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Scott Biggs is the CEO and founder of Assured Performance Network, headquartered in Irvine, CA. Assured Performance is a co-op and non-profit consumer advocacy organization that provides third-party certification for Ford, Chrysler, GM, Nissan, Enterprise, and others. Their joint-effort program provides certification for at least 2,500 shops nationally. Assured Performance is also the largest co-op for collision repair businesses in the world with approximately 3,500 member body shops. In the last eight years, Assured Performance has provided body shops with over $12 million in rebates.

Biggs has been a highly-visible and active part of the collision industry for 30 years starting with a state-of-the-art management system and later through products such as Body Shop Video Magazine, Collision Concepts (audio industry news), Business Development Group, EOM, eBOSS, BodyShopTV.com, and now Assured Performance Network.

During his 30 years in the industry, Biggs has delivered over 850,000 hours of management education with over 7,000 class attendees. Scott was the host and founder of the Collision Business of the Year Awards and the Night to Remember program, administrator of the Hall of Eagles for 13 years, and an original co-founder of the National Auto Body Council (NABC). Biggs has been recognized twice with the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) Industry Achievement Award, inducted into the Collision Industries Hall of Eagles, and recognized as one of the 25 most influential leaders in the collision industry. Biggs is also the author of numerous business books, video programs, and management workshops. Biggs has degrees in communications and business, and a graduate degree in industrial psychology.

Biggs gave a talk on OEM certification called "The Next Frontier," at the California Autobody Association (CAA) Santa Clara Chapter Meeting on March 19, 2014, in San Jose, CA.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 21:25

Susan McDaniel and Her Career at Bill Luke

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ABN: How did you get started on being a parts manager?

I started out working for Chief Auto Parts stocking shelves on the corner of 4th Avenue and 16th Street in Yuma, AZ. I began working for Bill Luke Chrysler Plymouth in 1988. This November 2014 will mark my 26th year with the company now named Bill Luke Chrysler Jeep Dodge & Ram.

I have seen many changes over the years since working on that small retail parts counter in the store originally built in the 1960s. In the early 1990s, Don Luke purchased a Dodge Dealership next door to the Chrysler Plymouth Store, and then a year later added a Jeep franchise.

ABN: So you worked your way up to become a wholesale parts director?

In 1992, I began working on the wholesale counter and soon after was named the wholesale manager. In 1997, I became the assistant parts manager, and in April 2000 I was promoted to parts manager. In June 2004, we moved the Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge stores' parts department and body shop into a beautiful, 150,000 square-foot building that was once our back lot.

Today, I am the parts director of our Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram location on Camelback Road and I-17 and our Suzuki Fiat parts department in Tempe, AZ. Between the two parts departments, we stock over 1.4 million dollars in inventory.

ABN: You’ve also been involved with the Mopar Masters Guild (MMG), right?

Yes. MMG is a national parts managers’ guild representing the best dealerships that started in the early 1990s. I am a former parts guild president for the Phoenix chapter and currently hold the office of secretary for the Mopar Masters Guild, of which I have been a member since 2001. Today I really feel like I have made a difference.

Read more about Bill Luke Fiat.

 

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A new tool aims to help consumers quickly and easily estimate the cost to repair minor vehicle damage from their own computers or mobile devices.

Nexus Collision Repair Center in Tempe, AZ, has released a free, 100-percent Web-based body shop estimating tool designed to help consumers quickly and easily estimate the cost to repair minor vehicle damage from their own computers or mobile devices.

The tool aims to demystify the customer-pay decision consumers face when their damage may be under or close to their deductible, but have no way of knowing without consulting an insurer or body shop.

The tool’s simple design allows estimates to be created in less than 60 seconds while educating the consumer about their vehicle and its damage. Since the tool is designed for customer-pay repairs, it optimizes cost for the consumer by including paintless dent repair and spot repair options when available to reduce repair costs.

“This tool generates tremendous traffic to our site from consumers who are searching the Web for an alternative to the ‘carbon-copy’ body shop websites or ‘confess and submit’ damage photo apps offered by insurers,” said a Nexus spokesperson. “Consumers today want information online, free, and instantaneously, so they can make informed decisions. We want consumers who will walk in the door for a $65 PDR repair because we will earn their trust and they will come back again when they file their insurance claim.”

The next release of the tool will include actual year/make/model/color images so consumers can select their vehicle image in their color and rotate it for an enhanced experience.

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I’m really excited to have the opportunity to serve as your president for our California Autobody Association (CAA) Glendale/Foothill chapter. It is my sincere intention to bring value to this organization and to restore the voice that this platform deserves to have. As you get to know me, you will find that theme to my madness is centered around unifying the leadership that I know exists in our industry and, more importantly, in our direct market. I’m open to any and all input that all of you may have as I firmly believe it is this input that will get us closer to our immediate goal of bringing shops back to CAA. [Please plan to attend the next three meetings that] we are certain will bring value to you and your organization. If you have not had the opportunity to hear Mike Anderson or Robert Rick speak in person, now is your chance. Their understanding of our rapidly-changing industry is cutting-edge and will undoubtedly have a positive effect on how you look at your business model. All three meetings are interconnected, so please don’t make the mistake of missing any of the three meetings.

This is only the start, but the voice of the CAA will be restored and its relevance will continue to grow. For this to happen, I’m asking for all of you to contribute by showing up. Again, I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to serve as your chapter president and will take the role seriously.

—Daniel Panduro

Read about the CAA Glendale/Foothill Chapter Meeting on February 18, 2014.

Learn about the upcoming CAA Glendale/Foothill chapter three-part series.

Last modified on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 22:57
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Founded in 1988, Capitol Collision Repair is one of the largest independent auto body shops in Phoenix, AZ. After 26 years in business, one might think that this Phoenix body shop could go into cruise control as far as change and growth in the business, but that is the furthest thing from the mind of Capitol Collision Repair owner Dan Deary.

Recently, Deary and the team at Capitol Collision Repair went 100 percent headfirst into the lean process after a complete buy-in from the entire Capitol Collision team.

“Transforming into lean processing was something that needed to be done to not only maintain our growth, but to be a leader in the Phoenix body shop market,” Deary stated. He went on to say “that the entire organization buy in was necessary before the decision was made. We have many long-term, quality people in our organization and the very last thing I was going to do was force change upon them, without a 100 percent buy-in.”

The team at Capitol Collision researched and chose a lean process used by one of the more successful shops that they visited and spent time with. The shop underwent many changes to accommodate the lean process change. A new management system was added, giving the Capitol team the ability to track their productivity in real time via monitors throughout the auto body repair shop production and paint areas. The manner in which vehicles are processed was updated to enhance tracking and completion times. Signs were posted throughout the shop, detailing updated procedures and labeling key areas. Most importantly was team building—the shop came together as a team and created the common goal to be the best body shop in Phoenix.

Deary had heard all the horror stories of other auto body shops failures after the implementation of a lean process, which in some instances resulted in the majority of company personnel quitting. Deary vowed not to make the same mistake. “We want to make improvements and move forward, not end up going backwards. We have long term-team members and losing them was not an option.”

When adopting the lean process, the biggest question was “how do we cut down the amount of time it takes to complete repairs, while still maintaining a quality product?” The solution was as old as auto manufacturing itself, the concept of the assembly line was the answer. Making full use of the 18,000 square-foot Phoenix body shop, Capitol Collision Repair was reconfigured to make the repair process a one direction assembly line, starting from damage discovery and ending at a complete wash and detail.

Using an assembly line process wasn't the only answer though. The rest was in the damage discovery process. The first, and most important, step is to completely discover all of the damage upfront and to devise a repair plan to ensure timely completion of all repairs without the need to drag out due dates from undiscovered damage. This not only makes repair times faster, but it also allows technicians to complete more work with no stress and zero defects.

In the collision repair industry, there is an overabundance of body shops, and as the automotive industry changes, it’s the shops that lean out their process that will stand out in the industry. Using a lean process, Capitol Collision Repair is now able to get customers out of a rental and back into their own car sooner than the competition, giving them an edge in the highly-competitive Phoenix body shop market.

Although leaning out the repair process and shortening repair times has made Capitol Collision Repair a better shop, they aren't done making changes. With the automotive industry continuing to evolve, Capitol Collision Repair will continue searching for new ways to make the shop better as they move forward.

An A+ rated BBB company, Capitol Collision Repair provides high-quality, guaranteed repairs and is one the highest rated and reviewed Phoenix body shops. They offer I-CAR-trained technicians and ASE-certified, state of the art equipment and are approved by all the major insurance companies. Rental vehicles and free loaner cars are offered by Capitol Collision Repair.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 19:08

3-Alarm Fire at San Francisco Cab Company Body Shop

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Six people escaped injury after a three-alarm blaze ripped through a cab company service garage in Bayview District of San Francisco, CA. The fire, reported at 11:53 a.m., was brought under control around 3:00 p.m., fire department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said. The blaze caused the roof to collapse at the building, which was still smoldering late in the afternoon, Talmadge said.

Charles Rathbone, assistant manager with Luxor Cab Co., said the fire destroyed the service garage on Upton Street that the company used for maintenance and body repairs. “It’s a total loss,” Rathbone said. He said all employees inside the building escaped without any injuries. However, he said, “We lost a bunch of cars in there, including a beautiful 1938 Plymouth we had hoped to showcase as part of our history.”

“It’s nothing that money can’t fix,” Rathbone said of the fire. “Nobody was hurt so we’re fortunate in that event.” Employees at other neighboring businesses were also evacuated because of the fire.

Luxor is one of the city’s original cab companies, operating since 1928.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 23:10

Auto Body Shop in National City, CA, Catches Fire

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A two-alarm fire damaged E & S Auto Works, an auto body shop in National City, CA, on March 23, 2014, fire officials said.

The non-injury fire was reported shortly before 5:00 p.m., and some neighboring businesses were evacuated, according to fire officials and National City police.

Firefighters from National City, Chula Vista, and San Diego extinguished the fire at about 5:40 p.m., according to a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department dispatcher.

Fire investigators are trying to determine what caused the fire. Officials did not have an exact dollar amount, but say hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage was done to the business.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 00:04

Safelite Dropped From Rollover Suit by Nevada Court

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Safelite Group has been dismissed from the lawsuit by a woman who says she lost both her husband and young daughter in a rollover crash, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court in Clark County, NV. Iwona Patnaude initially alleged that the windshield separated from the vehicle in a North Dakota crash and listed Safelite as a defendant in her suit, claiming the company had replaced the windshield.

The U.S. District Court for Clark County, NV, issued an “order to dismiss Safelite Group” from the lawsuit “with prejudice,” meaning the company cannot be sued again in the matter.

“After a thorough inspection of the vehicle and the windshield by an expert accident reconstructionist, we are extremely confident in the quality of the windshield installation, and contrary to the allegations in the lawsuit, the roof did not collapse,” says Melina Metzger, PR manager for Safelite.

Brian DiMasi, senior corporate counsel for Safelite, adds, “We continue to extend our sympathies to the Patnaude family for their loss. Tragedies like this serve as an important remind in our industry that we all must hold ourselves to the highest possible standards for the safety of our customers.”

The company entered no settlement agreement with Patnaude, Metzger noted.

In late 2011, Jason Patnaude, Iwona Patnaude’s spouse, was driving a Toyota Tundra Westbound on I-94 in North Dakota when he began to “slide upon contacting a patch of snow and ice on the roadway.” Both Iwona and Victoria Patnaude, her daughter, were passengers in the vehicle at the time of the accident.

“Directional control of the subject Tundra was lost and could not be regained,” attorneys wrote in court documents. “The subject Tundra crossed the highway’s median and rolled over across the Eastbound lanes and off the roadway. … Jason R. Patnaude and Victoria Patnaude sustained fatal head injuries in the crash. Jason R. Patnaude and Victoria Patnaude died at the scene.”

Safelite PR manager Melina Metzger had confirmed the company performed a windshield replacement on the vehicle six years prior to the accident.

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Join friends and associates in the industry at the 2014 Automotive Service Association of Arizona (ASA-AZ) Golf Outing on April 25, 2014, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., to enjoy a fun afternoon at the Raven Golf Club in Phoenix, AZ.

Proceeds from the golf tournament will go to the ASA Scholarship Education Fund. In the last 10 years, ASA-AZ has awarded over $40,000 in scholarships to high school students pursuing a career in the automotive repair industry.

Shotgun starts at 1:00 p.m. Registration is $75 per golfer, which includes golf, cart, range balls, tee prizes, and awards). Hole sponsorships are $250. Register now.

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 1-602-544-2600 for more information.

Friday, 21 March 2014 01:04

Mike’s Auto Body Wins Zoning For Expansion

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Despite vehement opposition from a handful of residents, the Napa Planning Commission approved a city zoning change that will allow MSO, Mike’s Auto Body, to expand its operations to two adjoining parcels on Vallejo Street, according to the Napa Valley Register.

The properties, 819 and 827 Vallejo Street in Napa, CA, were previously zoned for residential housing. Much to the chagrin of others who tried to purchase the land in the past, the city had previously said it was not available for business purposes.

“I tried to buy the properties in 2007 for overflow parking for my business,” said Napa resident, Georgene Liehau. “But my realtor was told by the city’s planning department that the property would never be rezoned. So I want to understand why I was told ‘no,’ and now this company is told ‘yes’.”

According to Napa associate planner, Michael Allen, the city typically tells people they cannot rezone residential land for commercial uses.

“In fact, we told this applicant no at first, too,” said Allen. “However, Mike’s Auto Body did their homework. They showed us why it would be a good move and brought forward a project that made sense.”

Mike Rose, who owns Mike’s Auto Body shop at 804 Napa Street in Napa, proposed building a new, 1,986-square-foot structure that would serve as shop office space and a covered vehicle wash bay. He will connect his expansion to Soscol by way of a driveway so Vallejo street will not see increased traffic from commercial trucks, he said.

Napa Street lost its link to Soscol when the Napa Wine Train track was relocated, which occurred during Napa Flood Project work. Afterward, Vallejo Street became the area’s main connection to Soscol Avenue, which often caused traffic jams along the mostly residential road. Allen said that because the auto shop’s expansion would reconnect the two streets, thereby reducing traffic on Vallejo Street, it made the proposal more attractive to the city planning department.

“Because of the traffic reduction and the fact that these lots have been vacant for more than 20 years, staff felt that this was a strong project,” he said.

Allen’s response outraged several Vallejo Street residents, who cursed loudly from the audience and disagreed with his argument.

“The reason the lots have sat empty is because the city wouldn’t let anyone do anything with the land,” said Colleen Moore, who lives at 877 Vallejo Street. “I think this is an unfair situation and I don’t understand why the rules could be changed for certain people.”

But the Planning Commission agreed with city staff’s conclusions and approved the general plan zoning amendment unanimously.

“I was concerned about losing residential lots when I first saw this project,” said Commissioner Gordon Huether. “But it’s a good project, it makes sense, and I commend the applicant and staff for what they’ve done.”

Commissioner Paul Kelley sympathized with frustrated neighbors, but ultimately supported the zoning change.

“Traffic is going to be diverted, access to Soscol will be provided, and it will be a great thing for the shops and the neighborhood in general,” he said.

Mike Rose does not own the property yet, but will either purchase the land or lease it and construct the new building, said Allen.

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As the collision industry in Utah undergoes the transition to waterborne paint and everything that comes along with it, many are embracing the new products, techniques, and equipment, while others are not as enthusiastic.

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