Case Study

A Changing Mindset - Terminal Auto Body

Discover how Terminal Auto Body transformed their business by embracing a data-driven mindset. Learn how they improved financials, reduced WIP, and achieved operational excellence.

Name: Terminal Auto Body / Single Location operation

Owners: Siri & Mark

Affiliations: Quality Assured / CARSTAR Canada

Annual Sales: $3 million +

OEM Certifications: Ford, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, FCA


Meet Mark and Siri, the bother and sister team behind Terminal Auto Body. Discover how they improved financials, reduced WIP, and are now on a journey to operational excellence by embracing a data-driven mindset.


The Challenge

Mark says: “Our numbers were all over the place”. Inconsistent results were viewed as “how it is” in the collision industry. The team was accustomed to a traditional mindset and they found comfort in excessive WIP because “it's money coming in, it's guaranteed income”. Administrative compliance wasn’t viewed as important to operations, “we have our established routines, they're not perfect, but they’re working.”

Paul McFarlane, Executive Director of Quality Assured, challenged the team to reevaluate their “status quo” mindset. Although not inherently resistant to change Mark and Siri were doubtful of the potential benefits: “it seemed a little risky to overhaul our existing practices. With some hesitation we agreed to accept the challenge".


Dice - the challenge

The Approach

Mark connected with the AutoHouse team for an initial assessment of Terminal’s historical performance and daily operational practices using generis analytics software. Several opportunities for improvement became obvious and Mark began to realize that the data-driven approach may be worthwhile. With Mark’s agreement AutoHouse suggested a phased approach and a path forward.

First step, BSMS compliance and utilization. Proper date compliance offers the single best insights into operations. Mark committed his team to better operational compliance of BSMS management practices and reinforced it by subscribing them to the generis daily administrative compliance report to drive home the point. Once the best practices were adopted, a clearer picture began to emerge: “you can start to see the predictability in the business and what you can influence; it’s a really cool thing”.

With trust in the numbers and the potential recognized, Mark asked "what's next?" If your WIP Ratio is high, reducing WIP is low hanging fruit and you might be surprised at the overall impact it will have on the business: “We started to work on having less cars here, which was a bit of an eye opener. We had averaged around fifty and now we try to keep it well under thirty. Having less cars, less phone calls, less incoming calls, everything. All your admin work changes drastically when you're able to concentrate on half of the cars that were here before. We're now able to plan out the end of our month to match up almost perfectly with our projected sales. I can easily see if we have money sitting out there that's delivered but not closed, overdue deliveries, and talk to my team about it.”


The Numbers



“I feel like we have it dialed in and it's due to us being able to predict and influence results, we're able to get at it every month.”

                                                                                   Mark Descoteau


Closing Thoughts

Leadership, patience, and a willingness to embrace change have produced some amazing results. Mark and Siri are not done, they already have ideas on the next Data Driven improvement and have added a 2nd location. Congrats!


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