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IRS Group and Sika seal partnership in the NonPaint segment

“For us, IRS is the first workshop group with which we have developed a non-paint concept,” explains Jochen Gaukel, Head of Automotive Repair Sales at Sika Germany. “Here it was important to define a standard product range that
meets the requirements of the variety of applications while remaining lean and consistently oriented towards price/performance criteria. Since the Group has already taken the first step towards standardization, we were able to tie in seamlessly here.

Sika takes over introduction and training

For IRS Managing Director Frank Gerardy and his project team, it was crucial that a new partner not only sees itself as a supplier, but also ensures through regular monitoring and training in the companies that the products
are used correctly. Part of the agreement is therefore that Sika’s product specialists will also take over the introduction of the new products and processes at the IRS locations.

In doing so the automotive repair experts rely on intensive training and technical inspection of the machined workpieces. “With measurements of the roughness depth, for example, we make differences in grinding processes visible that can not be seen with the naked eye, but have a considerable influence on the result”. This is how Key Account Manager Thorsten Ehrlichmann convinces even those users who have to say goodbye to old habits first.

Quality is made by people

Result orientation plays an important role in the project. The goal is to save time and material by optimizing the NonPaint processes and at the same time to achieve a technically and optically perfect repair result. And despite all the technology in the product, this requires above all the motivation and skills of people. That’s why everyone involved is confident that the employees in the pilot plants have supported the test phase with great dedication and are now focusing on the NonPaint process program from Sika.

The IRS will use the applications not only in paint preparation but also for bonding and sealing in the body shop and automotive glass sector, where repair requirements are increasing strongly due to the technical leaps in vehicles.
Inserting panes with Sika’s Power Cure system is therefore a clear advantage in high workshop utilization due to the reliable curing within one hour. Sika as a strong partner at our side

Sika’s innovation competence and its leading role in the worldwide original equipment of vehicles was another point that perfectly fits the strategy of the IRS Group. “We have committed ourselves to the principle of “repair before renewal
and strive to keep our repair know-how on all brands and drive types permanently at the highest level. An innovative market leader like Sika is a valuable partner for the transfer of knowledge from series production to repair”. concludes Frank Gerardy.

The launch will start immediately and is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2021.

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Carrosserie Jan Hanssens expands IRS in Belgium

The Belgian Cryns Group, part of IRS since January 2020, has successfully implemented its growth plans despite the pandemic restrictions. Since November, Carrosserie Jan Hanssens in Gullegem has been part of the Cryns Carrosserie Center. In Jan Hanssens, Cryns and IRS have found an ideal partner for the qualitative expansion of the group, which now has 9 branches in Belgium.

Carrosserie Jan Hanssens was founded in 1985 and is known as a modern and dynamic body repair company. Besides the repair of cars, the company also offers workshop services for buses and motor homes. Recently the infrastructure has been completely renewed. The workshop has been equipped with the latest technology and the reception has been given a new, modern look. “Our company is ready for the future and by joining the Cryns group we want to tackle that future as powerfully as possible,” says Jan Hanssens.

The Cryns Carrosserie Center became part of the IRS Group at the beginning of this year. This combination gave additional strength to the growth strategy. The addition of Carrosserie Jan Hanssens is a new milestone in the development of the Group. “This is a heavenly connection,” enthuses Johan Van Deursen, CEO of the Cryns Group. “In terms of philosophy, infrastructure, working methods and quality standards, Carrosserie Jan Hanssens fits perfectly into the Cryns vision.

With the addition of Carrosserie Jan Hanssens, Cryns Carrosserie Center has its first branch in the province of West Flanders. Cryns strives for the widest possible geographical spread in Belgium in order to be able to offer its services. This for private customers as well as professional fleets.


Wheel Wizard rim preparation opened in Hamburg

From left: Tobias Haug, Wheel Wizard Managing Director and IRS Holding Managing Director Uwe Artz.


Wheel Wizard GmbH, a subsidiary of the IRS Group, opened a production site in Hamburg on October 1.

The company formerly known as “Wheelnews” will continue to grow under the umbrella of the IRS Group in 2020 despite the corona crisis. The focus will be on bringing the comprehensive range of services even faster and closer to the customer.

“With the second production site in Germany, we are responding to the increasing demand from our customers and are consistently expanding our market position,” says Managing Director Tobias Haug. “With Wheel Wizard, Dent Wizard and IRS Karosserie & Lack, a combination location is being created here in Hamburg that offers our customers high added value and the best service quality. We are currently planning further locations in Scandinavia and the Benelux countries,” Haug continues.

Wheel Wizard claims to be one of the leading partners of the automotive industry when it comes to the high-quality reconditioning of rims in OEM quality.


PPG and IRS Group intensify cooperation

v.l.: Frank Gerardy, Geschäftsführer Karosserie und Lack, Dirk Wischnewski, CFO und Sprecher der IRS Group, Thomas Leuchten, PPG Business Development Director und Torben Beck, PPG Business Director.


The consistent further development of intelligent processes and investment in digitization is a key prerequisite for the future viability of vehicle repair. PPG, the specialist for paint applications, and the IRS Group agree on this. Since the start of their cooperation in 2017, the companies have been vigorously promoting innovations at IRS’ locations.

Optimization through digital process planning and efficient warehouse management

All body and paint shops in IRS’ growing repair network work with both digital color measurement and digital mixing systems from Nexa Autocolor. The advantages are time savings, reliability in the color mixing process and optimized paint consumption.

The two partners also see great potential for optimization in the ideal process planning of operating procedures and have been successively rolling out ProcessManager in the IRS workshops since the beginning of the year. PPG’s digital planning tool brings transparency to workshop orders and makes communication faster and more efficient. Capacities can be planned precisely and each individual process step can be called up and controlled at any time by managers and employees.

Another pillar in the digitalization of workshop operations is efficient warehouse management. PPG’s web-based easyStore system automatically keeps inventories at the optimum level, thereby reducing storage and handling costs.

Strategic partnership with PPG

“The decision for PPG as strategic partner of IRS has a very positive effect on the control of our locations” explains managing director Frank Gerardy. “Our customers in particular benefit from the higher planning accuracy of the digital systems, because we can tell even more reliably when a vehicle will be finished. A further plus of digitalization is the motivation of our employees. Everyone thinks the control of their own work with the tablet is good. And thanks to PPG’s training program, everyone quickly became familiar with it”.

Thomas Leuchten, Business Development Director at PPG Refinish, adds: “We are very happy about this intensive and good cooperation. IRS with its growing network and willingness to quickly adapt innovative tools and digital building blocks is an excellent partner for us. The close cooperation accelerates the innovation process and we are very pleased to have gained the trust of IRS Group for this strategic cooperation”.


IRS AHLERSTEDT new in the group

In the year 2000, the master car mechanic Ralf Müller founded his own mechanic workshop. Together with his wife Andrea, he topped the successful development of the company in 2010 with the construction of the current location. The modern, spacious building is located in the district of Wangersen in the municipality of Ahlerstedt and houses the car dealership of the Müller family in addition to the master car mechanic business.

The car dealership shines with a very successful mechanics workshop and a growing bodywork and paint department for the repair of accident damage. This part of the family business has been part of the IRS Group since 01.09.2020.

By joining the IRS network, Ralf and Andrea Müller want to ensure the future-proof continuation of their workshop. They see their company with 25 employees and trainees under the umbrella of the growing IRS Group well equipped for the progressive digitalization of vehicle technology and the increasing process requirements in damage repair.

“The IRS Group will enable us to continue to offer our workshop customers the professional work they are used to from us in the long term – and that is a particularly important concern for us”.


IRS further expands in West Germany

Since 01.08.2020, F. Schließas GmbH & Co. KG located in Viersen has been part of the IRS Group. 

The 20-strong team around the new branch manager Frank Schließas will offer its body and paintservices under the new name “IRS Schließas”.  

In the course of more than 30 years, the family business has developed from a classic craftsman’s business into a service company that offers more than just accident repair. In addition to high-quality bodywork and painting services, Schließas also provides frame straightening, wheel alignment, car glass replacement or repair, smart repair services and much more. Modern workshop equipment and communication processes guarantee short repair times. 

As a member of several councils within the industry Schließas also contributes to the definition of quality standards and the training of qualified specialists. 

A secure future for his highly qualified team was the main reason for Frank Schließas to integrate his company into IRS. “The demands on technology and processes in accident repair are increasing rapidly. We look forward to being part of a strong group in the future. 

“The team around Frank Schließas enjoys an excellent reputation in the industry and is a real enrichment for our group. We are thus further expanding IRS’ strong presence in West Germany,” Frank Gerardy welcomes the new company. 

The IRS Group now has over 140 locations and more than 2200 employees in Germany and Europe. This makes it the European leader in the fields of Smart Repair, body and paint repairs as well as hail damage repair of vehicles 

The IRS network offers all services related to the preparation and repair of vehicle bodies and interiors for used, rental, accident and leasing vehicles. 


Frank Gerardy heads IRS body and paint division

Frank Gerardy was the first contractor to join the IRS Group in 2016. Since then, he has been managing the Frank Gerardy GmbH sites in Polch and Koblenz as Managing Director and in parallel supports the further development of IRS Karosserie und Lack with operational know-how and his excellent network. In 2019 Frank Gerardy became Co-Managing Director alongside Norbert Dohmen. Now the 49-year-old is assuming sole responsibility for IRS Karosserie und Lack GmbH with around 1000 of the total of 2200 employees in the entire group. The management of Frank Gerardy GmbH is to pass into other hands in the course of the year.

“The German IRS division K&L has developed very well in the last few years. In the beginning, we had to do a lot of convincing, but in the meantime body and paint entrepreneurs are recognizing the advantages of a strong group, regardless of the current corona crisis”, Frank Gerardy states.

Focus on customer satisfaction and profitable growth

Frank Gerardy sees the focus of his work in creating optimal conditions for high customer satisfaction, motivated employees and sustainable profitability in the K&L operations of the IRS Group. “Strategically, we continue to focus on growth through new locations, while at the same time optimizing the capacity in the workshops that already belong to IRS”.  The intensive cooperation with the SmartRepair and Hagel business unit is also important to him. Together, the two divisions of the IRS Group offer the full range of damage repair services and can thus respond very flexibly to the needs of customers.

In recent months, the management team has been working intensively on the definition and implementation of standards to be guaranteed to customers at all IRS locations. In addition to investments in technical equipment and the digitalisation of production and service processes, cooperation agreements with equipment partners such as PPG or HGS were also concluded under the leadership of Frank Gerardy.

Employee development at the IRS Academy

Gerardy describes the program for the qualification and motivation of employees as at least as important as technical investments. “Accident repair is a high-tech process and is becoming increasingly complex due to electromobility and driver assistance systems. In order to permanently keep the level of knowledge of our teams at the highest level, we recently established the IRS Academy in Polch.” Behind this are ultra-modern diagnostic and painting technology and a demanding training programme in which the IRS works together with experts such as KtD, Dekra and Hella Gutmann. Due to the current circumstances, however, the academy will be suspended for the time being.

Strong team spirit

The IRS Group has so far coped well with the corona situation. Central crisis management is setting the strategic course for the Body & Paint and Smart Repair & Hail. In contrast, the development and implementation of ideas for the flexible adaptation of services to legal requirements is taking place in a lively dialogue at site level. Frank Gerardy comments: “We are using the creativity and commitment of everyone to meet this challenge. It is this team spirit that makes our Group strong and I am very much looking forward to the projects that we want to implement in the K&L division in the coming years”.

CEO Norbert Dohmen, who will now once again devote himself increasingly to IRS’s other business areas and markets, emphasizes: “I could not imagine anyone better than Frank Gerardy to take our largest and fastest-growing division in Germany to the next level and I look forward to working with him in the future.


Corona precautions in the IRS Group

Measures to curb corona infections are having an increasing impact on the economy. In the IRS Group, a crisis management team is in constant communication to evaluate the latest developments and make provisions for business partners and employees.

In order to prevent infection in our operations, we have implemented the recommendations of the authorities at all sites. We follow strict hygiene regulations, have limited our travel activities to the unavoidable and have sensitized employees to symptoms on themselves and in their environment.

Employees with purely administrative tasks have been continuing their work from their home offices since this week, insofar as this is technically possible. Regular virtual team meetings ensure effective and high-quality cooperation.

As long as no acute infections occur in our workforce, we will continue our business operations as usual. So far, we have found our supplier logistics to be largely stable. In order to be able to react to impairments as early as possible, we are in close contact with our partners.

In the event that corona infection is confirmed at one site, immediate closure will be unavoidable. Contingency plans already exist to be able to maintain business operations in such a case. For example, by completing vehicles at another IRS site.
We will keep you informed on an ongoing basis about our handling of the situation and any potential threats to our customers and business partners and will act carefully and responsibly.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)


Cryns Carrosserie Center in Belgium becomes part of the IRS Group

IRS Group and Cryns Carrosserie Center has agreed to join forces, because the two groups are following similar strategies in Germany and Belgium respectively and therefore sees many advantages in a close cooperation

Cryns Carrosserie Center (Cryns) operates eight modern body and paint shops, which makes the company the second largest independent workshop group in Belgium. Cryns has more than 100 highly skilled and motivated employees. The former owners Mrs. and Mr. Van Deursen is and will be managing the company going forward.

IRS Group is the perfect partner for Cryns since they are following the same strategy as we are, and together we therefore can continue your path and ensuring our customers the same high service and quality and at the same time our employees will be well taken care of, says Mr. Van Deursen.

We are very happy that Mrs. and Mr. Van Deursen have decided to join the IRS Group, because Mrs. and Mr. Van Deursen have built up an efficient, structured and well-managed workshop group based on a philosophy that fits our group perfectly, says Bo Jacobsen CEO International.

Bo Jacobsen continues, Mrs. and Mr. Van Deursen will carry on in their current roles as responsible Belgium. Customers, employees and other stakeholders will therefore not experience material changes going forward and can therefore expect the same high level of service and professionalism.

Joining IRS Group gives us the resources to increase the speed in our expansion of Cryns workshop network and we will therefore be able to offer our customers an even better coverage and higher flexibility in Belgium. We will also get access to IRS Groups training, IT and environmental setup and we will be able to assist each other with resources if needed, adds Mr. Van Deursen.

We look forward to the future cooperation with Cryns customers and Cryns strong and experienced team, and we are convinced that the cooperation will benefit customers, employees and other stakeholders in both groups.


IRS Group operates more than 20 modern body and paint shops, more than 20 smart repair centers, offers refurbishment and hail and rim repair services in Germany. In Scandinavia, the group offers paint services under the brand pierre.dk from more than 50 paint shops in Denmark and Sweden.



Integration of Bayertz family business in Düsseldorf

The IRS Group is welcoming no less than two new businesses from the Düsseldorf area at the end of November 2019. Auto-Bayertz GmbH, established in 1945, and Auto-Center-Rheinland GmbH (ACR), established in 2009, both managed by Dieter Bayertz and his sons, Timo and Nicolas Bayertz, are joining the IRS Group.
“Given the increasing streamlining of the market environment, the growing cost pressure on the part of major customers as well as the massive shortage of skilled manpower, we felt compelled to secure the future of our staff in the long term by taking this step. We prefer to do so as part of a strong group, rather than continuing to bear the business risk of a necessary expansion alone”, Managing Director Timo Bayertz says, commenting on the integration into the IRS Group.
True to the family motto “Expertise based on tradition, committed to the future”, the two companies with their more than 70-strong team want to use the integration to secure their future position and are looking forward to taking this step. Both companies are characterised by a strong focus on customer service, sustainability through energy efficiency and lean processes.
Now in its 3rd generation of management, Auto-Bayertz GmbH celebrated its 40th anniversary as a GmbH as recently as this year. Following the integration, the company will continue to operate with the full team on board under the new name “Bayertz Schadenszentrum”. Auto-Bayertz GmbH specialises mainly in collision repairs for claims adjusters, such as insurance providers and leasing companies, whereas ACR places a focus on private customers. Owing to the expertise in the business customers segment, ACR can assist its customers with the settlement of insurance claims. As a workshop for electromobility in the Düsseldorf area, ACR has been an official partner of TESLA since 2015. ACR – Auto-Center-Rheinland GmbH will continue to operate under its present name. Managing Director Timo Bayertz has again confirmed that the integration into the IRS Group will not involve any structural changes. According to Dieter Bayertz, this is of vital importance for the integration into the IRS Group. The IRS Group is looking forward to working together in the future. Frank Gerardy, Managing Director of IRS K+L GmbH and IRS Schadenzentrum GmbH Deutschland, commented on the integration as follows:
“We are delighted to have gained such a renowned company as Auto-Bayertz GmbH for our group. The range of services and the Bayertz team are a great asset for the IRS Group.”

The IRS Group currently operates at more than 140 locations and employs more than 2,000 staff members in Germany, Denmark and Sweden, and is Europe’s leading group in the fields of smart repair, body and paint work as well as hail damage repair on vehicle bodies.
The IRS network offers the full range of services relating to the refurbishment and repair of the body and interior of used, hired, accident-damaged and leased vehicles.