Pamela Denny grew up with the shop and saw the dedicated work her grandpa and parents put into it.
“My parents were always at the shop, so I was always at the shop as well. They have worked really hard to create a name in collision repair, setting standards for quality repairs in our market,” she said.
As their shop grew, the Dennys joined an international network of collision repair facilities, Fix Auto, but remain locally owned and independently operated. They have three collision repair locations under the Fix Auto brand — one in Puyallup, Gig Harbor and Port Orchard — and another light mechanics shop in Port Orchard. Pamela is currently the Chief Financial Officer for all three Fix Auto shops. In total, there are 38 employees working at the three locations.
From the beginning of their business, the Dennys decided to take a more wholesome perspective in fixing vehicles. They also decided to introduce a new approach to repairs in their field.
“We want to be the first in our industry to create standard repair processes that improve the overall repair and downtime for our customers and their vehicles,” Pamela said. “We know and understand the precious cargo that goes into these vehicles every day. We want our customers to pick up their vehicles with the peace of mind that their vehicle has, in fact, been returned to them in pre-accident condition.”
Pamela’s drive to provide timely and quality repairs using the most up-to-date tools led her and her family to the Matrix Wand.
“We initially found out about the Matrix Wand through industry news and had an opportunity to learn more at a VeriFacts Symposium in Los Angeles,” she said. “We decided to purchase the Matrix Wand because we saw the immense value in being able to measure suspension parts, door panels, and fronts and rears of vehicles, in order to check structural integrity before beginning repairs.”
It was a product that could provide the accuracy, efficiency and customer satisfaction they sought.
When the Dennys acquired the Wand, Matrix sent its employee Scott Fitzgerald to provide on-site comprehensive training. He demonstrated how the Matrix Wand discovers repairs that were not obvious before.
“We had a day and a half of on-site training,” she said. “We measured vehicles, door panels and front ends. We had a vehicle we were concerned might have significant structural damage, but after completing measurements, we were able to identify where the damage was located and that the vehicle was still within spec. He was fantastic.”
The targetless, handheld Matrix Wand takes 3D images of a vehicle with minimal teardown. This virtual 3D measuring can see through solid objects to allow more precise measurements across any section. Captured images can be used to measure suspension, control arms, cradle positioning, toe angle, caster angle, camber angle, strut or knuckle symmetry, sensor placement, and gaps. Matrix’s propriety data collection software allows shops to download the 3D images and data points to a computer, to make it easier to create blueprints for the work that needs to be carried out, along with the parts required.
The Wand’s software compares and analyzes a variety of dimensions to identify hidden damages, then verifies the repairs needed by comparing points to the Mitchell database that is integrated into this product. All calculations made by the Matrix Wand and its associated Repair Analysis Software are accurate within 1 mm. The Matrix Wand also provides documentation to insurance companies and customers, to reduce liability and ensure customer satisfaction. During the repairs, the Matrix Wand can assist with accuracy, including sensor angle positioning, hanging doors, verifying alignment and checking suspension. It can also be used to capture a final measurement to verify that the car is repaired back to specification before being returned to the customer. Since its launch in 2012, the Matrix Wand has won the prestigious Best New Product Award for the Collision Repair & Refinish division at the SEMA New Product Showcase, and has been used all over the country.
Pamela has now been using the Wand for two months and has found it to be an incredible help in saving cycle time, improving repairs and sending for more accurate parts.
“We have been able to redirect damaged parts with measurements. Previously, a technician spent hours trying to install a part that came defective,” she said.
She and the other employees at Fix Auto Puyallup are still learning about the Wand and its dynamic functions.
“Due to the measurements and research conducted at the beginning of repairs, we are hopeful that we will be able to identify structural damage more efficiently, get parts needed ordered quicker, and slim down repair times,” she said.