Company History

The Doctor group is a mobile service franchise network that operates 4 licenses via hundreds of franchisees around the world.

We started with humble beginnings as a one-person operation in Brisbane, Australia in 1989 and have quickly grown to be the largest mobile repair network across Australia, New Zealand, Dubai & the USA.

Decades of experience has enabled the formulation of high quality, specialized products and processes that our technicians use every day. Our ability to offer an extensive range of wood, stone, tile & specialty surface repair and restoration services is what sets us apart.

Below is a snapshot of the milestones achieved over the past 3 decades of our operation.

  1. Business Formation

    The first form of the business began in Brisbane, Australia by John Glass.  John saw the concept of vinyl welding to repair car interiors and thought that would work well  in the Australian market. He started as a sole trader with no branding, simply repairing car dashboards and interiors. 
  2. Business Transformation

    John sold his business to friend, Mark Neil.  Mark continued to service the car industry doing vinyl repairs.  After two years, Mark employed Darryl Binch to assist him in servicing the work coming in.
  3. Concept Formation

    Darryl bought the business from Mark and decided to franchise the concept.  He registered the business name as ‘The Vinyl Doctor’, had a logo designed by a friend and sold his first franchise, the north side of Brisbane, to his twin brother Jeffrey.  Darryl continued to operate his franchise territory on the south side of Brisbane.
  4. The ‘Geoffs’

    Geoff Reid, a friend of Darryl Binch, bought the forth franchise territory in Brisbane after a career with ABC.  He was the third ‘Geoff’ to join team which now consisted of Jeff Binch, Brisbane north, Geoff Reid Brisbane east, Geoff Boland Brisbane west and Darryl Binch Brisbane south.
  5. Brand Adjustment

    Franchisees began to service more leather furnishings in addition to vinyl finishes. The brand was adjusted to reflect this expansion as The Vinyl & Leather Doctor. 
  6. National Potential

    Dean Reid, Geoff’s son joined the business, buying the Gold Coast South franchise. Geoff and Dean saw national potential for the business and negotiated the purchase for the Master Franchise rights for Victoria.  They also began to create uniformity across the franchise with uniforms and the company’s first website.
  7. Van Concept

    Geoff and Dean would continue to develop the franchise system testing everything on their own territories to see what works.  They decide to change vehicles from pick-ups to vans for better brand recognition and to protect leather goods from the weather and falling off on the road (we're serious, this happened).
  8. Timber Focus

    Leather continued to grow as the main source of work for the business.  The decision was therefore made to adjust the brand again, reflecting the growing expertise in leather.  The business was now The Leather & Vinyl Doctor.
  9. Business Ownership Change

    Geoff and Dean are confident that the systems and skills they’ve developed will work nation wide, so took a leap of faith and purchased the entire business.  At this time there were 7 franchisees, including themselves, covering Brisbane and the Gold Coast. They set up their first workshop/head office in Southport, Queensland.  They also sold their first franchise in Perth, WA.
  10. New Premisis

    The franchise was starting to grow with franchisees now in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.  To support their growing local territories and provide facilities to train new franchisees, the decision is made to move office location from the small Southport workshop to a larger warehouse in the neighbouring suburb of Molendinar.
  11. Service Refinement

    More work was done to refine the brand.  The tag line ‘We make leather live longer’ replaced ‘Mobile vinyl and leather repairs - speedy service'. Branding icons were also introduced to communicate the various industries the skills sets could service.
  12. Further Growth

    As growth continued, another head office move was needed.  The team stayed in Molendinar and found a building that had warehouse and office space to accommodate the administration team they employed.
  13. Servicing Retailers

    The network had grown to 40 franchisees, Australia wide, by 2010.  The company began to do work for national furniture retailers. This was the first time a mobile repair service was available around Australia and furniture retailers were quick to jump on board. The franchise uniform was updated to reflect the same uniform that is in place today.
  14. System 1

    2010 January
    With a lot of work now coming in from national customers, it became clear that the company needed a system to streamline these requests. Development began on an online job tracking system that was named System 1.  It was given this name to reflect one place for all information.
  15. Focus

    The decision was made to focus the company’s branding on a key area of work and skills - leather. 'The Vinyl Doctor' was removed from the official logo leaving the brand as simply 'The Leather Doctor'. 
  16. Middle East Expansion

    2011 August
    In August of this 2011, a Dubai based removal company, eMovers, approached The Leather Doctor Australia requesting to purchase the Master Franchise for the UAE. The deal was settled in November of 2011 and The Leather Doctor Middle East began its operations.
  17. Timber Doctor Brand Launch

    After identifying a need for a business that could service timber and specialty surface repairs, the franchise brand of The Timber Doctor was incorporated.  The first franchise was launched in Perth, WA.
  18. Head Office

    2012 April
    The company moved to a larger premises to accommodate the growing head office team and training facilities. This premisis continues to serve as the global head office and training facility for The Leather Doctor and associated brands today.
  19. Milestones & Conferences

    Franchise numbers hit 50 this year. As franchise numbers grew around Australia, so too did  the need for collaborative and face to face interaction and meetings.  The first national franchise conference was held in the beautiful beach side town of Coffs Harbour, NSW.  Conferences continue to be an important part of the company’s culture, helping keep franchisees connected and innovation alive.
  20. Fabric Doctor Brand Launch

    2013 May
    The franchise brand of The Fabric Doctor was established in 2013. This franchise provides specialist fabric cleaning, stain removal and repair services for furniture and automotive interiors. All three Doctor franchise licenses are offered to existing franchisees to allow them to expand their business and skill set offering. Each brand is also sold as a stand alone franchise.
  21. Dubai Growth

    2014 April
    Leather Doctor numbers continue to grow in Dubai, reaching 30+ team members. The Dubai team adopted an employee model, which involved training each person in a specific skill set rather than individual franchisees learning all aspects of the business.  This demonstrated the importance of adapting our business model to fit each country and culture.
  22. Van Design

    2014 October
    It was time to update the look of our vans.  The new design encapsulated a cleaner design, focusing on the logo with a stylised leather hide as the background.
  23. Continuous Growth

    Franchise numbers in Australia continued to grow to 70+ franchisees. The national conference this year was held at Seaworld on the Gold Coast.
  24. General Manager Appointment

    As the company continued to grow, new roles at head office were filled. Included in this was the key role of General Manager, with Doug Blackley being appointed and announced at the March 2017 National Conference.
  25. Pink Ribbon

    The annual conference was held again on the Gold Coast with recognition awarded to top earners, top performing single and multi unit operators and overall franchisee of the year.  2018 also saw The Leather Doctor undertake a number of McGrath Pink Ribbon Foundation (Breast Cancer) fundraising activities to support an initiative of one of our franchisees.
  26. Middle East Expansion

    2019 July
    Head office management make regular visits to the team in Dubai to provide support and to learn from their innovations.  This years’ visit was to support the expansion into Abu Dhabi and a Master Franchise licence granted for the GCC, which will empower the team in Dubai to franchise throughout Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
  27. Training Expertise

    2019 October
    Innovation has always been part of The Leather Doctor company culture.  This year, a team of experienced Leather Doctor franchisees visited the Stahl labs in Singapore for extended training and development. Stahl is one of the global leaders in leather finished products.
  28. Success Through A Pandemic

    Covid 19 restrictions would take effect only days after we held our 2020 annual conference on the Gold Coast.  The company provided both financial and strategic support to franchisees throughout lockdown which enabled franchisees to continue operating and completing work from their homes.  By supporting each other through this time, the company came out of the Covid challenge stronger and with greater franchise interest than ever before. Over the 2 year Covid pandemic, 20 new franchisees joined the business - a testament to the viability of the business and it's services, even during major disruption and ecomonic downturn.
  29. New Zealand Launch

    With the majority of territories in Australia sold, New Zealand was ready for launch.  The company had secured trade marks for its ‘Doctor’ brands and had a lot of interest for franchises.  The first territories were sold as combined Leather, Timber and Fabric Doctor franchises in Auckland.
  30. 100 Franchisees

    2022 May
    During 2022, rapid franchisee growth continued, with total franchisee numbers surpassing 100 across Australia and New Zealand.
  31. Timber Doctor Growth

    2022 August
    The Timber Doctor franchise is  growing fast. As such, it was time to give the branding and vehicles a fresh look.  Continuing with the theme of the other ‘Doctor’ brands, the new design focused on the logo with stylised timber panels in the background.
  32. Brand Modernisation

    2023 January
    The ‘Doctor’ logos each receive a facelift, modernising the family of franchise brands and ensuring uniformity. This process was important, with each franchise brand growing quickly and independent of each other. 
  33. New Zealand Sell Out

    2023 February
    Within the space of a few years, New Zealand territories have almost sold out, giving The Leather Doctor and Fabric Doctor coverage across New Zealand.
  34. Expansion into The USA

    2023 July
    International expansion continued, this time into the United States.  Interest from one of our New Zealand franchisees kicked off discussions at Head Office and not long after, we were in a position to launch. Huntington Beach, California would become the very first franchise territory established for The Leather Doctor in the USA, purchased by Shane Mangisi.