Mark Olson of VECO Experts was the featured speaker at California Autobody Association's East Bay chapter meeting on Sept. 19 at the PPG training facility in Concord, CA.
In front of a full house, he discussed the value of OE certifications and outlined his 10 Steps to Predictable Repairs, among other subjects.
Olson was delighted with the turnout and the response he received from the chapter.
"The East Bay chapter of the CAA is strong and the shops really value pertinent and relevant industry information and advice, which is great," Olson said. "There are owners that will travel a fair distance to make these meetings, including from places like Napa and the South Bay, for example."
While taking 10 hours of material and compressing it into a 50-minute presentation, Olson jumped into his "10 Steps to Predictable Repairs.” It's a list that he devised while at VECO Experts in order to help shop owners throughout the country be more efficient. It's a comprehensive to-do list that starts with vehicle scanning and concludes with proper vehicle protection.
"We take a shop through every stage and optimize it, and if shops will follow these steps, they can save a ton of time and money and 'get it right the first time,' which is our company motto," Olson said. "It all starts with a solid estimate, and then everything is documented and laid out for the technician. The problem is [when] the technician does not use the OE procedures---that is when issues arise. Techs will say, 'I've always done it this way forever,’ so it is something that has to be carefully enforced so that it becomes a daily part of everything they do."
A valuable item on Olson's list is #7, which involves the use of a quality sheet/system.
"It's often discarded at shops, but it's so important to every aspect of the repair," he said. "I tell shop owners and managers to avoid making the sheet too complicated; include a peer review system and make certain that all of the blanks are filled in with a check or a signature.