It’s around 10:30 on a Monday morning as Mark Broehm and I walk through his shop when a mechanic comes up to him and says, “Hey Mark, I know that you took delivery on some bolts yesterday. I need a specific size. Do you know if we got any in that shipment?”
He knew and he knew right where they were.
That’s astonishing on many levels, and that little anecdotal detail speaks volumes on why Accurate Alignment has been so successful over the years.
The fact that a man who manages a 27-bay heavy-duty repair shop is also the guy who takes delivery on bolts is amazing enough. But he didn’t just happen to be there to sign for the delivery, he knew the details of the order, what they would be used for and what bin they were stored in. Not only that, but did you catch the fact that it was Monday morning and the bolts were delivered “yesterday”? That’s right, the parts came in on Sunday afternoon and Mark was there to accept the delivery, a routine practice for this hands-on business owner.
Here’s how Mark describes it.
“I order Friday, I get them Sunday afternoon. So they’re ready to go Monday morning.
“I come in Sunday afternoon and unload them. And make sure he [the driver] can get down to Milwaukee for his next stop. ... Otherwise the next guy down the line might be in trouble. And the guy down the line. And the guy down the line. I know who the next person down the line is. I like him. I really do it for the trucking company because they’re the ones who take care of me.”
If that sounds like an extra-ordinary level of care for the business and others ... well ... welcome to Accurate Alignment.
It’s that same approach that led them to become ISO certified. The original push came from one of his biggest customers, Pierce, the fire truck people. Back when they were acquired by Oshkosh, they encouraged all of their suppliers to become ISO certified. Mark’s brother Dennis took the lead on making this happen. It took the better part of a year, but in the minds of Mark and Dennis, it was worth it.
ISO certification means gauges are always calibrated, work is always documented, proper procedures are always followed. As Mark says, “It’s a way that we make sure everybody’s on the same page.” He can explain, in detail how Accurate Alignment has benefitted from this over the years. The next time you see him at an SSA convention, spend a few minutes in conversation with him. He’s always happy to share.
A 64 Year History
Mark’s father, Clifford Broehm started the business (Accurate Alignment and Frame Service) in 1954. He got a loan from his dad and started out with a partner in a little Quonset hut in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin. They moved to a new location just outside of town in 1957. In 1974 they moved a few blocks away to their current location on what was then empty farmland. In the early eighties, Clifford bought out his partner and became the sole owner.
By the nineties, Clifford was starting to go into retirement mode and Mark began to take over management. Shortly thereafter, Mark’s brother Dennis joined the business as a minority partner and together, they bought the business from their father.
The current facility was built in 1974. In 1988 an addition was added to expand their parts offering. In 1987 they added an additional 50 feet to the building which allowed room for additional bays. Today, there are 27 active service bays. In the back of the property, there’s a second building, with five more bays but for now, it’s used for storage.
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