Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) Selects National AutoBody Research (NABR) To Launch VRS Labor Rate Survey in Georgia
For the second consecutive year, NABR conducts the labor rate survey for GCIA, leveraging its innovative Variable Rate System technology to produce real-time survey results that show the true, market-based labor rate ranges in Georgia.
TUCSON, ARIZONA, JUNE 23, 2015 – Today, in partnership with the Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA), National AutoBody Research (NABR) announces the launch of the GCIA VRS Labor Rate Survey in the state of Georgia. Georgia shops can access the free survey online from either the GCIA website or the NABR website. The survey is available 24 hours a day for the next full year and will take shops less than 10 minutes to complete.
As repair shops complete the free online survey, NABR’s VRS technology automatically calculates the range of market-based rates for several labor rates including body, paint, frame, aluminum, mechanical labor, paint & material rates, and more.
“Because we use the VRS technology to power our survey, the GCIA Labor Rate Survey is real-time and continuously available online 24-7-365,” said Howard Batchelor, Executive Director for GCIA. “This enables shops to impact the prevailing market rate ranges immediately whenever their labor rates change. For example, when a shop receives a cost increase from their paint supplier, they can raise their rates accordingly to maintain their profitability, submit the new rate to the survey, and the VRS instantly recalculates the market labor rate using the new data.”
“NABR is very excited to work with GCIA again,” said Sam Valenzuela, President of NABR. “They’ve recognized the value of the VRS survey technology and online tools to help Georgia shops price their labor both competitively and profitably, in the context of their market area, quality, and cost of doing business.”
Beyond taking the labor rate survey, all Georgia shops have the opportunity to request a free demo of the VRS online toolset, to make an informed, educated decision about using it in their own business.
In addition to Georgia, VRS Labor Rate Surveys are currently active in several other states including Florida, Idaho, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas, with more states coming soon, including Indiana and California.
About Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA)
Formed in 1998, GCIA seeks to promote professionalism and consumer awareness of the automotive collision repair industry in the state of Georgia. GCIA believes the auto collision repairer is an honorable profession that requires a high level of expertise and knowledge to perform, and its members take pride in repairing vehicles right the first time.
GCIA empowers its members through access to training, education and industry information, as well as a collection of benefits available to members.
About National AutoBody Research (NABR)
NABR is a research and technology company committed to restoring the free market for labor rate pricing in the automobile collision repair industry. Through its innovative Variable Rate System (VRS) technology, NABR provides both insurers and collision repair shops the tools they need to understand the competitive labor rates for any shop in any market. Shops can understand their cost of doing business, and calculate appropriate labor rates for their individual shop to earn a fair,
reasonable, and sufficient profit.
With labor rate data from shops nationwide, NABR built the industry’s first and only independent, third party, and objective source of real-time, national labor rate data, making the VRS the collision repair industry standard for market based labor rates.
To inquire about the VRS System, or to sponsor a survey for your state, please contact:
President, National AutoBody Research
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
Florida collision repairers, suppliers and vendors came together in Lakeland, Fla. on November 20 to discuss State Farm’s controversial PartsTrader program and identify solutions to combat “short-pay” trends in the industry.
Ray Gunder, of Gunder’s Auto Center in Lakeland, John Mosley, of Clinton Body Shop, Inc. of Clinton, Miss., along with several other Florida and Mississippi shop owners, joined attorneys John Eaves and Brent Geohagan to share their national efforts to stop State Farm’s attempts to impose a mandatory parts procurement program on an unwilling collision repair industry.
Mosley shared information regarding the recent CIC meeting at SEMA as well as discussions with State Farm’s George Avery. “The simple and clear message was, if you choose not to participate in PartsTrader, State Farm will immediately find you irrelevant,” said Mosley. “The message was clear that State Farm doesn’t care if the collision repair industry likes PartsTrader or not–they will continue to implement the program.”
“We’re in Florida with the purpose of filing an injunction to stop PartsTrader,” Eaves declared to the meeting attendees. “Our ultimate goal is to defeat this mandated parts procurement program and stop State Farm’s intrusion into the collision repair industry in Florida and across the country. We feel PartsTrader is a virus–it infiltrates and destroys long-term relationships between repairers and their suppliers–but we have the cure.”
Eaves added, “This issue isn’t just about you as individual repairers. This issue is about your responsibility to consumers around the nation who are relying upon you, the repair professionals, to look out for and to safeguard their best interests regarding their personal safety and economic wellbeing.”
Additionally, Eaves and Mosley spoke about repairers coming together and filing litigation for “Short Pays” on performed repairs. Mosley stated that their research has shown, on average, that insurance companies have shorted shops $625 to $700 on a $3,500 repair for necessary procedures. These processes included color-sand and polish, fill-block and prime, test drive, clean car for delivery, and others. The attorneys have developed a list of more than 60 necessary procedures that are commonly omitted by insurers.
“This is about taking back the monies insurers have taken from you for procedures and materials that the repair required, that you the repairers have provided, that the consumer received, and that the insurer has failed to pay for,” said Eaves. “That is considered “Unjust Enrichment” for the insurers, and our legal team is going to help participating shops get back the monies they were deprived of.”
Cathy Mills, Executive Director of the Florida Autobody Collision Alliance (FACA) announced during the meeting that FACA was in full support of efforts to stop PartsTrader.
Barrett Smith of Auto Damage Experts (ADE), who was on hand to start the meeting, stated: “There has never been a better time for repairers to step up and collectively be represented and to stop the abuses that they face every day throughout the collision repair industry. Repairers must ask themselves: If not now, when?”
From Hammer & Dolly, FEB 2013 Issue
Lakeland, FL-based shop owner Ray Gunder (Gunder’s Auto Center) placed a notice in his reception area last year and provided handouts to all auto appraisers and insurer claim representatives who visited his shop that new Labor Rates and allowances were in effect. The increases included labor, refinishing labor, frame labor, mechanical labor rates and the invoicing of PMCLogic for all body and refinishing related materials.
“It all comes down to the books … gross profit and net profit.” says Gunder of his decision to raise rates. “It’s been seven years since the rates have been moved in this area. I’ve looked at my net profits dwindling down into the danger zone. It was either change the rates to be able to make a profit, or close my doors. It was that simple. When (insurance people asked me, “Why do you need a rate increase?” I always asked them, “How many raises have you had in seven years?”
As of November 29, 27 insurers had elected to provide full compensation to Gunder’s Auto Center for the shop’s Labor Rates and material invoicing. (read the full article to see the list)
“For the last couple of months, they have been paying the rates for all procedures,” he says. There are no more issues now.”