Gary Ledoux

gary ledouxGary Ledoux is a freelance writer with 48 years in the automotive industry. 


He can be reached at mayorclum@yahoo.com

Friday, 10 April 2020 17:44

OE Certifications Update 2020---Part 1 of 2

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“There are two reasons why we have seen this happen time after time," said Olson of VECO Experts. "One is, the shop simply does not know how to use the equipment. They never took an independent class for its use, and neither the equipment manufacturer nor the distributor offered sufficient training. So, they met the OE’s requirement for having the equipment, but all they really got was a check mark in a box.


"The other reason this equipment is not used is because, despite having the right equipment, and maybe having someone employed at the shop who knows how to properly use it, the shop simply chooses not to follow proper OE procedures… despite being a certified shop.”


Do you promote yourself as a certified shop? How is that done? What do you do?


“We are in the process of rebuilding our website,” said Eldridge. “Eventually we will have all the OE certifications listed.”


Artistic Auto Body has all their certifications listed on their website.


“We also promote our certifications via social media, word of mouth referrals and a reader-board along the highway,” Mostul said.


Fuller Auto Body lists their certifications on their website.


“But other than that,” said Fuller, “we stay pretty low-key.”


“We talk about promotion quite a bit in our seminars,” said Olson. “Maybe 5% of certified shops are properly leveraging the certification they worked so hard for, and spent so much time, money and effort on. They did the training, bought the tools and now they are keeping it a secret.


"In my seminars, I ask everyone to pull out their business card. If they are certified, even with only one OE, they need to at least state that on their business card. They need to promote it on their website, through social media, and they need to have a good working relationship with the local dealer for that brand.”


Having a good working relationship with the local dealers for the brands shops are certified in is key. Less than 40% of dealers have their own body shops, and contrary to popular belief, just because a dealer has a body shop doesn’t mean it is automatically certified.


Surprisingly, some dealer body shops have made a conscious decision not to spend the money and effort to be certified because "We still have plenty of cars coming through the door. Why do we need to be certified?”


See next month’s issue of Autobody News and watch autobodynews.com for the second part of this two-part series.

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