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Monday, 02 July 2007 15:46

New national association promises to be aggressive in defending the claimants right to choose

    The National Collision Industry Alliance is a new trade association structured to maximize member resources and use emerging technologies to provide uncompromised advocacy for the collision repair industry.
    “The typical national non-profit association is burdened with compulsory administrative tasks that hinder organizational effectiveness reduces the time, energy and resources that would otherwise be available for direct benefit of members,” said NCIA founder Norbert Zaenglein. “National associations and their cumbersome committee structures are too sluggish to implement programs in a timely and decisive manner,” Zaenglein explained. “We are in an era of rapid and constant change. By the time committees agree on a solution the nature of the problem will have already changed. Speed and efficiency are essential requirements to confront challenges as they arise, not months or years later.”
    The National Collision Industry Alliance is committed to quickly channel slow association processes into the fast lane of the 21st century. “Today’s decision makers are facing increasing time pressures. Time is at a premium. Why go through the unnecessary time and expense to attend meetings when technology allows more efficient and broader participation.” Zaenglein added.
    NCIA distinguishes itself by being uninfluenced by special interests. “You must be willing to take a stance and take action on behalf of your members and that becomes difficult when you have financial contributors whose interests are not aligned with collision repairers.” Zaenglein said. “The Alliance is solely driven by objectives that provide direct and measurable benefits to collision repairers and consumers. NCIA will allow no more than 40 percent of its income to be from non-shop sources.”
    Another innovative aspect of the new association is that it is being started as a for-profit entity. “Without the excess baggage of a non-profit association NCIA can act quickly and decisively with more grass-roots involvement,” Zaenglein explained. “The association structure will be reevaluated after the first year of operation, but right now we are going to hit the ground running.” NCIA is based on an Internet model that allows members to participate in decision-making. Issue white papers that will be posted online where shops can provide immediate input. At the end of the process, members vote as to whether or not the issue moves forward. It’s a simple and efficient model that can keep pace with emerging changes and challenges.”
    NCIA plans to recruit an advisory panel made up of an attorney, consumer advocate, a technology professional, industry analyst and a collision repairer. “The industry needs a broader perspective on various issues and a diverse panel will yield quicker and more effective resolutions,” Zaenglein explained. “We are specifically looking for fresh talent and new ways to address issues and guide the Alliance in an entirely new direction. Of course members have the final say on all issues.”
    NCIA has one singular objective: to provide uncompromised advocacy to the men and women of the collision repair business. “We are going to be bringing documented issues to the attention of Insurance Commissioners and Attorney Generals. We are also planning aggressive media campaigns to educate consumers on vital collision repair topics. The Alliance has developed print media posters suitable for use by shops to educate and retain consumers. NCIA will be extremely aggressive in promoting the claimant’s right to choose repair shops.” Zaenglein said. “Insurers are developing increasingly complex claims assignment systems including predictive models that can be used to steer claimants. Without immediate intervention, there will be very little security or permanency in tomorrow’s market.” Zaenglein adds a note of encouragement those who doubt that a new organization can be effective. “Give the Alliance a year and let us prove the value we can bring to the industry.”
    For more information on the Alliance, visit www.nationalCIA.com.
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