CC6700 Ultra Performance Energy Clear is a good example of one of its innovative products. Not only is it a fantastic clearcoat but it also goes a long way, so you get a lot of coverage out of it. And we rely heavily on the ChromaVision spectrophotometer, which again helps to save time and to ensure accurate colour matching straight away. We have signed up to the Fast Repair programme so that we can offer SMART repairs to vehicles owners, and we also provide Lifetime Warranty, which is the vehicle owner’s guarantee that the paint repair on their vehicle meets professional quality standards and that it will last the lifetime of the vehicle,” Pratt says. “And the level of service we receive is second to none – we know that if we ever need help with anything, someone from the Cromax team will assist us very quickly, which is essential for a busy bodyshop like ours.”
Anthony Cashel, Marketing Manager for Axalta Coating Systems in the UK and Ireland, says, “Pratts Auto Bodyshop is a wonderful example of a successful business that is committed to improving both its own standards, and those of the industry. It puts the vehicle owners needs first and offers high-quality service throughout its customers’ journey. We congratulate them on winning such a prestigious industry award, and we look forward to continuing working with Nigel and his team for many years to come.”