Alabama Association Joins SCRS

From CollisionWeek

The recently formed Alabama Automotive Repair Industry Society of Excellence (ALARISE) has become an affiliate of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS).

Alabama had gone approximately five years without an active association when a group of shops in the market area began to discuss the prospects of forming a new association. In March of 2011, collision repairers in the marketplace began to work together with a number of interested paint suppliers and parts vendors towards forming an organization that could best serve the needs of the Alabama collision repair industry.

The emphasis of ALARISE is to advance industry improvement and professionalism, underscoring education, not just for collision repair shops, but for the consumer. While the association endeavors to expose members to effective business principles and processes, and is looking into developing apprenticeship programs that will help address an acute technician shortage in the state, it understands that working to improve the image of the industry in the eye of the customer is every bit as important.

In December, ALARISE released a consumer awareness commercial on local cable television channels emphasizing the right of the vehicle owner to select a body shop. “We need to focus our message with the consumer in mind, making clear our commitment to them,” explained ALARISE Executive Director Steve Plier. “Our potential customers have to see us for what we are-a legitimate industry willing to do whatever it takes to provide a high quality product and the best possible service. SCRS will be a great help in this area because of their high visibility and great reputation. We are extremely excited to be affiliates.”

ALARISE says the formation of the new, active association was partly the result of an industry conference held in February of 2012 where Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg was the keynote speaker. In addition to expanding on the importance of collision repairers working together to get things accomplished, and what it really meant to be an industry professional, Schulenburg discussed the topical subject of insurance mandated parts procurement programs. The topic galvanized those in attendance.

“Everyone in the room understood the challenges facing the industry, but hearing about the parts issue showed the magnitude of those challenges and made clear the importance of a unified industry voice in overcoming them,” recalled Plier. “We started moving forward to organize an association, completing the basic and necessary paperwork filing with the state and hammering out our bylaws.”

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