Multi-Shop Operators (MSO)

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Processes, people help drive rapid expansion growth for Texas MSO

Monday, April 9, 2018 - 07:00
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Making the transition from a one- or two-shop collision repair business to a full-fledged multi-shop operator (MSO) is rarely easy. There are financial challenges, personnel challenges, and competitive threats from larger, more experienced consolidators and MSOs. 

But one of the biggest challenges is for the owner and managers to shift from a hands-on approach to the business – being directly involved in every customer interaction, insurance dispute, hiring/firing decision, and even directing repairs – to delegating those responsibilities in order to focus on growing the whole company. 

At a Glance:
ProCare Collision
San Antonio, TX
No. of employees
Paint supplier
No. of locations
Markets served
$50 million

That was an obstacle that ProCare Collision founder Clay Fallis wrestled with as he attempted to expand beyond his two-shop footprint. Founded in 1999, ProCare is now a rapidly growing regional MSO. But a decade ago, ProCare’s ability to make that transition was in doubt.  

That’s because Fallis was still managing his burgeoning MSO like a single-store business – the owner was intimately involved in every aspect of each store’s daily operations. It was exhausting for Fallis and ultimately made it more challenging to successfully expand. 

By the time ProCare opened its third shop, the business was struggling. 

Enter Vince Brock, an executive with little experience in the collision industry but with the insight and capital that helped turn ProCare around. Brock (who formerly operated a successful commercial painting business) bought a controlling interest in the company and convinced Fallis that he needed to hand day-to-day operations over to his shop managers so that he could focus on growth. 

“For single-location businesses, the owner is a big draw as to why people do business there, or why the business itself works,” Brock says. “Once you add locations, it has to be about the process, not the owner.” 

In 2008, Fallis and Brock launched an ambitious plan to add eight more locations in five years. Fallis became the director of acquisitions, and he and Brock began outlining a way to standardize processes across the existing shops, identify potential new sites and acquisitions, and establish better relationships with vendors and insurance companies. Brock became CEO. 

“There was a big culture change involved in moving away from the idea of fighting with the insurance companies,” Brock says. “We had to overcome that adversarial relationships and become a partner with the insurers. At the end of the day, it’s in the mutual best interest of everybody involved to do a correct repair at the correct value. If you spend all your time fighting about it, you can’t get anything done.” 

Brock and Fallis worked together to nail down vendor and insurance relationships and outline the repair process the company would follow with every single vehicle. “From the outside looking in, not much changed that first year,” Brock says. “Inside, everything changed. We figured out what process everything should follow and we tried to replicate that.” 

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