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KENDRICK PAINT & BODY
❱❱ Locations: Augusta, Martinez and Evans, Georgia, and Aiken, South Carolina
❱❱ Employees: 168
❱❱ Shops: 8 body shops, 1 frame and mechanical shop
❱❱ Mopar® Parts Dealer: Spartanburg Chrysler Dodge Jeep® Ram, Spartanburg, South Carolina
❱❱ Customer Accommodations: Large waiting areas with big screen TVs, Keurig coffee machines, refrigerators stocked with water and drinks, shuttle service
Kendrick Paint & Body is a known fixture in Augusta, Georgia. In fact, you could call it a landmark. The company has been around for three generations and 60 years. It was started by James Kendrick who, in turn, handed the company down to his sons Jimmy and Steve. Now his grandson, Steve Jr., is in charge of the company’s nine facilities. What’s the key to its success? “We treat the customer very well and we have a history of producing quality work,” says Chief Operating Officer Tracy Bryant. “Our car estimators actually listen to the customer and make sure we get it right the first time.”
Bryant says great benefits, fair pay, a 401K, free gym memberships and a true family atmosphere are what keep the employees. “There aren’t that many family businesses around anymore that take that personal touch with their employees,” says Bryant. “All the officers of the company, including the owner, are always available to talk to the employees.” When it comes to recruiting, Bryant visits technical schools but he mostly finds his employees through referrals and word of mouth. New recruits are put into an apprenticeship program.
Keeping up with the Joneses
It’s important to keep up with training and the latest equipment, says Bryant. It’s important to go to shows and welcome salespeople, but it’s also key to get that extra training in and to get certified. Bryant is the chairman of I-CAR for the area so his techs go through that training and they get ASE and OEM certifications. “I think that the OEM certifications are an up and coming thing,” says Bryant. “It ensures a customer’s vehicle will be repaired properly according to OEM specs and that helps build trust.”
Going the Extra Mile
Some Kendrick Paint & Body customers are two hours away, but that doesn’t stop Kendrick staffers from going the extra miles. “We have some customers from out of town who still want to have their cars repaired here,” says Bryant. “We’ll use our shuttle to take them home and if they can’t make it to the shop to pick up their vehicle, we’ll have the car delivered to them,” says Bryant. Kendrick Paint andBody shops also help several charities. They’re part of the local sheriff department’s “Kids and Cops” program, three local chambers of commerce, the American Heart Association and the United Way.