Wisemans reign supreme
When Dave Wiseman established Wiseman Panelbeaters 38 years ago, it was all about belting the hell out of things to get them back into shape.
Now under the guidance of sons Scott and Grant, the longevity of their family-run business in Feilding comes down to their constant drive to diversify and keep up with modern technology.
The company has grown from one man hammering away in a small shed in 1979 to a staff of 14 across two divisions - Wiseman Panelbeaters and Wiseman Glass.
They patch up 25-30 cars a week - that’s more than 1250 a year - and greet every customer with a smile.
It’s a large part of why they took home the supreme award at the Feilding and District Excellence in Business Awards on Saturday.
Although, they’re the sort of business no-one likes to visit, Scott said.
Every time a customer retrieves their car the Wisemans are met with a ‘thank you’, followed by ’hope we don’t see you again’.
But they try to make it a painless process, Scott said.
He had even recommended other businesses that would turn a customers car around in a more timely manner.
‘‘It’s just about being upfront and customers like that. With a warrant you’ve got 28 days... so you give them the best options.’’
Scott’s youngest son Brayden, 18, who started in the workshop this year, could become the third generation to manage the business.
Dave recalled growing up next door to a panel shop owner, where he would spend holidays and weekends helping out.
After completing an apprenticeship he bought Grant Day Motors Panel Division, in Palmerston North, and took it to Feilding.
Scott was 8 at the time and recalls many weekends and school holidays mucking about the workshop.
Now, the company hauls custom from a 50km radius.
The firm is also a big believer in retaining Feilding locals - 12 of the 14 employees went through Feilding High School.
Business was booming and with more cars on the road than ever before, it did not look like business would slow down any time soon.
Wiseman Panelbeaters owner Scott Wiseman continues the business after father Dave started it in 1979.