Columns

We feature some of the best columnists in the industry including Toby Chess, Rich Evans, Tom Franklin, Mike Causey, Dale Delmege, Walter Danalevich and Lee Amaradio.

We have contributing writers from different regions of the country: Ed Attanasio, David Brown, Chasidy Sisk and Rachael Mercer.

We also have guest columistslike Richard Steffen of the CRA, and David McClune from CAA.

Collectively they represent a unique perspective with hundreds of person-years of experience. Let us know what you think, by posting responses to their columns.

 

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Lee Amaradio

Lee Amaradio, Jr. is the president and owner of “Faith” Quality Auto Body Inc. in Murrieta, California. Lee is president of the Collision Repair Association of California (go to CRA at their website ) as well as an advocate for many other industry groups. He can be contacted at lee@faithqualityautobody.com

To read Lee's columns prior to last January search "Amaradio" on this site from the home page

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Hey Toby! by Toby Chess

Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, Training specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his work with first responders and advocacy for body shops and consumers. He can be reached at tcspeedster@yahoo.com

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David M. Brown

David M. Brown is a native of Philadelphia who has lived in Arizona for 30 years. He writes about subjects he is passionate about, including the car industry. A father of two, he is mentored by his border collie/pointer, Haylie, who is much more concerned with thrown tennis balls than with a beautifully repainted Aston Martin.

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Dale Delmege

Dale Delmege has a wealth of industry experience and shares his management tips by answering questions in this column. Dale has been Collision Industry Conference Chairman 1999–2000 and is a Lifetime Member (since 2001) of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS). He is also a National Auto Body Council Founding Member and Director; a CIECA. Founding Member, Director, and Chairman.

ASK DALE at DaleSR@cox.net.

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Gonzo Weaver

Scott "Gonzo" Weaver owns a Tulsa Auto Electric Shop and has a knack for telling true stories of his adventures in auto repair. The following short stories are excerpted from his book, "Hey Look! I Found The Loose Nut", which provides a Good Laugh for Mechanics of Any Age. For more information, Contact Scott Weaver at Gonzosae@aol.com and see his website at www.gonzostoolbox.com.

You can purchase his book from Amazon at: Hey Look, I Found the Loose Nut

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Tom Franklin

 Tom Franklin has been a sales and marketing consultant for forty years, specializing in automotive and auto body. He has written numerous books and provides marketing solutions and services for many businesses. He can be reached at (323) 871-6862 or at tbfranklin@aol.com.

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Stefan Gesterkamp

Stefan Gesterkamp is a  Master Craftsman and BASF representative who has been in the automotive paint industry for 27 years. He started his career in a custom shop before turning to collision repair. Stefan graduated from the University of Coatings and Colorants in Germany and is the author of “How to Paint Your Show Car.” You can order Stephan's book from Amazon. Contact him at: stefan.gesterkamp@basf.com

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Mike Causey

Mike Causey is a consumer advocate and lobbyist for the Independent Auto Body Association (IABA) and healthcare groups, as well as Organic farming and Healthy Eating. Mike is a writer and speaker on numerous consumer issues and legislation. Contact him at: Causey & Associates, P.O. Box 16725, Greensboro, NC 27416 Email: gocausey@aol.com  Phone: (336) 210-1947

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Dan Espersen

Dan Espersen is ALLDATA® CollisionSM Program Manager. Dan is a Gold Pin Member of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and holds an AA Degree in Automotive Technology. He has 17 years of experience in the collision industry and 17 years of experience in the automotive industry.

Dan writes the ALL OEM INFORMATION semi-monthly column with Tom McGee, who writes the alternate month.

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Tom McGee

Tom McGee is National Account Manager for ALLDATA Collision. He has had a long career with I-CAR, including as President & CEO. Tom is an ASE certified Master Collision Repair/Refinish Technician. He has also run his own collision facility and been a career and technical school instructor. He can be reached at Tom.McGee@alldata.com. For other Tom McGee articles in Autobody News, go to:
http://www.autobodynews.com/tom-mcgee/index.php   —   JEFF WEBSTER is an ALLDATA Technical Writer.

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John Yoswick

John Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).

He can be contacted by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.

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Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco. Ed enjoys sports of all kinds and is a part time stand-up comedian. He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

See also Ed's Shop Showcase columns.

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Janet Chaney

Janet Chaney has been a long-time contributor to Autobody News. She's a former shop owner and now owns and operates Cave Creek Business Development in Stevensville, Montana. Janet supports many auto body associations can be reached at janet_chaney@earthlink.net

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Walter Danalevich

Walter Danalevich, AAM, has owned Santa Barbara Auto Refinishing in Santa Barbara, California, since 1979. He enjoys sharing his shop management tips with other shop owners and would like to hear about yours. Contact him at sbarbody@earthlink.net

See also his shop website: www.sbautobody.com

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Insurance Insider

The "Insurance Insider" is a corporate-level executive with a Top 10 auto insurer in the U.S.. Although he needs to remain anonymous, he will answer questions emailed to him in future columns. Got a comment or question you’d like to see him address? Email him at Auto.Insurance.Insider@gmail.com

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Rich Evans

Rich Evans is the owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks and an award winning painter and fabricator. He offers workshops in repair and customization at his facility to share his unique talents. He also appears on a new show on Speed Channel, Car Warriors. See his Twitter (left) and Facebook (right) feeds for more on Rich's active projects.
For contacts and design samples visit www.huntingtonbeachbodyworks.com

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Williams, Larry

Larry Williams is an innovative, award winning parts manager who has been managing profitable parts departments for over 30 years. He recognizes the importance of OEM parts management to collision repairers and now works as a consultant to the industry. He can be reached for consultation at ljoew2@gmail.com.

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Business Beat

Business Beat is a new column launching May 2012 in Autobody News. It will focus on investment activities in the automobile and collision industry and will feature guest columnists on a regular basis. Opinions herein are strictly those of the author. Autobody News accepts no responsibility for investment actions taken or not taken based on this column.

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Sisk, Chasidy Rae

Sisk, Chasidy Rae

Chasidy Rae Sisk is a freelance writer from New Castle, DE, who writes on a variety of topics. She can be reached at crsisk@chasidyraesisk.com.

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Alicia Basteri

Alicia Basteri is Online Editor at Autobody News. Contact her at abasteri@autobodynews.com.

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David Luehr

David Luehr

David Luehr is the owner of Elite Body Shop Solutions, LLC a collision business consulting firm based in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a 30-year veteran of the collision repair industry and has served on several industry association boards across the USA as well as leadership positions with companies such as Manheim and ABRA. David is an expert in Body Shop Operations and specializes in Lean and Theory of Constraints methods. Email him at dluehr@msn.com

 

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Body shop owners as a rule are adept at studying and interpreting all kinds of numbers and statistics, and that’s why the successful ones are very good at tracking their performance. They calculate each minute that goes into every vehicle and what exactly their profit will be at the end of each day. They know how to read Excel sheets and decipher the numbers and use them to refine their processes. It’s in their DNA and in a fast-moving, high-production environment having useful numbers at your disposal is vital.

On March 25-27, the 15th International Automobile Recycling Congress (IARC) was held in Berlin, Germany, and the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) interests were represented by ARA CEO Michael Wilson and ARA Past President Ed MacDonald.

Because ARA represents over 4500 professional automotive recyclers through direct and affiliated chapters in the US and 15 countries internationally, “an ARA presence at international automotive recycling events is important,” Wilson states. “The IARC is an opportunity to hear directly from our international members and grow ARA’s voice internationally. While ARA members’ business facilities differ from facility to facility, there is significant commonality in the global issues facing the professional automotive recycling industry. Additionally, the automotive industry worldwide is becoming more and more integrated. Specific automotive recycling activity is no different, with a number of entities within the industry expanding internationally."

How does your shop’s billing practices differ from other shops? Are other shops being paid for procedures you’re doing but for which you’re not being compensated?

Those questions form the basis of a new series of industry surveys being conducted as a joint project by CollisionAdvice and CRASH Network.

20 years ago in the collision repair industry (April 1995)

Tucked into a referendum on the ballot in Michigan last November was a provision that would have allowed an insurer to establish a direct repair program only if all repair facilities meeting the insurer’s criteria are allowed to participate in the program.

But the provision was part of a larger referendum on renewal of the state’s no-fault insurance regulations, and opponents of no-fault insurance successfully defeated the measure.

Hey Everyone, I am back and I hope you all are enjoying a great start to the new year. I recently gave the following test to the CIC audience in Palm Spring this past January and to an association group meeting. What was amazing after giving the test, how many repairers and insurers did not know the correct answers. Out of 40 repairers, only one knew what R1234 yf was and this new refrigerant in found on over a dozen vehicles with more converting to this Freon. Not good at all. Take the test and see how well you and staff do with it. All these questions were taken from I-CAR’s New 15 class* (Vehicle Technology and Trends 2015).

Thursday, 19 March 2015 00:00

Putting First Things First

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If you are anything like me you are probably wondering, “WOW, where has this year gone already!?”

It’s amazing how quickly time can slip by and then you realize you haven’t really made the progress on the goals you have set for yourself or worse yet haven’t set aside the time to create goals in the first place. You no doubt have been very busy working in your shops, it is the “nature of the business.”

Back in 1999, a court decision in a class action lawsuit resulted in a $1.2 billion judgment against State Farm – at the time one of the largest judgments ever levied against an insurer. The ruling changed the way many insurance companies dealt with non-OEM parts for years, and despite the fact that the judgment was later nullified, the “Avery vs State Farm” lawsuit even today is seen as the basis for State Farm’s limited use of such parts.

But now, 18 years after that lawsuit began, the lawyers who represented the vehicle-owners in the Avery lawsuit are still fighting against the overturning of that judgment by the Illinois Supreme Court. The amount they are seeking from State Farm this time is considerably larger: triple the damages of the Avery case plus more than a decade of interest, all adding up to more than $8 billion.

“Tell them once and then tell them again,” an old ad executive told me years ago, long before the Internet, web sites or applications existed. And it still pertains today, because although marketing and advertising change almost daily, the main concept behind branding is still the same.

Several years ago, Jim Young, 55 of Memphis, TN began a startup called My Business is a Wreck, a company he has described as a small team of passionate industry professionals delivering robust, reliable applications to the automotive industry.

Friday, 20 February 2015 00:00

New Century Marketing Basics

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Global changes are reshaping the nature of marketing today. In the earlier part of the 20th century, efforts to reach a prospective customer were referred to as "advertising." Promotion, product packaging and publicity were all considered parts of advertising. Gradually these became four separate specialties.