After more than three decades in the collision repair industry, Mark Olson has seen – and often helped develop – a variety of solutions to the problems faced by collision repair operations. But Olson, who recently launched Vehicle Collision Experts, LLC (VECO Experts), said he has come to a new realization about what’s been lacking in the industry.
“So many programs and products out there do a great job of addressing one particular problem or part of the process,” Olson said. “But what’s been missing is a holistic approach that recognizes the connections between all the moving pieces within a collision repair business.”
Training, certification and coaching programs each can be valuable, for example, Olson said, but individually they don’t take into account how they all interact with each other and within a company’s business practices. That’s what sets VECO Experts apart, Olson said. VECO works with shops on vehicle repairs and quality on an ongoing monthly basis, but serves not just as a coach or auditor but as a business partner, providing customized assistance to help determine which of 10 other aspects of a collision repair business are most in need of improvement.
“Using some simple interview and tracking processes, we look for patterns that are most adversely impacting the business’ production or financial performance,” Olson said. “We can then help the business pinpoint the cause and make the necessary adjustments in the shop, in the office, or – most often – in both. It can be a bit like solving a water leak in a vehicle. Finding the cause can be the real challenge, which is what we help a collision repair business do. But once you’ve done that, the solution is often, as it is with a water leak, the easy part.”
VECO Experts is already helping collision repair operations with such areas as improving compliance with company SOPs; eliminating start-stop delays within production; reducing vehicle come-backs, and improving vehicle repair quality, touch-time and days-to-repair.
“The key is we’re not taking a one-size-fits-all approach,” Olson said. “Being in the partner shops every month, we’re helping the businesses identify the areas most needing improvement, and focusing on that. We help them with simple systems and a unique set of reporting – that shows at a glance, in less than three minutes, how they are doing, where they are improving, and where we can best help them find solutions.”
Prior to launching VECO Experts in November of last year, Olson served as chief operating officer of VeriFacts Automotive, LLC, a company he co-founded in 2002. He is also well-known throughout the industry as an industry speaker and I-CAR instructor.