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 

Thursday, 07 December 2017 21:26

Retro News: Database Enhancement Gateway Got its Start 10 Years Ago

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In 2008, Aaron Schulenburg was named the first administrator for the Database Enhancement Gateway, about a year before he became executive director for SCRS. In 2008, Aaron Schulenburg was named the first administrator for the Database Enhancement Gateway, about a year before he became executive director for SCRS.


“This is to help people who use these products when they have a question about a labor time, missing parts or inaccuracies that they feel are in a database,” said Lou DiLisio, an industry consultant who helped create the DEG. “This is for everyone in the industry: insurance companies, repairers, whoever uses the products.”

The DEG also announced at the recent Collision Industry Conference (CIC) that it has hired a full-time administrator to track and follow up on requests submitted. Aaron Schulenburg, who has experience as an insurance field appraiser and collision repair shop manager and consultant, has been named to lead the DEG.

The DEG has been created and funded to date by three associations: the Automotive Service Association (ASA), the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS).

Although users of the estimating databases have always been able to submit “requests for review” to the database providers, the process has not always been simple or easily accessible.

The idea behind DEG, DiLisio said, grew out of an effort by March Taylor, a Hawaiian shop owner who died this past August and who had begun using the CIC website in 2001 to assist with the submission and tracking of requests for reviews to the three information providers.

“We’ve basically picked up where the efforts of March left us,” DiLisio said at CIC. “He would spend countless hours going through database inquiries, making sure they were valid and sending them on to the information providers, following up on them and getting back to the people who sent them in. All in all, it helped improve the accuracy of the database.”

The DEG has worked with the information providers to develop a common electronic form that all three will accept for request for reviews. The website will assist shops in submitting the necessary information, and responses and any responses or resulting changes will be tracked, published and logged.

– As reported in Directions. Ten years later, the DEG (www.DEGweb.org) has processed more than 11,500 inquiries. Schulenburg left his position with the DEG after about a year to become executive director of SCRS. 


5 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (January 2013)

I-CAR welding trainers say one of the first and most important steps to good welding may be the most-often skipped: making some practice or test welds each time. 

I-CAR’s Jeff Peevy said conducting some practice welds on the same type of material as on the vehicle helps ensure the welder is dialed in properly. The practice welds can be destructively tested---the only sure way to check if a weld is proper.

Clifton Meaders, a claims supervisor with California State Automobile Association (CSAA), said he has asked during reinspections of repaired vehicles to see the destructive test welds a technician made, but they rarely can produce them.

“That’s one of the things we see as well,” said Mark Olson of VeriFacts Automotive, which conducts in-shop technical audits and training. “The destructive tests are just not there. It’s not being done.”

– As reported in CRASH Network (www.CrashNetwork.com), January 14, 2013. Peevy is now with the Automotive Management Institute, and Olson is now with Vehicle Collision Experts, LLC (VECO Experts). A 2017 “Who Pays for What?” survey (www.crashnetwork.com/collisionadvice) found that 22 percent of shops that perform and invoice for “set-up and perform test welds” say they are paid “always” or “most of the time” by the eight largest auto insurers; about three-quarters of shops said they have never asked to be paid for that procedure.

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