An innovative, integral approach to the network model.
Domenic Ieraci is President of Simplicity Car Care, a banner network whose mission is to “Make car care simple and affordable for every vehicle owner in the world.” Since it was established in July, Simplicity Car Care has expanded to six franchise locations in Ontario with more on the way (including other provinces). Besides providing customers with all their car care needs, the network’s mission is to also maximize efficiency and business opportunities, as well as improve the quality of life of those within it.
Since Ieraci grew up in the collision industry environment,Collision Management asked him what were some of the reasons for taking a novel and innovative approach to automotive collision and car care, some of the fundamentals that make this business model attractive and what the future may hold for the industry.
Can you give us a little insight into some of the reasons you choose a new approach to the concept of the banner network?
There were actually a lot of things that inspired us to choose the franchise structure as our model for growth. Our experiences in deploying standard operating procedures and practises as an MSO provided tremendous synergy in the ability to create a simple and easy to use system in which collision centres could be successful. We wanted to provide shop owners a way to enhance their business while helping them experience a better quality of life. On our first planning meeting, we asked each other, “What do shop owners need in the short and long term to be successful while helping them take control of their business as opposed to the business controlling them?” We started with a basic framework that was used to develop the business model. Three key characteristics we identified were: Accessibility to a franchise structure opportunity, an easy to use system, and a reduced price structure. Performance and execution is the glue that keeps it all together. It was clear to us early on that delivering a value-based approach was the path to creating franchisee success stories.
What did you see was essential for shop owners?
We know there are large groups of very capable and well-run collision centres across Canada that have tremendous potential. The trouble is, they are not always able to maximize that potential because they might not have the necessary systems or support mechanisms in place.
When that happens, the business often suffers and is not able to adapt or grow. Empowering shop owners with easy-to-use tools that allowed them to manage their business is a great first step. We’re seeing great results from our very first franchisees, and shop owners outside of Ontario have been flying in to see up close for themselves.
Where do you think some of the biggest opportunities can be realized in terms of developing relationships between consumers and car care providers?
Digital platforms are one area that has traditionally been underserved by collision centres. As consumers become more and more active on mobile devices, we see tremendous opportunities for businesses that give customers a choice and can tailor communication and service to their specific needs.
Do you think consumer expectations will continue to change?
Absolutely. The businesses that will be successful in the future are those that adapt quickly to the changing needs of the consumer. We study various businesses outside of collision repair very closely, to gain insight on where the paradigm shifts are headed. You can also learn a lot from the types of apps people have on their phones. Understanding where people spend their time, and why, can provide a wealth of information.