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Published by Auto Body News, July 8th, 2020.
As the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the U.S. in March, Maaco Collision Repair and Auto Painting, the leader in the $43 billion automotive paint and collision industry, and part of the Driven Brands family of automotive brands, implemented a three-stage strategy for dealing with the crisis and helping its franchisees plan for the future.
Maaco’s first step was rallying around their franchisees and owners to help them navigate the uncertainty.
“In stage one, the corporate support teams shifted their focus quickly from daily operations to supporting the franchise owners in other ways, providing guidance and assistance with the application process for government and Driven Brands programs available for business and employee financial relief,” said Dave Gross, regional vice president of operations for Maaco. “Through our communication platform, Rally Point, we share information and best practices among the family of franchise owners, as well as the franchise owners sharing best practices peer to peer.”
“When the pandemic hit, the world stopped spinning for a lot of people,” said Tim Wright, owner of a Maaco center in Farmington, MI. “But the Maaco management team was quick to make the adjustments necessary to support their franchisees when it was needed the most.”
The second stage of support was to prepare the centers to address the new operating procedures in a COVID-19 era, keeping customers and employees safe. Maaco named the program R.A.M.P. (Readiness-Attitude-Management-People), which included a six-week series of webinars on such topics as maintaining social distancing on the production line, implementing a touchless intake process, proper disinfecting procedures and proper use of personal protective equipment.
“The R.A.M.P program was a collaborative effort among the operations, training, and marketing teams, along with franchisees, to share learnings and best practices,” said Gross. “Our franchise operators are on the front lines and have a lot to share.”
“What was great about the R.A.M.P. program was that the franchisees were involved in providing and presenting the content to their peers,” Wright said.
Joe Houghton, 31-year Maaco franchisee in West Springfield, MA, seconded the importance of teamwork and communication with Maaco’s corporate team and the franchisees.