It was a panel discussion quite unlike any other in recent Collision Industry Conference (CIC) history, with panel members and CIC attendees questioning one another’s motivations and even clashing over what the topic of discussion was supposed to be.

“Well, that didn’t quite turn out as I expected,” CIC Chairman Randy Stabler said at the conclusion of the CIC “Parts and Materials Committee” panel discussion in Atlanta. “We’re going to circle around and try to ensure that we come up with content that’s more meaningful and effective.”

Tuesday, 12 May 2015 00:00

Mastering Implementation

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Has this ever happened to you? You have just returned from an amazing workshop that gave you a great idea on some new lean concept. Let’s say, how to meticulously disassemble a vehicle so that you can capture 100% of the damage at the beginning of the process. You are excited because your shop has been having too many problems on Friday afternoons with parts that were missed on the estimate and this new process of fully disassembling the vehicle will surely solve that! All that’s left to do is go back to your shop and announce to your staff that this is how we will be performing “teardowns” from now on.

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

Members of the Automotive Service Association (ASA) Collision Operations Committee are optimistic about “Service First,” an enhanced claims handling program introduced by State Farm. According to a State Farm news release, the pilot program was scheduled to be introduced in several states by mid-May. It would streamline auto damage claim handling and repair processes, allowing customers to go directly to qualified facilities for inspections and estimates without visiting State Farm drive-in claim service centers.

Collision repair association leaders from around the country met in Secaucus, N.J., in mid-March to share ideas and discuss state legislative or regulatory successes and efforts. The “2015 East Coast Resolution Forum,” an event sponsored by the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) of New Jersey, was held in conjunction with AASP-New Jersey’s NORTHEAST 2015 trade show.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015 00:00

The Power of P.R. - Body Shop Edition

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Most people think they know what "P.R." means when they see it. Movies, TV, recorded music and other forms of entertainment rely heavily on promotion and most people think that P.R. is just a synonym for "promotion." But the fact is P.R. stands for "public relations," a very distinct aspect of marketing. The dictionary tells us "public relations" consists of "methods and means by which a person or an organization seeks to promote a favorable relationship with the public." It is often confused with "publicity" which is the effort to get favorable mention is media and the press.

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).