I-CAR Australia Gold Class Coordinator Gary Wood announced that Willmot Smash Repair Specialist in Cairns, Queensland has been awarded the prestigious I-CAR Gold Class Collision status.
“The team at Willmot’s have demonstrated their commitment to training by achieving the I-CAR Gold Class accreditation. Regular participation in virtual and hands on training will ensure that all staff members are equipped with the most up to date knowledge and skills required to safely repair today’s vehicles. Extremely well done to all involved,” said Wood.
“Receiving the I-CAR Gold Class accreditation for Willmot Smash Repair Specialist was a great way to be recognised for our commitment to training and keeping up to date with the industry. The Road to Gold has been a great journey with our staff who embrace the learning culture we have here," said Helena Willmot.
“Being in Far North Queensland we can feel isolated. The training program provided by I-CAR has given us the opportunity to achieve much more with their online classrooms.”
“The accreditation is invaluable to any body shop, it is the recognition that your priority is the customers safety,” she said.
“The Gold Class status is the highest level of accreditation within the I-CAR Professional Development Program and will compliment Willmot Smash Repair Specialists value of quality and safety, by ensuring they have the technology and capabilities to deliver on every repair,” said Wood.
MTA Queensland members are the best in the business. This is no idle boast and more proof of that truth can be seen in the results of the recent 2018 Paint & Panel Bodyshop awards – presented by Australasian Paint & Panel magazine at a glamorous event held at the Melbourne Arts Centre in October.
Winners of the Queensland state awards were all MTA Queensland members and the national award for best new shop also went to an association member – Willmot Smash Repairs Specialist in Cairns. The Willmot business also picked up the best new shop in Queensland gong.
It’s a brilliant result all round and especially so for the Willmot team.
The business, founded in 1977 by Allan Willmot, marked its 40th birthday last year and the current owners, Helena Willmot and Wes Jenkins, had a busy 2017 overseeing the design and construction of their new purpose-built facility that opened last December.
While a massive amount of work went into the development of the new shop (and it clearly meets the very highest of industry standards) for Helena and Wes, being announced as the national award winners came as a big surprise.
“I honestly didn’t believe we would take out the national award,” said Helena. “We were absolutely gobsmacked when our name was called out and we were lost for words. It is such an honour to be recognised and we are extremely proud.”
While the new shop is certainly designed beautifully and now utilises state-of-the-art Pan booths, just as important, said Helena, were the processes and workflow that dictated the shop’s design – a feature that, perhaps, swayed the Paint & Panel judges in their favour.
“We spent countless hours on how the process would work within the new floor space,” she said. “Yes, we did build a new shop, but I think it was the whole package that was important. It is one thing to build a nice shed and make it look all pretty but it is everything else, from the front end to the back and all the processes in between, that count.
“The first day we opened was a hairy moment for us,” she added. “It is one thing to think, in your mind, about how it is all going to flow, but quite another to be physically there with the cars coming in and production ready to go!
“But Wes did a really great job, and while he has done some tweaking and a little fine tuning, production really has been seamless and efficient.”
For Helena, Wes and the 26-strong Willmot team, the bar has been set incredibly high – winning a prestigious national award less than 12 months into operation is no small feat – but no one will be resting on their laurels.
“We are in a very exciting industry that is going through many changes and we have to make sure we keep on top of that,” said Helena. “We are all proud of what we have achieved but we will make sure the standards stay high – that work never stops.”
Our Managing Director, Helena Willmot was nominated for an NRMA-sponsored award for women who are contributing to and making a difference in smash repair shops.
Owners, managers, accounts, customer service and even a panel beater, plus many of these women perform other vital roles in the company such as OH&S, payroll, estimating, parts ordering – there is a woman performing every job that can be undertaken in a paint and panel body shop.
While it is acknowledged that many women work in smash repair, it is still perceived as a male-dominated industry and the spotlight does not shine on women as much as it does on men.
This award sets out to redress the balance.
Operations Manager Willmot Smash Repair Specialist 2014
Willmot Smash Repairs Specialist
Is anyone missing?
There is still plenty of time to nominate other candidates. There will be five women selected and profiled in the magazine over the course of the year. Those five will be invited to a celebratory lunch in Sydney where an overall winner will be announced.
If you know someone who is making a difference in your business or if you are that person, don’t be shy, nominate now.
Let us know not only what you contribute to the business but also if you have any involvement with trade or local business associations, schools, apprentice training or other initiatives which help to raise the community profile of the shop.
You can enter online at www.paintandpanel.com.au by clicking on the banner advertisement on the home page.
Meanwhile Paint & Panel will be finding out more about those already nominated and then facing the difficult task of choosing two of the five finalists.
The autobody repair industry sparkled as they came together to celebrate the outstanding efforts of the 2018 Paint & Panel Bodyshop award winners. In record for these awards, 190 people attended at the Melbourne Arts Centre on Saturday 12 October to celebrate excellence in our industry. Comedian and broadcaster Justin Hamilton was the hilarious MC for the evening.
As well as giving all of the state winners their trophies and showing videos of each of the winning shops (which we will load onto our YouTube channel shortly) the best practice and national winners were announced.
We would like to thank all of our sponsors, firstly, for supporting the awards and secondly for bringing along their customers to the celebrations. Axalta and Compass have been the platinum sponsors for three years and have been fully behind our efforts to make the awards bigger and better each year. Both Steven Brett, Axalta’s managing director and James Frape, CEO of Compass both spoke briefly on stage.
All the supporting sponsors – Glasurit, Car Craft, Motor Trades Association of Australia, Collision Repair Expo, Vantage Automotive, Capital SMART, AkzoNobel, Norton St-Gobain were up on stage to present awards also. Thank you also to all the industry suppliers who came to cheer on their customers.
After a delicious meal MC Justin Hamilton had the audience in stitches with a great standup routine, before the national winners were announced. There will be a full report on the awards and the profiles of the winners in the November issue of the magazine. Thank you again to everyone who came, we hope you will join us again next year. You can find a full list of the state winners if you click here. Congratulations to all the winners from the Paint & Panel team.
Monday to Thursday: 7:30am – 4:30pm
Friday: 7:30am – 3:30pm
Saturday: 8:00am – 11:00am
Sunday & Public Holidays: CLOSED
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Willmot Smash Repairs operate one of the most advanced Cairns Panel Beater workshops in the region and have been providing our class leading services since 1977. More than just Cairns Car Spray Painters, Willmot Smash Repairs provide a whole range of automotive services to best serve the needs of our city and to keep our customers cars in perfect appearance. One of the niche services we offer is Cairns Car Wheel Repair where we can completely refurbish gutter rashed and pothole damaged alloy and mag wheels including refinishing and polishing to get them flawless in appearance. We also provide a comprehensive Cairns Car Detailing service where we can rejuvenate and correct the paint on all vehicle finishes giving an as new look and feel. If you need the services of the leading Cairns Car Accident Repair shop in North Queensland you can't go past the attention to detail, quality work and thoroughness to perfection that Willmot strives to deliver every day.
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