Since our official launch in 2019, we’ve sure covered a lot of ground. As we roll into our one-year anniversary, join us as we take the scenic route down memory lane. What started out as a vision and a couple of vans grew into a well-oiled company with over 130 employees, service in more than 325 cities across California, Nevada, and Arizona, and thousands of happy people served in their driveways, on-site at our partner shops, and at fleet locations and office properties.
2018: Warming Up
Nowadays, you can get just about anything delivered to your doorstep. So, why not car repair? With this question in mind, we hit the ground running in 2018 to develop and test our concept. Would people actually use a service like RepairSmith if they’ve grown accustomed to taking their vehicles to the shop? We were determined to find out.
To discover our product-market fit, we set out to better understand how car owners felt about the car repair experience and what improvements could be made in an industry primed for disruption. After several months of running pilot programs and testing various types of messaging, we finally landed on our three core values: convenience, transparency, and quality. Car owners wanted a more convenient way to repair their cars, more transparency in pricing, and quality service performed by skilled technicians.
Equipped with this knowledge, we rolled up our sleeves to create the world’s most convenient car repair and maintenance service. From developing an online platform to provide car owners with instant pricing and easy booking to hiring and training the best technicians in town to designing our custom state-of-the-art repair vehicles, getting RepairSmith off the ground was no small feat, and we built just the team to pull it off.
2019: Ready, Set, Go
After testing service, collecting feedback from technicians and customers, and optimizing the experience, we geared up for launch. On August 13, 2019, we officially announced our service availability in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Shortly after, we expanded to Orange County and San Diego. Our techs have been enjoying fish tacos and ocean views ever since.
Speaking of our technicians, we attracted and hired some of the best in the business. After hearing from countless car owners that trust was a major factor when choosing a mechanic or shop, we took this to heart and ensured that all of our technicians were fully-vetted, hired as RepairSmith employees, and ASE-certified with several years of experience under their belts. Our techs are our stars, and we couldn’t be more grateful for their daily dedication to delivering top-notch service to car owners around town.
That fall, we brought down the house at some of the country’s biggest trade shows like AAPEX in Las Vegas and the Los Angeles Auto Show. We had a blast meeting attendees and hearing everyone’s car repair experiences. One of our favorite parts of the LA Auto show was asking attendees what they would rather spend their spare time on instead of waiting for car repair. Through our interactive survey (pictured below), spending time with friends and family won by a landslide (or a multi-toy-car pile up, in this case).
After AAPEX (Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo), we ended up loving Las Vegas so much we decided to stay! We launched service there in November 2019 and continued climbing up California to service the state capital of Sacramento.
Before we knew it, we were piling over each other in our temporary office in Playa Del Rey, CA. It was time to move, so we headed south and planted our roots at our new headquarters in El Segundo, CA. As much as we enjoyed each other’s company at our previous office, we were all excited for room to stretch out. And there was plenty of space to do so at our new HQ! Our office was custom designed to include a fully-functional repair shop, spacious backyard for outdoor work and play, and even a dog park to give our pets a place to hang.
As our team grew, so did our fleet of repair vans. And, as with anything we do, we went the extra mile when it came to keeping track of our vans. While some companies throw pizza parties, we celebrate employee one-year anniversaries with a van naming ceremony! Check out Amanda, our Sr. Director of Product Management, meeting repair van Amanda for the first time.
2020: Rolled Into One
Rolling into our first year meant rolling with the punches of 2020.
At the onset of COVID-19, we did what most businesses had to do overnight – switch gears. We started delivering ‘No-Contact Car Repair’ to ensure that all services were performed in the safest way possible. Our technicians were prepared with gloves, masks, and sanitization products, and trained on contactless interactions such as touchless key exchange and over-the-phone payment.
We were devastated by the impact of the pandemic on our local communities. To help our communities move forward, we donated $100K+ in free car repair to essential workers, frontline workers, and those severely impacted by COVID-19. In the end, we were able to deliver 267 free repairs across 90+ cities in our service areas.
At the same time, we recognized the need for businesses to stay on the move, so we launched our fleet services to bring maintenance and repair direct to fleets. By providing businesses with top quality, convenient service, RepairSmith enables fleet managers to avoid service disruption, unnecessary expenses, and the headaches of traditional fleet service.
In addition to fleet services, we launched location-based, mobile service for property managers and corporate office parks. With these new additions to our service line, we expanded our own growing fleet of mobile service vehicles to include Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cab Chassis vehicles outfitted with oil handling equipment and tire machines enabling us to perform maintenance and repair services at scale.
Amidst these unprecedented times, we continued to stay the course. Our 2020 roadmap included continuing to expand our service areas beyond California and Nevada. We continued to move east, and in April 2020, we officially launched service in Phoenix, AZ.
We’ve come a long way from our early days of prototypes and pilot tests. Today, RepairSmith is everything you’d expect from a shop rolled into one…sleek van! Over the course of the past year, we’ve built a service that people truly love and a company that people truly love to be a part of. We also managed to generate a lot of noise (the good kind!) while we were at it, with features in Forbes, CNN, and Yahoo!, as well as recognition by Built In LA as one of their ‘Top 50 Startups to Watch in 2020‘ and Business Intelligence Group’s ‘2020 BIG Innovation Award’ winner.
As we roll into our one-year anniversary, we couldn’t be more proud to look back on our journey. We’re now available in more than 325 cities across California, Nevada, and Arizona, and we’re continuing to grow to offer service in new locations through 2020.
What a ride it’s been. Thank you for being on this journey with us!