Auto Body Shop Management

SCRS Launches Industry Career Center

Prosser, Washington, September 1, 2016 – The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) is thrilled to announce the debut of the SCRS Career Center (www.scrs.com/jobs); a new online resource designed to help you recruit qualified entrants in  to the collision repair industry, and to introduce them to rewarding careers within your business.

“The shortage of emerging technical staff entering collision repair businesses is one of the greatest challenges facing our industry,” shared SCRS Chairman Andy Dingman. “It’s important to SCRS to encourage new entrants in this industry and to help make them aware of the expansive career opportunities that exist for them in our field. Most importantly, it’s a priority for us to connect them with our members’ businesses. We want to do everything possible to make sure that hard-working young technicians find their way to a rewarding career in the industry.”

To bring the greatest advantage to job creators and provide the largest reach to individuals interested in a career in the automotive sector, the SCRS Career Center was created as part of an extensive network that includes the Auto Care Association and the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). It is an industry solution, created through industry collaboration. SCRS has issued notifications to the instructor and educational arms of the collision repair community in preparation for the launch, encouraging instructors to work with students and graduates on resume development, and to learn the search capabilities of the platform.

“Helping raise awareness of the solution was a big part of our launch focus,” added SCRS Education Committee Chairman, Kye Yeung. “Whether it’s someone putting their passion into learning the skills at a local vocational school, a high-level competitor competing at the SkillsUSA National Championship, or someone with tenured experience at a shop looking to move or grow into a new position, we want them to know there are plenty of options for them and that there is an industry-specific job board that can help them land the job of their dreams.”

“For an industry largely comprised of independently owned businesses, many can relate to the sentiment that ‘bigger isn’t always better’,” added Dingman. “Unlike more generalized commercial job boards, our site was developed by SCRS in partnership with other leading automotive trade associations, and was developed solely with industry employers in mind.”

Not only is the SCRS Career Center the best way to find qualified candidates for your business, but it’s a great way to reinvest in our community and help build the awareness of opportunity within the collision repair profession.

Visit the www.scrs.com/jobs and connect with candidates that have the education and professional experience to make an impact from day one. The new SCRS Career Center will help streamline your hiring process with:

  • Unmatched exposure for job listings – SCRS, Auto Care Association and SEMA collectively represent the largest audience of qualified automotive industry professionals.
  • Easy online job management – You can enter job descriptions, check the status of postings, renew or discontinue postings, and even make payments online.
  • Resume searching access – With a paid job listing, you can search the resume database and use an automatic notification system to receive email notifications when new resumes match your criteria.
  • Company awareness – Along with each job posting, you can include information about your individual company and a link to your web site.

The SCRS Career Center can be found at www.scrs.com/jobs. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to be seen by an exclusive audience of the industry’s best and brightest!

For more information about SCRS, or to join as a member, please visit www.scrs.com, call toll free 1-877-841-0660 or email us at info@scrs.com.

####

About SCRS: 

Through its direct members and 41 affiliate associations, SCRS is comprised of 6,000 collision repair businesses and 58,500 specialized professionals who work with consumers and insurance companies to repair collision-damaged vehicles. Additional information about SCRS including other news releases is available at the SCRS website: www.scrs.com. You can e-mail SCRS at the following address: info@scrs.com.

SCRS Announces Featured Experts for OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit

Prosser, Washington, October 20, 2015 – The OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit is one of the most unique networking and learning opportunities available to the collision repair industry, designed to put SEMA Show attendees in a room with innovators in automotive structural design and technology. The Summit’s focus is on emerging trends in vehicle construction and technology, and how both of those aspects influence vehicle repairability and collision industry preparation.
The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has compiled a slate of the industry’s most respected subject matter experts who bring rich histories of involvement in the sophisticated advancements seen in the automotive and collision repair fields. The presenters, moderators and panelists will highlight architectural and technological developments in modern vehicles, and how those advancements intersect with the repair process. Every participant in this industry can benefit from better insight into how vehicles and materials are evolving, what that means in the repair process and what will be expected of those who are performing these repairs.

The day will be broken into three segments, and attendees can register for all three as a complete series, or for each independently. All three segments of the OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit are included in the RDE Full Series Pass.

Onsite registrations can be secured in the main Show registration area, or outside the session rooms.

The OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit will be held between 9:30am – 5:00pm on Thursday, November 5th, 2015 in room N241 found on the upper level of the North Hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center. The upper level can be accessed by the escalator next to the food court in the North Hall Lobby.

OEM1 | Advanced Automotive Technology:

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Structural Connectivity – Understanding the Future of Automaker Joining Techniques

Featuring:

Steve Marks | Industry Technical Support Manager, I-CAR (Moderator)

Doug Craig | Technical Application Engineer, LORD Corporation

Klaus Reitzig | Chief Engineer and Director, Wielander + Schill Engineering

Oliver Woelfel | President, Advanced Collision Repair Solutions

Shawn Collins | Senior Technical Service Engineer, 3M

A panel of specialists with backgrounds in automotive joining will discuss the advanced structural joining approaches being used in modern automotive architecture. The panelists will have expertise in riveting, bonding and welding of aluminum, steel and mixed materials.

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Tech Crunch -The Role of Programming and Diagnostics in Post-Repair Road Worthiness

Featuring:

Aaron Clark | Vice President of Technical Compliance, Assured Performance Network (Moderator)

Chuck Olsen |Director of Diagnostics and Technical Support, Collision Diagnostic Services

Eric Mendoza | Collision Repair & Refinish Training Assistant Manager, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.

John Ellis | Managing Director, Ellis & Associates

John Waraniak | Vice President Vehicle Technology, Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)

A panel of automakers and technology specialists discuss the real world application of vehicle scans, diagnostics and calibrations. These subject matter experts will bring a focus on technical aspects of vehicle scan code requirements and the role that diagnostic testing plays in repairing vehicles and restoring roadworthiness.

12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

OEM2 | The Future of Aluminum in the Automotive Industry

Presented by:

Doug Richman | Vice President of Engineering and Technology, Kaiser Aluminum

Also featuring:

Brandin Benson | Service Engineer, Product Technical Support, Mercedes-Benz USA

Mark Allen | Specialist, Collision Programs & Workshop Equipment, Audi of America

Mark Szlachta | Advanced Service of Design Engineer, GM

A fascinating presentation on technological advancements in aluminum manufacturing, construction and engineering, joining and other advancements that are predicted to impact how frequently aluminum will be present in your repair facility, and how it will be used on automotive bodies. The presentation will include perspectives on how light weighting is driving innovation, and the role repairability plays in aluminum development.

Following the presentation, a panel of automakers will join the presenter on stage to further discuss the real world application of aluminum structures in vehicle design, vehicle safety and vehicle repairability.

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

OEM3 | The Continuing Evolution of Advanced Steels in Automotive Bodies 

Presented by:

Dr. Blake Zuidema | Director of Automotive Product Applications, ArcelorMittal

Also featuring:

Chris Tobie | Instructional Designer, American Honda Motor Co.

Joe DiDonato | Technical Training Administrator, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.

John Hughes | Collision Repair Responsible, FCA

Robert Hartman | Team Leader – North American Structures & Closures, GM

Automotive light weighting and looming governmental expectations relative to emissions standards are driving major changes and innovations in the steel industry. Aluminum may have been all the rage in collision industry information, but steel continues to be poised to play the most significant role in the automotive footprint for the foreseeable future; although, not necessarily the same steel that that the industry is accustomed to. This program will elaborate on technological advancements in steel manufacturing that have driven changed in automotive structural designs, and to make parts that meet the expectations of safer, lighter and more advanced automobiles.

Following the presentation, a panel of automakers will join onstage to further discuss the real world application of steel structures in vehicle design, vehicle safety and vehicle repairability.

You can register for the OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit and other RDE sessions at www.scrs.com/rde.

About SEMA and the SEMA Show: The SEMA Show is a trade show produced by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), a nonprofit trade association founded in 1963. Since the first SEMA Show debuted in 1967, the annual event has served as the leading venue bringing together manufacturers and buyers within the automotive specialty equipment industry. Products featured at the SEMA Show include those that enhance the styling, functionality, comfort, convenience and safety of cars and trucks. Additional details available at www.semashow.com or www.sema.org, (909) 396-0289.

About SCRS’ RDE Series: REPAIRER DRIVEN EDUCATION (RDE) series will feature 4 days of seminar offerings, many of which are uniquely designed and being offered only at the 2015 SEMA Show. Each of the courses has been individually selected or crafted by SCRS because the content specifically focuses on information that is relevant to the diverse array of marketplace perspectives within the collision repair industry. More information is available at www.semashow.com/scrs.

About SCRS: Through its direct members and 45 affiliate associations, SCRS is comprised of 6,000 collision repair businesses and 58,500 specialized professionals who work with consumers and insurance companies to repair collision-damaged vehicles. Additional information about SCRS including other news releases is available at the SCRS website: www.scrs.com. You can e-mail SCRS at the following address: info@scrs.com.

SCRS Launches Repairer Driven News Website

Last week SCRS announced at CIC that we have worked on developing a news and information source for the industry that is focused on providing content from a vantage point catered to those in the collision repair business. You can find the site at www.repairerdrivennews.com.

The headline selection will be based on putting relevant information in the hands of repairers, and it is our goal to provide fresh perspective on issues and topics that matter. A well-informed industry is a more viable industry, and we want to empower those in our trade through better awareness. It is our hope that you view this as YOUR resource to help broaden awareness of things you are working on, or that may be happening at a local level that should be seen nationally.

If there is activity or news in your marketplace that need to be reported on, we want you to reach out to our Editorial Content Director, John Huetter, at info@repairerdrivennews.com. Think about memos released to the marketplace, regulatory or legislative initiatives (both from you, or from the opposition), documented trends in settlement practices, etc. We want to be timely and responsive in getting information in the hands of the industry, and are really excited about the potential we have to focus attention on news and stories that matter.

There are a couple of ways that you can make sure you stay on top of the headlines and analysis:

  • Sign up for our daily, weekly, or monthly email newsletter by visiting www.repairerdrivennews.com. Put your email address in the subscribe field at the very bottom of the page.
  • Follow us on Twitter (@repairerdriven).
  • Like us on Facebook. (Also a good place to comment on the news of the day).
  • Follow us on Google+.

Also, there is a new iPhone app coming very soon, allowing alerts of stories as they happen. Stay tuned, and tell all your friends and associates about it!

Aaron Schulenburg
Executive Director | Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS)

No Fear for GCIA!

No Fear for GCIA!

From Autobody News
by Chasidy Rae Sisk

On Thursday, September 25, members of the Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) gathered at the DoubleTree Hotel in Marietta, GA for a special presentation by Barrett Smith, President of Auto Damage Experts, Inc. Smith discussed the presence of fear in the collision repair industry and how it impacts business decisions in an attempt to educate industry professionals on this rarely mentioned but all-pervasive issue.

Smith’s presentation, entitled “FEAR,” explained how the emotion of fear can be elicited by conditioning. Smith explains, “for decades, many in the collision industry have been paralyzed by fear. Not because the collision industry is full of cowards and scaredy-cats; quite the contrary, the industry is comprised of fearsome competitors with huge egos and a sincere desire to serve their communities. No, reasonable people don’t invest hundreds of thousands and, for some, millions of dollars into a business because they’re scared…no, the fear many shop owners experience is generally due to their lack of knowledge and understanding in matters that are pertinent to their business and the threat by outside interests harming their business by their efforts to undermine and harm repairers who don’t fall in line with their desired manner of conducting business.”

Though the collision repair industry first became involved WITH insurance companies in order to work with them for the consumer’s benefit, this has become an effort to survive despite them, and for some, the fear of being seen as working against insurers has led to working FOR them to ensure the continued survival of their businesses. Smith believes that the majority of repairers are honest, hard-working individuals, but fear of this third-party entity has compelled many to abide by insurers’ demands to avoid conflict. Unfortunately, over time, “the mandates, concessions, discounts and omissions of reasonable and necessary processes becomes greater and great until, one day, the shop wakes up and realizes they have virtually given their business away to the point that they have little profits, huge liabilities, and fear of the future,” Smith states.

Smith went on to explain that fear develops from anxiety and uncertainty about the future, but fears can be reduced with knowledge, tools, conviction, confidence and experience. This process begins with gaining the knowledge to see fear for what it is, determining the best way to confront it, and then defeating it. In order to defeat fear, you must utilize the tools at your disposal, such as viable consulting, your state laws, industry associations, business knowledge and other readily available resources, and by gaining the conviction that you are doing the right things for the right reasons. From there, it’s simply a matter of sticking to these methods in order to gain experience and confidence.

Another tool that Smith strongly encourages shops to use is the Variable Rate Survey (VRS) as a way “for repairers to learn what their true cost of doing business is and to show where they are placed among their peers and competitors. Suggesting that all repairers should be compensated the same, regardless of their level of training, certifications, equipment and capabilities, is at best ludicrous. The only effective way to combat this intent by outside third-parties to lump all repairers together is to have independently ascertained data to dispel, combat and show where your shop lies among others in your market area. I can assure that the cost will be literally pennies on the dollar as far as investment vs. return…but like any “tool”, you must use it, and use it effectively, in order to gain the benefits and ROI.”

Of course, the predicament the collision repair industry finds itself in did not occur overnight. Initially, insurance companies sought out quality repair facilities, but after a while, “insurers began ‘conditioning’ the shops by implementing new policies and procedures,” Smith notes, comparing this to the way the behavior of young elephants is modified by binding their legs with rope until even a simple string can keep them captive. “The elephant could easily break the string but has convinced himself that the restraining force is greater than his own strength. So he gives up in defeat… Just like the baby elephant, repairers have been conditioned over the years to believe they must ‘keep in line’ and can’t depart from it out of fear of reprisal and the fear of being steered from and against… and ultimately, the failure of their business.”

So how can the collision repair industry undo what has been done over so many decades? It begins by understanding what has happened and recognizing that it cannot be cured overnight. For the solution, Smith turns to the Parable of the Boiling Frog – if you place a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump out immediately; however, if the frog is placed in water that is slowly heated, it will not recognize the danger until it is too late. Smith believes, “this parable illustrates how people should make themselves aware of gradual change before they suffer the catastrophic consequences. So it goes with the insurance industry in gaining control over the collision repair industry.”
Now, the collision repair industry needs to un-boil the frog, beginning by understanding what is happening and getting out of the pot before it’s too late. Smith lists the following ten steps to un-boiling the frog:

  1. Know there is a better and more profitable way
  2. Know that others have been successful
  3. Know they didn’t accomplish it overnight
  4. Know it takes commitment to be successful
  5. Know that you can take the necessary steps
  6. Know that you must be honest and ethical
  7. Know that you must provide quality repairs
  8. Know that you need the tools for success
  9. Know that it won’t always be easy, but right
  10. Know that if you’re not having fun…you’re likely doing something wrong!

In conclusion, Smith notes, “just as when Toto pulled back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz and saw that he was just a weak old man pulling on a bunch of cables and ropes while speaking into a loud speaker, the fear and unknowing is no longer “All Powerful”. Once one understands that insurance companies are not the “All Powerful” they would like you to believe they are and you learn that Insurers have legal obligations and liabilities, just like you and any other business, and once you know what yours are and what theirs are, it takes a lot of the mystery and unknowing away, and along with it – the fear. If you believe you can’t do it… you’d be right!”

Batchelor was pleased with Smith’s message and believes “everyone understood the need to step out of the box, but some may be unable due to insurer influence. Still, if we can educate one shop on how to address this issue, then we have achieved our goal.”

Job Costing Management Seminar August 16th

JOB COSTING, MANAGING NUMBERS AND PREPARING DETAILED REPAIR BLUEPRINTS, NEED HELP?

Plan to attend this 1 day workshop/seminar for assistance in tackling these issues.
SATURDAY AUGUST 16, 2014 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
JEFFERSON STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE – HOOVER, AL
4600 VALLEYDALE ROAD
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA 35242
205-983-5911/800-239-5900
http://www.jeffstateonline.com/locations/shelby/

RON PERRETTA – GLOBAL BUSINESS COACHING
Ron is President and owner of Professionals Auto Body Inc with two locations along with a full mechanical facility in Central Pennsylvania (www.ProfessionalsAutoBody.com). Ron has provided business management training as a collision repair industry consultant since 1995.

Working together to get Ron to Birmingham to present this workshop/seminar is a joint effort of groups working together to move the collision repair industry forward through education and awareness.

Sponsors of this event are:

Rozar’s Paint Supply and PPG
Overnight Parts Alliance
Edwards Chevrolet
National Coatings Supply
Alabama Automotive Repair Industry Society of Excellence

Register today (only 100 seats available). $25.00 per person registration includes lunch and refreshments for the day. Download info sheet and registration form in PDF – Click here.

ABRA Auto Body & Glass to Be Acquired by Private Equity Firm

From BodyShop Business

ABRA Auto Body & Glass and its principal owner, Palladium Equity Partners LLC, have announced a definitive agreement for ABRA to be acquired by affiliates of Hellman & Friedman LLC, along with ABRA’s senior management team.

ABRA’s nationwide network includes 186 company-owned vehicle damage repair centers and 48 franchised centers in 19 states.

“It is with the dedicated work of our employees, the trust of our customers, and the tremendous support of our insurance partners that ABRA has become an iconic name in auto body and glass repair in the three decades since its founding,” said Duane Rouse, president and chief executive officer of ABRA. “Hellman & Friedman brings deep insurance and automotive service industry expertise and an exemplary record of helping companies such as ABRA continue to evolve and grow. We look forward to working together to build on our track record of success.”

“Within the $30 billion collision repair sector ABRA stands out as a highly-respected, exceptionally well-run business,” said Erik Ragatz, managing director of Hellman & Friedman. “Built on a foundation of delivering superior standards for repair quality and customer service, ABRA has become a trusted partner of leading automotive insurers and a reliable source for quality collision repair services across the nation. We see outstanding growth prospects ahead and look forward to partnering with ABRA’s team to continue to execute on their strategic plan.”

Added Luis Zaldivar, managing director of Palladium, “We are proud to have been part of ABRA’s successful growth over the past three years. During our partnership, we worked closely with ABRA’s exceptional management team to enter new markets, accelerate the company’s acquisition program and enhance the company’s industry-leading capabilities. We are confident Hellman & Friedman will be an ideal partner in the next stage of the company’s development.”

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014 and is subject to customary conditions.

Harris Williams & Co. acted as adviser to ABRA in connection with the transaction. Greenberg Traurig LLP and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal advisers to ABRA and Hellman & Friedman, respectively.

Atlanta Police Need Help from Body Shops

UPDATE…

Reward for info in cyclist case nears $30K

Sgt. Karla Baldini, Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta Coordinator, told Decaturish that private donations have pushed the reward fund to a whopping $28,400, and counting. That number includes more than $17,000 raised through a Fundly account.

Read the full update story at http://www.decaturish.com/2014/06/reward-info-cyclist-case-nears-30k/


 

Need Your Help in Atlanta Police Investigation Regarding Red Dodge Nitro – Please pass along to friends and associates operating shops in Georgia and surrounding states.

The story has been all over the news in the Atlanta area. The vehicle would have some manner of front-end damage as a result of the attempted murder of a bicyclist. The Atlanta Police case number is 141602035.  The crime occurred on the 9th of June.  This Youtube video shows the actual perpetrator vehicle – http://youtu.be/hts6JVXHy64

If you have information you believe can help find this felon, contact:

Investigator Z. Kramer, Atlanta Police Department, Zone 2 Criminal Investigations Unit – (404) 816-7067 – Email: zkramer@atlantaga.gov.

Story at this link: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/atlanta-cyclist-still-critical-atlanta-still-not-s/ngPt6/

SCRS Examines Repairer Ability to Control Data Flow

Article details ways repairers may be able to manage how “data pumps” access file information

Many repairers are unaware of the breadth of data being extracted from their servers, where it is being extracted from, what settings they could employ to better control the flow of information, or even how that information may be used beyond its intended purpose. For years, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has alerted its members about the potential risk and liability associated with inadequate control over estimate data and business information.

As one recent example, SCRS was notified of growing concerns relative to the collection of data through participation in the PartsTrader parts procurement program. As the program rolled out across the nation, more questions began to arise when end-users noticed key identifying information from non-State Farm estimate files populating their PartsTrader dashboard. The repairer concern surrounds the amount of non-voluntary information being provided through the data collection process which could offer valuable information surrounding market volume and shop volume, raising further concerns over the potential of violating agreements with non-involved carriers by sharing information with an unrelated third-party.

SCRS researched the issue with PartsTrader and each of the estimating system providers to identify the means and extent in which the data is being accessed and collected; and inquiring if repair facility end-users have options to restrict non-required data from being collected, accessed or shared. As a result of that research, SCRS issued an article outlining the resulting responses from each of the technology organizations. The article concludes that:

  • Technology has increased the ability to communicate information amongst businesses; however, the increase of applications that indiscriminately extract data in the background for unknown or unintended purposes is a concern for repairers who have obligations to protect data generated by their business.
  • There are advancements being made, or already in place, from some estimating system providers which allow collision repair facilities to maintain better control over the data files being exported from the estimating systems to other data collection sources.
  • The solutions and options for each estimating system vary, so it is important to compare capabilities of the software programs relative to features that allow greater control over unwanted data transfer, and to make any necessary profile changes in line with individual business practices.

To read the full article with responses click here.

Do Lower Labor Rates Lead to More Repairs?

Mitchell Industry Trends Report Asks “Do Lower Labor Rates Lead to More Repairs?”

The feature article in this month’s Industry Trends Report from Mitchell International examines the relationship between labor rates and the number of operations on an estimate. The report details Mitchell’s data from the states with the lowest labor rates as well as the highest rates.

Greg Horn, vice president of industry relations, examined first-party collision estimates written in 2013 for all 50 states. The data included estimates written by independent appraisers, body shops and insurance company staff appraisers.

Horn’s analysis comes to three basic conclusions surrounding the issue:

  • Lower rates do not result in more operations on estimates
  • Lower rates do result in more panel repairs
  • Lower rates do not result in additional refinish hours

The complete report is available to read online or can be downloaded as an Adobe Acrobat file.

Ford’s big aluminum show-and-tell

Ford engineer Gerry Bonanni says the construction of the 2015 aluminum F-150 will allow easier repairs. “The advantage to the technician and body shop is they have repair options they would not have had.”

By Bradford Wernle
From AutoNews.com

NADA pitch aims to reassure dealers on repair issues

It wasn’t your typical convention display: a color-coded body-in-white cutaway of the Ford F-150 pickup that looked like an oversized Fisher-Price toy.

But Ford Motor Co. was using the toy store approach to make a serious point to dealers: The economics of an aluminum truck – both the repair costs for the customer and the body shop operations for the dealer – make sense.

“We’ve made a lot of really significant changes for repairability,” Jim Farley, Ford global vice president of marketing, sales, service and Lincoln, said at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention here. “They will help save a lot of labor costs.”

For those with an engineering bent, the display provided a fascinating first look at how construction and repair of the nation’s top-selling vehicle will change with the aluminum redesign.

Read the full article at AutoNews.com