CARSTAR president Michael Macaluso.
By CRM Staff
Hamilton, Ontario -- April 26, 2018 -- Yet again, CARSTAR is shaking things up in the collision repair world. With close to three hundred franchise locations spread across country, the Hamilton-based behemoth surprised many industry observers with the announcement of a reconfiguration of the way it handles regional support for its operations.
As CRM discovered in our exclusive interview with company president Michael Macaluso, this new approach is not so much a revolution, but an evolution of the business model that has fuelled the banner’s decade of expansion. But what is at the core of this success? A simple guiding principle: stay humble, stay hungry.
Collision Repair magazine: CARSTAR recently announced a new operations and sales structure across Canada, designed to give proportionate support for each region it serves in Canada. Could you go into a little more detail about what this reconfiguration will look like? 
CARSTAR president Michael Macaluso: Both our operational and sales teams have aligned completely, now reconfigured to be a zone structure. We have our Western Zone, which includes Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta and the prairie provinces, Ontario Zone, Quebec Zone and then Atlantic Zone, which encompasses P.E.I., Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
We have always had dedicated team members overseeing particular regions, however now we have formalized it for both our operations and sales teams, as well as making it clear for our stores with defined mapping.
We have also added more than 12 new team members to the CARSTAR corporate team in Canada, specifically focused on franchise partner success and KPIs. The goal is to enhance an already extremely successful program, with the added intent of providing exceptional service and quality to our insurance partners and ensuring sustainability and success for our franchise partners.
CRM: Will it have a significant impact on the day-to-day work of operators? Of team members?
MM: We have always been committed to continuous improvement, which is one of our core values. This is an evolution of the CARSTAR program.
With our exponential growth comes the necessity to ensure we are providing world-class service and support to our system. Our people and program are our competitive advantage and we are enhancing both.
CRM: Could you go into a little more detail about why CARSTAR saw a need for this move?
MM: CARSTAR is constantly evolving. With the changing landscape in the collision repair industry as well as the increasingly present challenges and opportunities, we have to always be willing to enhance our business.
We have officially begun implementing CARSTAR’s proprietary EDGE Performance Platform across Canada. This tried and tested operational platform has seen enormous success with our U.S. counterparts over the past four years. This new zone alignment, in conjunction with the launch of the EDGE Performance Platform in Canada, are the kind of moves CARSTAR is not afraid to make.
As [former general electric chairman] Jack Welch famously said, “Change before you have to.” We did not have to make these changes; we chose to make these changes for the betterment of CARSTAR and to position us for continued success in the years to come.
CRM: CARSTAR has also rezoned the sales and operations teams responsible for supporting insurance agreements across Canada. Auto insurers differ significantly from province to province. Why is CARSTAR making this change now?
MM: Again, we have always had members dedicated to particular regions, because insurers do differ greatly, province to province, market to market and insurer by insurer.
Our new zone structure gives deeper and more focused support for our partners. This new structure reaffirms our commitment to our local operators and success in their communities, which ultimately help us uphold our national agreements with our insurance partners. CARSTAR is thinking nationally and acting locally.
CRM: Do you have a particular goal in mind for CARSTAR in the next five years? In ten?
MM: Growth, performance for our insurance partners and franchise partner profitability and success. CARSTAR is laser-focused on franchise profitability and growing our footprint across North America, all the while providing exceptional service and KPIs to our insurance partners and the customer.
Being a leader in premier collision repairs, we understand the value we provide our insurance partners and customers. Growing our footprint and accessibility while also staying true to our values will allow us to better support our insurance and franchise partners. We have to always remain humble and hungry.
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