Improving Culture Across Multiple Locations

Oct. 1, 2017

Although it may seem difficult, it's not impossible to bring multiple locations together and create a family-like culture. 

Affectionately referred to as Branning Collision Centers’ “go-to-person” by her FenderBender Award nominator and assistant, Lisa Lupo, Kim Branning jokes that she isn’t exactly sure what her job title is.

“My title is chief operating officer, but I wear a lot of different hats,” Branning says.

To name a few, Branning is in charge of the seven-location New Jersey MSO’s hiring, training, event planning, web presence, call center and towing service. With a combined CSI score of 95.5 percent, Branning and her staff have done an excellent job of keeping customers satisfied.

With her many responsibilities and the amount of locations she oversees, it would be easy to become disconnected with her staff, but Branning refuses to let this happen.

“Even though it’s seven locations, we try and run it like a family,” Branning says. “My door is always open and there’s constant communication.”

Branning has found ways to be available to her staff at all times and bring them together as one.

Meetings, Meetings and More Meetings.

Each morning, Branning is a part of a manager’s conference call at 8:15. During that call, Branning, each location’s manager, the general manager and the owner discuss daily goals and have the opportunity to voice any issues. This call is an opportunity for any location that needs extra coverage or has a work issue to alert the other locations and find a solution. Branning says that this call is how she touches base with each location.

Not only does the shop have daily meetings, but once per month, the managers and estimators meet to go over the prior month’s goals. Branning says they usually order pizza or subs to make it fun and that they’ll often bring in a guest speaker.

“We usually have a topic that we’ll revolve the meeting around,” Branning says. “For example, if we’re talking about (length of rental), then we’ll have a speaker from Enterprise come in.”

Branning also has quarterly meetings with the CSRs. The shop recently implemented a call center, so these meetings have been a helpful way to discuss any issues and brainstorm ideas for improvement.

The scheduled meetings are not the only time staff members can get in touch with Branning. She makes herself available for anything they might need.

“Throughout the day, the shops can contact me with any problem they have,” Branning says. “They can feel free to run anything by me.”

Make It Personal.

Branning, along with her assistant and the CSR manager, manages the Facebook page for the company. Branning says they make it a point to update it with events that Branning Collision Centers is throwing, as well as employee birthdays and other fun events. The Facebook page works to bring the locations together as one community.

Along with the Facebook page, each location has a community board where all of the staff birthdays, vacations and notices are posted.

“We post as much information as possible so that everyone knows what’s going on within the community,” Branning says.

Give Back Together.

“When we do a community service project, we make sure to include all of our locations,” Branning says.

Branning Collision Centers has been involved in giving back for some time, but Branning says that it really kicked into high gear about four years ago when the MSO got involved with Recycled Rides.

“I think being able to see how an event like that can change the life of someone in our community had a huge impact on everyone,” Branning says.

Branning, along with two others, is in charge of executing the community service projects. So far, the company has participated in three Recycled Rides events and are currently in the process of two more. Branning Collision Centers also participates in Project Backpack, an organization that donates supplies to local schools, and participates in an annual food drive.

“There’s a lot of friendly competition between the locations,” Branning says. “The managers will send photos to each other when their donation bins are full—it keeps things fun.”

All of the information for each event is posted on the community board at each location so that everyone can feel involved.