Wise­mans reign supreme

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Front Page - SAM KILMIS­TER

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.

PHOTO: DAVID UN­WIN

Wise­man Panel­beat­ers owner Scott Wise­man con­tin­ues the busi­ness af­ter fa­ther Dave started it in 1979.

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