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How They Did It

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The Idea: Form an Executive Team

After years spent turning his tiny collision repair facility into a multi-shop operation, all of Clay Fallis’ hard work felt as though it was dissipating: ProCare Collision’s third facility had pushed his dream business to the point of bankruptcy.

That was before, of course, he sold controlling interest in the company to Vince Brock.

“He[Brock] brought me out of my comfort zone,” Fallis says. “I was really focused on day-to-day operations. [Brock] came in and said, ‘Let’s get you out of the shop and focus on fine tuning what we have.’”

And that vulnerability—that moment Fallis realized he truly needed help to realize his vision to build his own franchise—offered him a new perspective on truly establishing his budding network: stop micromanaging, and take an executive-level view of the business. With a goal of acquiring eight shops in five years back in 2008, Fallis quickly realized he needed to spend less time intricately involved with operations and more time building an executive team that worked on (and not in) the business.

 

The Execution

1. Establish Executive Roles

In order to spread throughout Texas, Fallis and Brock determined it was necessary to gain enough market shared to negotiate better prices with vendors and insurance companies.

Thus, once Fallis committed to removing himself from day-to-day operations, he assigned himself a new title: director of acquisitions. His sole focus was spreading his network’s footprint, which allowed shop managers to run individual locations.

 

The ProCare Hierarchy

Before Clay Fallis could truly grow his organization, it meant stripping away some of his own powers and assigning them to others—including his CEO duties. Here’s how his corporate location is currently staffed, and the roles assigned to each executive position:

Vince Brock, Chief Executive Officer

Vince Brock originally stepped in as CEO to relieve Fallis of his overwhelming duties. In his role, Brock oversees all executive positions and ensures the ProCare corporate office is properly overseeing individual shop performance.

 

Clay Fallis, Director of Acquisitions

In this new, succinctly defined role, Fallis began to survey potential markets in Texas and interview shops looking to sell. This quickly led to a deal with Ellis and Salazar that grew the ProCare franchise to eight locations.

When Fallis isn’t concentrating on acquisitions, he has enough free time to work with managers on improving individual shop performance by tracking and discussing KPIs weekly.

 

Joe Lewright, Chief Operating Officer

After the deal, Ellis and Salazar owner Joe Lewright transferred his Ellis duties to the ProCare office and became the chief operating officer. As the COO, Joe Lewright oversees administrative and operational processes, stressing the company’s strategy to the individual shops.

 

Kristin Rajala, Chief Financial Officer

As the company has grown exponentially in recent years, Fallis says it became essential to more effectively manage growing sales. Thus, Kristin Rajala stepped in as CFO, overseeing all financial planning and record-keeping.

 

2. Manage by the Numbers

Before the switch, Fallis was constantly consumed with employee management, billing issues, insurance negotiations and customer updates. As director of acquisitions, he learned to delegate those duties to managers and focus on daily numbers.

Fallis dedicated part of each morning to the company’s “daily scoreboard,” which he sent to managers via push reports. The scoreboard tracked closing ratio, cycle time, efficiency, repair vs. replace, and other KPIs deemed important to growing each individual location.

"Now, each day when I look at those push reports, I can see what’s not working, call the shop and say, ‘We have to turn this around,’” Fallis says. “And together we figure something out.”

 

3. Outsource Leadership

Contrary to Fallis’ former micromanaging attitudes, he found there were myriad people both inside and outside the organization better suited to train and teach. So, to establish a learning culture back when the company had just 65 employees, Fallis made it a point for managers, vendors and manufacturers to host regular in-house training.

Soon, Fallis invested in off-site trips, spending $5,000 for each employee to attend Discovery Leadership training, where they’re taught “how to lead.”

“It’s about personal responsibility and learning to lead yourself down the right path for you,” he says. “It’s about being a better person, husband, wife, brother, sister—a better co-worker.”

 

The Result

Fallis and Brock shattered their goal of opening eight stores, and purchased 12 shops within the first five years of their partnership. Carrying that momentum and utilizing their proven growth tactics, the ProCare team plans to expand its current 17 location franchise (that pulls in around $60 million annually) to 30 facilities by the end of 2017.

Fallis has become so effective at managing from afar that he’s freed up enough time to take on new projects, from opening a ProCare customer call center to revamping the network’s customer engagement processes. Right now, he’s heading a five-month internship program for collision repair students.

“We started running it more like a business than mom-and-pop shop,” Fallis says of the transformation. “It’s helped us negotiate better prices and improve employee retention.”

SHOP STATS: ProCare Collision  LOCATION: 17 FACILITIES IN TEXAS  Staff: 300  Annual Revenue: $60 million 

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