Today’s autobody shop owner has a great many options when selecting tools that will increase the productivity of his/her business. From tools such as management software, add-ons for the estimating software in use at that business, or camera systems that improve the digital documentation for each repair, shop owners can spend a great deal of time comparing options and searching for the productivity tools that best meets the needs of his/her business.
According to ASA membership records, about 17.48 percent of collision members report they do some type of mechanical service work... such as oil changes, air filters, throttle body cleaning, tie rods and more. He said that while the mechanical repair sales amount to less than 3 percent of their gross sales, the fact that they offer mechanical services increases their marketing capability.
by Florencia R. Albert, Attorney at Law
In an industry dominated by insurance companies that reward adjusters for saving the companies money and pointing out their colleagues’ mistakes, it is important to a small auto body shop’s success to follow a few simple rules and, when necessary, to fight back when treated unfairly by an insurance company. One of the most important business decisions a small auto body repair business can make for its business to succeed is to decide not to become a victim to insurance companies. Just because the typical auto body shop is a small business does not mean it cannot fight big insurance companies, and win.
The experience of Axel’s Body Shop [name changed for confidentiality] is a good example of how a small business in southern California chose to stop being victimized by an insurance company.
When Axel’s Body Shop owner Steve Axel saw his customer’s new 2009 Honda Fit towed into his shop because of an accident, he never imagined he would find himself suing his customer’s insurance company because of a bully adjuster’s temper tantrum and vengeful action.
|NASCAR Tech students building a race car from the frame up in their chassis class at UTI’s NASCAR Tech campus in Mooresville, N.C.|
The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has been monitoring the actions of a number of insurance companies and how their processes and procedures have affected collision repairers, and ultimately their customers. SCRS recently commissioned a survey of its membership, and during this survey process, a considerable amount of input was received from member and non-member repairers from all over the country. This information is the basis for the following position.
Discussion at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) held in Philadelphia in mid-April indicates there is little consensus in how used or recycled parts should be priced.
The problem as an industry trying to create best practices is we have two different pricing mechanisms out there, and we’re trying to create some sort of standard that’s accepted by all,” said Ken Weiss, chairman of the CIC Parts Committee.
Auto recyclers participating in the discussion estimated that about 20 percent of recyclers, include Greg Freeman of Freeman’s Auto Salvage Center in Joplin, Missouri, have moved to pricing parts as undamaged while 80 percent still quote an “actual part price” to which allowance for any damage must be added.
“From the interacting I’ve been doing with our customers, the collision shops were asking for an undamaged part price, and we’re trying to get (other) recyclers to get to that level,” Freeman said.
But Weiss pointed out that based on discussions he heard at the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) convention last fall, only a small minority of recyclers have made that change.
Two collision industry events in April gave attendees an opportunity to get the latest on insurance and economic trends impacting the industry; learn about the “lean processing” trend among repairers; and discuss what help, if any, state insurance departments offer in addressing shops’ concerns.
By accident of course! I actually got involved with the collision industry without ever intending to. I became a partner in a fledgling computer management company back in 1984. We created a state-of-the-art computer management system that became the leading product of its time. When I joined the company and took over managing the operations they were essentially bankrupt, but didn’t know it. We got that company turned around and eventually a paint company bought it. I got a crash course in collision repair dealing with many of the premier body shops across the US as our customers.
The societal cost of crashes is a staggering $164.2 billion annually, nearly two and a half times greater than the $67.6 billion price tag for congestion, according to a new report released today by AAA. The report, "Crashes vs. Congestion: What's the Cost to Society?," demonstrates that traffic safety issues warrant increased attention from the public and policymakers, particularly as Congress prepares to reauthorize federal transportation programs in 2009.
The redesigned Cadillac CTS, Audi A6 and Volvo S80 earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick award for 2008 in the luxury car category. Among SUVs the new luxury Infiniti EX35 earned the Top Safety Pick.
None of 6 minivans, all 2008 models, is designed to resist vehicle damage in many low-speed collisions. The front and rear bumper systems on these minivans allowed $5,000 or more damage in a series of 4 crash tests conducted at 3 and 6 mph.
Before we went to the first grade, most of us knew all the colors in the rainbow. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. We had crayons and we colored the sky blue, oranges were orange and apples were the same color as little red wagons loaded with green watermelons. You couldn’t color the snowman because it was already white, but you could make a carrot colored nose, do little black dots for his eyes and a scarf in red, green or blue.