John Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
The mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA, in December in which a health department employee (along with his wife) shot and killed 14 of his co-workers at a holiday party occurred just 80 miles from business attorney Cory King’s law firm. So a month later when he was scheduled to discuss human resource issues at the quarterly Collision Industry Conference (CIC), King knew workplace violence was a logical if unpleasant topic on which to focus.
20 years ago in the collision repair industry (March 1996)
The name Jeff Silver is synonymous with I-CAR. As executive vice president, Jeff has spent the last 11 years of his life helping to build I-CAR into the premier technical training organization in the collision repair industry. On his watch, Jeff has guided I-CAR into the international arena, forming coalitions with groups in Canada and New Zealand and opening talks with groups in the Far East. He recently decided to leave I-CAR and start his own collision repair business, but will remain with I-CAR for six months to help make his successor’s transition as smooth as possible. Jeff leaves big shoes to fill. He has done much to improve the collision repair industry, and we wish him well.
December 31 may have marked the end of a new calendar or fiscal year, but there remained a lot of “unfinished business” at the end of 2015 that will spill over to this new year. Here are four statements heard in the past year that highlight continuing activity that will play out in the year ahead.
20 years ago in the collision repair industry (October 1995)
At the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Kansas City, Russ Verona of the Automotive Service Association (ASA) reiterated the association’s opposition to “PPO-type” insurance programs. PPO-type programs make discounted insurance policies available for vehicle-owners who agree to have any needed repairs made at a shop enrolled in the insurer’s direct repair program.
Just under 61 percent of shops surveyed said they are paid "always" or "most of the time" for removing coatings from pinchwelds prior to mounting the vehicle on a frame machine when it is required for the repair.
But industry trainer and consultant Mike Anderson said that percentage, from the latest "Who Pays for What?" survey results available now, isn’t high enough.
Attracting, training and retaining quality employees was among the topics tackled at this year’s NACE “MSO Symposium,” a half-day event in Detroit in July that focused on the needs of multiple shop operators (MSOs), as well as those who aspire to become an MSO.
Fully one-third of collision repair shops nationwide said they have never asked to be paid for “masking the engine compartment” when this “not-included” procedure has been necessary as part of a repair, yet another one-third of shops who do seek to be paid for it say they receive that payment “always” or “most of the time.”
That finding is just one of hundreds revealed in a survey conducted recently by Collision Advice, which is also launching a new survey this month.
20 years ago in the collision repair industry (July 1995)
A 1995 Collision Industry Conference (CIC) survey…found that 70 percent of shop owners, and 83 percent of insurers, are dissatisfied with the way business is practiced between the two industries.
The survey results are among the first steps taken by a CIC committee focusing on the “invoicing methods and practices” used within the industry. The committee’s long-range goal is to try to help the repair and insurance industries develop a new method of doing business.
Although non-OEM parts were, not surprisingly, the focus at the recent Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) convention in Chicago, there were plenty of other topics of interest to collision repairers.
PartsTrader, for example, announced that vendors can now designate in the system which parts a shop returned and why. A year earlier, parts distributors at the ABPA conference told a PartsTrader speaker that because the monthly fees they pay PartsTrader are based on their total sales through the system, they should be able to indicate in PartsTrader if a part was returned (and thus potentially lower their fees) even if the shop doesn’t indicate the return in the system.
20 years ago in the collision repair industry (June 1995)
Shop owners at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Hawaii expressed concerns regarding the number of part vendors that are being listed on a single, insurer-generated estimate.
It was a panel discussion quite unlike any other in recent Collision Industry Conference (CIC) history, with panel members and CIC attendees questioning one another’s motivations and even clashing over what the topic of discussion was supposed to be.
“Well, that didn’t quite turn out as I expected,” CIC Chairman Randy Stabler said at the conclusion of the CIC “Parts and Materials Committee” panel discussion in Atlanta. “We’re going to circle around and try to ensure that we come up with content that’s more meaningful and effective.”
20 years ago in the collision repair industry (May 1995)
Members of the Automotive Service Association (ASA) Collision Operations Committee are optimistic about “Service First,” an enhanced claims handling program introduced by State Farm. According to a State Farm news release, the pilot program was scheduled to be introduced in several states by mid-May. It would streamline auto damage claim handling and repair processes, allowing customers to go directly to qualified facilities for inspections and estimates without visiting State Farm drive-in claim service centers.
Collision repair association leaders from around the country met in Secaucus, N.J., in mid-March to share ideas and discuss state legislative or regulatory successes and efforts. The “2015 East Coast Resolution Forum,” an event sponsored by the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) of New Jersey, was held in conjunction with AASP-New Jersey’s NORTHEAST 2015 trade show.
How does your shop’s billing practices differ from other shops? Are other shops being paid for procedures you’re doing but for which you’re not being compensated?
Those questions form the basis of a new series of industry surveys being conducted as a joint project by CollisionAdvice and CRASH Network.