How They Work: The Mirante Brothers
Three’s company for the Mirante brothers, who own a Maaco body shop in Alberta.
Carmen Mirante, Nick Mirante, and Walter Mirante all own equal parts of the shop and split the day-to-day operations amongst themselves. The brothers were recently presented with a Center of Excellence award from Bob Benjamin, Maaco’s president.
“We’ve been doing it for so long that we can pretty much read each other's minds,” says Nick Mirane, “but if there’s any problem then we kind of tackle it on an individual basis.”
Carmen Mirante, the oldest brother, manages the paint department. Nick Mirante spends the majority of his time managing the shop floor production. The youngest brother, Walter Mirante, spends his time managing the front office of the business.
While the brothers collaborate on planning for scheduling and meeting the shop’s sales goals, the three of them typically make their own decisions for the departments they lead.
The brothers, who opened their shop in 2004, have grown it into a $3 million shop with 13 total employees. Along the way, they discovered that a balance of leadership has made the day-to-day operations run smoothly.
Carmen, Nick and Walter share their tips for effectively operating a business with three or more owners.
Prepare schedules in advance.
The brothers start preparing for Monday’s schedule on Friday afternoon, Tuesday’s schedule on Monday afternoon and so on and so on.
The brothers arrive at the shop around 7 a.m. each day and typically stay until 6:30 p.m. Late afternoons are devoted to preparing the production schedule of cars for the next day.
Then, in the morning, Nick prints out a production sheet and gives it to every employee. The sheet outlines which cars are scheduled for repairs that day and which ones are scheduled to be delivered to customers. At the same time, he checks in with each team member to see how they’re doing.
By working ahead, they outlined goals of getting in 10 cars each day, and produce $15,000 each day.
Communicate through work orders.
Work orders are printed and handed to each department staff members in a physical copy. The shop uses the Maaco ONE platform to monitor production electronically.
Nick thought a production board was unnecessary for the small shop and its 13 employee. He says he finds the team works better if there is a physical copy of the day’s tasks in front of each person.
Streamlining the work order process helped the shop decrease its key-to-key cycle time, reducing that metric from 8 days to 5.
Delegate to a parts manager.
Seven years ago, the Mirante brothers hired a parts manager. The manager eliminates pressure on Nick and Walter by designating one person to the tasks of ordering parts, receiving parts, and making sure supplements are low.
Carmen also has a journeyman painter that has been training with him for about five years.
And, the only bottlenecks that occur now in the paint shop come from the staff working on a complete paint job. Complete paint jobs take up too much of the paint department’s time, Carmen says. The team typically does just one per month, because masking and paint an entire vehicle is quite time consuming.
Plan breaks carefully.
The Mirantes’ staff takes an hour long lunch break each day. Nick says days fly by, because the staff seems to love what it does.
To make sure production is monitored and has a set of eyes watching it at all times during the day, the brothers typically eat lunch separately.
Spend time on training.
The brothers are designated as master franchise owners for the Alberta area. While they only own and operate one 14,000 square-foot location, they help train and oversee any other Maaco franchises that open nearby.
Right now, the brothers are content with just one location. They aim to eventually double the shop’s sales, reaching $6 million.
The Mirante brothers say they follow a simple philosophy: stay hungry and stay humble. They help each other, offer advice to each other, and, as shop owners, focus on a creating a family culture within their facility.