Shop of the Month: Hampden Auto Body Co. Inc.

What sets Hampden Auto Body in Englewood Colorado apart from other body shops? Their Better Business Bureau Accredited status and their Certifications with Assured Performance, FCA, Nissan, INFINITI, Hyundai, Kia, Repair Capable – Ford, and Repair Capable – Aluminum. Situated in the middle of Denver’s metropolitan area, the collision shop is fortunate to service around 80 vehicles a month and their expertise has always attracted a strong fan base of committed staff and customers. Their facility serves customers and dealerships in the surrounding suburbs, while their certifications have led them to be a Certified Repair Center of choice, for vehicles throughout Colorado. Hampden Auto Body’s positive reputation doesn’t stop there— they are also a destination body shop for customers from other states! Their motto, “Our Business is Helping People!” guides the entire staff in their day-to-day operations and enforces their work ethic.

What does Hampden Auto Body credit for the loyalty of their customers? Quality repairs and consistent, standout work! They were one of the first shops in Colorado to receive INFINITI and Nissan Certifications in 2012. Assured Performance recently had the opportunity to connect with co-owner, Mike Ross, and his wife, Emy Ross, to find out more about how their shop stays grounded and successful.

The History of Hampden Auto Body

Hampden Auto Body was founded in 1983, after Dan and Mary Ann Ross purchased a former repair shop building. They were motivated to start their own business because of Dan’s interest in fixing automobiles. More than an interest— creating his own collision shop with a focus on safe, top-of-the-line quality repairs was his passion. Mary Ann managed the company through her business savvy and financial management skills. The combination of their talents allowed them to establish a successful, viable business that became a town favorite. However, as any business owner can attest, success requires hard work, dedication, and sacrifice.

Fast-forwarding to the year 2020, Hampden Auto Body has adapted to the changes that technology and COVID-19 have brought us all. The collision shop employs about 15 employees and specializes in late model, heavy collision repairs. While Dan and MaryAnn are now enjoying retirement, they are still active in the business. The shop continues to be family owned and operated by their two sons, Mike and Adam Ross. Mike (co-owner) is the lead blue printer and has been overseeing the day-to-day operations for over 23 years. Adam (co-owner) is the shop’s long-time parts manager. Two other family members are also employed by Hampden’s— Brian Tokle, as the shop’s main estimator and G.M., alongside Mike’s spouse, Emy Ross, as the office manager. As Emy explains, “Being a family business requires that each team member wear many different hats and cross-train in enough areas to handle our busy workload. Brian also oversees production, parts, and sales… as well as relationships with dealership accounts. I oversee marketing, training, financials, and human resources.”

How The Shop Maximizes Their Certifications 

While their Certified repair facility does attract out-of-town customers, their shop thrives due to their local community’s ongoing support of their business. The Certifications they have with top manufacturers attract attention and respect, which has resulted in their shop being a preferred auto body repair provider for the Denver metropolitan area. Their family is proud that it has been that way since the shop’s inception.

As Emy Ross explained, “We have invested a lot of time and money into creating a state-of-the-art auto body repair shop. In 2017, we completed our building expansion project, which doubled the size of our facility. We also upgraded and installed new equipment, including new custom Garmat paint booths and a Globaljig Super Rotax robust structural repair system.”

She adds, “Currently one of the biggest things that sets us apart from other body shops is that we also repair exotic vehicles and have the certifications to repair several high-end makes of vehicles.”

For Mike Ross, acting as both an owner and operator, the quality their shop provides is personal, “We provide services to help people— whether we can repair their vehicle or not. Sometimes the best assistance we can give is sharing our knowledge and experience to help customers make informed decisions. Safety has always been our top priority, when repairing vehicles, and we will only repair the vehicle per the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines.”

What Has the Shop Learned by Being Certified by So Many Manufacturers?

 Mike Ross has never tired of learning new methods and surmounting challenges, “By becoming Certified to repair many different makes of vehicles, we have gained access to ever-evolving repair methods and techniques. This gives us the ability to replace parts and restore vehicles back to pre-accident condition, better than ever. The key to constant improvement relies on empowering our staff to communicate about each repair and make decisions based on this information.”

If keeping track of the many changes occurring yearly, within the automotive industry, sounds difficult… Mike Ross has it down to a science.

Mike explains, “We have a robust management platform that allows us to measure everything along the way, for each repair. That way, we can change and adapt to maintain a constant flow of production and use quality control checkpoints as part of each repair. We take pride in every repair we complete.”

Hampden Auto Body credits their team for the structure that holds them all together, as the entire shop strives for improvement and excellence.

Managing Industry Changes Due to COVID-19

When the pandemic struck, Hampden Auto Body was prepared. Their body shop’s focus has always been to engage in the highest ethical practices possible, for all areas of their business. They have always prioritized their credentials, OEM Certifications, innovation, education, and investment into the future of their facility. Upon realizing that they were considered an “essential business” and would continue to stay open, they immediately adapted to additional new, efficient safety procedures and protocols. Their safety measures have included following CDC guidelines, using electronic sign-in forms and repair authorizations, offering a touch-less experience (for drop off and pick up), coordinating appointment times (to prevent crowding), a key drop box, payment by phone, and a full system of sanitization for each customer’s vehicle (at drop-off and pick-up). Hampden Auto Body uses interior safe sanitizing disinfectant to clean keys, door handles, steering wheels, console, dash controls, seatbelts and seat, armrests, and anything else their technicians might come into contact with. They don’t stop there, they also use an airborne disinfectant agent in the entire vehicle interior, which is left for a minimum of 2 hours prior to the next step of the check-in process. Since they closed their front office, all estimates are performed online or outside the building. Their shop has been using an online estimate form for years and they’ve been able to promote and utilize this tool. Their employees social distance and wear a mask as they interact with customers and vendors. 

If They Had to Get Certified Again, Would They?

Spoiler alert: YES!

In the words of Emy and Mike Ross, “We felt that certification was the future. The technological features and use of advanced steels and materials in new automobiles makes it critical that repairs meet the manufacturer’s high standards for fit and function… to ensure safety for all passengers and optimal vehicle performance.”

Connect with Hampden Auto Body on Facebook or through their website!