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Monday, 31 October 2005 17:00

Part 2: what should be in a personnel file

An article in last month's issue outlined why maintaining personnel files is so critical - and explained some of the items that should not be kept in the files. 

Friday, 30 September 2005 17:00

Plan ahead to reduce the tax bite

Most people in the United States tend to associate the month of April with taxes. But in reality, there's a lot more you can do right now - prior to the end of 2005 - to reduce your tax burden come next April 15. 

A number of dealership service departments, independent repair shops and other automotive businesses that have been the victims of thefts in recent months are urging other businesses in the industry to take added steps to protect themselves. 

 ..and what men can learn from them

Attend any national trade show, conference or association event in the collision industry, and one thing is likely to become apparent: While men may still far outnumber the women, both the number and success level of women involved in the industry is growing rapidly.  

An article in last month's ABN discussed the value and importance of building a company's culture, a common understanding among all employees about "the way we do things around here." 

Whether you knew it or not, the odds are good that already today you've contributed in some way - positively or negatively - to your company's "culture." 

Thursday, 30 June 2005 17:00

A look back at some visions of the future

Back in 1997, an article compiled some thoughts about the future from various players in the collision repair industry. A more recent reading of the article proved interesting; some of the predictions were startling accurate, while others, in hindsight, were partially if not completely - and often ironically - wrong. 

Although the percentage of dealerships with body shops has declined over the past 30 years, a growing number of automakers are working to help dealership shops gain market share. How successful they will be remains to be seen, but independent shop owners would be foolish to ignore the threat - or possibly the opportunity - these efforts may offer. 

With the growing number of insurance company direct repair programs - and with many insurers processing an increasing percentage of their claims through such programs - it's easy to understand why some states are looking to put the brakes on "steering" of work by insurers. 

Here's your assignment: Pretend you have 45 seconds to talk about your business in front a group of people you'd love to have as customers. Could you tell them something that's unique about your business, something that no other shop in your area could or is likely to tell them?