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FORGING AHEAD TOGETHER

ProColor Collision North York will always be home for the Prochilos

Story by MAX REID

When you stop to think about it, much of who we become as people is informed by our Saturday mornings. After a grueling five-day elementary school week, Saturday is the only day that truly belongs to you as a kid. It’s your time, the precious little that you have, and you’ve got to do something with it.

For some, it’s the race to the couch to get lost in cartoons, the 6 a.m. hockey practice, or miscellaneous neighbourhood mischief. But when you’re an heir to a decades-old collision repair dynasty, the body shop draws you in. For brothers Paul and Adam Prochilo, the body shop is what’s familiar. It’s where family is.

“Immigrating from Italy, my father Dominic chose this business as his first entrepreneurial venture”, Paul recalled in his interview with Collision Repair. “As kids we spent our weekends at the facility while our dad conducted his business. Whether it be washing a car or cleaning the shop, we were always around lending a helping hand.” The shop was a gathering place for the Prochilos, not simply a place where his father made a living, but truly a place where he and his family grew up. “As kids, we practiced our parking skills with the vehicles that were written off.”

But with play always came a lesson in hard work. “In exchange though, we always had to make sure the customer’s cars, including our dad’s and uncles, were all detailed before we got to go home”, Paul said with a laugh. Paul’s work ethic would come to carry him throughout his whole career and afforded him the opportunity to decide early on that would change not only his own life, but the lives of his entire family.

“After attending York University and receiving my bachelor’s degree in business and economics, I had two options, pursue an MBA or start running the family business. I decided to give the business a shot and 25 years later here we are,” said Paul.

Following in the guidance given to him by his father, as well as his late uncles Vince and Joe, Paul picked up the torch and committed to further building on his family’s already impressive legacy.

The site the shop sits on has undergone some major changes into making the Prochilo’s ProColor Collision North York facility a reality. “We have invested almost $300,000 into the building, from equipment upgrades to a completely renovated office and production space.”

Paul and Adam are capitalizing on every inch of real estate to ensure that their shop has everything one might need after a collision–all under one roof. Located on 141 Toryork Dr. in North York, the shop is staffed by fully trained technicians who can carry out complex repairs and automotive services on all makes and models of vehicles.

“The facility is 15,000 square feet of actual production space, but the building itself is 22,000 sq ft. We do sublet space to vendors like our in-house mechanic and Enterprise Rent A Car,” Paul explained.

“It’s very much a one-stop shop, anything we need, from four-wheel alignments, rental vehicles, glass replacement, calibrations or something as simple as replacing a tire, we have it all,”.

Paul is of course aware that a top-tier shop is nothing without a top tier team running it. The Prochilos are wizened students in the ways of I-CAR training, and they seek to pass on this trait on to all staff who enter their fold. “I-CAR is the main driving force for all of our training needs,” said Paul. “We ensure that we dedicate the appropriate time for each technician to work towards upkeeping their platinum designations.”

But the real kicker for the operation is their partnership with ProColor Collision. “My brother and I decided that for the longevity of the business, joining the ProColor Collision family would be our best option. We were attracted to ProColor Collision, not just because it was part of the Fix Network, but its President and CEO Steve Leal’s leadership is unparalleled. His vision for what he wants to create and accomplish in this industry marries very well with our goals and ambitions. It’s a big deal for both companies,” said Paul.

In fact, Paul sees his shop’s signing on to a major network as the culmination of a goal long in the works, as the Prochilo Brothers have had an eye on consolidation for some time now. “Consolidation of the market has long been a major driving force in our industry. For many years it’s either been join a network or face the possibility of extinction!”

For Paul, joining up with ProColor Collision also meant giving his staff the opportunity they need to succeed in their trade.

“ProColor Collision has a fantastic training facility based in Milton, Ontario. Whether the franchisee requires some I-CAR training, or help with operational aspects of the business, they also have the ability to help train our apprentices.”

Technology has come a long way since the Prochilo brothers learned the ropes of the trade. “The repair procedures utilized 20 years ago do not necessarily complement the modern-day automobile,” said Paul. “Blind spot, parking assist and lane departure systems are almost commonplace for the everyday vehicle today. Pre- and post- scans are essential to ensure each repair plan starts out on a solid foundation.” Despite all his success, Paul isn’t immune to the ebb and flow of the labour pool and is facing down an industry-wide staff shortage with the rest of the industry.

“The older journeymen are on their way out if they haven’t retired already. The need to recruit, train and educate our youth is of paramount importance these days. We need to help create a career path to show them the endless possibilities that await once they have received the proper training.”

One must imagine that there are still kids out there who spend their Saturdays the same way Paul and Adam did—witnessing family members, actively working for each other and for their business. That is the reality ProColor Collision North York delivers daily.

“We’ve managed to create a culture between our staff and our family that’s still here,” said Paul. “It’s been our driving force all these years. It’s what has kept us so loyal to our business and gives us the energy we need everyday to deal with whatever obstacles come our way.”

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