Friday, 11 May 2018 09:54

SCRS Meeting Includes Election, Awards, Info Related to DEG

Written by Autobody News Staff
Matthew McDonnell of Big Sky Collision in Montana Matthew McDonnell of Big Sky Collision in Montana


During several days of events in Denver in mid-April, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) elected new board members, presented several awards and held a meeting that offered presentations on technical issues and free tools available to the industry.

Three current SCRS board members were reelected to another term. Retaining their seats on the board were Michael Bradshaw of K&M Collision in North Carolina, Bruce Halcro of Capital Collision Centers in Montana and Paul Sgro of Lee’s Garage in New Jersey.

A fourth open seat on the board was filled by Dominic Brusco of PPG, who had previously spent five years on the SCRS board earlier this decade. He defeated incumbent Mark Bodreau of Caliber Collision, who during his 5-year term on the board had sold his Virginia collision repair business to that consolidator. SCRS Chairman Kye Yeung said Bodreau had been “an integral part of the board,” and hoped he would continue to play a role in the association.

During discussions and presentations at the “open meeting” portion of the association’s board meeting in Denver, Matthew McDonnell of Big Sky Collision in Montana (who was appointed to the board earlier this year following the departure of another board member) said he had found some discrepancies between the owners’ manuals for some vehicles and the automakers’ repair procedures for those vehicles.

For two different automakers, for example, “Within the repair procedures, it says that [seatbelts] need to be inspected for frays or any damage” following a collision, McDonnell said. “But within the owners’ manuals, it says to replace every seatbelt” that was in use during the crash.


“So we just want to [know] whether or not we are to look at the owners’ manual, which is crazy, or is there something like a position statement we could get that [states] one will override the other,” McDonnell said.

He said he suspects the discrepancy is likely the result of documentation for the owners’ manual and the repair procedures being prepared by different groups within any given automaker. He said the vast scale of all the automakers’ operations hit home for him when he recently had an opportunity to tour the Fiat Chrysler of America headquarters, which encompasses 5 million square feet.

“So the left arm might not always be talking with the right arm,” McDonnell said.

Also during the meeting, Danny Gredinberg of the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG) (www.DEGweb.org) shared a presentation on what’s often referred to as “the gap.” That’s the necessary process between when repair work ends (with the technician finishing off a panel at 150 grit), to getting that panel to the equivalent of new and undamaged, which is when the estimating systems say paint labor times begin. To get to that level requires the feather, prime and block process, finishing the repaired panel to 320 grit. Gredinberg shared information from the estimating system providers related to this not-included process---such as whether it is identified as a paint labor operation rather than body---noting there are some differences among the systems.

“One thing that all three [estimating system providers] mention is that the material allowance for feather prime and block, if necessary, is not included,” Gredinberg said.

John Yoswick of CRASH Network provided an update at the meeting on the “Who Pays for What?” surveys his company conducts with Mike Anderson of Collision Advice. He said the four quarterly surveys (www.CrashNetwork.com/collisionadvice), each of which asks about shop billing (and insurer payment) practices for about 25 different not-included operations, also ask shops if participating in the surveys has helped them improve their business.

“We consistently have found that 80 percent or more say that it has,” Yoswick said. “But those of you who know Mike know he won’t rest until that percentage is closer to 100 percent, so we keep working with him on other ways to pack more information into the survey reports to help shops.”

He said the latest such addition will be links to DEG inquiries that relate to the procedures being asked about in each survey. Gredinberg has been tracking down those inquiries so they can be included in the 2018 reports on the “Who Pays” survey findings.

“In addition to providing survey participants with more information and resources for using the results, we think this will keep the DEG in front of a lot of shops regularly throughout the year, and will help get DEG resources out to the industry,” Yoswick said.

During an awards luncheon following the meeting, SCRS recognized the “Who Pays for What?” surveys with an “Industry Service Award.” SCRS Board Member Amber Alley, who presented the award, said the surveys have “helped reshape the conversation that so many of us have on a daily basis.”

“It has provided the industry with a tool that has made negotiations more transparent, and for many of us has made this complicated industry feel a little more manageable,” said Alley, who manages Barsotti’s Body & Fender, an OEM-certified shop in San Rafael, CA. “As a shop operator, I find this resource to be valuable beyond words. It has given me and my shop the confidence to say, ‘I know I’m not the only one.’”

Yoswick accepted the award, noting that Anderson regretted that he couldn’t be there as well.

“But he is out on the road doing what he does 300-plus days of the year, which is helping improve this industry,” Yoswick said. “Mike and his team at Collision Advice, and Chuck Cogan and I at CRASH Network, while we’re grateful to receive this, feel it’s actually the 3,237 shops that have taken at least one of the surveys over the three years … that are the ones who make possible what we have done with the surveys.”

SCRS Board Member Brett Bailey, who chaired the association’s awards committee, said the award is not presented every year but recognizes organizations that “provide the industry and its members with a critical resource.” Past recipients include I-CAR, the National Auto Body Council and the Collision Repair Education Foundation.

He said the “Who Pays” surveys are well-deserving of the award because “the tool that they have put in place is delivering information to shops that aren’t able to be in this room, information that is invaluable to shops … across the country.”

PPG Director of Business Development Bill Shaw was also honored at the luncheon, receiving the SCRS “Humanitarian Award” for his work as president of the Collision Industry Foundation (http://collisionindustryfoundation.org). The nonprofit organization assists members of the industry impacted by natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. Most recently, the Foundation helped 78 families with ties to the industry in Texas and Florida after hurricanes Harvey and Irma.