Toby Chess

Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, training specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his work with first responders and advocacy for body shops and consumers. He can be reached at tcspeedster@gmail.com.

Tuesday, 11 January 2022 11:41

Toby Chess Shares Best Practice Documents for Collision Repairers

Written by Toby Chess
Among the many SOPs Toby Chess is writing for auto body shop use is one on how to handle used sheet metal, like the door seen here. Among the many SOPs Toby Chess is writing for auto body shop use is one on how to handle used sheet metal, like the door seen here.


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This is the first installment of Toby Chess's newsletter, in which he will share more than 100 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for auto body shops, tools, trends in repair and anything he thinks could help shops improve.

Chess suggests printing out each SOP and putting them in a book. He said Steve Morris had a great idea to print them out for each operation being performed on a repair and have the technician sign and date them, and place them into the customer's file.


These SOPs will standardize your repairs, increase efficiency and quality, reduce comebacks, improve estimate quality and add to the bottom line. Here are the first five in the series---click on each to download a PDF.


  1. Best Practices Before Accepting Used Painted Parts
  2. Best Practices for Applying Weld-on Aluminum Studs
  3. Best Practices for Preparing Aluminum for Repair and/or Welding Part 2
  4. Best Practices for Two-Sided Bumper Repair Using Adhesives
  5. Best Practices for Using 2K Epoxy Primer


Here is Toby Chess's newsletter:


On Oct. 15, Dana Caldwell wrote an article for Repairer Driven News about why people pick the collision repair shops they do. The results were an eye opener.


You would think insurance driven would be No. 1, but in fact it was last in the survey. Sixteen percent choose their auto body shop due to word of mouth.


As you know, I spend a lot of time in body shops for I-CAR welding tests and most of us are reactive instead of proactive. How many of you have a written SOP for checking in a vehicle? How many have a written SOP for keeping your customer informed? How many have a written SOP to do a 48- to 72-hour followup after the car has been picked up? How many have signed job descriptions for each position in your shop?


With some people choosing word of mouth, we need to do things better, and the easiest way to accomplish this is the use of written SOPs. I have more than 75 SOPs, and I will be adding 50 more over the next couple of months.


I have three example stories to drive my point home.


This was a used door from a well-known wrecking yard. The dent at the molding...

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