SCRS Executive Director Shares Free Resources Available for Collision Repairers

Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of SCRS
Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of SCRS

There are many key components to running a successful collision repair facility. Body shop owners and managers often aren’t aware of the free resources available in the industry intended to help them operate their businesses effectively and efficiently.

Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), recently shared some of the information the national organization provides the industry free of charge during a presentation he gave at the AkzoNobel North American Performance Group (NAPG) meeting, held in San Diego, CA.

“There are a lot of opportunities for information exchange within the collision repair industry that we don’t take enough advantage of,” said Schulenburg.

Established in 1982, SCRS represents more than 6,000 collision repair businesses and 58,500 specialized industry professionals. The mission of the organization is to educate, inform and represent the collision repair professional in all aspects of the industry.

Schulenburg discussed five free SCRS resources for collision repairers:

Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG)

The Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG) aims to help improve the quality and accuracy of collision repair estimates, through feedback from the collision repair industry and other “end users,” to the information providers (IPs) that supply the databases for the various estimating products.

It was developed in 2008 and is currently funded and managed by SCRS and the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP), along with some additional support from sponsors.

“The DEG is a really valuable tool for businesses in identifying errors, omissions and inaccuracies in the estimates that you might be writing in the estimate systems,” said Schulenburg. 

For information, visit degweb.org.

The Complete Guide to Repair Planning

There are several informational resources offered by SCRS. One of these is the “Complete Guide to Repair Planning.” The PDF document includes more than 1,000 potentially missed operations. 

“It was initially compiled by a shop owner in Hawaii, March Taylor, who passed away well before his time but gave us such great resources,” said Schulenburg. “SCRS took it to the next level and developed it into a resource that the industry could use.”

The checklist is intended to ensure estimators consider all repair operations performed at the facility and formulate an accurate repair plan, minimizing the need or expense of a supplement. It does not contain pricing, quantities or labor hours.

With the length of estimates today, Schulenburg said it can often be cumbersome to go through a PDF checklist of 1,000 potentially missed operations. The next evolution of the document is SCRS’s Blueprint Optimization Tool (BOT), which is currently scheduled to be launched at the end of March. 

Schulenburg said it is essentially a digitized checklist to help improve efficiency and provide access to information for estimators.

While the “Guide to Complete Repair Planning” is a free product, the BOT will be a paid subscription with a discount for SCRS members. 

For information, visit scrs.com/BOT, or watch a YouTube video here.

Repairer Driven News

In 2015, SCRS launched “Repairer Driven News,” a free online publication that provides insight into what is going on in the collision repair industry.

“The news is focused on information that matters to collision repairers,” said Schulenburg. “Our goal is to provide news, information and trends that are going to help you make good decisions in your business and prepare for what’s coming."

To subscribe, visit www.repairerdrivennews.com.

Technical Resources

SCRS also offers a variety of technical resources to the industry, such as links to crash repair and OEM information, refinish manufacturer technical information and I-CAR’s repairability technical support.

Schulenburg highlighted two resources available on the SCRS website. The first is a made-to-print one-page sheet containing information about destructive testing on spot welds.

“This walks your technicians through how to perform destructive testing on spot welds to make sure they are going through the steps that are necessary to set the welder up, test the weld and see if it is producing a quality weld before they start ‘testing’ welds on consumers’ vehicles,” said Schulenburg.

The SCRS executive director also shared information about a flowchart created with CCC to help estimators and adjusters navigate the CCC bumper prompt and correctly answer the refinishing question.  

All of these resources are available on the SCRS website under the Resources tab.

Videos

The SCRS YouTube Channel contains a variety of informational videos for the industry. 

In addition, the SCRS website includes years of videos produced to address topics such as welding and refinishing information. Schulenburg recommended collision repairers watch three videos from 2019, all of which are under 10 minutes long. 

The first is “Electric Vehicle (EV) and High-Voltage System Safety in Collision Repair.” 

“We’re seeing more of these vehicles on the roadways and if you don’t plan to work on them and be certified in EVs, you need to have a plan, so your employees know what to do if one comes on your lot,” said Schulenburg. “If you don’t have a plan in place, there are safety ramifications, so I highly encourage shops to watch this video and consider developing an EV plan.”

There is also a video on “Test Drive, Road Test and Dynamic Calibrations,” explaining the differences of each and providing detailed information. 

The brief video “Performing Diagnostic Scans” reviews the steps and considerations involved when performing in-house diagnostic scans.  

“These are things we hope you are using in your businesses to justify the work that is being done,” said Schulenburg. 

In addition to the free resources offered by SCRS, Schulenburg mentioned some of the member benefits, such as the new 401(k) plan, discounts to Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Relearn Charts and discounts for SCRS members and employees who need rental vehicles for personal use. Special rates are provided at locations in more than 100 countries around the world. 

In addition, merchant card services and financial technology solutions are offered that allow SCRS members to accept all major credit and debit cards nationwide with custom-tailored plans and additional features like automated digital invoices, tracking and reporting, and e-commerce management.  

“We have a great group of individuals who bring a lot of informational resources to the table,” said Schulenburg. “What we as an association and board of directors do is take this information and the knowledge we have…and turn it into usable resources that can help shops perform quality repairs and capture what they need to build a sustainable business.”

For more information about SCRS, visit scrs.com, and to join, visit scrs.com/join-scrs.

Stacey Phillips Ronak

Columnist
Stacey Phillips Ronak is an award-winning writer for the automotive industry and a regular columnist for Autobody News based in Southern California.

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