Culture key for Caliber

Mark Sanders​, president and COO, Caliber Collision opened his IBIS Global Summit 2018 session by stating: ‘I really want to challenge the perspective that the higher the pace of growth gets, the more your results deteriorate.’

He then went on to highlight how Caliber’s approach to business and staff or ‘teammates’ engagement has seen it improve across all of its key performance indicators over the past three years. Mark listed Caliber’s performance metrics as cycle time; NPS; return rate; kept informed; delivered on time.

He showed a graph charting Caliber’s historic growth from 2010 when it had 79 shops with a revenue of $316m to 2017 during which it was operating 546 sites with annual revenues of over $1.9bn. Mark explained how the company’s strategy has been crucial to that growth and how that focus was developed following a meeting which questioned, ‘Why are we in business today? Immediately after that meeting we started to put the building blocks in place to facilitate that fast growth,’ said Mark.

Mark highlighted how 2016-2017 alone saw the business grow by more than 1,200 teammates, some 800 sites and nearly 140,000 repairs. ‘It looks very attractive and is a lot of fun to be in a high growth company but the measure of our success is in our key performance indicators,’ said Mark. ‘We have made a commitment that Caliber will never outgrow its ability to provide our high levels of service.

‘Our secret source is our people – we are a purpose driven organisation,’ said Mark as he introduced Caliber’s philosophy of restoring the rhythm of people’s lives and explained how they humanise the repair process – focusing as much on people (ie vehicle owners) as they do the repair job at hand. In Mark’s opinion, ‘The perception of our industry is changing, it’s becoming more professional on a daily basis.’ With this Mark highlighted how the business invests in its teammates and how that has resulted in 50% of its leadership team coming from the shopfloor.

‘If you’re in a leadership role at Caliber, you are committed to the success of everyone around you,’ said Mark who then described the company’s four pillars for success: best trained, most satisfied teammates – ‘we invest $10-$15m per year in training’; provide operational consistency; manage overall client cost – ‘we have strategic partner programmes with DRPs which allow us to manage our own shops’; and focus on my customer – ‘this is the critical piece’.

‘Strategic alignment is a very important process within an organisation,’ explained Mark who referenced the influence the book, ‘Good to great’ has had on the business and how it influenced it to subsequently implement the ‘Caliber flywheel’ to provide consistency across the operation. ‘It allows us to build an unparalleled customer experience,’ said Mark.

Mark told delegates that as a business Caliber ‘starts with the why’ and everything it does is centred on creating an engaging culture – ‘everything is built around doing things the Caliber way’.

The IBIS Global Summit 2018 is partnered by 3M, AkzoNobel, Audatex, Axalta, Enterprise Rent A Car, Fix Auto and Symach.