FenderBender Award Runner Up: Ryan DeMarco
Ryan DeMarco started at All County Collision when he was 18 years old. But his relationship in the family business went back much further.
DeMarco’s father, Richard, opened the Eustis, Florida, shop two years before DeMarco was born. He grew up in and around the business. So it was no wonder that by age 18, DeMarco went to work there.
“I was working as an apprentice under one of the body men,” DeMarco says.
He had plans to train up for a technician role, but Richard had other plans, urging DeMarco to go off to college. He did that and earned his degree before returning to All County.
Upon his return, DeMarco was officially the shop’s estimator. But he was handling all aspects of the operation.
“I like to call it baptism by fire, but by six months he kind of tossed everything at me and stepped back,” DeMarco says about taking the reins from his father. “And it’s been a learning process from there.”
In late 2021, he took over the ownership role at 27 years old. And through his hard work, close studying, and leadership skills, the shop has seen impressive revenue growth and sets a standard as an I-CAR Gold Class shop.
DeMarco is a young shop owner, but he credits the experience within his shop that’s helped them succeed.
“When I was estimating, I was lucky to have a 20-year tech in the shop,” he says. “So that if I had a heavy hit I could take the time and go over it with him.”
That kind of attitude helped him win the respect of his colleagues. DeMarco has found that leadership respect doesn’t adhere to age, but he needs to be on his A-game to succeed in a competitive industry. DeMarco represents the next generation who will take the industry forward.
“It is a cool feeling,” he says. “I think I'm at a bit of an advantage in my age. A lot of competitors are thinking of retirement.”
The shop is seeing results from DeMarco’s leadership. Operating in a growing area just outside of Orlando, the shop has expanded its customer base and maximized process efficiencies.
“We’ve improved the process to handle higher capacity,” DeMarco says. “There were times at $1 million in revenue when it seemed that it was all we could do.”
DeMarco brought excellent techs to the team and trained them to write their own supplements, he says. The company improved its DRP scores to get work that way. He also spearheaded an effort to increase marketing, in particular on the review and referral fronts. When competitors have 20 or so reviews, All County Collision has 200 mostly positive reviews online.
Finally, DeMarco got serious about sourcing parts.
“I hired a parts manager to take the time to search instead of just calling and ordering parts, we have a flowchart to check the OEM,” he says.
Under DeMarco’s leadership, All County Collision went from being a million-dollar shop to a $1.6 million shop. Now it's on track to surpass $2.5 million in revenue.
In nominating DeMarco for an award, Richard DeMarco chalked the success up to a dedication to process.
“Recognizing and setting SOPs to increase cycle time. Maintaining the highest level of customer satisfaction,” Richard DeMarco wrote. “Works 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. then works on any unfinished estimates or supplements at home until late.”