For the Emerson Auto Park, timing was everything. Four years ago Sherry Lavoie, Emerson Body Shop Manager, recalls discussing the need for an expanded body shop.

“It was all a matter of timing,” says Lavoie, “and the time was now.” With an increase of business and the Toyota dealership moving in next door, Lavoie says it was necessary to expand. “We were so busy before, we couldn’t have handled the Toyota business without an expansion.”

The new body shop focuses on improved customer service and features a new, down draft spray booth with a prep station on one side for smaller jobs, priming and prepping cars, and a computerized paint mixing room.

Lavoie adds, “The expansion allowed us to upgrade to state-of-the-art equipment that increases our efficiency in delivering service to our customers. We now have a second smaller frame machine capable of smaller sheet metal pulls, and every technician has his or her own lift.”

Continuing with its customer service improvements, Emerson also offers a Direct Repair Program whereby the body shop works in coordination with participating insurance companies to expedite customer repairs.

“For those customers whose insurance companies participate in the program, we bill the insurance directly. The result is faster repairs with less paperwork, and the customer doesn’t have to wait for the insurance check. The owner is guaranteed repair through the program for as long as he or she owns the car and their insurance is a program participant.”

Lavoie says a fleet of loaner and rental cars is an added benefit for those customers whose repairs may take a little longer. Along with attention to customer service, however, Emerson kept its eye to environmental responsibility as well. In an effort to reduce hazardous waste, the body shop also has a recycling unit that transforms hazardous waste to re-usable thinners.

Equipment upgrades combined with educational opportunities including ICAR, a national program designed to provide up-to-date, cutting edge technology for collision repairs and offered through Central Maine Community College, has positioned Emerson well for delivering customer service more efficiently for the busy days ahead.

As Toyota moves into the Emerson Auto Park, Lavoie says, “It’s been exciting to work out of the new facility. With the new equipment and increased staff, the load of small jobs is lightened for everyone. We now have the space, ability and technicians to handle a program for accessory add-ons, including running boards and other after market accessories, and we’re better prepared for the increase in business that is sure to come as Toyota gets up to speed in their new location.”

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