Written by Reece m. Dowrey and re-printed with permission of Fast Rides 2007
Sean Heiland, President of Ultimate Shield, was enthusiastic about talking to us about his company. But then Heiland seems to be permanently enthusiastic. He's got ideas, opinions, goals and plans bubbling around inside his head full time.... and almost all of them involve vehicle protection and enhancement.
Ultimate Auto Care has a long history, starting back in 1995, as Heiland began detailing cars and in short time had assembled a great crew known for their impeccable workmanship, friendliness and ability to meet the most finicky of demands. To compliment their detailing they soon began offering paintless dent removal, paint touch up, and windshield repair; a full spectrum of auto reconditioning to maintain the vehicles that they serviced. www.ultimateautocare.com
With an "ear to the track" they continued to evolve and strive where many others become content. "Good enough never is" is a motto Heiland knows well. Constant strive to meet there clienteles needs lead them to the different protection services that their customers wanted; or as Heiland puts it "Demanded". It seemed to Heiland (a true auto enthusiast), the next logical step would be to develop services to prevent the damage that they kept so busy repairing, before it happened.
Ultimate Shield is born: The opportunity presented itself and Heiland ran with it. In 1998 the Paint Protection Film or PPF industry (more commonly known as the "Clear Bra") was just budding and Heiland jumped in with both feet as it has proven a perfect match for his quest. With years of training and experience, as well as never accepting less than perfection, Heiland has risen to the top of his game. His extensive knowledge of films, patterns, and techniques provides what many consider the best clear bra installations available nationwide.
His relentless strive for the "Ultimate Vehicle Protection" didn't stop there. Ultimate Shield continued to research and develop other avenues of vehicle protection. They have developed an NVS (or new vehicle sealant) package to protect both the exterior (paint and wheels) and interior (fabric and leather) of vehicles; which Heiland is especially proud of. They also offer a windshield protection film that prevents pitting, cracking, and chipping. To deter theft and allow the user to locate the vehicle at all times they provide a GPS security devise. Heiland notes with a smirk "Whether its checking up on the person borrowing the car or actually dealing with a theft situation it is an amazing product".
With 80% of Heiland's business shifting to new vehicle owners, the demand for aesthetic enhancement for these new vehicles became apparent. To set his clienteles vehicles apart Ultimate Shield provides window tinting, smoked taillights, painted calipers, matte black vinyl treatments, as well as dash accents. Years of research and real world product testing have ensured that quality is built in at every step of the way. While Heiland is the first to admit that perfecting these arts has not happened overnight, he takes pride in knowing that "we offer the very best products and highest level of application and installation available".
Facility: Heiland's Orange County facility further proves his level of dedication for the pursuit of perfection. Clean and well organized; At first glance it looks like you are entering a Hot Rod museum complete with Cadillac couch, vintage gas pump, stoplight, classic soda machine, jukebox, retro tin signs, etc... down to the tiniest details of yellow and white Von Dutch style pinstriping found throughout. The waiting area boasts a comfy spot to relax and take in a movie on the flatscreen, play Playstation, access wireless internet, or read through the countless current magazines; all with complementary snacks and refreshments. A quick shop tour reveals nicely displayed auto accessories from floor mats to license plate frames, car covers to auto polishes. Further inspection affirms a spotless and well lit work space, well organized office, and even well stocked bathroom decked out in Auto Decor. Heiland says "I have always believed that our shop is an extension of our company and the way we do business. The guys and I enjoy keeping up the domain we have created".
Heiland's goal, when building the company, was to "be known as the best in the industry and strive to improve and grow on a DAILY basis." He mentions that his alliances with great employees, suppliers, and industry leaders has had an unmistakable impact. "We surround ourselves with the best people and companies in the industry and this in turn reflects positively on us". He reports that they now have ten times the sales that they had in '99, and continue to work at broadening their customer base, as well as developing their product lines.
Ultimate Shield has always had a good name, and that helps, but at the same time Heiland stated he's had a lot of help from his clientele base. It is word of mouth and the repeat patronage that keeps Ultimate at the forefront of the industry and he humbly adds "without our customers loyal support, what we do wouldn't matter" He's particularly grateful for all the glowing endorsements and referrals that he receives from his "extended family" (aka; customers) who've all helped spread the word. Heiland states that this is vital for him as most of the protection products he offers are not visible, thus don't typically sell themselves; ... " Our happy customers do".
Heiland says his market has been expanding into all facets of the vehicle industry. From race cars, exotics, daily drivers, Rvs, motorcycles, boats, trailers, and even off road vehicles. He says it's growing fast and will continue to do so, because it's such a great way to protect an investment. Drivers are beginning to learn the benefits of taking protective measures as well as the woes from not. "Short of not driving, our services have become a necessity to the consumer looking to protect their investment and keep their vehicles pristine". As one way to develop this market, Ultimate Shield sponsors select race teams and show vehicles. They also attend many shows along with industry trade events to further promote the products they are so passionate about. Portrayed in countless newspaper articles, radio spots, and magazine reviews, the "buzz" seems to be spreading quickly.
Driven by dedication, craftsmanship, and integrity, Ultimate Shield has become a benchmark in the vehicle protection industry today. Attention to detail and good old-fashioned customer service prove to be the basis of their simple business philosophy. Each new client dealing is treated as a relationship builder rather than a transaction and that's what creates the lifetime patrons that fan the flame of Ultimate's success.
Heiland adds, "Whether it's our business development and product support, training, or installations; we are committed to excellence! We put our name on the line to ensure you enjoy every aspect of your "Ultimate Shield" experience."