In tornado season in Oklahoma you don’t have to be superstitious to think bad things could happen on any given day, never mind Friday the thirteenth. But for Norman shop owner Philip DeFatta, this Friday, April 13, could have been a day out of the movies. At about 4:00 p.m., a tornado hit the heart of Norman, Oklahoma and cut roughly an eight-mile swath through the town, especially the southwest portion.
The May chapter meeting of the Glendale-Foothill California Autobody Association was held at the Brookside Country Club, 1133 Rosemont Ave. Pasadena, CA. An unusually large crowd turned out to hear Qasi Asad, Verifacts Automotive Compliance Director, speak on current BAR (Board of Auto Repair) policies, procedures and compliance. Qasi started out reminding the group of the BAR’s sting operation in Orange County a while back that closed several shops and arrested the estimators for false and fraudulent estimates. Qasi noted that most of those estimators will not be able to get a job estimating again.
In the “good old days,” auto body men knew full well that exposure to volatile compounds on the job might lead to health problems down the road. They worked without respirators anyway and that was pretty much the norm. But, as we focus more and more on workplace safety today, the workplace is safer and healthier for its painters, welders, body techs and even front office personnel. This is especially true with the advent of waterborne paint and all of the technology that protects employees from toxins, fumes and other volatile compounds they encounter every day.
On April 17, the East Bay California Autobody Association (EB-CAA) held its monthly meeting at Scott’s Seafood in Walnut Creek to network with other collision professionals and listen to the evening’s featured speaker, Gene Lopez. Lopez was hired in 2009 by I-CAR as a regional manager to head the organization’s Southwest region, headquartered in Glendora, CA. Before receiving the assignment, Lopez was the Director of Development for Seidner’s Collision Centers and was also a part-time instructor for I-CAR.
Texas-based, Service King Collision Repair is partnering with Auto Body World, Inc., with nine large scale, high volume locations throughout metro Phoenix and Casa Grande. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The transaction is expected to close in July 2012. By joining Service King, Auto Body World will become a part of the third largest collision repair company in North America with 48 Texas locations throughout the Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin areas.
Some legislative bills have more lives than cats. Usually, when any piece of proposed legislation gets defeated for one or more reasons, it is then re-written, re-packaged and amended, hopefully just enough to make it through in a different form that will appeal to more legislators the second or third time through. If it eventually becomes a law, it means it survived several rounds and reincarnations, in almost every case.
A Boynton Beach, FL, body shop owner was arrested Tuesday on charges he impersonated an insurance adjuster at car crash scenes to steer business back to his shop, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.
Authorities arrested 43-year-old Vincenzo Gurrera following an investigation of his auto body shop, Collision World, in the 600 block of Industrial Avenue.
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Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes will be hosting its next A-Plus University Series of Advanced Business Management classes in Dallas, Texas in June and July. This is a collection of best practices and detailed course offerings specifically designed to help collision shop owners, managers, sales and estimating staff professionals increase productivity and profitability. Specific courses and dates include:
• Estimating Solutions for Profit – June 19, 2012
• The Road to Sales Success – June 20, 2012
• Key Performance Indicators – June 21, 2012
• Improving Workshop Efficiency – June 21, 2012
• Achieving Sales Excellence – July 11, 2012
According to Troy Neuerburg, manager of Marketing Business Services at Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes, these advanced business management classes are specifically designed for the collision repair industry and should provide a number of practical ideas, reduce internal costs and raise CSI levels. Details on each course include the following:
Estimating Solutions for Profit – June 19, 2012
The course is designed for Shop Owners, Managers, Estimators, and Production Managers to provide participants with the skills, information, and tools necessary to write and negotiate more profitable estimates. The course presentation will use written materials, group discussions, and hands-on exercises to develop skills necessary to be more profitable in today's highly competitive market. The course’s ultimate goal will be to maximize profitability by writing more complete estimates and effectively negotiating an agreed price for the repair.
The Road to Sales Success – June 20, 2012
The course is open to anyone wishing to improve their customer handling skills, but will be especially suited to estimators or office managers. Designed to improve the effectiveness of sales techniques during the estimating process, it will utilize proven sales techniques especially tailored to the collision repair industry. The course presentation will use written materials, group discussions, exercises and role playing to develop skills necessary to succeed in today's highly competitive market. The ultimate goal of the course will be to maximize profitability by increasing sales potential.
Key Performance Indicators – June 21, 2012
The course is designed for shop owners and office managers to help collision repair facilities discover ways to measure their performance and use those measurements to focus their efforts to improve their business results. While the course is structured to focus on paint shop issues, its concepts can be used successfully in other areas of most any collision repair facility.
Improving Workshop Efficiency – June 21, 2012
This workshop has been developed especially for collision facility owners and managers who are interested in leveraging the power of lean production as well as business solutions that help reduce environmental waste. Built by collision industry experts, this course will show the origins of lean production, how to run the workshop more efficiently, raise output quality while lowering operating costs and capture increased market share through continuous improvement.
Achieving Service Excellence – July 11, 2012
This workshop has been developed especially for collision facility owners, production managers, customer service representatives and estimators. It will provide the skills, knowledge and tools necessary to improve their collision center's quality, production and output…all by focusing on the right types of customer service. This includes becoming more profitable with a customer-focused strategy, establishing a proven method for providing customer value, and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of customer service staff.
I-CAR recently announced the line-up of panelists who will speak during the general session of the 2012 I-CAR Industry Event, which is based on the theme “Driving Excellence.”
I-CAR said this year’s panelists will focus discussions on industry excellence. Speakers will discuss how to achieve industry-wide and business-specific excellence in repair methods, business performance and professionalism.
The panel discussion—which will be moderated by Vincent Romans, founding partner of the Romans Group—will include the following seven panelists who represent several segments of the collision repair industry:
• Tim O’Day, president and chief operating officer of Gerber Collision & Glass
• Will Johnston, co-owner and chief operating officer of AutoBody America
• Geralynn Kottschade, owner of Jerry's Body Shop
• James Roach, senior vice president of the Parts and Service Division for American Honda Motor Co. Inc.
• Darren Huggins, national collision director of Van Tuyl Auto Group
• Susanna Gotsch, director industry analyst for CCC Information Services Inc.
• George Avery, auto claim consultant—P&C Claims for State Farm Insurance
The 2012 I-CAR Industry Event will be held July 18-20 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Antonio, in conjunction with the next Collision Industry Conference (CIC) meeting. I-CAR said early bird registration for reduced pricing is available through May 31.