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The Growth Plan for Driven Brands’ Fleet Division

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In addition to Driven Brands’ growing portfolio of companies, the automotive franchise has introduced Driven Fleet. Frank Petrane, the senior vice president of Driven Fleet, North America, says the company is getting ahead of a growing market that represents billions in revenue to the automotive repair industry—MarketsandMarkets, a worldwide research firm, claims the fleet management sector is estimated to grow from $9.54 billion in 2016 to $27.9 billion by 2021.

Today, Petrane says Driven Brands (which consists of Meineke, 1-800-Radiator and Maaco, among others) is marketing its swath of auto care services to fleets, attempting to stretch contracts to cover several business segments, including repair, maintenance, quick lube and collision repair. He spoke with Ratchet+Wrench to discuss how Driven Brands is strategizing that growth.

 

How has Driven Brands mapped out and strategized its development in the fleet segment?

I was hired by Maaco 11 years ago to help develop the fleet program for them. We had a very successful run, and we closed out 2016 at over $100 million in fleet sales—that's up $55 million since 2013.

This year, Driven Brands is going out and acquiring new verticals, like with CARSTAR on the collision side. And now we're heavily in the quick lube segment. We already have Meineke, which covers maintenance and repair.

So, how do we take this $100 million business on the collision repair side and utilize it across all our brands? How do we morph the sales team that is now selling individually by brand into one team selling horizontally for everybody? We took a lot of time and looked at opportunities and resources and we restructured the team to now sell across all the brands.

 

What’s your company’s strategy for selling across all brands?

The low-hanging fruit is our top customers on the collision repair side. Let's immediately figure out what we have to do to get their business in the quick lube and repair space.

We’re going after different verticals to sell across horizontally. We've broken it out into:

  • Rental car companies
  • Fleet management companies
  • Dealer groups
  • Private and government fleets

Now we’re coming up with plans for each of these opportunities. For instance, on the fleet management company side, their job is to go out and build a network of shops for repair, quick lube and collision. So when the customer needs service, they go to one of those shops. If you look at all the business Maaco does with these fleet management companies, now we can fill in the gaps on maintenance and quick lube.
 

How would you sell a Driven Brands plan to a fleet management company?

What we'll really sell is that there is no one else offering what we offer. I can't imagine there's anyone else out there with the resources and the suite of services we can offer fleets right now. You come to me, and you have a fleet of 1,000 vehicles. Well, do you want a paint plan? Do you want a maintenance program? An accident management program? A quick lube program? No one else can do that. So we want to position ourselves as the go-to source.

We have 16 decentralized sales representatives out in the field all day, with sales targets and goals, selling for our franchises. It starts with making sure our best shops are on our networks, and then it's up to our sales team to go out and build the business. If I have three guys who are very successful and have a lot of customer relationships on the collision repair side, it's a natural progression for them to continue to do business with us through Meineke and quick lube.

 

Is there a plan to make sure quick lube and service shops are ready to handle fleets?

The most important thing to remember is we developed Maaco. You have to build a foundation for your business for it to take off.

We did it through a certification program. That certification program really just made sure we had the right shops in front of our customers to make sure there's compliance. They need to have the same experience no matter what shop they go to. So we developed that program 12 years ago for collision repair. We were bullish about it. We held our shops accountable and we did not settle for non-certified locations. That's how you get everyone marketing in the same direction.

Now I'm helping to build a certification across all brands. At Meineke, there's going to be a dedicated list of benchmarks the Meineke center needs to meet, including financial standing with Driven Brands, updated equipment and training, CSI scores, compliance with fleet partner pricing, and quality of service.

Right now we have over 500 certified Meineke locations, and the idea is to get all 1,000 shops certified at some point. But, we don't want to put dollar signs in front of process, and I want to make sure we build the right foundation of doing the same thing in the quick lube. It's about making sure the right franchisees are in front of our best customers.

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