Cleveland-based LJI Collision Center: Family Values Drive Success

LJI Collision Center: Family Values Drive Success

Cleveland-based LJI Collision Center uses a process-centered environment and directional production to produce high-quality repairs efficiently.

If you’re searching for a collision shop in the greater Cleveland area, it is likely that you’ve landed on a five-star review or gleaming testimonial for LJI Collision Center. The independent collision shop has two locations, in Orange Village and Cleveland Heights, and has not seen a decrease in business as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Led by the sister duo Lauren Angie and Jill Strauss, their steady business comes from their superior customer service. LJI Collision Center is available to customers 24/7, including rental car and towing assistance and pickup and delivery. If a customer is in an accident at 3 a.m., they can count on someone at LJI to be there.

At A Glance

Location(s): Cleveland Heights, OH and Beachwood, OH
Square footage: 8,500  
Owner(s): Lauren Angie and Jill Strauss
Repair volume/number of cars per week: 60
Gross annual sales: $6 million
Number of employees: 26
Training/certifications: I-CAR Gold, ASE, Ford Aluminum, Porsche Certified

During regular business hours, customers can expect a welcoming, indoor, drop-off and delivery customer waiting area that features free WiFi, comfortable seating, a television, coffee bar and boutique that features handcrafted items made by local artisans including hand-wrought jewelry, fused glassworks, photo greeting cards, pottery and more.

After the repair is done, LJI boasts their lifetime written warranty on parts and labor, giving customers peace of mind after an accident.

During the pandemic, LJI is exercising extreme caution when working on vehicles by following CDC and state-mandated guidelines. The staff are required to wear masks and gloves, they enforce strict procedures for parts deliveries and insurance appraisers, customers can pull into the shop and wait in their car for service to be completed, finished rentals are queued up in LJI’s drive-thru area for optimal social distancing, and vehicles are cleaned and sanitized before and after repairs.

Behind the Bays 

Scheduling system: Summit 
Estimating system: CCC One
Prep station: Blowtherm
Spraybooth: Blowtherm
Measuring system: Car-O-Liner
Lifts: Car-O-Liner
Paint: Sherwin-Williams

With three generations working in the collision industry, the sisters are supported by their father and business advisor, Michael Giarrizzo Sr., and sons Daniel and Jeffrey Angie and Victor Strauss.

Working in the industry for more than 60 years, Giarrizzo Sr. taught his daughters the passion, knowledge and energy it takes to constantly improve the customer experience. “I chose to earn the allegiance of the customer by going above and beyond their or anyone’s expectations.”

As a result, LJI Collision Center is leading and executing lean disciplines and principles to benefit the customer, with quality and timely repairs at a competitive price.

“Helping our customers is rewarding,” Angie said. “Their situation is frustrating and upsetting, and they’re often uncertain what to do next. Gaining their confidence and trust is my focus for our company.”

Angie and Strauss operate under a process-centered environment and directional production. One way that LJI builds trust is by using top-of-the-line tools and equipment to facilitate high-quality repairs through lean manufacturing processes.

All technicians can work at either the Orange Village or Cleveland Heights location and are able to join production at any time. With lean thinking, the team environment shines at LJI. Technicians follow the vehicle from start to finish as it goes through the repair. They use point-of-use toolkits to ensure consistency and familiarity with each required tool for a quality final product.

Benches are used in all repair departments and allow vehicles to be elevated for repairs; LJI’s particular frame machine realigns cosmetic and sheet metal damage in a single setup; and their measuring system delivers real-time data quickly and efficiently to improve workflow. The database software that accompanies their measuring system offers information on virtually every vehicle on the road today, making it easier for the technicians at LJI to complete repairs on any make or model.

In today’s world, it is more important than ever to be energy-efficient and use eco-friendly products. LJI has installed skylights to bring natural light into the shop along with T8 fluorescent energy-saving lamps.

When it comes to paint, techs use Sherwin-Williams waterborne coatings to reduce the release of volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the atmosphere. Waterborne coatings use water as the primary solvent, which greatly reduces VOC emissions.

“Our mission is to build confidence in every customer and ensure quality repairs and superior customer service. Our commitment is to achieve and retain a customer for life,” Angie said.

And at LJI Collision Center, they are doing just that.

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