Investing Wisely

June 4, 2024
A Focus on People and Processes Pays Dividends for the Bob Maloney Collision Group.

Owners Bob Maloney, Robert Maloney, and Kenny Davis — alongside minority owners Matt Schroeder and Damon Wetzel — are in the business of investing…not only in properties and buildings, but more importantly, in their employees and customers. 

It’s their focus on relationships — coupled with a strong business sense and high-quality, OEM-driven repairs — that’s taken the Bob Maloney Collision Group in Northwest Arkansas from one shop — netting just under $1 million a year — to a six-shop network that brought in $22 million in 2023, only 14 years after its founding. 

Here, Davis and Schroeder offer a glimpse into what makes the group so successful. 

Investing in Expansion 

When Bob Maloney Collision Group began in 2010, it was a single shop operation based in what was previously a Ford dealership owned by Bob Maloney. That shop is now the flagship of the group, the Bob Maloney-Rogers location. 

From there, expansion happened quickly, literally within 20 minutes in the case of their second location, says Davis, which the group leased from a local Chevy dealer who lost his franchise and body shop manager. Bob Maloney-Springdale was born. 

The momentum kept building from there. 

“We knew we could run two and felt confident we could run three. So, we purchased the third shop, Kenny Davis Collision. Then came the fourth, Westside Collision. Both of those shops were existing buildings. And then we built shop five — Bob Maloney-Pea Ridge — from the ground up. It opened January 1, 2023, and made $260,000 in the first month…that’s in a town with no stoplights, with two four-way stops.” 

Shop six came in November 2023 — Bob Maloney-Siloam Springs. The owners heard it was for sale, looked at it, and purchased it. A no-nonsense deal, just like the rest. 

The team doesn’t overthink things, says Davis, and the organization operates without debt, so when they need to move quickly, they can. 

Business is certainly booming in all locations. Collectively, the shops occupy a total of 56,000 square feet, employ 118 people, and brought in $22.5 million in sales last year. 

Investing in People 

The effort the group has put into acquiring additional locations is impressive, no doubt — but it pales in comparison to the energy they direct toward their team and customers. 

In their shops, employees are never just a number; hard work is rewarded, and talent is noticed, appreciated, and developed. 

“We are teammates here,” says Davis. “If someone has a problem, we’ll be there as a group to get them through it.” 

Day in and day out the owners are on the floors of their shops, building relationships, understanding the team’s strengths and weaknesses, and giving them the tools and training they need to succeed. 

They offer excellent benefits, too, and a work/life balance that’s hard to beat. 

“We do not work 45 or even 41 hours a week,” says Davis. “We’re a 40-hour-a-week business. We want our employees to be with their families as much as possible.” 

Management conducts quarterly “pulse” meetings with employees as well, just to check in and see how they’re doing. 

“We have some of the best technicians in Arkansas, maybe even the country,” Schroeder proudly states, which makes it easy for management to train and grow their organization from within. 

Schroeder himself is the perfect example. 

“We can’t say enough about guys like Matt,” Davis adds. “He’s going to be one of the greats.” 

Schroeder first came to Bob Maloney Collision 12 years ago as an intern before working his way up to managing his own shop by the time he was in his early 20s. 

“Kenny and I opened the Kenny Davis location together — it was just him and me for several months,” reminisced Schroeder. “Piece by piece it grew.” 

Under Schroeder’s leadership, the location went from netting $65,000/month to $400k+. 

“Matt is tenacious,” says Davis. “He gets things done. You don’t have to ask him twice. Often you don’t have to ask him at all. Everyone loves working with Matt, but Matt doesn’t mess around.” 

Davis admires that he earned the respect of everyone working with him at such a young age — the people who work alongside him trust him, he says, for good reason. 

Now, at just 31 years old, Schroeder is a junior owner and regional manager, overseeing the group’s northern stores. 

“Before I was even a minority owner in the business, I was given the keys to treat it like it was mine. I felt empowered from the beginning working here.” 

His advice for others with similar aspirations? 

“Always go above and beyond. Don't just do the required next step, and don't just do it one time. Do it 100 times. Do it till it’s exhausting. If you have a good leader, they'll notice and reward that.” 

That’s certainly true in the Bob Maloney Group. The men provide numerous other examples of upward mobility…detailers who are now painters, techs and estimators who are now managers. The list was long and the message clear — if you put in the work, your efforts will be rewarded in their organization. 

“If you come to work for Kenny and you work, he will be one of the best you’ve ever worked for,” says Schroeder. “At the end of the day, I've never seen somebody take care of so many people and genuinely care. When he says he has all our employees phone numbers and knows them personally, that’s the truth.” 

That genuine care for people is shared by all the owners, they say, and especially Bob Maloney. 

“Bob is the most genuine, honest, wonderful person you will find on the face of the Earth,” Davis says. “We can’t speak highly enough of him. To work with that man and to be mentored by that guy is where all this comes from. None of us could have done this without being mentored by Bob.” Schroeder couldn’t agree more. 

Not only is Bob one of the smartest businessmen either have encountered, they say, but he also legitimately loves the business and the people who work for him, they say; and it shows. 

“We have extremely low turnover. Even employees who have left often return, and that's a testament to us as a company, to our virtues and standards.” 

Investing in Operations 

Cars are the second largest investment most people ever make, reminds Davis. 

“What we might think of as ‘just a Ford Taurus’ is probably somebody's pride and joy. You have to think about that when you're repairing the car, keep that perspective in mind.” 

“We work hard to ‘own the customer,’ we like to say,” he added. That means the whole team prioritizes the customer’s journey through every step of the repair process and communicates updates to them regularly. 

“Every repair may be different, but every car goes through the exact same process, and every customer has the same experience,” says Schroeder. Nexsyis Collision management system helps them run lean; they also use OEC’s estimateIQ and RepairLogic, adasTHINK, and asTech for scans. 

There are two goals for every car that leaves the shop: 1) a return to pre-accident condition and 2) a safe repair that meets OEM standards. 

“We want the customer to be proud of their car, and we want the car repaired according to OEM procedures — we pull those on every single vehicle. We're going to fix it the way the manufacturer said to fix it every time. Our OEM parts percentage is high — 98%.” 

They also utilize local dealerships for ADAS calibrations, and all repairs come with a lifetime warranty. The group boasts a laundry list of manufacturer certifications as well, and they’re on track to be the first certified Rivian repair shop in the state. 

They’ve also been investing heavily in documenting their processes this past year. 

“We didn't prepare enough for SOPs and process,” Davis says, given how quickly the organization has grown. “Every shop has the same processes, but we needed to document them.” 

It’s already paying off and is getting everyone “on the same playing field.” Plus, he says, the insurance companies are pleased to see it. “It's the consistency that we want. We were always doing it; we just didn’t have it written down.” 

Like many of the business practices they’ve implemented in the shops, this one was born from a framework laid by their Sherwin-Williams 20 group, an invaluable resource to the organization in countless ways…especially in honing their damage analysis process and management techniques. 

“We could not have gotten to the point we're at without Sherwin-Williams,” Davis states categorically. “You don’t know what you don’t know, as they say. You think you know everything, and then you go to a 20 group and realize, man, I never thought about that.” 

Davis advises everyone — including competitors in his local market — to join a 20 group to gain unique insights into their business. 

“You’ll never realize your full potential if you don’t.” 

The 20 group led them to Mike Jones’ Discover Leadership program as well — a class that’s proven immensely helpful to dozens of Bob Maloney teammates. 

“We’ve probably put 25 to 30 employees through that class,” Davis says. When asked what his biggest takeaway was, Schroeder pauses and answers thoughtfully, “Don’t let a bad minute or two ruin the entire day.” 

“They teach you that there’s 86,400 seconds in a day. Why let 60 seconds of that shape your whole day? Why let it control you? In this industry stuff changes all the time, sometimes it feels like every five minutes. It can be hard. This really helped me put things in perspective.”  

Check the conversation you're having with yourself in your head, too, he says, and ask yourself, “Is this really how I want to act, how I want to come across and be known to my team?”  

As for what’s to come, Davis estimates sales will continue to grow as the group refines their processes, likely doubling in the next ten years. But their focus extends far beyond profit alone. As a team, they’ll continue investing in the right people, the right locations, the next technology, and the next training to constantly better themselves. 

They’re living proof that the right investments pay dividends. 

 

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