Special Interest Articles (4)
by Bob Spitz—Management Success
I was talking with a fairly new shop owner the other day about the state of his business and the challenges of getting a new business off the ground. During the talk the subject of insurance adjusters came up.
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This particular owner, like many in the business, has a passion for his art. He is a master painter and does beautiful work. Like many new operators, he has some body techs but he is still the one who does the painting. He has goals. He wants his shop to be the best collision shop in his market and I have no doubt that with his drive he might make it. The reason I say might is due to the fact that he is currently stuck working in the back and trying to run the business which includes writing his own estimates.
He is experiencing his first case of true stress and it is starting to manifest itself in the way he handles people. He looks at adjusters as an enemy who is there to drive him crazy and whittle down his profits to the point where he is not making any money.
I asked him if he provides a space for the adjuster to work while the adjuster is in his shop. His reply was instantaneous and filled with antagonism. “Why should I do that? He is not here to help me!” I knew immediately that he was looking at the adjuster as an adversary and not a potential ally.
by Charles Bryant,
Executive Director, AASP/NJ
There is no doubt that ongoing training in the collision industry is a must in order to keep the technicians up to date on proper methods of repair and safety related issues. The questions are Why isn’t the cost of such training being considered by the insurance industry when determining the labor rates that they are willing to pay for repairs? and Why isn’t I-CAR pushing or at least supporting this? Safe repairs equal fewer future claims, both in property damage and personal injury, especially on the type of vehicles on the roads today. Rather than taking the high road and take the cost of training into consideration, the insurance industry appears to be taking the low road by attempting to force shops to maintain I-CAR Gold Class Status in order to get on or stay on Direct Repair Programs without any consideration for the associated cost.
I-CAR too appears to be taking the position that insurer’s should simply force collision shops to maintain I-CAR Gold status, rather than attempting to take steps to help make training more affordable for shops.
At the Laser World of Photonics 2011 trade fair held in Munich, Germany, May 23–26, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft scientists presented some amazing new applications for lasers and related automotive technologies.
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As any self-respecting tech geek knows, LASER stands for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation,” but only the geekiest know that self-lighting lasers are really optical oscillators, rather than amplifiers, and therefore the acronym should have been LOSER, for “light oscillation by stimulated emission of radiation.” It’s too late to change now.
Regardless, lasers have long since eclipsed the Buck Rogers image that brought them into the general consciousness in the late fifties. In a former life, I edited a well-known laser science textbook, so I have some familiarity with the concepts, but I was taken with the following discussion from Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Germany on how indispensible laser technology has become in automotive manufacturing. It’s about to get more so.
What’s not so clear is how this now proven but still pending technology, which has just caught the eye of the OEMs, will affect car designs and repairability for shops in the future.
I write this story as an example of what not to do. I also write this story as a fable, to protect the indignant. Therefore, it starts like this:
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