Collision Repair’s Identity
Since starting our own survey research efforts a few years ago, our most popular data by far has been collected from our key performance indicator (KPI) surveys. Makes sense, as performance—and the ability to prove performance—is paramount for success in today’s collision repair industry. So more shops are tracking KPIs, more want to know how their KPIs compare to other shops’ KPIs, how specific metrics correlate to a more successful operation and so on.
But there’s another survey we’ve conducted before, and did again for this issue, that I find more interesting. You’ll find our second How I Work survey, which, as the name implies, digs into how shop owners and managers across the country work. More specifically, it explores their backgrounds, philosophies, leadership styles, management methods and a whole lot more. It is a snapshot of the men and women who make up the face of collision repair; a look at the industry’s identity.
Some of what you’ll see is not surprising—like the majority of our nearly 400 respondents were men over 50. But then we take a deeper look into things like their education and family backgrounds, how they got into business and how they run the business—and ultimately how successful their businesses are. That’s when some telling statistics appear, like this one: Roughly 84 percent of shops that work with coaches report annual revenues above $1 million, and 54 percent exceed $2.5 million—those numbers are just 46 percent and 18 percent, respectively, for those that don’t. Those correlations were made the last time we did this survey, showing that a helping hand can go a long way toward higher performance. Another interesting find: Nearly three-quarters of respondents said the most important trait in a technician is not technical skills. They’d rather see a passion for the job and ability to learn. Those are traits that should open the doors for a wide range of candidates to address ongoing technician shortages.
I hope you find the data eye-opening and helpful in assessing how you run your own operation.
Jake Weyer, editor