Tuesday, 25 June 2019 16:27

ABAC Meeting Provides Close Look at GM’s Collision Repair Network

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ABAC President Bob Amendola encouraged association members to submit ideas and topics for future meetings so the ABAC can best address members’ needs. ABAC President Bob Amendola encouraged association members to submit ideas and topics for future meetings so the ABAC can best address members’ needs. ABAC News


On May 21, the Auto Body Association of Connecticut (ABAC) held its May meeting, attracting a full house of collision repair professionals.

ABAC President Bob Amendola thanked those present for their support and “for the solidarity members have shown as the ABAC continues to grow.”


The association meeting commenced with a discussion about members’ concerns upon hearing that LKQ will be selling remanufactured suspensions in certain parts of the U.S. Amendola then mentioned a local concern member shops have brought up: “‘Accurate Nationwide Appraisals’ (IAnet), an independent insurance appraisal firm, is not leaving estimates, and according to The Conduct of Motor Vehicle Physical Damage Appraisers Regulations §38a-790-4, the appraiser must leave an estimate. We’ve started to see that after the appraiser leaves our shop, several days later, we get the appraisal by email and guess what? It’s less. It then takes a phone call to IAnet to get the correct appraisal.”


The ABAC then moved to the election of officers for the 2019-2020 term. Votes were cast for current officers to serve another year with Amendola as president, Ashley Burzinski as vice president, Mike Wilkowski serving as treasurer and Mark Wilkowski filling the role of secretary.


Next, Immediate Past President Tony Ferraiolo provided copies of the Conduct of Motor Vehicle Physical Damage Appraisers Regulations and reviewed each regulation with attendees.


“We need to hold appraisers accountable for their actions,” Ferraiolo said. “The list [of regulations] is plain and simple. The problem is that these regulations are not being enforced. The ABAC will be contacting the Department of Insurance for enforcement.”


Ferraiolo encouraged attendees to revisit the panel discussion during the association’s first quarter meeting. He shared, “I’ve been told that some shops have already begun implementing some of the ideas from that meeting and have had immediate success. There’s nothing wrong with sharing information. Now is the time to reflect on what you’re going to do in and for the future of your business.”


Ferraiolo concluded with a discussion on scanning, repair cost reimbursement and getting paid for work performed.


Amendola then encouraged association members to submit ideas and topics for future meetings so the ABAC can best address members’ needs.


Luis Camacho, instructor of automotive technology at W. F. Kaynor Technical High School in Waterbury, CT, then shared, “The ABAC helps guide us in the direction of what they do. We ask for volunteers to become members of the advisory committee. Attending the two meetings each year will help facilitate teaching at the school. One of the ABAC’s meetings was about pre- and post-scanning which guided the school to purchase the proper equipment to perform these tests. We will be having a career fair next year and would welcome the support of the ABAC.”


Following dinner, GM Field Manager Jeff Shaw began his presentation: “GM spends millions of dollars designing, prototyping, developing, crashing, testing, diagnosing and analyzing their automobiles. How many cars has Allstate built? Do you think Allstate has a better opinion on how to repair a vehicle? Better than GM designers? Better than all of you here? No.”


Referring to the technology anticipated to be on the market within the next five years as “mind-boggling,” Shaw advised attendees that complete, accurate and up-to-date repair procedures are available to network facilities through GM Service Info (GMSi), provided through their Mitchell subscription. GMSi and TIS2Web (used for vehicle calibration) is also accessible at acdelco.com/for-professionals/shop-tools.html.


“Customers turn to you when it’s time to repair their GM vehicles, and now, you can back up your business with the strength of GM by becoming part of the GM Collision Repair Network,” Shaw added. “We’ve developed this program to provide tools and information that help promote proper, safe repairs of GM vehicles.”


Shaw continued to explain the benefits of joining the GM Collision Repair Network. ABAC News’ Don Cushing recounts, “The GM Collision Repair Network is designed as a comprehensive program that will evaluate several KPIs that are not typically measured by other OEM collision certification programs today. The major difference the GM Collision Repair Network offers is that it will be metrics-driven and dynamic, meaning that the dealer, MSO, or independent repair facility will continuously undergo audit checks, ensuring they maintain the proper requirements established for the program.”


Cushing adds, “The GM Collision Repair Network will measure dealer, MSO and independent repair facility practices such as ensuring technicians are completing the proper training requirements, performing pre- and post-repair scans, pulling and using OEM repair procedures, performing the necessary recalibrations and conducting quality-control checks.”


The program’s KPIs and site audits will include required tools and equipment, utilization of GM repair procedures, required pro-level two I-CAR training for technicians, submitting report information, use of the Mitchell Cloud estimating platform, pre-scan/calibration/post-scan on all vehicles, compliance audits and a customer satisfaction index.


Shaw also identified the benefits of the GM Collision Repair Network, including a listing on the GM Collision Repair Network locator as a repair facility that meets or exceeds GM collision repair requirements in terms of capabilities and facility readiness, and recognition for adhering to high-quality program standards that focus on proper and safe repair. According to Shaw, network shops will also be able to capture more customers involved in a total loss, receive support for estimating and repair planning, and reduce research time with GM’s integrated repair procedures. Cloud-based documentation is also available to all stakeholders, including insurers, to support shops following the correct repair process.


Additionally, Shaw noted, “The My GM Partner Perks loyalty program provides GM Collision Repair Network independent repair facilities with exclusive benefits that extend beyond just redeemable points to include national marketing support, training resources and business tools that can help drive profitability, productivity and, most importantly, your bottom line.”


The meeting’s final speaker was Ed Rachwal, president of Designer Office Systems, Inc. (DOS), who discussed his company’s relationship with GM’s Collision Repair Network and presented solutions to help attendees in their shops. DOS offers computer and IT solutions as well as internet-based Mitchell Cloud Estimating.


The meeting concluded with a 50/50 raffle and a drawing for several gift cards provided by the ABAC. Sponsors for ABAC’s May meeting included Tasca Parts, Paul Francis & Co, Kent Automotive and Enterprise.


“The ABAC would like you all to consider becoming a member of this strong association,” Amendola said. “Just by attending these meetings, you will offset the cost of a yearly membership. In unity, there is strength and in knowledge, there is power.”


For more information, visit abaconn.org.

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