Great Plains Auto Body celebrates 25 years of dedicated service!
Owner Bruce Hansen opened Great Plains Auto Body in November of 1988. Its first location was on 78th and ‘F’ Streets by the police impound lot. Great Plains added onto that building one time in 1995 but eventually outgrew the building.
They had the opportunity to buy the building on Grover Street in 1996. After the hailstorm of 2001, Great Plains added onto the building and remodeled the offices.
The Council Bluffs location opened in 2007 and in 2011, GPAB bought the location on 109th and Emmet.
Business continues to thrive as GPAB looks at a possible addition to that building in the not too distant future.
Bruce attributes the success of his business to the quality of his company’s customer service. “You have to do what you say you’re going to do and be honest with everyone, both insurance companies and customers,” he says.
Word of mouth is still one of the main ways Great Plains gets business, and it’s no surprise. Bruce consistently looks for honesty, integrity and a strong work ethic in his employees.
“If I promise a car will be out at certain time, it’s a problem if the person isn’t there to work on it,” says Bruce.
Currently, he says Great Plains employs about 55 individuals among its three locations.
As an employer, Bruce knows the importance of providing training to his employees. He says a lot has changed in the industry over the years.
“Repair procedures have changed, paint systems have changed. We’ve gone from lacquer, acrylic enamels and polyurethanes to water-based paints. We have moved from spraying on primer to rolling it on with a roller. Who would think you’d be painting a vehicle with a roller? That used to be a joke,” Bruce says.
He says the biggest challenge in his business is keeping both the insurance companies and the vehicle owners happy over the long haul.
Recently, Bruce had an individual with an insurance company approach him and say, “You really need to be proud of what you’ve done here. So many people I do business with, they open a store, then take the money and buy toys and don’t put it back into the business. They don’t grow it and you are and that’s great.”
Bruce admits he thought that was a cool compliment.
Another big change in the industry has to do with the insurance companies. These days, many local adjustors work out of their homes.
“The customer used to get multiple estimates and then the insurance company would take the low bid, with the body shop fixing it the best they could for that amount of money. Today, insurance companies let the body shop prepare the estimate and repair the car the way it should be, no more, no less,” Bruce explains.
Most people do not want to get their cars worked on. Getting into an accident is not something people look forward to. However, Great Plains Auto Body wants their customers to be satisfied when they get their vehicles back.
“At the end of the day, we hope customers realize they made the right decision to choose us and that they tell their friends and family members. That’s big!”
To set up an appointment with Great Plains Auto Body today, call 402-334-7100.