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VMS Auto Collision Center

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SHOP: VMS Auto Collision Center 
Covina, Calif.  
OWNER: Kevin Kebabjian
SIZE: 6,700 square feet
STAFF: 7 (1 owner, 1 master tech, 2 body techs, 1 body tech assistant, 1 painter, 1 painter’s assistant)
ANNUAL REVENUE: $1 million

1) Kevin Kebabjian spent a year and a half researching other auto body shops and businesses before he was ready to renovate his family’s 25-year-old shop, VMS Auto Collision Center.

“When I thought about how we can be different and how we can cater to today’s market, we wanted to create a soothing environment, something that would remind customers of a spa or a relaxing environment” Kebabjian, 28, said.

VMS does that through the small details. The colors he chose for the walls are warm and have been shown in studies to help people relax. Soft rock music plays over the speakers in the lobby, and the room is accented with real flowers he replaces every couple of weeks.

2) Kebabjian says the open floor plan in the lobby also helps ease the tension customers feel after having an accident. Estimators answer questions and crunch numbers out in the open in a space behind the lobby desk.

“[Customers] can see that everything is out in the open and we have nothing to hide,” he says.

3) Kebabjian’s office and a meeting room sit off to the side of the lobby, but both have glass walls looking into the lobby. His office has a window that overlooks the shop floor, or “operating room,” as it’s called at VMS.

“I’m not usually in my office, but when I am, I’m still involved in the whole thing,” he says.

4) To further the feeling of transparency, VMS has a large window that provides a view into the operating room for customers. Kebabjian also provides safety glasses near the entrance of the operating room for customers who may want to visit the shop floor.

5) The art on the wall is strategic. Near the front desk is a blown-up diagram of the shop floor, which helps demonstrate how the repair process works. In the meeting room are photos of cars VMS has repaired over the years that Kebabjian is especially proud of. The photos serve to show customers the level of work VMS is capable of, he says.

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