by Alana Quartuccio
To say that Mike and Tom Johnson wear the crown when it comes to ADAS and calibration solutions would be no exaggeration. The father and son duo launched Crown Collision Solutions in April 2021 and continue to achieve much success nearly three years later as they consistently provide auto body shops with all their ADAS needs while also guiding them to related training and resources.
Veteran collision repair professional, Mike Johnson, spent nearly four decades wearing many hats in the field from technician to body shop manager. Early on, he saw the challenges that ADAS would pose to those body shops that had no room and resources available to perform in-house calibrations. He decided to launch Crown Collision Solutions so those businesses would not go without the ability to safely and properly repair the vehicles that come to their shops. He then tapped his son Tom, who had a solid background in business solutions, to come on board as his partner, and together, the Johnsons rolled out their royal offering.
In less than three years, the company has grown substantially in all areas, expanding their equipment, adding to their team and supplying their customers with nothing less than the best resources around.
“We’ve added so much more equipment, targets and calibration items,” says Tom Johnson. “When we first started out, we had one scan tool and one ADAS calibration machine. Not every solution out there is going to have all the answers, all the coverages and all the behind-the-scenes contracts that give you all the access to do all the calibrations, so we invested in other targets and machines to do the calibrations. We now have five or six different scan tools, as well as access to OEM software through a pass-through device, so we heavily invested in more equipment.”
They’ve also expanded their crew with an additional person to work on the tech side and another who is involved with the office end of the operation. Prior to working with his father, Tom used his business background in the area of sports management, but he would go on to bring his business organizational skills to the table, joining his father in this venture. He has since gotten “into the thick of it” by putting his hands on every aspect of Crown Collision Solutions as operations manager. He has learned a lot from his father and can do everything from performing calibrations and programming while also dealing with the office end of things from social media, website management and sales. “I love working with my dad. We have a great relationship.”
The business continues to grow along with the ever-changing technology. “A lot has changed, even in a short two year period,” observes Tom. As they continue to find that certain procedures are changing with newer models, Crown Collision Solutions is sure to have the means to keep up with the changing landscape. “We just had a 2023 Toyota Corolla come in. The target used to calibrate the front windshield camera is a different one than earlier models. It may look the same as other Corollas, but it’s almost as though the target is imitated three times. Luckily, we had what was needed in a new ADAS calibration kit we just invested in.”
In addition to offering solutions, educating new customers, body shops and glass shops to help them understand ADAS calibrations and the procedures and requirements of when things need to get done is their biggest focus. “Not every car has a light on it that indicates something needs to get calibrated. There are certain rules,” he cautions.
Crown Collision Solutions offers more than just taking on the procedures shops can’t do in-house. They also go above and beyond to provide documentation that shops need to back up the procedures, something the competition or a dealership won’t likely provide. “It’s useful documentation that tells our customers why the procedure was done, so they have ease of access and ease of mind when they go to the insurance company as they have all the information to provide why the car needed that calibration.”
They pride themselves in being able to deliver a quick turnaround within a six to 24 hour time period once they receive a vehicle and will also make getting the vehicle to their facility as easy for their customers as they can by offering pick up or drop off services. “We invested in a trailer to pick up most cars. It’s available on a first-come, first-served basis, and we’ll work on it right when it gets here.” They are also conveniently located to most major routes right off 495 and 24 in the Bridgewater area which makes it easy for vehicle drop off.
Customers also find great value in knowing the job will get done regardless of any problems along the way. “We do what we can to troubleshoot here and won’t send a car back to a customer and say ‘good luck.’ We will do whatever we can if there is a calibration failure.”
They are a full solutions provider when it comes to ADAS. “If you replace a certain module that needs to get coded, we do that too.”
The Crown Collision Solutions team remains very active with AASP/MA as a Silver-level Vendor Affinity Program sponsor. They support just about every Alliance event, including the annual golf outing. Most recently, Mike Johnson gave an ADAS presentation during the third part of the Alliance’s “Breaking Free in ‘23” series.
“Working with and helping the association keeps us all in check and in line to make sure we are all doing our customers, the state and all of the automotive industry members a service by making sure we are all working together to make sure we are getting cars back to pre-loss condition and back on the road safely,” shares Tom. “Our business involves the safety aspect. We are only doing the calibrations that are required on the vehicle based on the loss of the vehicle in order to get the car back on the road as safe as possible and the way it’s supposed to be.
“Being part of the association has helped us tremendously as we network with people and understand some issues and pain points they have that maybe we can help them with,” he continues. “We can piggyback off each other and learn from one another. People may share insights on how they have overcome things that you may need help overcoming. You can find solutions or people who can help you. The more members involved in the association, the better. We have been around nearly three years, and we are learning different aspects of the industry from others. I am fairly new to the industry, and I’ve learned a lot about things that may not be related to calibrations, but it’s relatable because it is our industry. It’s been an absolute joy and pleasure working with AASP/MA.”
Want more? Check out the February 2024 issue of New England Automotive Report!