Repairer Driven Education (RDE) A Sure Bet At SEMA Show

By Jason Stahl & Gina Kuzmick | BodyShopBusiness

It’s best to be careful not to let the glitz and glamour of all those beautiful cars at the SEMA Show blind you… because then you might miss the best part of the show. The best part, at least, for collision repairers.

That would be the Repairer Driven Education (RDE) track of seminars offered by the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS). In its third year, SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg says it’s bigger and better than ever.

“The early registration numbers being up almost 300 percent over last year reflects a couple things: the caliber of the courses that we’ve had for the past two years and the lineup this year, plus the familiarity people now have with RDE,” says Schulenburg. “Two years ago, this was an event with a brand-new format that the industry was kind of figuring out, and I think this year, the industry has decided earlier that, ‘Hey, this is where we want to be.’ We’re seeing a lot of companies wanting to support it, and we’re continuing to receive great support from a lot of our existing sponsors. Content-wise, I think everyone can expect information that once again is relevant and can provide tangible benefits to people, who can then return home from the show and apply what they learned to their businesses.”

After-Hours Reception
And what would Vegas be without a party? SCRS will once again host its sky villa after-hours reception on Thursday evening, Nov. 1. Last year, only RDE participants were invited, but this year anyone can register for it by visiting Last year, attendees got to cavort in Elvis’s suite at The Hilton, but this year the party will be held at one of Michael Jackson’s favorite haunts.

“It’s just magical that you get to be in a space that very few people get to see,” says Schulenburg. “These are exclusive suites reserved for very special people who are guests of the hotel.”

Parts Procurement
A key presentation this year will be “Bidding Wars: A Global View on the Possible Economic Impact of Insurer Involvement in Parts Procurement.”

The presentation will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1 in the Upper North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, and will feature Rex Crowther, editor of Panel Talk Magazine in New Zealand, and David Newton-Ross, editor of The National Collision Repairer in Australia and The New Zealand Collision Repairer.

While the U.S. has only recently been exposed to online bidding requirements for parts procurement, other countries such as New Zealand have dealt with carrier-mandated parts tendering for many years. This session will provide attendees with a global perspective on the economic impact of New Zealand-based bidding programs, procedural impacts they have had on cycle times and estimating practices, and changes they have had on repairer/supplier relationships. It will also include a historical overview of the national rollout, changes made to the program along the way and market impact from inception to present day, including market response at various points throughout the past eight years.
Game Changers Innovation Forum Will Allow Repairers to ‘Eavesdrop’ on Discussion Among Collision Leaders

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) is offering a ton of informative educational sessions through its Repairer Drive Education (RDE) series at the 2012 SEMA Show, but the spotlight will be on the Game Changers Innovation Forum on Friday, Nov. 2 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. in the Las Vegas Convention Center North Hall upstairs.

Collision repair industry leaders Michael Giarrizzo Jr. (DCR Systems), Randy Stabler (Pride Auto Body), Gary Wano Jr. (GW and Son Auto Body) and Scott Biggs (Assured Performance Network) will offer ideas on how foster innovation as a core value that shapes the framework of your business.

“Instead of being a traditional panel that’s set up in a Q-and-A style format where you have a moderator and go down the line and ask questions, what we really wanted to do was have a candid, organic discussion among four innovative folks about the process of innovation,” says SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg. “So it’s not necessarily going to be, ‘Here’s something innovative you can do in your paint shop,’ but more of a discussion about why they think the way they do. Our hope for the audience is that it will make them feel like they’re looking into a discussion between these four guys about how they created their businesses. I think it’s going to be a neat way to present what I think is one of the most critical topics in our industry.”

Attendees can also expect to learn:

  • What innovation can look like in the collision repair business – including technology, product, service and business model innovation – and how it’s becoming core to business strategy.
  • How leading companies manage for innovation, including the internal and external partners needed for success, overcoming barriers, and utilizing tools and technologies to accelerate implementation.
  • Key success factors for making your company a leader in your market through embracing ongoing innovation as a core function of your business.

Even though the speakers will be having a discussion among themselves, Schulenburg says there will plenty of opportunity for the audience to jump in and get some feedback on their own operations.

“For example, Gary Wano’s role in this isn’t just to talk about his experience,” says Schulenburg. “He has spent a lot of his career traveling from one store to the next, learning how people approach their business and what he can take from that to improve his own. What we’ve asked him to do in his role in the Game Changers Innovation Forum is to act like he’s sitting in someone’s shop and asking questions to figure out how they come up with solutions in their shop and how he can apply that to his own. This is going to be a very focused look at what it means to innovate in your business how that’s important to independent businesses looking to expand in their market.”
Repairer Driven Education Schedule

Tuesday, Oct. 30 — 10:00 a.m. – noon
RD2012 – Is New Vehicle Technology Endangering Your Business? (Kim Hazelbaker, Highway Loss Data

Tuesday, Oct. 30 — 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
RD1 – Hybrid Power & Platforms (David Gruskos, RAE Inc.)
RD2 – Marketing: More Customers, Sales & Profits (Frank Terlep, Summit Software and Mobile Solutions)
RD3 – Monetize Your Opportunity: The Benefits of Business Diversification (Tom Myroniak, SEMA)

Tuesday, Oct. 30 — 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
RD4 – Learn How to Make Sense of OEM Repair Information (Tom McGee, ALLDATA)
RD5 – Change the Way You Think at a CORE Level (Bill Park and Dr. Byron Bissell, MpowerU)
RD6 – Numbers You Can Take to the Bank: Measuring and Improving Performance (Tom Hoerner, BASF)

Wednesday, Oct. 31 — 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
RD7 – Paint Shop Throughput: A Quick Changeover Approach (Robb Power and Brett Bialowas, PPG Automotive Refinish)
RD8 – Marketing to Consumers – Supporting Customer Pay Sales Efforts (Steve Trapp, DuPont Performance Coatings & Robert Rick, Gates Business Solutions)
RD9 – Understanding Design-Based Repairs (Richard Perry, CHIEF Automotive)

Wednesday, Oct. 31 — 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
RD10 – Going Green Doesn’t Have to be Expensive (Steven Schilling, GRC-Pirk Management)
RD11 – Dedicated vs. Universal Fixtures: The Pros and Cons (Shawn Hart, Car-O-Liner Company)
RD12 – Lean Flow Concepts: Improve Your Hours Completed Per Day (Steve Trapp, DuPont Performance Coatings & John Sweigart, The Body Shop)

Thursday, Nov. 1 — 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
RD13 – Maximize Your Web Presence (Mark Claypool, Optima Automotive)
RD14 – Make More Money WITHOUT Spending an Arm and a Leg! (Toby Chess)
RD15 – Bidding Wars: A Global View on the Possible Economic Impact of Insurer Involvement in Parts Procurement (David Newton-Ross, Collision Repair Specialists of Australia (CRSA)

Thursday, Nov. 1 — 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
RD16 – Importance of Repair Standards in Completing a Safe and Seamless Repair (John Spoto & Shawn Collins, 3M)
RD17 – Waterborne Refinish Coatings: What Are You Waiting For? (Jeff Griffin & John Parran, PPG Automotive Refinish)
RD18 – Bulletproof Your Company: Effective Human Resources, Policies and Procedures (Cory J. King, Fine, Boggs & Perkins LLP)

Friday, Nov. 2 — 10:00 a.m. – noon
RD2012 – RDE Headline Session: Game Changers – Innovation Forum

Friday, Nov. 2 — 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
RD19 – Vehicle Knowledge for Triage, Blueprinting and Estimating (Larry Montanez III, P&L Consulting)
RD20 – Achieving Service Excellence by Applying LEAN Thinking (Steven Feltovich, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes)
RD21 – He Who Controls the Data, Controls the Truth (Michael Anderson, Collision Advice)

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