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Sandy Liguori, Consolidated Collision Services: A Complete Package

Autosphere » Collision » Sandy Liguori, Consolidated Collision Services: A Complete Package

Consolidated Collision Services has developed a unique business model.

For new car dealers, investing in the collision repair business can prove to be a very savvy long-term business strategy, provided it’s done right. Sandy Liguori, President of Consolidated Collision Services (CCS) and President of the Woodchester Auto Group, which includes Woodchester Nissan, Infiniti as well as Woodchester Collision, has long been an advocate of creating a collision repair network specifically targeted at franchised dealers. This led to the creation of CCS over 7 years ago, a division of the Consolidated Dealers Co-Operative. We recently sat down with Liguori and asked him about the network, how it’s designed to work and some of the benefits it can provide dealers who join it.

What were some of the fundamental requirements behind creating a program like CCS?

It basically boils down to three things; customer retention, profitability within the collision centre and bringing vehicles to the door. If we look at customer retention, a big part of it is spreading awareness, to let consumers know that the dealer they buy from and get their car serviced with also offers a full range of collision repair services. When we look at profitability, it’s about understanding a different business model than automotive retailing and developing tools and strategies to be successful. These include management systems and performance metrics. Finally, the third point is really about getting insurers to understand the specifics of our dealer only collision network model and the benefits it can offer them.

Can you tell us about some of the benefits of a new car dealer collision network like CCS?

From a consumer perspective, having your vehicle repaired at a dealer owned collision centre is an easy choice. There is an existing relationship with the dealer or at least the brand, and there is greater peace of mind because they know the type of service that they will receive. For our insurance partners, we believe that CCS represents the path of least resistance for getting their policy holders into a network collision centre; we know that our customers are demanding to return to their new car dealer for collision repairs, and we provide a one-stop shop for all of our customers’ automotive needs.

With on-site parts departments, service departments, access to OEM repair information and with many of our network members being OE Certified, we are delivering great repair outcomes for our customers and performing for our partners, all while providing a world class customer experience.

Can you tell us a little about your performance group meetings? From what we understand, they are quite unique.

Since day one, our mandate has been to bring dealers together. Automotive retailing and collision repair are two very different businesses with different measurement criteria, metrics and accounting. So, it’s rare that collision centre financials are ever properly discussed in a traditional new car dealer 20-group meeting. What we’ve done is to bridge the gap by creating our CCS High Performance Groups, bringing our members together to discuss their performance and financials in a format designed exclusively for dealer owned collision centres.

To our knowledge we currently have one of the only new car dealer-specific collision performance groups running in North America. Group 1 has been running for three years and includes some of the best performing dealership collision centres in our network, with dealer principals, CFOs and collision managers in attendance at the meetings. We’re expanding and are in the process of starting Group 2 for the fall, and what’s interesting is that everything is analyzed through the eyes of a dealer that owns a collision centre, but is also part of our network, so it provides a unique and tailored perspective.

Moving forward, given the changes happening in the collision repair industry, what challenges and opportunities do you see for dealers that operate in this space?

OEM certification has been a big shift for the industry. A decade ago, we never would have seen OE position statements nor mandatory pre-and-post-repair scanning. In many cases, dealer owned collision centres are well-positioned moving forward as they have made the investments in equipment, training and processes to repair the latest generation of vehicles.

And, as vehicle repair complexity and severity continue to increase, dealers will increasingly become the destination for collision repairs, helping dealers grow customer retention for their collision centre and providing parts, service and sales opportunities in the process for the dealership.

Categories : Collision

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