It's probably time to stop being surprised by anything that Doylestown, Ohio-based Nagy's Collision Specialists does. Returning for its second straight year as an ABRN Top 10 Shop, this operation seems to be built on the unexpected, and is intent on building its unique, rural multi-shop operation by taking unpredictable, though always logical, moves.
In 2012, Nagy's burnished their considerable national reputation by setting their sights on the dealer service industry.
In September, Nagy's took over the collision repair business of a large Chevrolet dealership in Akron, Ohio, which was their first shop in the more densely populated Summit County.
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For co-owner Ron Nagy, the decision made obvious good sense. "We've been looking to grow this way [with a dealer], and the opportunity came up," he says.
There is a historical precedent here for Nagy's. Six years ago they re-opened a dealer shop under the Nagy's brand at the request of the dealer.
While Nagy says he's remained on the lookout for a similar opportunity, when ABRN spoke with him last year he was more focused on acquiring other independent shops or building his own.
Each car is marked with the repair order number, customer name, insurance company (or customer pay), and the date due.
Why the shift in course? Working with dealers offers some particularly appealing expansion factors. For an MSO like Nagy's, it's the least expensive way to add locations. The customer base comes built in since they're at the dealership to either buy vehicles or have them repaired.
It's also an area of growing opportunity since dealers increasingly are on the lookout for help managing this difficult revenue stream. Some dealers simply want to offer it to their customers without have to deal with all the challenges that collision work presents.
Organization is a key factor in Nagy's success. When a job comes in for repair, the production manager brings the techs a cart with the new parts and fluids needed for the repair.
"It benefits both of us. They can offer body repairs to their customers, and it's very manageable for them since all they have to do is collect lease money," Nagy explains. "Meanwhile, we get to do the work and grow in a new market."