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Case Study: For Better Production Management

—November 12, 2012
Case Study: For Better Production Management


For Better Production Management

Ste-Thérèse Toyota has been a renowned dealership for more than four decades in the greater Montreal area (Quebec, Canada). But recent expansion now means re-location of its collision repair shop to bigger, more modern premises, in order to adequately serve its constantly growing clientele base.

"Besides being user-friendly and intuitive, RepairCenter just about does all the work for you…"

François Charron, journalist for Mitchell International, Christian Dagenais, Shop Director, Nicolas Charbonneau, Shop Manager/Estimator and Bruno Lambert, representing Mitchell International.

Ste-Thérèse Toyota GreenWrench-certified

The GreenWrench-certified collision repair shop is always kept squeaky clean… even with an ever-increasing clientele.

Ste-Thérèse Toyota

Ste-Thérèse Toyota features the most modern equipment, which meets or exceeds manufacturers' requirements and the expectations of its business partners.

Ste-Thérèse Toyota

Bruno Lambert, Mitchell representative, and Nicolas Charbonneau, Shop Manager/Estimator at Ste-Thérèse Toyota, making the pose for the photographer.

At A Glance

Ste-Thérèse Toyota

115 Boul. Desjardins Est,
Ste-Thérèse, QC, Canada,
J7E 1C5

Marziale Picolli

Years in business: 40


Surface area of collision repair shop: 5,500 sq. ft.

Number of employees: 13

Average number of vehicles repaired per week: 35

Average repair bill: $2300 CDN

Number of replacement vehicles:

Shop Director:
Christian Dagenais

Shop Manager & Estimators:
Nicolas Charbonneau and Michel Raymond

Management software:
Mitchell RepairCenter*

Additional Mitchell Module:
Estimate app

Environmental Certification:
Green Wrench

When such operational restructuring is undertaken, the business is affected at every level: process management, recruiting new staff, in-shop training, purchasing new equipment, installing a new IT interface, etc. On this last point, and after having tested several software systems specialized in collision repair management, the dealership decided to subscribe to Mitchell's RepairCenter, an emerging IT platform, available for a low cost monthly rate.

Why choose Mitchell?

Nicolas Charbonneau, shop manager and estimator, together with his supervisor shop director, Christian Dagenais, explains why he recommended RepairCenter to his superiors: "Because of the company's rapid growth due to a growing list of customers, it's become impossible to properly follow-up on the repair work done as well as keeping tabs on our costs, vis-a-vis real time operations. We really appreciated the opportunity to customize our Mitchell RepairCenter subscription, which meant we could choose the various modules that best answered our immediate needs."

Nicolas continues by describing the positive effects of the services available through new business partners. "The introduction of the CarrXpert banner since moving to our new premises, and more recently the new partnership with Intact Insurance, has forced us to modernize our management methods.

As a recommended collision repair shop, we are now a member of their 'Rely Network' for their insured drivers, and among the qualification criterias, we had to improve our various operational processes, including things such as production management, estimates, touch time costs and DRP."

Technical support

Technical support for setting-up and implementing RepairCenter went quite smoothly, asserts Nicolas. "Bruno Lambert, our Mitchell representative, helped us analyze our needs well and then choose the relevant RepairCenter modules. And since we began using the interface last spring, he has been visiting us regularly for follow-ups and to answer any questions we may have. He can even be reached remotely if there is an emergency. Thanks to his ongoing support, the training period was a brief one."

Because RepairCenter application focuses on production, positive results soon came rolling in, emphasizes Christian Dagenais, Shop Director:

"I immediately loved working this way with such easy access to information - now we can check each and every repair order or off-site estimate. In the past, Nicolas had his work frequently interrupted to resolve questions regarding follow-ups with the insurer, myself, the parts department or the customer."

User-friendly software

"Besides being user-friendly and intuitive, RepairCenter just about does all the work for you…" explains Mitchell's Bruno Lambert: "From the moment the vehicle arrives in the workshop, the estimator simply enters the car's VIN number into the system to access manufacturer technical information, parts inventory, allocated repair times and labor required for every operation. He then sends the cost estimate (plus relevant photos) to the insurer for approval, generally given within 24 hours.

Once we've reached the approval stage, we can order the parts directly and begin fixing the vehicle. RepairCenter allows you to track the progress of the cycle time remotely, which applies to both us and the customer, and to schedule a likely delivery date."

Time management

Since the majority of Ste-Thérèse Toyota staff is made of self employed workers, an electronic timer synchronized with RepairCenter is another project module that will soon be added to the current interface. This app better manages touch time and eliminates downtime, while measuring the productivity of every worker, paid at a flat rate. "Using this approach, a body man or a spray painter can work on several vehicles simultaneously, and the interaction between RepairCenter and the timer helps to minimize human error while facilitating cost management and the different stages of the repair cycle," points out Lambert.

An evolving process

As Ste-Thérèse Toyota busily continues its expansion, Nicolas Charbonneau and Christian Dagenais are considering gradually adding more modules, among the suite of choices offered by Mitchell (a brief descriptive list appears below). For more information on Mitchell's RepairCenter in Canada, you can call 1 877 395-3642 or send an email to

Mitchell International

*RepairCenter™ Modules:

RC TechAdvisor
RC FastPhoto
TechAdvisor OEM Repair Procedures & Dimensions
RC Estimate Rules Analyzer
RC Labor Management
Production Management
RC Task Management
RC Parts Management
RC Job Costing
RC Parts and Labor Scrubbers
RC Accounting Interface
RC Payments
RC Analytics
RC Dealer Management System Interface
RC ShopClock
RC Carrier Communications
SmartPhone and Tablet Access
RC Toolstore

Journalist: François Charron
Photo Credit: Daniel Lamont, photographer

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