Check Collision expansion is no accident
Mattapoisett — Check Collision is an auto body repair shop that has a Type A personality.
The supply room looks like the shelves at Staples, the shop floors are nearly spotless, photos on the wall depict what tool or machine should be placed where, and there’s an Ikea-esque, one-way trip every car takes in the repair process.
“There’s less walking around, less looking for things, less down time,” explains John Borges, the production manager at the Mattapoisett shop.
Owned by Chris and Paul Zammito, Check Collision is a spinoff of the brothers’ car dealership, Toyota of Dartmouth. The business, accommodating 50 to 80 cars at one time, has done so well that it’s lead to a new “Check Collision lite” set to open in Dartmouth later this month.
Dealing with cars that have been dinged and dented in accidents, Chris Zammito says their company often goes under the radar because it’s not something customers need on a regular basis – hopefully not, at least.
“It’s not one you ever think about until you need us,” he said.
When someone does have an accident and needs Check Collision’s services, Zammito said they try to make the process as easy as possible. Like a car dealership, there’s a polished entryway with someone to greet each customer, and the shop’s orderly appearance is meant to reduce anxiety as well as to keep the repair process efficient.
Most repairs take five to 10 days at the Industrial Drive facility where technicians begin by taking apart vehicles for hidden problems before making cars look like new.
It’s a detailed process that involves a number of high-tech tools, including computers that can detect when a weld or frame repair is done to the exact original specification.
Once cars move through the repair area, they continue to the other side of the building, the paint department, which has the difficult task of perfectly replicating the hue of every car that rolls through. There are 100 shades of waterborne paint that can be mixed and matched to create a seamless finish with a vehicle’s original paint job.
The painting itself takes some know-how.
“It’s a highly technical job that takes a lot of schooling,” explained Zammito. “There’s an art to it.”
Having the “latest and greatest technology” helps, but overall Zammito said, “The repairs are getting more technical than they used to be. You’ve got to continually reinvent yourself.”
Because of that, technicians go through “non-stop training,” often offered at the Mattapoisett site.
The educational element means employees who start out detailing cars can become skilled technicians and perhaps appraisers and managers.
“There’s a lot of mobility, if you choose to do it,” said Zammito.
The hard part has been finding young employees who want to put in the years of training needed, but the company works with vocational students when possible to begin teaching them the tools of the trade.
That will become even more important as Check Collision opens its Dartmouth facility, with plans to eventually expand more.
The new shop, located at 401B State Road, will process claims and do light body work, but send the tougher stuff to Mattapoisett. The Zammitos hope it will increase the company’s presence on the South Coast.
“This is our way of getting out into a high retail area,” said Zammito. “Think of it as a Dunkin' Donuts inside of a gas station.”
He said the Mattapoisett facility was built to grow and the new location will help with that.
“We’re positioned for the future. We have the right tools, the right training, the right facility,” Zammito said.
Zammito’s motto for the path every car follows at Check Collision easily doubles as his plan for the company: “Keep going forward. Never stop the line.”