Lincoln Daily News
Appliance and TV
403 Broadway St.
John R. Gehlbach
529 Pulaski St.
Thomas L. Van Hook
Complete Auto Repair
720 N. Sherman St., rear
Thompson Auto Body
919 S. Kickapoo
105-115 Lincoln Ave.
P.O. Box 170
J&S Auto Center
103 S. Logan
222 S. McLean
Logan County Bank
121 N. Kickapoo
318 N. Chicago
1165 - 2200th St.
Advanced Carpet Cleaning
708 Pulaski St.
P.O. Box 306
411 Pulaski St.
Heartland Com. College
620 Broadway St.
601 Keokuk St.
129 S. Sangamon St.
2025 2100th St.
Atlanta, IL 61723
(217) 737-2672 cell
Roger Webster Construction
303 N. Sangamon St.
341 Fifth St.
and Training Center
120 S. McLean St.
K. Bridget Schneider
A.G. Edwards & Sons,
628 Broadway, Suite 1
food & ice cream
Gleason's Dairy Bar
110 Clinton St.
127 S. Logan
F-C-S at LDN
The Mustard Moon
1314 Fifth St.
Health & Fitness Balance
113 S. Sangamon
214 N. Chicago
Windows, doors, siding,
315 Eighth St
repair firm readies new home
Erv Guyett, owner of
Collision Concepts, takes a professional, analytical approach to
running his business. It appears to be paying off. In four years his
auto repair firm has almost tripled its gross sales and now is
building more space.
The new home for Collision Concepts,
located two lots east of Lee’s Home Furnishings, at the intersection
of Woodlawn Road and Macon Street, is expected to open by the end of
March 2003. With 13,500 square feet, it is more than three times as
large as the current space, behind Graue
Chevrolet-Buick-Oldsmobile-Pontiac-Cadillac at 1907 N. Kickapoo.
That location has 4,200 square feet, including office space.
[Photos by Lynn Spellman]
[New site for Collision Concepts]
The business was formerly Graue’s body
shop. Since January 1998, when Guyett and Dick Taylor of Dick Taylor
Automotive Service in Springfield bought it, annual gross sales have
grown from $400,000 to just under $1.1 million. And they have grown
without adding personnel, because there is just no room for more
Guyett said his firm produces $7 per
square foot per month over the national average but pays for that in
number of times vehicles must be moved. The ideal is no more than
four moves during the repair process, but he averages at least five.
He observed that 18 vehicles were once parked in the limited space
"like a can of sardines."
In 1998-9 Guy Taylor, Dick Taylor’s
former production manager, served as general manager in Lincoln,
reporting to Guyett in Springfield. In January 2000 Guyett bought
out his partner and personally took over the local operation,
changing to the current name. By early 2001 the business grew out of
both production area and office space. Construction on the new
facility started in fall 2002.
Guyett said he chose the west-side site
because his business is location-driven. He is seeking a
high-traffic area and curb appeal, something the location behind
Graue’s lacks since it has no curb view at all. Guyett wants
visiting his office to be like driving to the doctor. By that he
means a professional-looking business where customers are
comfortable and which they feel they can trust with their
Work areas will all have metal halide
lighting, the form of artificial light closest to natural sunlight.
This will improve quality control by letting workers see the vehicle
as it will be seen on the street. At the Kickapoo Street location
Guyett has it in the spray booth only.
He ran a comparison study of production
results with and without metal halide lighting. This is typical of
Guyett’s analytical approach to his business. "We can’t expect to
grow unless we know how, why, when," he noted.
[Inside the 1907 N. Kickapoo
The new facility offers a
climate-controlled estimating bay, also with metal halide lighting.
Guyett said the extremes of Illinois weather mean that customers
sometimes swelter and sometimes freeze if estimating is done
The auto repair business carries a
large administrative load, requiring one administrative position for
every two production technicians, according to Guyett. "It is 95
percent insurance-driven," he said, and much of the paperwork
depends on requirements of the various insurance companies. In
addition, parts distribution and daily communication take their
share of administrative time.
[to top of second column in this
In the current arrangement, Guyett,
repair process manager Matt Heubner and a receptionist share the
small office space. Right now the receptionist post is vacant, but
Guyett expects to fill it and a detail technician’s before moving to
the new facility. Two more hires are possible by the end of 2003.
One would be a person with parts and production responsibilities to
act as liaison between the office and shop.
Current employees include body repair
technicians Bill Baughman and Bobby Quisenberry, refinish
technicians Michael Armitage and Jason Williams and detail
technician Chris Schnorr. All hold ICAR (Inter-Industry Commission
on Automotive Collision Repairs) gold class status, as does the
business. To achieve this rating each person must have taken 80
percent of the total ICAR instruction offerings for that position
and the business must have 80 percent of its employees meeting this
Collision Concepts is also an
Automotive Service Excellence blue ribbon holder, which means that
95 percent of technicians have passed a four-year renewable exam for
their position. Baughman is an ASE master technician, holding
certification in all six possible areas.
Collision Concepts is a concessionaire
for Enterprise Rent-a-Car. In Illinois, unlike some states, the
driver at fault in an accident must provide transportation while the
other person’s vehicle is being repaired. Therefore, Guyett
encourages auto insurance rental car coverage. He said rental
expense is the third largest component of insurance cost, after
vehicle repair and bodily injury. So insurance companies are
interested in speed of repairs.
To schedule work Collision Concepts
uses the CR Auto Scheduler Plus from Collision Resources and in fact
was a test firm for the program. It looks at the last 15 similar
repairs to determine how long the job will take, then generates
three possible beginning dates and corresponding finish times.
Guyett said the program allows his business to bring in no more than
it can handle. Still, he is wary of over-promising on delivery and
does not guarantee delivery time. Hidden damage is a big unknown, he
owner of Collision Concepts]
"This is a funny business," commented
Guyett. "We can’t create sales." Collision Concepts gets business
through word of mouth, insurance agents and even police referrals.
About 40 percent of the 85 repair orders per month are General
Motors vehicles. This figure reflects growth from the original
connection with Graue, and Guyett is looking for further expansion
including more high-end foreign cars.
The Collision Concepts mission
statement emphasizes customer service: "The primary standard of
quality will be measured through the eyes of our customer and their
satisfaction level." The firm employs a third-party company to
survey all customers after the repair is complete. Guyett is proud
of his 99.2 percent customer satisfaction rating.
Concepts makes all ICAR-approved repairs. Services include free
estimates, lifetime written warranty on all work, paintless dent
repair, glass installation, courtesy cars and ride service, rental
cars on site, available financing and computerized damage
estimating. Business hours are 8-5 Monday-Friday. The new address
will be 1005 Macon; the phone is (217)
735-2100; and the website is
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Street Lincoln grant
to help new businesses
[DEC. 4, 2002]
Street Lincoln has received a $20,000 Illinois FIRST grant that will
be used to put new businesses on the courthouse square, Cindy
McLaughlin, Main Street director, told the Lincoln City Council this
Grant money will be given either to new
businesses or to existing ones that want to relocate in the Logan
County Courthouse Historic District. The historic district includes
the square and areas up to two blocks from the square, McLaughlin
Grants may be awarded up to a maximum
of $10,000. They will not fund the complete startup of a new
business but could fund as much as one-third of the cost, according
to McLaughlin. The money can be used for almost anything except
inventory, including remodeling, facade renovation or historic
Businesses must invest in a Main Street
Lincoln Partnership to be eligible and must provide a business plan
based on or similar to the Small Business Administration model.
[to top of second column
in this article]
The Main Street Lincoln Economic
Restructuring Committee had expected to receive the grant a year
ago, but it didn't come through until Nov. 7 of this year,
McLaughlin said. The Main Street group held a meeting with local
bankers and other lenders immediately so these institutions could
tell prospective business owners about the possibility of getting
the extra funds.
A recommendation from a lending
institution, as well as the approval of the Economic Restructuring
Committee, is required for the award of the grant. Grant recipients
should also consult with the Main Street Lincoln Design Committee to
comply with historic district guidelines for signs and facade
said one potential new business owner has already come in to discuss
applying for the grant. She hopes to see the grant money used by the
end of March 2003.
[Click here for eligibility criteria and details on the grant
with Chamber Bucks"]
County Chamber of Commerce
Abbott, Executive Director
S. Kickapoo St.
local chamber of commerce is a catalyst for community progress, bringing
business and professional people together to work for the common
good of Lincoln and Logan County.
Street Corner News
[DEC. 4, 2002]
To provide partial funding to facilitate new businesses in the
1. Grant recipients must invest
in a Main Street Lincoln Partnership in order to be eligible for
2. Business location must be
within the Logan County Courthouse Historic District.
3. Business should consult with
the Main Street Lincoln Design Committee concerning signage and
potential facade improvements in order to comply with historic
district standards and guidelines.
4. As part of the grant
application, business must provide a business plan based on or
similar to the Small Business Administration model.
5. Grant is available to
potential business owners upon recommendation from the Economic
Restructuring Committee and with Main Street Lincoln board approval.
1. Application for the grant is
made as part of the business loan application process at
participating local lending institutions. Contacts made to Main
Street Lincoln will be referred to lending institutions.
[to top of second column
in this article]
2. Grant will provide no more
than one-third of the equity or down payment for a bank loan of a
maximum of $10,000.
3. Approval of the grant will be
considered at a regular monthly meeting of the Main Street Lincoln
Economic Restructuring Committee. A lending institution
recommendation is required for the award of this grant. The
committee reserves the right to reject any and all grant
4. Payment of approved grants
will be made at the time of the business loan closing.
In order to
meet Main Street reporting requirements, the business agrees to
provide Main Street Lincoln with the following information within
three months: listing of capital improvements to the building,
dollar amount spent on improvements, number of full-time and
part-time employees of the business.
Cindy McLaughlin, Program Manager
604 Broadway St., Suite 4
106 S. Chicago
P.O. Box 129
218 Eighth St.
114 E. Cooke St.
P.O. Box 78
Mount Pulaski, IL 62548
311 Broadway St.
601 Keokuk St.
604 Broadway St., Suite 4
polishing & cleaning
All About You
408 Pulaski St.
716 N. Logan
511 Woodlawn Road
Holiday Inn Express
130 Olson Drive
2202 N. Kickapoo
Maple Ridge at LDN
Lincoln, IL 62656
Advanced Eye Care
623 Pulaski St.
Nobbe Eye Care
1400 Woodlawn Road
Good Ole Pest Control
Daron Whittaker, owner
380 Limit St.
102 Fifth St.(217) 732-3100
Alexander & Co.
410 Pulaski St.
610 N. Logan
222 N. McLean
Werth & Associates
1203 Woodlawn Road
Blue Dog Inn
111 S. Sangamon St.
1101 Woodlawn Road
Lincoln Mission Mart
819 Woodlawn Road
Clinton Mission Mart
104 E. Side Square
Clinton, IL 61727
Neal Tire & Auto
507 Pulaski St.
Abraham Lincoln Tourism
Bureau of Logan County
303 S. Kickapoo
945 Broadwell Drive
529 Woodlawn Road
The Classic Touch
129 S. Sangamon St.
Weddings by Crystal
121 S. Sheridan St.
319 W. Kickapoo St.