Simplicity Car Care continues to build on a solid foundation of delivering value for its franchisees, customers and the collision repair industry.
The COVID-19 pandemic upended the entire globe, causing entire sectors of the economy to shut down while others had to rethink their business strategies. Yet through it all, we have endured and the automotive sector, including the collision space, has been a beacon of resilience, support and progress.
At Simplicity Car Care, the global pandemic has done little to impede the company’s growth strategy.
If anything, it’s caused it to accelerate. During a recent discussion with Simplicity Car Care’s executive team, Autosphere was able to gain insight into how the company has navigated through COVID-19, how it continues to grow and add new facilities to the network, as well as some tools, strategies and initiatives that either have emerged or are in the process of being introduced.
According to Simplicity Car Care Chief Executive Officer Paul Prochilo, driving value for both franchisees and end-user customers has remained a consistent emphasis. Creating transformative results through this process, is, as Prochilo explains, “something that really excites us. When you focus on your customers and your franchise partners, you create a transformative experience and you’ll ultimately succeed no matter what is going on around you.”
During the global pandemic, Simplicity Car Care has continued to expand its footprint across Canada. It has continued to grow in Ontario and Alberta, as well as expand into Atlantic Canada through its first location in New Brunswick, Simplicity Car Care Rogersville.
Additionally, the network has set its sights on Quebec and as this story went to press had opened its first location in the province, in Gatineau.
Domenic Ieraci, President at Simplicity Car Care, says the decision to enter the Quebec market was based on the opportunity it currently presents.
“Quebec is one of the largest markets in Canada,” explains Ieraci, “and there is a significant level of opportunity with the independent shops in the market for us to support their growth, provide training and development, and enhance the unit economics of their collision centres.”
Ieraci also notes that going into the market with an open mind and understanding the uniqueness that operating in Quebec represents, will present opportunities both for collision centres that are looking to partner with a national network and also Simplicity Car Care itself.
Additionally, Ieraci says the network is excited about the opportunity to work with additional insurance partners, drive same-store sales and provide the ability to support insurers through its national footprint.
Paul Prochilo says that a key aspect of Simplicity Car Care’s ability to successfully enter and grow its presence in new markets comes down to being both flexible and rigid.
“Ultimately, it’s about providing unparalleled support from operations, branding and sales position for our franchisees—and helping cultivate an environment where they can not only thrive but truly succeed.”
Besides expansion into Quebec, Simplicity Car Care is also casting its gaze westward and has plans to open locations in British Columbia.
With government-run insurance dominating the collision sector in the province, and a plethora of independent shops located there, Simplicity Car Care really sees an opportunity to establish quality standards for training, processes and customer service.
“In the public insurance marketplace there is a lot of push to establish OEM certifications and ensure that repairs are done right the first time,” says Vice President of Operations, Domenic Prochilo.
He notes that by focusing on technician training, like that offered through I-CAR, as well as focusing on the anatomy of a vehicle and OEM certification, the result is a solid and consistent standard for repairs, one that’s already been embraced in public insurance markets like B.C. and Saskatchewan.
Domenic Ieraci also says that in specific reference to B.C., Simplicity Car Care’s model, with its emphasis on cost-reduction and efficiency in the repair process—provides notable benefits.
“There is a direct correlation between client loyalty and satisfaction with reduced vehicle turnaround time,” he explains. “We’re excited about our ability to process vehicles approximately 28% faster than the average Canadian collision repair centre and we intend to drive down repair costs in B.C.”
The result he says will help not only increase the overall speed of the repair but also drive down the average cost per claim—enabling insurers such as ICBC to not only implement effective cost reduction strategies but, by having an emphasis on quality process and service, create a better overall experience for the end-user customer.
Expanding into new markets is one thing; having a proven track record of success is another. Since Simplicity Car Care’s inception in 2017, those shops that have joined the network in Ontario and Alberta have seen their business thrive.
“In Ontario and Alberta, we could not be any more pleased with the resiliency of the network and their ability to really perform in a performance-based agreement environment,” says Domenic Prochilo.
“The things they have been doing very well are focusing on KPI performance, ensuring that claims management expectations are being met, as well as providing our customers with a seamless and affordable experience.”
Domenic Ieraci adds that in reference to Ontario and Alberta, besides the tremendous growth the network has seen overall in the last several years, there’s also been significant growth among the individual franchisees with many operators adding additional space and locations.
“We have many MSOs within the network that own two or more locations and I think that is a testament to the value that the network has been able to provide for our franchisees—not only from a top-line sales growth standpoint but also from a profitability and workflow management perspective.”
Quality of life
Ieraci is quick to point out that not only is Simplicity Car Care in the business of repairing vehicles, but adding value at every step and enhancing the quality of life for each shop owner and their staff.
“This is really important to us,” he says, “and we know there is no greater compliment than when a franchisee decides to reinvest into a second location. We’re very humbled by that.”
Simplicity Car Care’s mandate, since day one, has been to make car care simple and affordable for every vehicle owner in the world. “It’s our North Star,” says Ieraci.
“We focus on ensuring our team members and our franchisees walk the walk by living our core values of wowing our customers, building relationships, valuing our people, innovating to create solutions and keeping it simple.”