On 30th March 2022, Tom Hudd and I, visited our member Fylde Coast Accident Repair Centre in Blackpool. Dane Hyland (Director) welcomed us into his ultra-modern, double-height, light and airy reception, which wouldn’t look out of place in a hotel. A lovely seating area for customers to relax into while they are being dealt with. With the reception area being open plan, you can see the reception team, the VDA’s and workshop controller working away and get a real feel for the business. The company principles proudly on display for all to see. They aren’t messing around.
Established in 1982 by Dane’s father David, starting with 1 apprentice the company has evolved to have 48 employees servicing some of the largest insurance companies in the UK. Back in 2007, they were the first bodyshop in Lancashire to achieve the then PAS125, which became BS10125, an accreditation they still hold to this day. This just really demonstrates the standards, the whole company ethos and principles to offer all of their customers the reassurance of first-class repair with minimum of fuss and inconvenience.
Dane invited us up to the mezzanine into their boardroom, telling us along the way how he and his father David, with a few friends in the building trade fabricated the building from the ground up. The steps we walked up, crafted by David Hyland himself is testament to his high level of varying skills that has helped the company develop and grow over the years. The care and attention to detail from this fact alone tells me that this business really cares.
From the boardroom a window overlooks the bodyshop, where I can see 4 booths, a busy shop floor full of cars, aluminium repair area and a commercial jig towards the rear. Dane said that he got the commercial jig to future proof the business as he can see a big increase on LCV’s requiring repairs.
Dane explained how during the pandemic they took to aviation work in one of their booths, painting Robinson R44 helicopters. Their location, close to Blackpool Airfield really benefitted them during the pandemic and while they would still accept a Helicopter or two, coming out of the pandemic, the sheer volume of cars they’re now seeing each week, leaves little capacity for the aviation work, (it would be cool to see a helicopter amongst all the cars).
Fylde Coast ARC has built up a lot of relationships over the years. Dane says that relationships are what makes for good business. Getting advice, listening, and taking best practice from all his relationships to put into his business. They have 20 manufacturer approvals, (including Tesla and VAG).
Walking around the business, Dane showed us the staff canteen, a large open plan area, with a lovely, fitted kitchen. Dane proudly told us how his team keep everything clean and tidy, a testament to his team taking pride not only in their work, but also caring about who they work with and work for.
Dane then went on to show us a very busy parts department, which Dane said they’ve begun to outgrow and he’s in the process of making additional space to the rear of the business. Dane bought 3 shipping containers, one for painted parts, one which will house a wheel balancer and tyre machine and a third for additional parts and stock. When they built their site, the parts department was ample space for the 45 cars which they anticipated repairing each week, but now they are repairing 65 cars per week and the business is evolving to meet these needs.
Walking us around the exterior, showing us the shipping containers, which Dane had an apprentice weld together you can really sense the history of this business, how it has been grown and the future they are building. Dane said they would be cladding the containers, so they look and feel part of the business. As we walked back inside, Dane picked up some rubbish, which again reinforced everything I’d already seen about their care and compassion.
To close our meeting, we sat with Dane and Dave Wozniak the Operations Manager, who showed us some background documents and data they use to measure insurers and work providers to see what jobs can be most profitable.
Dane has surrounded himself and filled his business with great individuals who all work to the company standards set out by his father 40 years ago. Dane credits the team for the success that they have established. I would recommend Fylde Coast Accident Repair Centre to anyone, (in Lancashire) and can’t wait to see what Dane has planned next.