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Ensuring Improvement

Making tweaks to the repair planning process is one thing—guaranteeing it continues to evolve is a different (and more important) matter entirely, and it all falls back on your ability to instill a culture of continuous improvement, says Joe Carubba.

Carubba, owner of Carubba Collision, has made this a key focus over the past 27 years by establishing that culture of continuous improvement across his company. He says that culture has been key to growing his network of shops to 12 in the Buffalo, N.Y., area—and he only has more growth planned from there.

Here, he outlines the key components of guiding over 100 employees to that mindset.


Create an Onboarding Program

The first step is to ensure each new employee understands the importance of continuous improvement, Carubba says.

An employee’s first day at Carubba Collision involves an eight-hour initial orientation that offers an outline of the history of the company and outlines each department’s goals and objectives.

The next two days involve job-specific training that covers each employee’s role in the repair process. Carubba’s managers go through the SOPs that promote consistency in the process and stress the importance of eliminating mistakes during repair planning.

Always Learning: With more than 100 employees at 12 locations, Joe Carubba has worked tirelessly to instill a company culture focused on regular improvement.

Establish Mini-Companies

Throughout the repair planning stages, each department follows a documented SOP that requires quality verification of the previous task. 

“There is certain criteria each file and task has to meet before being handed off to the next department,” Carubba says. “We spend a lot of time on that to make sure we’re not making simple mistakes.” 


Host Industry Trend Meetings

Whether it be the rise of aluminum repairs, the prevalence of autonomous vehicles, or the consolidation of the market, Carubba’s employees are well aware of the issues rapidly changing the collision repair industry.

He assures this through periodic industry trend meetings, which gather the entire company together to offer a snapshot of what the market looks like, and what changes can be expected at Carubba Collision. The 2016 meeting included information on changing vehicle technology, new I-CAR training classes, and a focus on OEM certifications.


Relay Your Goals

Regularly at individual store meetings, Carubba says his managers share the company’s overall goals with all employees so everybody is working toward a common objective.

“Whether it’s CSI scores or cycle time, we let them know how insurance companies are measuring us, how we fit in the measurements compared to our competition, and where we want to be if we’re not there already,” he says.

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