Running a Shop Operations

The KPI Tracker Profile

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With information culled from the inaugural FenderBender Industry Survey, here's a statistical breakdown of what shops are tracking KPIs and how it affects those businesses' numbers. (Note: This is a companion piece to Your KPI-Tracking Guide.)


The Typical Shop

Over 300 collision repair professionals completed the inaugural FenderBender Industry Survey, and, while they were evenly dispersed across all U.S. markets, the majority of respondents followed a distinct demographic pattern that also closely aligns with our overall readership.


The Average Shop

Business Type: Independent, single-location repair business (68%)

Region: Midwest (34%)

Shop Size: 10,000–15,000 square feet (27%)

Staff Size: 11+ (42%)

Annual Revenue: $1 million–$2.49 million (27%)

Average Key-to-Key Cycle Time: 5–7 days (46%)

Average Touch Time: 2–3 hours (49%)

Average Repair Order: $2,000–$2,999 (33%)

Overall Gross Profit Margin: 40–49% (41%)

Overall Net Profit Margin: 6–10% (38%)


The KPI Difference

While KPI-tracking rates hit an all-time low for FenderBender surveys in 2017 at 73 percent, there was a slight drop in the 2018 Industry Survey, with 68 percent claiming to routinely track KPIs.

When looking at individual performance, the world of difference between shops that do and not routinely track KPIs when it comes to annual revenue, with 52 percent of KPI-tracking shops sporting an annual revenue above $2.5 million, compared to non KPI-tracking shops at 12 percent. Here are the KPIs the former category is posting.


The Shops that Track KPIs

Annual Revenue Above $2.5 Million: 52%

Key-to-Key Cycle Time Below 7 Days: 59%

Touch Time Above 4 Hours: 50%

CSI Score Above 90%: 88%

NPS Score Above 90%: 78%

Closing Ratio Above 80%: 52%

Average Repair Order Above $3,000: 49%

Overall Gross Profit Margin Above 40%: 63%

Gross Profit Margin on Materials Above 30%: 59%

Gross Profit Margin on Parts Above 30%: 56%

Gross Profit Margin on Parts Above 50%: 61%

Net Profit Margin on Above 11%: 48%

Efficiency Above 120%: 73%

Productivity Above 100%: 70%


Who is Tracking KPIs?

The FenderBender Industry Survey also observed the type of owner who does and does not routinely track KPIs, and their reasonings for doing so.


What Demographics are Tracking KPIs?

In addition to identifying the average shop participating in the survey, FenderBender also wanted to get an idea of the type of shop operator engaged with the industry. Here’s a breakdown of the average operator that routinely tracks KPIs.


The Average Survey Participant


Under 20: 0%

20–29: 2%

30–39: 13%

40–49: 22%

50–59: 37%

60–69: 23%

70 or older: 3%


Age Becoming a Shop Owner:

Under 20: 5%

20–29: 33%

30–39: 28%

40–49: 10%

50–59: 4%

Not Applicable: 20%



Male: 93%

Female: 7%


Had Parent in Industry:

Yes: 29%

No: 71%


How They Acquired Business:

Pre-existing business passed down or purchased from family: 21%

Launched independently: 38%

Pre-existing business purchased from another owner (non-family): 17%

Not applicable: 21%

Other: 3%


Positions Worked Before Current Position:

Detailer: 28%

Parts Personnel: 24%

Shop Manager: 42%

Technician: 48%

Vendor: 2%

Painter: 36%

Insurance Related: 9%

Administrative Staff: 21%

Estimator: 49%

None: 14%


Years in Industry:

1–9: 6%

10–19: 15%

20–29: 22%

30–39: 28%

40 or more: 29%


Why are 68% Tracking?


What is the significance of measuring KPIs in today's auto care industry, and what impact has it had on your business?



  • “It is a great tell tale sign of how you are performing. Biggest impact has been [being] able to measure ourselves against others.”
  • “It is critical to know where you're at and where to make improvements. I feel that we have not known or guessed at problems instead of knowing.”
  • “It's the only way the little guy can separate themselves from the Goliaths. Prove your value in how you do what you do.”
  • “If you do not improve year over year you are standing still or worse falling behind. Metrics are essential for gauging the health of your operation.”


Why are 32% Not Tracking?


Why don’t you regularly track KPIs?



  • “Creating process and acquiring systems to track KPIs.”
  • “Don't see value in it.”
  • “I have no time to do it because I'm always so busy with daily mountain of paperwork that I do now.”
  • “A lack of manpower to properly input and evaluate.”
  • “Not concerned with what doesn't improve quality.”
  • “Small shop, not useful.”


What is Holding Shops Back?


What are your operation’s biggest obstacles to KPI improvement?



  • “Inconsistencies in insurance companies and their adjusters.”
  • “Being short on staff. At one time we increased the number of employees to help improve our numbers but we couldn’t withstand the highs and lows financially, [so] we finally downsized to maintain profits.”
  • “Getting processes in place and getting the buy-in from the techs to implement different process to streamline the operation.”
  • “Not having process or systems to track KPIs properly and getting current employees on board to utilize said systems and processes.”
  • “Overall, experienced and qualified employees at all positions is the biggest hindrance. Additionally, the continued push from insurance companies and the like for additional steps in the process, such as PartsTrader, increasingly burden the repair process.”

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