Tuesday, 28 April 2020 00:13

St. Louis I-CAR Committee Members Offer Enhanced Services to Contend with COVID-19

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The St. Louis I-CAR Committee held a virtual meeting April 23 with 22 people in attendance.

Despite the constraints of social distancing, the group felt it was important to gather in some format to ensure their goals for the rest of the year progress as planned. A significant portion of the meeting was also allotted to discussing how members are handling the current situation.


Chair Shelly Jones began the meeting by discussing the group’s 2020 committee goals and congratulating everyone on being recognized as a 2019 Platinum Committee.


Next, I-CAR’s Robbie Saladino shared information he’s heard from other committees in the region regarding how they are handling the current crisis, and he provided some updates on I-CAR along with a link for free courses and other resources.


“The majority of the meeting was allocated for open discussion about the state of the industry, obstacles and resources, and to allow members to share how their businesses are handling the pandemic,” Jones said. “We heard from a couple collision shop representatives, and they mentioned erecting welcoming signage for customers entering the lot or building, mobile and stay in your car estimates, towing to and from the shop, sanitizing vehicles and customer waiting areas, and offering add-on sublet services to reduce customer exposure at other businesses.


"We also talked about how the collision shops on the call have been doing a fantastic job on social media with their engagement and community-oriented Facebook posts and live videos.”


The meeting was attended by collision instructors from several location collision repair educational institutions. Each of these industry educators provided updates on how their schools have transitioned to virtual learning for the remainder of the semester.


Brandon Eckenrode, director of development for the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), shared a list of nearly 20 schools in the area seeking parts donations for the fall semester. Shops able to save parts can contact brandon.eckenrode@ed-foundation.org.

Keith Hoeferlin and Rebecca Bereitschaft from Enterprise updated attendees on how they have adapted their services to accommodate shops and customers.


PPG’s Shawn Counts, the committee’s vice-chair of marketing, discussed the resources he has added to the group’s Facebook page and shared how his shops are adapting to touchless services.


The St. Louis I-CAR Committee will next meet July 16. Jones is hopeful the meeting will be held at Ranken Tech, but if the COVID-19 situation is not alleviated, the group will meet virtually again.


For more information on the St. Louis I-CAR Committee and upcoming events, visit its Facebook page.

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