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Copeland family stays ahead of the curve with consolidation

Sunday, January 1, 2017 - 09:00
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If they haven’t arrived already, consolidators are eventually coming to your market. Tracey Copeland was on top of that trend back in 2005 when he joined CARSTAR while owning a single Hi-Tech Collision center in Spanaway, Wash.

At a Glance:
CARSTAR Hi-Tech Collision
Spanaway, Wash.
Headquarters location
Tracey Copeland
8 (6 production, 2 satellite)
No. of shops
Years in business
Total no. of employees
No. of DRPs
Total No. of bays
6 days
Average cycle time
Vhicles per week, combined
Average weekly volume
$10 million
Annual gross revenue, combined
BASF, Glasurit 90
Paint Supplier
Frame machines used
Estimated system used

“At that time he wanted to stay ahead of the curve. We were positioning ourselves for the future,” says Shaun Copeland, Tracey’s nephew who serves as overall general manager of the Hi-Tech chain, which now encompasses six shops and two satellite locations for writing estimates.

“We’re moving ahead. If you’re not moving ahead, you’re moving backwards,” says Shaun, crediting Tracey’s sharp business acumen for driving the enterprise forward. “He’s the one who buys everything. I’m like, ‘Let’s get this organized and get everything in place’.”

A few years after Tracey signed on with CARSTAR, Service King, Gerber and ABRA all moved into the Seattle-area marketplace. “Once they hit, they all got here. With all of the consolidation going on in the industry, we have been fortunate to be able to grow our footprint locally,” Shaun reports.

“We have the advantage of working with an established MSO, but we’re still like a family MSO. With each shop being managed locally we can still keep it a family business.”

At CARSTAR’s annual convention in July, Hi-Tech was awarded national Top Sales Growth and Top Footprint Growth honors.

Except for the Fred’s Autobody location in Hoquaim, Wash, which is two hours away, all of the shops are within a half hour of each other, creating a significant presence in the region. “Nobody can get between us – we’re aiming for market domination,” Shaun quips, but he’s only half joking. Tracey is consistently monitoring expansion opportunities, including the exploration of possible shop purchases in markets as far flung as Arizona and Nevada.

Shaun Copeland

A key priority, though, is that the current network of key vendors is geographically positioned to serve any new outlet that is added to the roster. “We need to make sure that with consolidation we have coverage. We want everything in place with our jobbers and distributors so that all the same companies are providing the parts and services,” says Shaun.

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