2023 Best Workplaces: Lone Peak Collision

March 1, 2023
This small shop operates with a tight-knit, family-like culture.

SHOP STATS: Lone Peak Collision  Location: Midvale, UT  Owner: Kendall Glines  Average Monthly Car Count: 45  Staff Size: 7  Shop Size: 6,100 square feet Annual Revenue: $1.4 million

There are special challenges to running a small collision repair operation. There isn’t an accounting department or a payroll specialist to assist. There isn’t as much time to stand back and view your operation from the 30,000-foot view when you’re in the middle of repairs each day. 

Kendall Glines works this way in a crowded Salt Lake City market, where he can throw a stone and hit two or three operations that have those resources. 

But Glines has spent most of his life in the business, and he’s steadily built a small operation with a stellar local reputation and a bright future. Glines is a common-sense, jack-of-all-trades type of shop owner. 

“One of my old teachers said this life is common sense with a few tricks,” he says. 

The shop, Lone Peak Collision in Midvale, Utah, is an operation that takes no shortcuts, participates in no DRPs and uses no aftermarket parts. Glines relies on a devotion to quality, both on the customer service side and when sticking up for payments by insurers. 

That’s how Glines has been able to take care of his team and built a solid shop culture around quality, earning Lone Peak Collision a spot in the 2023 Best Workplaces Awards. 

Small Shop, Big Business 

Glines first entered the industry at 12, when he was a shop sweep at an operation run by his neighbor and scout master. In high school, he was more drawn to the trades, and as he put it, “just started showing up” to repair shops. 

Lone Peak Collision opened in 2011. Glines was ready to start his own business and found a facility that had been vacant for some time. 

“Everything happens for a reason,” he says. “Our paint supplier salesman’s uncle had this shop, and it sat empty for about 18 months. He got wind that I was ready to branch out and do my own thing, and the pieces fell together.” 

With training as a combination technician, Glines says he can perform repairs from start to finish, but he hasn’t stopped learning. That’s a great asset to have when you’re filling in for any role in the business. 

Lone Peak has seven employees, three of whom are Glines, his wife, and his son. It has been especially fulfilling to see his son take an interest and join the work. 

“My son is key. He's been with me since he was a little boy, being able to take him to work and teaching him,” he says. “He’s been here since the beginning, he would drive up after school.” 

Today, his son works full time in the office. 

Rounding out the Lone Peak team is a mixture of experienced technicians and two younger apprentices who show bright futures. 

“To be as small as we are and do what we do, we have to work as a team,” Glines says. “We have one commissioned body man, and of course myself, who does quite a bit. And an apprentice who’s a B+ tech, he’s my longest employee I’ve had.” 

Quality Work, Quality Culture 

One interesting part of Lone Peak Collision is what’s missing from the list of costs.  

“I've spent a total of $1,500 in advertising in 11 years,” Glines says. “I almost never advertise. I knew it was going to be more difficult to build a business this way, but the last five or six years it has been worth it.” 

Lone Peak has relied on word of mouth, social media, and online reviews to advertise their quality, so the shop needs to let its work speak for itself. In part, Glines says he accomplishes this through a commitment to OE parts, and in turn, making sure they’re getting approvals and payments for the use of those parts. 

Glines says he has purchased two of the same part, one OE and one aftermarket, and weighed them for an insurer to show that they aren’t “like kind and quality” in order to get paid. 

“We’ve had to become very creative in getting OE parts approved, but it’s worth the effort for us as the reputation we’ve built in the area of getting a 100 percent quality factory repair,” he says. 

That’s a big deal, because Glines is also a believer in making sure his small team gets competitive pay. Employees at Lone Peak also get paid holidays, vendor training, and an informal agreement on time off when family emergencies arise. 

“Family comes first,” he says. “If my guys have a family issue, they drop whatever they’re doing and take care of family.” 

More than Lunch 

It sounds like a small perk, but Lone Peak Collision employees get their lunch provided daily. Sometimes it’s takeout, but often it’s Glines cooking on a camp cook setup at the shop. 

There is, of course, a cost that piles up when providing lunch for seven people each day. But the benefits have been huge, Glines says. It’s a chance for a built-in break that everyone in the shop takes together, making a plan for the afternoon and getting to know one another. It formalizes culture-building. 

“Sit around and lunch and talk about successes and problems throughout the morning and kind of plan the afternoon,” Glines says. “Nobody is taking a two-hour lunch. The camaraderie is good, and it helps build the team on a daily basis.” 

There’s something that the larger shops don’t have—a full-staff “sit around” lunch session. That’s a strong developer of culture. 

Big or small, Glines says that it’s important for shop owners to demonstrate their worth—both to customers and insurers. Sticking up for the quality of work is a good rule of thumb, but it’s also the way that smaller shops like Lone Peak are able to provide for their teams. 

“You’ve got to stand your ground. You have to get paid for what you do, and that means everything,” Glines says. “The answer is always no unless you ask. We ask for every single operation—everything we do, we get paid for. And that’s the key. That's how we’re able to do the quality of work that we do.” 

About the Author

Matt Hudson | Content Director

Matt Hudson is the former group editorial director for Endeavor Business Media, publisher of FenderBender, Ratchet + Wrench, NOLN, Modern Tire Dealer, Professional Tool & Equipment News, Professional Distributor, and the VehicleServicePros website.

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