The secrets to success are different for each business. But, one thing is certain for five auto glass retailers: revenues continue to grow lightning fast as they put the COVID-19 pandemic in their rearview mirrors. AGRR takes an in-depth look at five companies in the magazine’s May/June issue. One of those companies experiencing growth is Reliable Auto Glass, with locations in Phoenix, and Tucson, Ariz. The company’s percentage growth in the last three years is 59%.
After working in the corporate world, Greg Tornga found himself unemployed in 2001 when the Internet bubble burst and he was laid off by a dot com business. “That put me on the streets,” he says. The situation also created an opportunity for him to think about starting his own company. He considered buying an existing business or a franchise. In his research, he contacted a high school classmate. “It seemed that auto glass was just a great match in terms of my background and my wife’s.”
Greg and Lorraine Tornga soon founded Reliable Auto Glass in Phoenix, which now has four locations, and 85 employees, including six mobile auto glass technicians and 29 who work out of the shop. “I had absolutely no clue what went into replacing auto glass,” Greg Tornga says of founding his business 20 years ago. But he knew how to run a business, and revenue grew steadily every year except in 2012 when the business experienced a decrease of 10%. Tornga attributes 2012’s revenue to the lag brought on by the Great Recession. “I’d say, right now, we’re thriving more than ever.”
Tornga says Reliable’s secrets to success include working hard, treating people with respect, and striving to be the best they can be. “Do what you say you’re going to do, show up on time,” Tornga says of working hard. And don’t be afraid to put in a long day. Respect your employees: the company hires great people, he says, treats them well, and they do right by customers.
“We strive every day to be the best. We just really want to make a difference from a service approach,” he says of the company’s third key to success. From the phone presence of customer service representatives to the cleanliness of the technician vans, and to the customer service training, Reliable wants to “deliver that wow experience to every customer.” Tornga says he wants customers to say: “I didn’t really expect that from my glass replacement experience.”
All five of Reliable’s locations provide calibration services and have “certainly had a huge impact on sales growth,” Tornga says. The company added calibration services in 2018, and its five locations offer convenience for customers.
In 2020, Tornga says Reliable transitioned to Omega, a web-based platform for software. “We get so much data out of that,” he says. The software created opportunities for Reliable to do business and enabled remote options. Tornga says when it comes to calibration, the company swears by Autel and Pilkington’s Opti-Aim tools.
Into the Future
Tornga doesn’t plan to grow Reliable beyond Arizona but will add locations for the convenience of customers as necessary. “I know there are a lot of opportunities right around us.” The company will continue to train, improve and hire great people. “And be an even better company,” he says of the future. Customer service training, for example, for technicians will provide a consistent customer experience. “So they’re doing it the Reliable Auto Glass way.”
Read the full article featuring all five companies.