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Maaco MSO leverages technology, training to beat industry profitability benchmarks

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - 07:00
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After Doug Engle spent nine years in a franchisee support role at the corporate office, he and some like-minded associates decided that they’d better get Maaco – as in forming an MSO to become a part of Maaco’s lineup of regional ownership entities.

“I’m now fortunate to continue learning daily from the leadership ‘Dream Team’ we’ve assembled,” says Doug, president of the Stonewall Road Automotive Group, which has grown to encompass 10 Maaco locations.

At a Glance:
Stonewall Road Automotive Group LLC
Troy, Mich.
Doug Engle
No. of shops
Years in business
No. of employees
No. of DRPs
Square footage of Troy shop
No. of bays at Troy shop
3 days
Avg. cycle time at Troy shop
Avg. Troy repair order
Vehicles per week combined
$15 million
Annual gross revenue combined
Paint supplier
Frame machines used
Estimating systems used

He describes the Dream Team’s roster as including Taso Bournousouzis, “a world-class operator” and former multi-unit franchisee who heads Stonewall’s East Coast operations and is a key member of the senior executive team; Mike Murphy, also a former top Maaco franchisee who oversees the Michigan shops as regional director; Mark Seifert, “a Maaco legend” and vice president and general manager of the Garden City, Michigan shop; and Chad Slabaugh, “a rising star in this business” who operates one of the largest Maaco’s in the country in Troy, Michigan.

Of his previous position at Maaco’s Charlotte, North Carolina headquarters, Doug recalls that “while my job was helping franchisees, I am certain that they taught me more than I ever taught them. I learned from some Maaco ‘living legends;’ Frank Furino, Steve Chertock, Ivan Montoya and Brian Greenley, just to name a few. But I really feel like I learned something from everyone.”

A standout lessen that took hold was, “Sometimes you learn what to do, while sometimes you learn what not to do.”

In December of 2016 Stonewall opened its first shop in Aberdeen, Maryland. “After a rough start, that center has become a consistent sales and profit generator. We opened three more in April 2017 and grew gradually before opening No. 10 in March of 2018,” Doug recounts.

“I believe one of our success keys is managed growth. That means two things: Choosing the right acquisition targets, and growing at a pace that your infrastructure can handle,” he says.

“Decades ago Maaco was known for overall paint jobs and ‘bumping’ only. Today, our centers perform full collision repairs in state-of-the-art shops with all the latest tools and technology. At the shop level, what sets us apart is our ability to perform the same high-quality repairs as our competitors – and do it both faster and less expensively, and do that while beating industry benchmarks for profitability,” Doug explains.

“Our sweet spot is the cosmetic collision,” he continues. “We excel in those repairs while other shops focus more on the big hits. And while the ARO (average repair order) on those looks nice, the smaller repairs is an underserviced market that due to our production processes can be very profitable for us, and convenient for the customer. In other shops those repairs go to the back of the line. With us those customers’, cycle times can expect to be dramatically shorter.”

Left to right: Mike Murphy, Taso Bournousouzis, Doug Engle, Chad Slabaugh
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