On Wednesday, Nov. 7, the California Autobody Association (CAA) Los Angeles and Orange County chapters met at Fix Auto Anaheim North in Anaheim, CA, to discuss recent confusion about OPT-OEM parts.
The meeting kicked off with registration and a meet-and-greet from 5:30 p.m.—6 p.m., followed by a Tex-Mex style dinner from 6 p.m.--6:30 p.m. Around 75 people attended from across Southern California.
A little after 6:30 p.m., Melanie Allan, CAA Los Angeles president and VP of business development and sales at Craftsman Collision in Long Beach, read the rules and regulations and introduced the four speakers.
David Caulfield, who hosted the meeting at his Fix Auto Anaheim North shop, took the microphone first. He discussed his 43 years of experience and how recurring industry issues compelled him to strike out on his own and open the 23,000-square-foot specialized collision services center in February 2018.
“I’m trying to turn the tide in the collision repair industry; I’m on your side,” David said to the collision shop owners. “I didn’t want to do it the old way anymore. Too much time has been wasted sitting at the roundtable discussing the same topics---KPIs, profitability, tech shortages, financial issues, etc.
“The only way to stop living in yesterday is to leave the traditional shop thinking behind and tackle these problems head-on, creating the body shop of the future. Shop owners need to stop fearing change and start embracing it.”
He went on to say that his number-one priority is sustained cleanliness. He explained that employees can’t function properly in clutter, so in his shop there is no clutter, no dust and no chemical smells.
“Cleanliness sells,” he said. “Our shop is just as spotless on any given day at 2 p.m. as it is for this meeting tonight.”
He achieves this level of cleanliness daily by employing full-time, well-trained housekeeping personnel.
“I wanted to change the game,” he said. “I owed it to myself, our customers, our insurance partners and our employees.”
David also employs customer care “hostesses” who answer the phone, greet customers and walk them through their check-in, interim and check-out procedures. They are the one and only point of contact at his shops.