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
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.
20 years ago in the collision repair industry (April 1995)
Tucked into a referendum on the ballot in Michigan last November was a provision that would have allowed an insurer to establish a direct repair program only if all repair facilities meeting the insurer’s criteria are allowed to participate in the program.
But the provision was part of a larger referendum on renewal of the state’s no-fault insurance regulations, and opponents of no-fault insurance successfully defeated the measure.
Back in 1999, a court decision in a class action lawsuit resulted in a $1.2 billion judgment against State Farm – at the time one of the largest judgments ever levied against an insurer. The ruling changed the way many insurance companies dealt with non-OEM parts for years, and despite the fact that the judgment was later nullified, the “Avery vs State Farm” lawsuit even today is seen as the basis for State Farm’s limited use of such parts.
But now, 18 years after that lawsuit began, the lawyers who represented the vehicle-owners in the Avery lawsuit are still fighting against the overturning of that judgment by the Illinois Supreme Court. The amount they are seeking from State Farm this time is considerably larger: triple the damages of the Avery case plus more than a decade of interest, all adding up to more than $8 billion.
Geico has received the “2015 Excellence in Safety and Pollution Prevention Award” from S/P2, an organization created to help the automotive service and repair industry meet OSHA and EPA guidelines.
New testing announced at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) earlier this year indicates that not all spraysuits are created equal in terms of preventing penetration of isocyanates.
20 years ago in the collision repair industry (February 1995)
In the videotaped interview with an official of the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), BAR’s Allen Wood explained his agency’s concern with the fraud and lack of training it has found in the collision repair industry in California.