Matt Ciaschini, 34, and his brother Zac, 30, own and operate Full Tilt Auto Body & Collision in Easthampton, MA, a busy shop that fixes and restores vehicles. The brothers are well-known for doing custom, high-end paint jobs on collectible cars. They pride themselves on constantly searching out the newest technology and best practices in every aspect of their shop and Mitchell’s RepairCenter is a big part of their success in doing so.
Matt Ciaschini, (wearing hat) and his brother Zac (kneeling with child) own and operate Full Tilt Auto Body & Collision, a shop that calls upon Mitchell’s Estimating and Mitchell RepairCenter probably hundreds of times every day
"I feel we have an advantage over some of the ‘old school’ shops, because we’re not afraid to embrace technology," Matt Ciaschini said. "A lot of these older, established shop owners are still fighting computers and things like social media and we want to be involved in them. It makes us stand out and I think it appeals to people in our age group and others who also appreciate and respect the new technology and how it can make us better."
Full Tilt Auto Body & Collision has expanded its facility and increased its revenues each year since its inception in 2008, but currently, the shop is barely large enough to accommodate the 75-plus cars repaired each month, including the 4-5 cars the
Ciaschini brothers restore annually.
In the beginning, Zac Ciaschini opened the business in a very small space where seemingly every square inch was being used. "He started in a 1,100 square foot shop with a paint booth and enough room for one car," Matt Ciaschini said. "He did it all and was averaging one to two cars per week. We’re still in the same building, but we’ve grown into this facility and now we’ve got six bays and nine employees."
In 2010, Matt came into the business to join his brother after being a teacher for several years. While some siblings would rather fight than join forces, the Ciaschinis enjoy working together. "It’s a division of labor and it works very well," Matt said. "I do all of the front office work and Zac is the production manager/shop foreman. We’re both cross-trained on pretty much everything that goes on here, but we definitely have specific skills that complement each other."
Full Tilt’s Lead Tech Colby Cannon can stay on top of every repair in the shop using Mitchell RepairCenter
A big part of the brothers’ success and growth can be credited to Mitchell International and its management system. "We use Mitchell Estimating and all of our shop management runs through Mitchell RepairCenter," Ciaschini explained. "Before I came onboard here my brother was already familiar with Mitchell. He worked for another shop before starting this business and they used Mitchell’s Ultramate (since then renamed Mitchell Estimating) specifically. So, it was a smooth transition when we hooked up with Designer Office Systems in Uxbridge, MA. They’re a Mitchell’s products’ distributor and a big asset for us.
"RepairCenter is our hub for everything going on in the shop," Matt Ciaschini said. "We use the shop clock feature and all of our guys punch in and out on each job using it. All of the work orders are right there on the multiple shop computers we have out in their work areas. All of our techs are constantly using the RepairCenter’s app on their portable devices. Each one of our techs is responsible for taking photos during the repair, because our insurance partners need them, so that they can move the repair along and make sure we get paid on all of the supplements."
In addition, Mitchell’s Repair- Center enables Full Tilt’s techs to keep their customers in the loop as their vehicles progress at each stage of production, Ciaschini said. "That’s huge, because some customers really want to stay engaged and by using this technology, we keep them informed. Once we send them a text or email, it creates a link and they can go back and check it any time along the way. Every time one of our techs updates it, they get another message, complete with photos and notes about the repair."
By working smart and using the latest technology, business at Full Tilt is booming
"Information at our fingertips— that’s probably the most valuable thing we get from RepairCenter," Matt Ciaschini said. "Instead of having to search through a bunch of ROs to find a customer’s phone number or email address, they have this functionality called a White Board, which shows each repair on the same screen and contains all of the pertinent contact information on every customer. This way, I don’t have to jump from estimate to estimate to do my job. That’s really significant, because we’re saving a ton of time."
The Ciaschinis call the Mitchell Refinish Calculator (RMC) "cutting edge" and rely on it often. "It calculates paint and materials on each paint job and helps us to create precise estimates, including the paint code, method, color, type, and refinish labor time. It contains 8,500 paint codes from eight paint manufacturers include solvent and waterborne and also allows us to figure out any metal working, plastic work or flex work on a vehicle."
Full Tilt’s techs also take full advantage of Mitchell’s TechAdvisor, an OEM repair data and procedures product that provides critical repair information on any type of collision repair, in order to make sure that the job is done efficiently and for a profit. "It’s simple to use and our technicians use it daily," Ciaschini said. "It includes all the latest OEM collision repair techniques for things like sectioning and replacement, removal and installation, materials and component specifications and safety precautions and it’s a valuable tool because it eliminates guesswork."