John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn 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 john@crashnetwork.com 

John Yoswick

Wednesday, 21 December 2011 21:57

Industry News You Might Have Missed in 2011

So much happens in the collision repair industry that it can be hard to keep up on everything. A few big stories get plenty of attention, but sometimes it’s the lesser-known stories that can have as big an impact on your business.

In response to ongoing efforts over six years by the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) to develop a set of formalized repair standards, four national repairer groups have jointly issued a statement calling the published automaker repair procedures the “official industry-recognized repair standards for collision repair.”

State and regional associations—that together represent more than 2,000 body shops—participated in the sixth annual “Affiliate Leadership Conference” organized by the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and held near Chicago in mid-September.

What may have seemed to some at the most recent Collision Industry Conference (CIC) as a debate about esoteric computer jargon was actually a discussion about who gets access to all the information in a shop’s estimates.

It’s a common complaint among collision repairers: It’s not worth contacting the state insurance commissioner’s office because they don’t do anything about our complaints.

The skittishness among some in the industry about how formalized repair standards may be developed or implemented was evident during discussion at the most recent Collision Industry Conference (CIC).

From California to Massachusetts, the judicial system and lawmakers are tackling related to the auto insurance that pays for much of the work collision repairers do. The federal government is also considering the role it should play in regulating insurers as well.

The experiences of a number of shop owners around the country serve as a reminder to make sure you always understand the terms of any contract you are signing. Failure to read the fine print—or negotiate clauses for additional rights to end even something as seemingly innocuous as a software contract—have cost some shops tens of thousands of dollars.

Current industry trends—and a look ahead at the electric, fuel-efficient and Chinese vehicles that could be showing up in collision shops in the coming years—were the focus of one speaker’s presentation at the recent Women’s Industry Network (WIN) conference.

Collision repair associations leaders from around the country met in Secaucus, New Jersey, in March to share ideas and discuss state legislative or regulatory successes and efforts. The  “2011 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® 2011 trade show.