Brad Simmons, CEO of ClearMechanic

simmons_brad_clearmechanic

1. STRATEGY & COMPANY MISSION

ClearMechanic develops technology to improve the car repair experience. Our new pilot program for consumers allows instant, online scheduling of car repair appointments. Our award-winning products for service centers enable technicians to ‘visually explain’ repair recommendations with real-time photos and diagrams.

2. MARKETING OBJECTIVES FOR 2012 & BEYOND

1)    Successful launch of ClearMechanic’s new pilot program in San Francisco and preparation to expand to other major cities.
2)    Continue to grow our existing products used by service centers.

3. MARKET OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD FOR 2012

1) ClearMechanic is the only technology company focused on improving the car repair experience for both consumers *and* service centers. We have a proven track record of delivering excellent technology solutions to service centers and we are now rolling out our first service designed specifically for consumers. With our unique experience and capabilities, ClearMechanic has the opportunity to take a $200 billion industry and make it more convenient and transparent for all parties involved.

2) ClearMechanic is the only company with the potential to attract the younger “Facebook generation” into the service drive. Younger car owners are frequently overlooked by dealers and independent repair shops. For example, young consumers expect instant convenience and transparency, two phrases that are rarely associated with the car repair experience. Every service center interested in younger consumers should work with explore ClearMechanic’s offerings.

4. MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES

Our biggest internal challenge is managing the demands of consumers and service centers. Both are valuable users of our products, but their interests can conflict.

In light of this, we have chosen a unique pricing model for our newest consumer product: “pay for performance,” i.e. we only charge the service center if we deliver new customers. This allows us to prioritize the interests of consumers ahead of service centers, but only if we are confident such a decision will ultimately bring new customers to the service center.

5. INDUSTRY & MARKET SITUATION

Service and parts are poised for continued growth and heightened focus in the automotive industry. The economy is recovering, resulting in higher car sales, but the majority of the industry’s profitability lies in servicing and maintaining vehicles.

A parallel trend is the importance of technology, both web and mobile, in driving the behavior of consumers. Over 50% of American use smartphones and the overwhelming majority of consumers make purchasing decisions based on information they find online. Service centers that fail to adapt to these facts risk losing new customers.

6. MOST SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENT

The release of our iPhone and Android mobile applications was a huge accomplishment that resulted in immediate growth for our company. We now have over 7,500 registered users at service centers and have partnerships and licensing arrangements with leading technology companies in the automotive sector, including TimeHighway, Dealer e-Process, CIMA Systems, DealerOn, Repair Shop Websites and Consumer Reports.

BIO

Brad Simmons has experience spanning a range of business and consumer services industries as an entrepreneur, investor and advisor. He speaks regularly at automotive industry conferences about innovation and technology in car repairs. Previously, Brad was a private equity investor at Lindsay Goldberg & Bessemer, a $10 billion investment firm, where he oversaw $400 million of equity commitments in business services companies. Prior to that he worked as an investment banker at Goldman, Sachs & Co. with concentration on business and consumer services. Brad graduated with honors from Princeton and received his MBA from Harvard Business School.