Highway for Damage Repair – Aftersales Magazine

For the new building in Nijmegen, Van Mossel Autoschade has designed a ‘motorway’ where the repair of damage takes place. “Narrower in design, where the front office must have the discipline to enter everything correctly.”

The concept, which has taken shape in Nijmegen, stems from an experiment that Van Mossel Autoschade took in Rotterdam. Injury Director of Van Mossel Group Ad van Diepenbeek: “The location is much more compact with work areas that are narrower. Traditionally, a damage workshop is equipped with bridges on the side. A workplace quickly becomes a parking lot. These are the meters too expensive these days. It is also not logical, because damage repair is traditionally divided into disassembly, sheet metal processing, pre-machining, etc. But once a mechanic has disassembled the parts, the sheet metal worker is never immediately ready to start. It’s not bad either. We have calculated that one of the eight hours per. working day can actually work on a car for five hours. A car waits between departments for three hours a day. In our new concept, we have been able to reduce these waiting times, thanks to the knowledge we have gained with the all-in-one cabins, where one mechanic repairs the mostly minor damage from A to Z. To that end, we created jobs on a kind of highway where the dismantling engineer is at the forefront, at his own workplace, the sheet metal worker shortly behind, the prefabricator behind again and so on. We have as little space as possible around it so cars can not be pushed around. An escape is also possible in the first step. If he goes on to the next step, he must go through the whole process. This means that the front office must be aware of everything. Today we check if all the parts are there for a car coming tomorrow. If there is no one, we call the supplier, who can deliver them the next day. If he can not guarantee it, we will call the customer to make a new appointment, because we do not want cars waiting here for days. By working in this way, we have found that we can repair more cars a day, because the waiting times are much shorter. ”

Infrared paint dryers already save a lot on energy costs. Even more savings are achieved by using air-drying varnishes.

It took some getting used to for the employees, but it went quickly. “Some people have been doing the same work for thirty years, so in the beginning there was a bit of disbelief: ‘What are you going to do ?!’ Until they started working on it. Already a week later, everyone was used to it. Everyone keeps their own workplace, everything is within reach and it is business as usual. ”

job satisfaction

In 2022, Van Mossel wants to focus even more on employees and ensure that they are doing well at Van Mossel. “We started expanding the workshop about eight years ago and grew along with the leases. In the beginning, it was primarily to roll up our sleeves and accelerate. Now we have grown so far that we have become a very different type of organization. Our employees are our most important asset. In recent years, we listened primarily to the manager, now we listen primarily to the employees themselves. You can create such a great company, but if you do not have the right people for it, you are nothing. Ensuring that people in our companies are well means talking to all of them in person. Just ask, ‘How are you at home?’ Drink a cup of coffee in the cafeteria. We will invest even more in this year. It is also a way to secure yourself the good people for the future. To achieve this, we also called in external help. He goes unannounced to the company and has conversations with the employees. Remember, our people are not suddenly treated differently. We have always taken good care of them, but it is also about atmosphere that makes people feel even more comfortable. ”

In addition to energy consumption, electric grinding instead of compressed air also reduces noise in the workshop.


What is also striking about the new building in Nijmegen are the large windows in the workshop, which emphasize the company’s transparency. “Everyone can see everything. We also record every step of the damage repair process. The workshop has long since lost its shady connotation. It is an industry that leads with numerous innovations. A lot has been invested in recent years. It is also the first party dealing with new technologies. ADAS does not break by itself, but it does after a collision. A workshop often has to deal with this before the dealer. I dare say that the workshop’s level of knowledge is at least the same level as a mechanic in the dealer’s workshop. “

Scale size

Because Van Mossel Autoschade has 25 branches, not all competencies need to be present in all branches. A showroom is also being built for the electric MG in Nijmegen. It is therefore logical that the adjoining workshop specializes in repairing MG. “Furthermore, universal damage repair is what happens here. The expertise of the front office is also crucial for this. Every car is read. If there are no error messages, such a car can also be repaired here. They go to specialized branches for specialist work.”

Likewise, the scale makes it possible to deploy the fleet of replacement cars as efficiently as possible. “We have a pool of about five hundred cars. The replacement cars we need are reserved in advance. If we do not have enough at our own location, we will get them out of the pool so we can still serve our customers. “We also have a small pool with somewhat larger cars. You do not have to have a Q5 or an A6 everywhere, but you need it sometimes.”

Due to its size, Van Mossel Autoschade has an almost nationwide network. There are still white spots on the map here and there, but these are actually not profitable for Van Mossel to fill out. “There is still a whole area between Zwolle and Groningen, but it is very difficult for us to start a damage repair company there. There are far fewer leases in that area than in the West or in Brabant. So the workshops that are there already meet the need. ”

“If you do not have the right people, you are nothing.”

With 25 branches, Van Mossel Autoschade is already a chain itself. Is the connection to Schadenet still of added value? “We think so. We also think we can share well. We do not consider ourselves more or better than anyone else. The future lies in cooperation. If brand recognition really takes off, we will not have it in all regions in the future. We hope to be able to count on partners in a specific area, as much as our partners can count on us in areas where they do not have brand recognition. This collaboration with other dealer groups is becoming increasingly important. “It can be 20 or 30 percent … The vast majority will continue to be traditional, universal body repair. You also have to have a party like Schadenet for that.”

Special damage occurs in hybrid boxes like these, for example on electric cars. Ad van Diepenbeek: “In the hybrid box, the car is separated and adjusted. For universal work such as sanding or spraying, the car drives ‘on the motorway’ and then returns to the hybrid box for assembly. The employees in the hybrid boxes will generally be a little more expensive, but we can also explain this very clearly to our customers, because they only perform the specialized work that requires extra knowledge and training. ”


Various adjustments have also led to a decline in energy consumption in Nijmegen. For example, the place is completely turned off gas, the roof is filled with solar panels, and further experiments with infrared drying are performed. “When we made the plans for Nijmegen, we knew that there would be no gas connection, but also that the energy capacity would be limited. So it was also necessary to look at how we could use energy as smartly as possible. ”

“We installed the first infrared cabin in Weert, in an existing spray booth, to see if infrared generates enough heat to let paint dry. That’s the case, only the heat turned out not to be able to reach everywhere. The system is now being modified with additional blocks so that an object is properly irradiated from all sides.In addition, our paint supplier can now supply air-dry clearcoats, so we no longer have to heat our spray booths up to 60 degrees, but only to 25 degrees.For a 2K paint, the booth still needs to be heated to 60 degrees, but it is done electrically. ”

Not only the core values ​​on the wall, but also informal conversations with the employees must ensure that the employees enjoy themselves at Van Mossel.

Grinding is also electric in Nijmegen, which also costs less energy, but is above all much quieter. “When you sand with air, your sanding machine is connected to a compressor that runs continuously, regardless of whether you sand or not. That compressor was the biggest energy guzzler in our company. With electric grinding you also have much less vibration in the arms, less noise and you no longer need such a giant compressor. We go even further than the health and safety regulations. ”

New branches

Of course, Nijmegen is not the final destination for Van Mossel Autoschade. The construction of two new branches will start shortly, in Utrecht and Culemborg. Ad van Diepenbeek: “What we learned in Rotterdam, we applied in Nijmegen. And what we learn here, we will soon improve in Utrecht and Culemborg. It remains a continuous process.”

Picture above: Placing the workstations one after the other for the different activities saves space and saves time.

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