ABOVE AND BEYOND
You may think that Vredenburg represents a “last outpost” for collision repair, but in that assumption you would be wrong. Weskaap Bakwerke is a family run business with the third generation of Green’s now spearheading the company.
I was introduced to Jimmy Green while he was carrying out final delivery checks on a huge mielie crusher. A very large farm implement. It had been damaged by a falling wall and needed a R400 000 repair job – not your average kind of workflow. The company employs 35 people in a state-of-the-art body shop. It is well geared for the interesting work that comes through the doors of the shop which ranges from cars to large farm vehicles.
Weskaap Bakwerke has always prided itself on the finished quality of damaged vehicles. They employ three full time qualified panelbeaters and two experienced estimators. They train their own apprentices to full Merseta standards. Since the inception of the CRA, Jimmy has been a member and their shop carries full major structural repair standards. They are also members of the RMI.
The company repairs on average 35 cars per week. Their area of operation is mainly the West Coast, which includes towns from Lamberts Bay and Citrusdal in the north, down to Velddrift, Hopefield, Vredenburg, Saldanaha and Langebaan in the south, an area of approximately 200 km from north to south. They do have several loyal clients from as far afield as Cape Town.
Weskaap Bakwerke and their owners are well known and much respected in the West Coast area, being awarded “Business of the Year” by the Saldanha Bay Chamber of Commerce in 1997, 2006, 2007 and 2012. First prize in the Western Cape for the K&A Smart Service Quality Systems was achieved in 2008 and in 2014 the company won first prize regionally and came second overall nationally in the GMSA Customer survey.
Jimmy says that this recognition is due to the top quality results that clients receive in their community. “We work consistently with our insurance brokers and clients to get the job done quickly and as easily as possible.” Jimmy’s hobby of car racing has in his own words dominated his life where he won two national saloon car racing championships. Brennon Green, meanwhile, was a VW Polo Cup driver for many years.
If you look at the overtrading that takes place in many parts of the Cape urban body shop market, thankfully they have been able to carve out their own successful business model by concentrating on service, quality and company integrity. Its all an old fashioned set of rules to operate within today’s cut throat collision repair market, but it works well for this business.
“Being successful is a matter of keeping loyal clients satisfied and also honouring your loyal suppliers who keep the process changes coming to your front door. In that view we now are approved for 11 top motor manufacturers for warranty and non-warranty body repairs and run with a fully verified B-BBEE level 8 contribution.” Jimmy said.
The business employs the very latest repair benches and has R-M refinish as their system of choice for the paintshop. With the digital car of the future just around the corner, Jimmy says that in his business plans it is all about entering the new digital era. He believes the current investment levels in electronic diagnostic repairs needs a whole new push to keep up with the repair centre of tomorrow.
For Weskaap Bakwerke, the future looks bright on the subject of sustainability and their track record speaks for itself.