GREAT LAKES NEWS (139)
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Receiving proper paint material reimbursements from insurance carriers continues to be a challenge to the collision repair industry and Michigan is no different.
Since hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the collision repair industry has never caught up to the increases that were incurred during this time period. Add in the challenges the industry faces when attempting to itemize and properly be reimbursed for the feather, prime and block labor operations necessary for a repaired panel and they absorb even additional costs. We have been battling this for years and the solution is quite simple—shops have to use the tools that are available in the marketplace, that means the paint material calculators and insurance carriers have to be cognizant of real costs!
Compare paint materials to parts pricing: When have you ever known a repair facility to have to wait 12, 18 or 24 months for a parts price increase (PPI), all the time hoping that next month they will get the PPI that was owed? Paint material increases are not any different!
1Collision Network announced that Community Auto Body in Carol Stream, IL, is the newest member of the Midwest group of independently owned collision repair businesses.
Community Auto Body owner Ed Zuniga said, “In looking for a group of shops to affiliate with, I chose the 1Collision Network because they offered practical and affordable solutions to the marketing and operating aspects of my business.”
The 1Collision Network includes 21 locations throughout Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Ray Gunder has been invited by the Indiana Auto Body Association to share his legal journey with the state’s collision repairers.
Tony Passwater, Executive Director for the Indiana Auto Body Association, has invited Ray to spend a week traveling with him around the state to share Ray’s legal journey with groups of collision repairers. The daily meetings will be held in the mornings and evenings throughout one week in July.
“We are excited about getting Ray to come up here because shop owners need to see and hear from a shop owner just like themselves that can take back control of their independence, and not compromise their business’ future,” said Passwater.
Ray said, “I’ve never been away from my business for such a long time but my son and daughter, along with our exceptional staff, will have things well in hand. I am usually accompanied by my wingmen, attorney Brent Geohagan and Barrett Smith of ADE, but this time I’ll be flying solo. I am proud and humbled to have been asked to share our legal journey with others and I hope my investment of time and resources will help others.”
ABRA Auto Body & Glass added a new franchise collision repair shop location in Holland, MI. Previously known as Chrispell Auto Body Repair and independently owned by Nate Yonker, this is ABRA’s second location in Michigan.
“We are committed to increasing our presence in the markets we serve and are fueled by an operational excellence philosophy that gives us a competitive edge,” said Tim Adelmann, executive vice president of business development for Brooklyn Center, MN-based ABRA. “Opening the Holland repair center is a tremendous opportunity to increase our presence in the Great Lakes region and provide a superior customer experience.”
The company now operates a total of 173 collision repair centers throughout 17 U.S. states—49 independently owned franchises and 124 company-owned locations.
“Our growth strategy is ambitious and we are laser-focused on our goals,” said Duane Rouse, president and CEO of ABRA. “We are in the process of delivering on our promise to better serve our customers and insurance partners across the country.”
Keith Shellhouse, 46, owner of Independent Autobody in Shelby, OH, was convicted May 7 of aggravated theft, a third-degree felony, and theft of a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony, at the Richland County Courthouse. Shellhouse was arrested on April 11, 2012, under more than a dozen customer complaints from as far back as 2002, claiming that customers were swindled out of nearly $300,000 in payments for the restoration of their hot rods. Shellhouse will be sentenced on May 20.
Gary Bishop, a Richland County assistant prosecutor, was one of several victims who reported losing thousands of dollars to Independent Autobody owner Keith Shellhouse.
Collex Collision Experts recently opened its Technical Training Center in Sterling Heights, MI. All new Collex employees, including managers, estimators, parts specialists, customer-service representatives and detailers, will be trained at the 9,000-square-foot facility.
To kick-off the Technical Training Center’s grand opening, Collex hosted an open house on May 2.
Unlike traditional vocational schools, the new Collex training center is believed to be the first of its kind to be created and operated by an independent collision repairer. The new Collex Technical Training Center addresses a critical need for trained collision repair professionals, according to Robert Gagliano, Collex Collision Experts chief operating officer.
Sue Allor, board member with the Northern Michigan Body Shop Association, recently announced big news to her group: legislation the association has been working on for the past two years was introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives on April 30.
HB 4635 is focused on consumer protection and safety to ensure that repair of a damaged vehicle is performed according to manufacturer specifications and guidelines without interference and/or control of the repair process by an insurer focused on reducing costs through the use of parts not approved by the vehicle manufacturer. Automotive manufacturers have indicated use of parts not specified by the manufacturer could result in serious harm to the vehicle occupants in the event of a crash.
Church Brothers Collision Repair in Indianapolis recently teamed up with the Indiana Pacers, the NBA’s Central Division champions, to benefit a local community center with a $5,000 donation.
The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) awarded $17,000 in scholarships to help post-secondary automotive students pay for tuition during the 2013-2014 school year. The scholarships were in the amount of $1,000 per student and were made possible by a successful fundraising drive within the AASP-MN membership, as well as a generous donation from the Minnesota State I-CAR Committee. All recipients will be entering the second year of a NATEF-certified automotive program based in Minnesota.
AASP-MN held its Annual Meeting & Convention at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West in Plymouth on April 11-12. During the two days, over 250 area shop owners, vendors, presenters and industry supporters gathered for the event.
Despite shaky weather conditions, the event kicked off with the “Peer-to-Peer Roundtable & Networking Extravaganza.” For two hours, attendees met with fellow AASP-MN members in a revolving “roundtable” setting to discuss a variety of topics including I-CAR’s new Professional Development Program, OSHA and EPA regulations, employee “perks” and incentives and reducing business operational costs. The topic-specific roundtables were followed by a round of “speed networking,” in which participants met one-on-one with another member for three-minute sessions, then rotated to the next. They introduced themselves with the idea of identifying common interests and opening the door for a future connection at the event or sometime thereafter.