Having been at the head of both a major claim operation and an MSO, what are your thoughts on the state of the industry?
I see the collision repair industry as having grown up over the past five to seven years.
In the early part of the 2000s, we had the wave of consolidation. Everyone said the consolidators would take over. They did buy a lot of shops but they weren’t the best at eliminating overhead. Consolidation happened rapidly for the first year or two and then it really slowed down. Since then, I think the big consolidators have figured out how to take cost out of the equation to reduce overhead and to improve repair quality.
I think things like I-CAR and VeriFacts training have brought a lot of recognition and legitimacy, as well. If you make that initial investment, you will differentiate yourself and because of that, more work will flow through those shops. In particular, I think the VeriFacts program will really explode in the next few years.