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.
To read Lee's columns prior to last January search "Amaradio" on this site from the home page
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.View items...
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 email@example.com
See also his shop website: www.sbautobody.comView items...
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.comView items...
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.View items...
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.View items...
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 email@example.com
At 7:30am CST on Tuesday, August 26, attorney John Eaves Jr and Bill Fowler, owner of Bill Fowler’s Bodyworks in Southaven MS, attempted to raise consumer awareness of the national lawsuit Eaves filed earlier this year when they appeared on the Drake and Zeke Show, a popular morning radio show in the Memphis, TN area. The reason for their guest appearance was to explain the lawsuit to consumers and educate them on their rights during the collision repair process in hopes of raising awareness about this important issue impacting collision repair facilities across the country.
Though Halloween is just around the corner, witches, ghosts and vampires aren’t the scariest things on the minds of collision repair professionals across the nation this October; what these experts find terrifying is the amount of undue influence the insurance industry, a third-party entity, exerts on their repair practices and their businesses as a whole.
Given the number of lawsuits that have been filed against insurers in 2014 alone, this isn’t anything new, but the collaboration of a group of industry professionals in order to combat this issue has led to the creation of SafeCars, an organization dedicated to the premise that “every vehicle owner deserves a safe and complete repair.”
During the weekend of September 26-28, ASA-IL held their annual Chicago Automotive Network (CAN) Conference at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, IL. With over 200 participants, including 150 who attended training sessions, ASA-IL’s Executive Director Donna Kelly and Co-Executive Director Deb Bullwinkel deemed the event a success. Kelly notes, “it went really well and was very exciting. It was great to see so many new faces enjoying our jam-packed schedule, and we received a lot of positive feedback on the training we offered and the new venue – many people said they’d definitely be back next year.”
After Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell filed a lawsuit in August against State Farm, accusing the insurer of illegally forcing LA collision repair facilities to install unsafe parts on consumers’ vehicles, his allusion to these parts as “nothing more than used junkyard parts” created quite a stir amongst professional automotive recyclers across the country who were offended by the derogatory term and connotations thereof.
Michael Wilson, CEO of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA), and David Gold, Secretary of ARA and co-owner of Standard Auto Wreckers, quickly took up arms to defend their profession while Caldwell clarified his position as being pro-consumer rather than anti-recycled parts.
Stan Bard, owner of Fleet Refinishing and Collision Center in Fontana, CA, is celebrating 26 years of repairing and painting almost everything but the average passenger car. The shop has changed its focus and moved its location several times since 1998, but in general the company’s emphasis is on big vehicles. The bigger the better is the motto, and their drive for success has given them nationwide recognition for painting and repairing RVs, commercial buses, heavy duty construction vehicles, delivery vans, big rigs, television trucks, food trucks, boats, sea containers and, last but not least, amusement park rides.
Over the past two issues (see August and September Autobody News), industry attorney Erica Eversman has offered some insights into the various types of documentation that collision repair facilities can use to protect their interests and help them obtain proper compensation for work performed. In the final installment in this series on repair documentation, Eversman helps explain the purpose for and how to use the Parts Notice/Authorization and the Indemnification/Hold Harmless Letter, with a few additional documents.
20 Years Ago In The Collision Repair Industry (October 1994)
Responding to complaints from the collision repair industry, ADP will be pulling the plug on a program that allowed dealers to promote discount retail parts prices using ADP’s “Parts Exchange New” system.
“As a result of the issues that responsible parties of the industry brought to our attention, we will be taking discounted OEs off the ‘Parts Exchange New’,” ADP’s Rick Tuuri announced at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) held in Nashville, TN. “They will be off the system by January 1, 1995. I want to emphasize that this is no reflection on the way the discounted OEs themselves are doing business.”
In last month’s Better Blueprinting Part One, we discussed reasons that shops have failed at Blueprinting. This month we will focus on performing Blueprinting, and how it can greatly benefit your collision repair shop.
To download the PDF version of this article, click HERE.
Blueprint Admin Staffing
Over the years I tried numerous variations and combinations of people to staff a Blueprinting program. All of them worked better than no Blueprinting program, but some combinations definitely worked better than others. Much of what influences your Blueprint staff is simply the size and volume of your shop. Many clients run smaller shops where people wear many hats. In a small shop it is not uncommon for the manager to also be the estimator, the parts guys and the Blueprint guy. It is pretty easy to determine how to staff a really small shop, but what about a shop that is a little bigger? I recently worked with a client that had two estimators, one of them liked being in the shop and the second one was better at dealing with customers. So we moved one of them into the shop to be the Blueprint Analyst, and the other efficiently handled the entire volume of customers as the Customer Service Manager. You may need to experiment with different staffing combinations to make it work for your unique needs.
The marketing world has changed significantly during the past few years. So much has moved on-line that most other marketing expenditures may no longer make sense in your area. If you track results from your marketing efforts, you have probably noticed the lack of business coming from print ads, print version yellow page, and other phone book ads. It may be time to pull the plug on non-productive marketing and make better use of those funds. As insurance companies establish toll-free numbers to report claims, you should probably stop marketing to most agents. Unless you have nearly unlimited funds to advertise just to keep your name in front of the public, you should probably end off radio and TV advertising. And stop paying for useless advertising schemes. These moves should free up money to pay for real marketing results.
Some body shops swear by Angie’s List and call it the “Anti-Yelp,” but in the end, isn’t it just another advertising-based review system? If you’re not familiar with Angie’s List, it’s a paid subscription supported website containing crowd-sourced reviews of local businesses. They currently have 2.8 million paid members, although the company lost $1 million last year.