News : May 2016

Grappone Automotive Embraces Sustainability

May 24, 2016

This article first appeared in Foster's Daily Democrat

By Michael McCord

CONCORD — At Grappone Automotive Group doing things a little differently isn’t just a slogan, but a daily fact of life for its team members, guests and the greater Concord community.

“We know there are a lot of better ways to get the job done, and it’s our mission to find as many as we can,” said Amanda Grappone Osmer, the fourth-generation owner. “If you’re allowing your team to be creative, that’s gigantic.”

Sustainability has become an expanding definition for Grappone Automotive Group which was founded in 1924. A few years ago, the Toyota-Scion dealership became the first Toyota facility in New England with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The renovated Toyota-Scion dealership met extremely high standards across six different categories, from environmental quality to innovation and design.

On her own initiative, Osmer immersed herself in learning about lean manufacturing techniques and was fascinated most by the focus on human capital. “The more you look at the world through a 'lean' lens, the more you realize how many great ideas aren’t being heard. For me, that’s the most egregious form of waste: the waste of human creativity,” Osmer explained. “When leaders don’t listen to the great ideas their teams have, who knows what kinds of environmental or other problems are going unsolved.”

As an example, Osmer doesn’t have to look far. Her collision center manager Moe Gagnon invented and patented a new paint stand apparatus that allows for a more efficient process for the painting of vehicles in the body shop.

“It’s ingenious. It cuts down on material waste, on everything from paint to the large amounts of paint tape, and it provides the painter with the ability to match panels more effectively,” she said. Gagnon had had the prototype idea of the Lean Line Paint Stand for a while but he was spurred to action by the relocation of the collision center – and a desire to find the most efficient way to maximize the process.