Ken Friesen, owner of Concours Collision Centres~CSN in Calgary, Alta., has been named to receive the 2013 Bodyshop of the Year Award, selected by Jobber News’ sister publication Bodyshop Magazine, as much for his longstanding service to the industry as for the success of his growing Calgary operations.
Friesen has been a part of the collision industry since the inception of the organization in 1981. Concours Collision Centres~CSN has grown from a single location to three state-of-the-art collision repair centres totalling more than 65,000 square feet in three Calgary-area locations.
“More importantly than the clear business success of the organization,” says Andrew Ross, publisher of both Bodyshop and Jobber News. “Ken Friesen has put a tremendous amount of energy into the betterment of the industry. A founder of the Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF), he has become known throughout North America as one of the most progressive owners in the industry. He has worked hard to improve the apprenticeship situation, develop more efficient practices, and then to help other shops understand how to become better themselves.
“He is one of a very few shop owners who is actually called on regularly to present to other shop owners in Canada and the U.S. on a variety of management topics, and has the best understanding of how to institute ‘Lean Principles’ in the real world of anyone I know.
“He has been doing this for many years. I can’t think of a more deserving individual and a more deserving organization that we can be proud to have as part of the Canadian collision industry.”
“It’s a huge honour,” says Friesen of the award. “I’ve always wanted to see a higher level in this industry, to help the industry move itself forward.” Friesen says his greatest satisfaction comes from having seen the Concours staff develop over the years. Concours has honed its career path for employees, and today many of the staff have been with the organization from the beginning of their careers in the industry. The average age of the organization is 30, which is considerably younger than many, which speaks volumes about how it has been able to continue to attract young staff. “We don’t think of starting people at the bottom, we start them at the beginning.”
As well recognized as Friesen is, the Concours organization is worthy of repute in its own right. Concours, currently a member in the PPG MVP and CSN Collision & Glass groups, began with one 3,000 square foot location and one employee. By 1985, the business had steadily grown and had to move to an 8,000 square foot facility. In 1990, the company relocated to its present 30,000 square foot building in the southeast of Calgary. In 2001, its second location opened in the northwest quadrant of Calgary. Concours Crowfoot has now grown to over 18,000 square feet.
The most recent addition was in May 2012 when it opened its Royal Oak facility. The Royal Oak facility was designed according to innovative production techniques based on Lean Principles, a key focus of Friesen throughout the years. A full profile of Friesen and Concours will appear in the July issue of Bodyshop Magazine, currently in production. For more information on supplier opportunities available in the issue, please contact the publisher, Andrew Ross, at email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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