Louise Power is the Manager at Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs, based just outside Wexford Town. Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs specialises in crash repairs and the business also offers a 24 hour breakdown and recovery service. In this interview, Louise tells us more about her role and what goes on behind the scenes in a busy car repair workshop.
1. How long has Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs Ltd. been in business?
In January this year we celebrated being in business for 43 years. Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs was established by Declan Power in 1975 in a small garage that he built at the back of his family cottage in Ferrycarrig, Wexford.
2. What sets Ferrycarrig Autobody Repairs Ltd. apart from competitors?
We take a holistic approach to vehicle damage and repair. We are there for our customers through each step of a stressful journey. We recover vehicles from the side of the road day or night, rain or shine, and our qualified drivers deliver the vehicles to our secure facility in Ferrycarrig.
We can also give a full estimate free of charge because our computerised estimation system generates specific repair methods for each individual vehicle and insurance companies can have an estimate complete with photographs an hour after the accident has taken place. This can speed the process along and mean less stress for the customer.
Customer satisfaction is a top priority for us. If required we can collect or drop off the customer’s vehicle direct to their door, we can give a free courtesy car while your vehicle is being repaired, and we give a full lifetime warranty on all our paint work as well as a manufacturer’s warranty on all parts.
3. What would a typical day at the centre look like?
There is usually plenty of movement around the premises during the day. We have new cars brought in daily as well as people just dropping in looking for an estimate. Our panel beaters are usually busy doing a variety of different things from minor body repair such as repairing dents, scratches and small bumps, to more major repairs such as panel replacement and body jigging. We have a large spray oven, which is a fully insulated room that removes dust and dirt from the air while vehicles or panels are being sprayed. This gives the ultimate finish to the paint work while at the same time it is kind to the environment because excess fumes are collected in special filters and not released into the environment.
Our day doesn’t stop at 6pm though, we are on-call for breakdowns or crashes 24/7 so we can also be seen on the roadside at minor crashes or more major incidents. We have also been known to pull a few cars out of the dunes in Rosslare with some very red-cheeked passengers in the early hours of the morning!
4. What do you like about your role?
I like that two days are never the same. We are constantly meeting new people and facing new challenges on a daily basis. Each repair job is different and brings new challenges and learning opportunities. It’s great to see the satisfaction of customers when an imperfection that has been bothering them for some time has been repaired to appear like new again. It’s also nice to know that we can make things a little easier on people when they have been in an accident and help reduce stress and get people on the road again as soon as possible.
5. What’s the biggest challenge in your business?
We unfortunately meet individuals and families at the most challenging times of their life. Not everyone is fortunate enough to walk away from an accident without injury. We strive to support people through difficult times by treating each individual involved and affected by the incident with dignity and respect. We support each person without blame and assist as much as possible. We assist the Gardaí and insurance assessors in their examinations of the vehicles and follow our confidentiality policy very strictly. It can be very difficult to see the hurt and loss that people go through when they are affected by a road traffic accident, especially if they are people that you know.
6. What sort of things should the public look out for when choosing a centre to get their car repaired?
People should shop around and not necessarily go for the cheapest price, but for the best value for money service. There are lots of panel beaters around but it’s important to get your vehicle back on the road looking like there was no damage at all done to it. The paint should be flawless and the car should look like it did the day it came out of the factory. All repair work should be done to such a standard that it is completely unnoticeable. It’s also really great for people to come and get work done in a garage where we understand the demands of everyday life and how difficult it is to be without a vehicle. That’s why we feel our offer to collect and drop off cars for work is really appealing to some customers.
7. How would you like to see the business grow and develop over the next five years?
We would like to gain a wider customer base over the next year and secure some bigger contract work, this in turn would allow us to take on more employees and grow.
We are big supporters of corporate social responsibility and would like to do more to support local charities over the next five years. We would also like to take on a new employee through the Employability programme. This programme gives people with a disability a chance to get into the workplace with a little bit of assistance, on a part time basis to begin with. We feel that we could give someone a new lease of life and some extra skills through this programme.
Thanks to Louise for taking part in this interview.