Throughout the course of 2009 I am spotlighting companies large and small who understand the value that veterans bring to their organization. These are companies that are successfully utilizing the many skills and talents of military members. These organizations demonstrate sincere desire to bring more veterans into their companies by doing some or all of the following: Establishing a specific military hiring initiative as part of its overall HR strategy; recruiting at military job fairs, through military job boards and on military installations; preparing their recruiters and/or hiring managers on how to screen veteran resumes and interview service members; marketing their companies via military channels and publications.
Moran Industries, headquartered in Midlothian, Illinois, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing automotive aftermarket repair center franchisors. Moran Industries offers a variety of in-demand services including building and repairing transmissions; car alarm/navigation system/hands-free phone installation; complete auto care from tune ups to brakes; and mobile window tinting for residential and business customers through several highly respected brands.
When asked how long Moran Industries has been employing veterans, Barb Moran, President and CEO of Moran Industries, had this to say: “In some form or fashion we have always had the military component in our business system. When our first brand (Mr. Transmission) began franchising they looked to develop the businesses near military bases across the country. This growth plan allowed for the military personnel to become familiar with the brand.”
In her experience, military veterans make for excellent business owners. She attributes their success to a number of factors, all which stem from their experience in the service:
A demonstrated ability to follow and improve upon well-defined operational procedures
A “team player” mindset, which is ideal when working with a national franchise system
Strong dedication to their work
Aggressive when it comes to meeting their goals
Moran notes that a veteran’s tendency toward strong process orientation coupled with the understanding of team effort dramatically improves the probability of success in a competitive environment.
Moran Industries currently has 14 veteran franchisees in its system. It also recently hired a new operations manager who previously served as an officer in the military and who can still be recalled to active duty.
Many veterans are attracted to the automotive aftermarket sector as it allows them to take advantage of the training they received in the military and apply it in an entrepreneurial approach. Moran Industries has been so pleased with the results attained by its veteran franchise owners that it became a part of the International Franchise Association’s Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative (commonly known as VetFran) in 2002. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to offer the VetFran program to my franchisees. Moran Industries provides military veterans with a one-time $5,000 discount of their franchise fee and I think this is a great way to show respect for the men and women who have served our country.”
VetFran is a voluntary effort of IFA member-companies that is designed to encourage franchise ownership by offering financial incentives to honorably discharged veterans. To date, more than 350 franchise companies participate in the program, each offering some form of financial incentive. As of early 2008, military veterans have acquired nearly 1100 franchises through the VetFran program. And the program is available to any veteran who has been honorably discharged – even if that discharge occurred 20+ years ago. Read a testimonial from one of Moran Industries veteran franchise owners who was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps two decades previously and was able to take advantage of the VetFran program.
Moran Industries realizes an additional benefit in that their veteran franchise owners often work closely with organizations such as the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars in order to reach out to this tight knit community. In this way they take advantage of a great referral network for the franchises. Many of the franchisees, especially those that served in the military, offer discounts to customers who have also served in the military, thereby building goodwill and brand recognition within the military community as well.
Says Moran, “I believe that because of the dedication and drive that military personnel have shown to our country they have an enhanced opportunity of being successful in any business venture they may attempt. “
For additional information on Moran Industries, please contact Virginia Garcia, Franchise Development Manager at (800) 581-8468.