Superfinish Express in an award-winning mobile auto franchise system that provides immediate and permanent on-site repairs to paint work, plastics, alloys, bumpers, and interiors of motor vehicles for the automotive industry. Originally established in Brisbane by David Bruckshaw and his family as Kwik Fix International in 1993, the company began franchising in 1995. Today, the company has 46 franchises located throughout the country.
Operating under a ‘trade-only’ business model, Superfinish Express only deals with industrial-based trades such as car dealerships, auction houses, government organisations, and hire car companies. “What we can offer them is the world’s best eco-friendly paint system,” says Franchise Development Manager Caedmon Foy. “We’re the only company that’s fully EPA-compliant, we can work on airports, and we work with councils in coming up with the guidelines for this type of work to be done outside of a spray booth.” Superfinish Express offers its franchisees weekly pay, centralising all accounts in a national office. “They invoice us through our e-billing system, which is mobile and linked to all the other franchisees, so they can have direct communication instantly with any other franchisee in the country,” Foy explains. “They do all their billing and ordering online, that comes back to us, and we handle the accounts on our end, and at the end of the week the accounts are up, and they get paid the following Monday, so they don’t have to chase down any of their debt.”
A unique quality of Superfinish Express is that it is the only mobile service to use Water Based technology, which can be likened to using non solvent-based paint. The process is eco-friendly, and any waste is captured. The latest in sanding technology is also used, which produces so little waste that not even a mask is required during operation.
Superfinish Express has earned the Franchise System of the Year Award from the Franchise Council of Australia from 21-100 Operating Units. The company has also placed within the top 3 places of BRW’s Best Return On Investment list for 2 years running, and holds 2 worldwide paint repair patents.
As a family-run company, Superfinish Express feels a responsibility to give back to the community. “We’re into cars, so we do the Leukaemia Foundation Muscle Car Run,” says Caedmon. “We’ve also done the Breast Cancer Run, and locally through Brisbane, we’ve worked with the Mensheds, dealing with men’s health issues.”
Superfinish Express works closely with the FCA, which is closely tied with the ACCC for running best practice for franchising. “We work with other franchisees in other sectors, all types of different franchises, by attending workshops and seminars with them,” Foy says. The company also attends numerous trade shows around the world, including the NACE, which was held in Detroit this year, the World International Franchise Association, and many more.
Over the past decade, Caedmon has witnessed a significant shift in the business practices of car dealerships as consumers become more connected through the Internet. It has been found that many private sellers are highly aware of car pricing on a national scale, and advertise their vehicles at wholesale price. “What happened maybe four years ago was that there was enough of a mark-up in cars, that we could make a living off of the used car trade,” he says. “But at the moment, with the internet, its so tight that everybody knows what pricing they want, and they’re such savvy buyers now that a person goes into the dealership now knowing what kind of car they want, what colour they want, what model they want, what engine capacity, whereas years ago, you’d just go into a car dealership and you would be shown a number of different cars and you’d choose from there. The competition has become national pricing, as opposed to just local car dealerships, so the smaller retailers are disappearing, taken over by national dealerships, controlled by online pricing.”
Foy started out in franchising in 1985 with a small company called Silvio’s Dial A Pizza, where he worked with Don Meij, who went on to buy Dominos Pizza Australia. He then worked for Telstra as a Construction Manager during the first broadband rollout, and worked as their Logistics Manager for 10 years in Brisbane. After running a music management company for a number of years, Caedmon became a franchisee with Superfinish Express, operating the Albion city store in Brisbane for 7 years, subsequently selling the location and joining the company as Franchise Development Manager.