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Three-Stage Paints » Heavy-Duty Repair » Compressor Technology

February 2013//Vol. 32 No. 2

www.bodyshopbusiness.com

The CSI Secret The key to achieving a high CSI score is to manage the customer experience.


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Inside

February February 2013

Vol. 32 No. 2

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ON THE COVER The Secret to Great CSI The secret to achieving excellent CSI is managing the customer experience.

FEATURES

38 Mastering Three-Stage Paints and Pearls TECHNICAL

Don’t be afraid...there is a secret and a method of matching that works every time and will eliminate comebacks.

44 Heavy Duty

PROFIT CENTER Views and observations from the heavy-duty truck repair side of the collision business.

SHOP TALK Editor’s Notes

6 8 Publisher’s Perspective 10 Clark’s Corner 14 Web Presence Management

The repair standards issue is more complex than it seems.

Telematics is here...are you prepared?

It’s all physics when it comes to compressed air.

Targeting page one on Google with pay-per-click advertising.

BODYSHOP BUSINESS (ISSN 0730-7241) (February 2013, Volume 32, Number 2): Published monthly by Babcox Media, Inc., 3550 Embassy Parkway, Akron, OH 44333 U.S.A. Phone (330) 670-1234, FAX (330) 670-0874. Copyright 2013 Babcox Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Periodical postage paid at Akron, OH 44333 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to BODYSHOP BUSINESS, P.O. Box 13260, Akron, OH 44334-3912. Member, BPA Worldwide

DEPARTMENTS Guess the Car ....................................................................................4 Technology Focus ............................................................................18 NASCAR Performance ......................................................................22 Industry Update ..............................................................................36 Product Showcase............................................................................72 The Shop ......................................................................................76


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Guess

the Car

SOLVED!

Reader Contest! Win $50! What vehicle MODEL does this picture represent? Fax your guess to (330) 670-0874. Include name, title, shop name, city, state and phone number. Or submit your guess with our online contest form by visiting bodyshopbusiness.com/guessthecar. The winner will be randomly selected from correct entries and awarded $50. Entries must be received by Feb. 28. *Only one winner will be selected. Chances of winning are dependent upon the number of correct entries received. Employees of Babcox, industry manufacturers and BSB advertisers are not eligible to enter.

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#118 See the March 2013 issue for winner of Guess the Car #118.

Ram-page = (Dodge) Rampage

!

WINNER #117 Chris South, manager, Dingman’s Collision Center, Omaha, Neb.

#119

February 2013 | BodyShop Business

Trail-blazer = (Chevy) Trailblazer

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Editor’s

Notes

Publisher

S. Scott Shriber, ext. 229 sshriber@babcox.com Editor

Standard Fare? recently attended the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Palm Springs, Calif., and once again, I was reminded that the topic of repair standards is more complicated than just “follow the OE repair recommendations.”

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That’s how the Repair Standards Advisory Committee panel discussion started out, with one member of the audience reminding the rest of the room that the Society of Collision Repair Specialists, the Automotive Service Association and the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers had all come together in late 2011 to jointly declare that OE repair recommendations should be the standard. But then the issue of “gaps” was brought up – that there isn’t an OE recommended procedure for everything. And then a representative from the aftermarket came to the microphone and advised repairers to not disregard alternatives out there.

And then you have the insurers that outwardly declare they want safe repairs, but many repairers calling bull on that, believing that they want the cheapest repair. A repairer recently told me he is seeing this firsthand by the shop ranked at the top of one insurer’s preferred list, claiming this shop is known around town for doing the shoddiest work. If this is indeed true, it makes insurers look like they’re talking out of both sides of their mouth. It was agreed upon during the discussion that it’s up to repairers to address these gaps in OE repair procedures. One shop wrote Mercedes to ask its opinion on a repair solution it had come up with for lack of any the OE had issued. But this was a highly reputable shop...how many shops are actually going to take the time to do this? One OE at the meeting pleaded with repairers, asking, “What do you want?” He was implying that he was willing and able to deliver whatever they want – they just have to tell him what that is. One thing is for certain: no repairer should be touching cars today without referring to OE information.

Jason Stahl, Editor Email comments to jstahl@babcox.com

Jason Stahl, ext. 226 jstahl@babcox.com Associate Editor

Gina Kuzmick, ext. 244 gkuzmick@babcox.com Contributing Editors

Charlie Barone, Mitch Becker, Mark Clark, Mark Claypool, Erica Eversman, Tom Ferry, Curt Harler, Hank Nunn Graphic Designer

Lisa DiPaolo, ext. 281 ldipaolo@babcox.com Advertising Services

Kelly McAleese, ext. 284 kmcaleese@babcox.com Director of Circulation

Pat Robinson, ext. 276 probinson@babcox.com Director of eMedia & Audience Development

Brad Mitchell, ext. 277 bmitchell@babcox.com Subscription Services

Ellen Mays, ext. 275 emays@babcox.com Tel: (330) 670-1234 Fax: (330) 670-0874 Website: bodyshopbusiness.com Corporate

Bill Babcox, President Gregory Cira, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Stankard, Vice President Beth Scheetz, Controller A limited number of complimentary subscriptions are available to those who qualify. Call (330) 670-1234, ext. 288, or fax us at (330) 6705335. Paid subscriptions are available for nonqualified subscribers at: U.S.: $69 for one year. Canada/Mexico: $89 for one year. Canadian rates include GST. Ohio residents add current county sales tax. Other foreign rates/via air mail: $129 for one year. Payable in advance in U.S. funds. Mail payment to BodyShop Business, P.O. Box 75692, Cleveland, OH 44101-4755. VISA, MasterCard or American Express accepted.


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Publisher’s

Perspective What Just

Happened? t seems like just a few months ago, I wrote about a thing called telematics. If you remember, I tried to convince you that it was coming and that we should not ignore it because it would be here before we knew it. Sound familiar? With all the other things you have to think about in your work and personal life, I’m guessing you’ve probably long since forgotten it.

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Well, guess what? In that short period of time, it has arrived and is in place. Insurance companies are using it to evaluate our driving habits, OEs are using it to communicate with our vehicles, and repair facilities are using it to retain customers. I’m not writing to say I told you so, but rather as a heads-up that things are changing at an unbelievable rate. Just this week, I saw a press release from the Consumer Electronics Show about a driverless car. Yes, you read that correctly. A driverless car! In case we’ve all forgotten, most accidents are caused by driver error. Take away the driver and guess what you get? Fewer crashes. This is both good and bad:

less work, but bigger, more intense repairs when crashes do occur. I bring this up to further prove that we need to be training and ready to change. We used to be able to say that we could leave that to the next generation of repairers, but not today. The average body shop owner is 56 years old, and most of us will be working for another 10 years. Think about how much new stuff can come down the pike in that time. We have to stay on it or we’ll get left behind. We’re lucky in that we have I-CAR, ASE, ASA, SCRS and many other partners to help us on our journey. The important thing is to buy into being part of the journey rather than staying on the sidelines and watching it happen. We at BodyShop Business will be here to provide you with all the information and new technology as it comes to market. Stay tuned. It will be a heck of a ride – even if no one is driving!

S. Scott Shriber, Publisher Email comments to sshriber@babcox.com


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Clark’s

Corner

By Mark Clark

Compressed Air:

It’s All Physics ike so many other things in our business, the rules and constraints on compressing air from atmospheric pressure (14.7 pounds per square inch) up to 175 PSI are governed by physics. The math formulas to calculate petroleum solvent evaporation speed, metal bending force, the volume of air exhausted from a spraybooth cabin, spray gun pattern and atomization, and the effect of heat on clearcoats can all be explained by physics.

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A Numbers Game » I wish I had paid more attention in physics class. Who knew that those arcane formulas would have so much to do with auto body repair? The volume of air that a compressor can produce is a function of the bore of the cylinder(s) and the stroke of the piston(s) multiplied by the revolutions per minute of the pump. There are no differences in CFM volume calculations for the amount of displaced air; it’s straightforward multiplication for every brand. Air compressor pump design determines the amount of delivered air. The manufacturer’s ultimate goal is the most efficient discharge of high pressure air with the least restrictions possible. The ratio of displaced to delivered air from any compressor pump is called the efficiency rating. Higher numbers are the mark of better physics.

in the electric motor that drives the pump, the compressor will produce about four (4) cubic feet of air. By that quick math, a 5-hp compressor has about 20 CFM of compressed air, and a 15-hp electric motor will generate about 60 CFM. But remember, it doesn’t really matter what it says on any electric motor about horsepower. What matters is how much air the pump delivers at a sustainable RPM. As air pressure goes up, air volume goes down. At 40 PSI, the pump will produce a greater volume of air than at 80 PSI. Let me illustrate my second air compressor ROT with a story about the really hot and humid summer of 1977 in Iowa. I had customers chasing heatrelated paint problems every day. The GM shops, using acrylic lacquer, were watching their paint work turn white and their primers solvent pop and every metallic color come up too light. The Ford and Chrysler shops couldn’t keep their acrylic enamel repairs wet enough, and everyone was fighting water blisters. Water blew out of many shop air hoses like they were faucets. It was certainly too hot to paint cars, but maintaining steady production output was important even back in those stone-age days of yore. Painting everything at night worked for some shops, but the warm summer nights and brightly lit paint booths often put a lot of flying insects in the paint work.

Playing Detective » Of all my customers, I Rule of Thumb » Sometimes you can capture whichever physics laws are in play with a “rule-of-thumb (ROT),” or a simple way to remember the issue. Here are two ROTs about air compressors: for every one (1) horsepower 10

February 2013 | BodyShop Business

had one shop that consistently had the fewest paint problems. I decided to be Sherlock Holmes and discover why this shop was having more success than others. I first noticed that things were different in


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»| Clark’s Corner |« the compressor room. Most of my customers had their compressors stashed away in a dusty corner of the shop in a tiny room, often with insulation on the walls to keep the noise down – a toasty-hot environment. This guy had the same little room but had fastened 4-by-8 plywood panels on a top-edge hinge to swing up, exposing three sides of screened, porch-sized windows to the outside. He had a homemade wooden box fan with big aluminum blades and an open belt electric motor blowing full tilt at the compressor pumps, where he had also removed the belt guards to facilitate the flywheels acting as fans too. *“Don’t take the belt guard off giant whirling metal pulleys,” said the threefingered tech to the four-fingered tech. More physics: water takes three forms, depending on temperature: solid, liquid or gas. Hot air holds more moisture than cooler air. The

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second ROT is the 20-Degree Rule: for every 20 degrees Fahrenheit you lower the compressed air temperature, one-half the moisture will cool and condense immediately to liquid. Trapping liquid water out of compressed air is easy; any impact type trap will catch 90 percent or more of the moisture that’s liquid. It traps none of the moisture that’s still heated vapor, leaving that water to condense down the line. When it’s sprayed on the hot metal by the cooling spray gun, it gets trapped inside your color coats. This shop owner was doing everything he could to lower his compressors’ operating temperature. And every degree he could cool that 190degree Fahrenheit air down made it that much easier to catch the water before it ruined the paint work. They were draining the moisture traps multiple times each day at the end of every overhead airline run.

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On some of the hottest afternoons, they were bleeding the traps every hour. Never one to miss a sales opportunity, I sold them a shop full of floating-bowl automatic traps that flushed themselves.

Read the Spec Sheets » My advice is to read the spec sheets. Ask the vendors why one model has a higher, lower, more desirable number than the competitor’s version. Most of those objective product calculations and specifications are just the math of physics. BSB Mark R. Clark is the owner of Professional PBE Systems in Waterloo, Iowa; he is a well-known industry speaker and consultant. He is celebrating his 25th year as a contributing editor to BodyShop Business.


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Web Presence

Management

By Mark Claypool

Targeting Google’s

Page One

s has been revealed in my previous columns, having your website show up on page one of an Internet search is crucial. Being in position No. 1, organically, is coveted. By “organically,” we mean the actual ranking the site earns when a person searches using certain words (known as the “search query”). According to new research from Compete.com, the top five organic search results get the following percentages of clicks: Position #1: 53% Position #2: 15% Position #3: 9% Position #4: 6% Position #5: 4% Very few people venture much beyond the first page of a search, which is usually the top ten positions. Do you? Only 0.7 percent of people click on position No. 11 in a search; that’s the top of page two. Only 0.3 percent of people click on position No. 21 (top of page three), 0.1 percent click on position 31 (top of page four) and 0.05 percent click on position 41 (top of page five). Yikes! This says that page one positioning in a search is crucial to your website’s visibility under the search terms people use to find the services you provide. That’s what search engine optimization (SEO) is all about. Ranking on page one may be easy in a small town, but it can be extremely difficult in major markets.

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Promises, Promises » No developer can ethically promise you page one positioning or position one, but many do. That’s beyond anyone’s control. If someone tells you that, show them the door or hang up on them. SEO specialists such as Optima Automotive have a track record of achieving much improved rankings, and many page one or 14

February 2013 | BodyShop Business

even position one rankings, but you’ll never hear them make promises like that. So what can you do about this? There is one way that you can be assured of being on page one: “pay-per-click” advertising, or “search engine marketing.” Google (67 percent of search engine market share), Bing and Yahoo (28.5 percent of market share collectively, since Microsoft controls both) each can offer you the opportunity to spend money to buy a position on page one. Your listing, with your shop name, Web address and ad copy, will show up either on the top, on the side or at the bottom of page one, depending on how much you wish to spend. The costs vary greatly based on the size and competitiveness of your market, so I won’t quote any prices here. To find out, go to the following links, purchase keywords and phrases, and test them out: Google: http://www.google.com/ads/ adwords Yahoo: http://advertising.yahoo.com/ Bing: http://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/ en-us/reachyournextcustomer Here are the keywords and phrases you’re going to want to bid on for sure: “auto body”;

Paid Listings: Where Consumers Click on Google Position

1 Top 2 Listing 3

59% 15% 9%

1 Side 2 Listing 3 4

4% 3% 2% 1%

Bottom 1 Listing 2

1% 1%


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»| Web Presence |« Top page “autobody”; “auto paid listings body shop”; “body 85% shop”; “auto body repair”; “autobody repair”; and “collision repair.” Also, “collision repair shop” plus the following: the name of your town followed by the twoletter abbreviation for your state, no comma, and the names of each of your surrounding towns that you draw work from, folBottom page lowed again by paid listings the state abbrevia2% tion. You may also want to purchase those keywords and add your ZIP code. There are many more, but this gets you off to a great start. You can set your monthly budget at whatever you want and get reports on the traffic these ads generate for you.

Top or Bottom? » You will also have to choose which section of page one you want your ad to appear in. The top, of course, is much more expensive. Why? Because that’s what people see first. The side ads are next best, and, as you might expect, the bottom is the least desirable and therefore least expensive. I wouldn’t bother with the bottom, but it won’t cost you much to try it. In addition to the placement of your sponsored listing, you can pay more to be in a higher paid position. As you can see from our graph, 59 percent of consumers who pay attention to sponsored listings click on the first paid listing at the top of the page. That drops all the way down to 15 percent for the second paid listing. Think carefully about the content you put in these ads. When writing the ad, consider that it needs to be compelling enough for someone to click on it. Landing Page » If you choose to go down the pay-per-click path, you should have these “clicks” take the visitor to a special “landing page.” Circle 16 for Reader Service

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Side page paid listings

13%

You’ve spent money to get that click, so give them something special. Something like, “Print this coupon and bring it in for a free…”, or “Mention this ad when you come in for an estimate. If we earn your business, we’ll give you a free gas card worth $XX…” Give them a reason beyond the normal to bring their car to you. Highlight your well-managed social media accounts, too, and give them the opportunity to “Like,” “Follow” or “+1” you. BSB BSB Contributing Editor Mark Claypool has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of workforce development, business/education partnerships, apprenticeships and Web presence management. He is the CEO of Optima Automotive (www.optimaautomotive.com), which provides website design, development, SEO services and social media management services. Claypool’s work history includes stints at Metro Paint Supplies, VeriFacts Automotive, the National Auto Body Council (NABC), the I-CAR Education Foundation and SkillsUSA. He is the founder of Mentors At Work and co-founder of the Collision Industry Foundation. He served, on a volunteer basis, as the SkillsUSA World Team Leader for the WorldSkills Championships from 2003 to 2011.


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Technology

Focus Air Compressors Scrolling Along ANEST IWATA Air Engineering Inc.’s new line of Oil-Less Reciprocating and Oil-Less Scroll air compressors is a smaller line (less than 20 hp/less than 60 CFM at 120 psi) that provides clean, oil-free air for premium spray applications. While the pump has mostly been used in medical applications, ANEST IWATA says its quiet, durable design has been popular with body shops. ANEST IWATA was the first in the world to develop an aircooled scroll compressor, and its patented tip-seals make its pump maintenance-free for 10,000 running hours.

Rolling Profile The Campbell Hausfeld CS Series air compressors use a rotary screw air end featuring rolling profile technology that delivers ultimate efficiency, low operating noise and a long life cycle. This compact unit combines the main parts of a rotary screw air system into a reliable, integrated system. The integrated components include: oil-injected air end, oil reservoir and oil reservoir system, oil filter and oil thermo valve. This design reduces piping and connection to minimize leakage. Service and maintenance is simplified as all components are easily accessible from one side without special tools.

Mobile App Atlas Copco Compressors’ Elektronikon app is directly linked to the controllers in Atlas Copco’s compressors and dryers. Users can monitor their installation anywhere, any time on their smartphones or tablet computers – whether they’re iOS (Apple) or Android-operated mobile devices. The new app has been released along with the new GA 30 to 90 (and VSD) oil-injected screw compressor and allows for real-time data monitoring, including system status, running hours, analog inputs and running/stopped status. Previously, compressor operators could monitor their installations’ performance over an intranet thanks to the Elektronikon Mk 5 controller. Customers with an existing Atlas Copco compressor with a Mk5 Elektronikon can use the app after updating their software.

Prevent Short Cycling A common problem with small rotary screw compressors is short-cycling due to incorrectly sized applications. The AIMS Controller featured on FS-Curtis’ SEG 5- to 15-hp units incorporates technology that prevents the compressor from shortcycling. This makes the SEG Series one of the only compres18

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sors on the market that provides customers peace of mind that their compressed air investment will not fail catastrophically. The SEG’s easyto-use digital controller also provides advanced features such as sequencing, pressure status/change and electronic maintenance indicators that all help ensure efficient and reliable life.


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»| Technology Focus |« Optimum Control Kaeser Compressors’ new generation of compressor control – the Sigma Control 2 – offers the following: 䡲 Energy efficiency through multiple control methods (dual, quadro, vario, etc.) 䡲 Built-in lead-lag programming for systems with two compressors 䡲 Maintenance reminders to help keep the unit running reliably and efficiently

䡲 Monitors internal temperatures and pressures and provides alerts of possible shutdown conditions 䡲 Shuts the machine down safely before damage is done 䡲 Stores alarm and operating info to aid in troubleshooting 䡲 RFID key prevents tampering or service by unqualified technicians 䡲 Greater communications capabilities for remote monitoring and control

Advanced Design Family-owned and operated Mattei says its rotary vane compressor technology is the most unique and advanced of its kind. The company says its “robust” design warrants a 10-year warranty and allows compressors to last two to three times longer than screw compressors. There are no bearings to wear out and no screws to lock up. It’s direct driven, which means there are no belts, sheaves or gears. It turns at less than 1750 rpm, and emits as low as 67 dB(A) of noise with or without a cabinet. It’s also designed for maximum efficiency, putting more air out with less energy in.

Precise Applications

New Locations DV Systems’ Huron B10 AirSystem is a 10-hp variable-speed drive, single-phase, rotary screw compressor that operates at a maximum of 55 amps and delivers 37 SCFM of compressed air at 145 psi. The single-phase design features an extremely low maximum amp draw, enabling installation in locations where the use of 10hp air compressors was previously uneconomical or impossible.

Precision applications like auto painting require an absolutely clean, dry air dryer properly sized to your air compressor. Quincy’s QRHT Series Total Air System High Temperature Dryers integrate five different components that perform separate functions: an air-cooled after cooler, refrigerated dryer, moisture separator, zero loss drain and coalescing filter. These five components work in harmony to ensure clean, dry, filtered compressed air. They also feature a 180-degree F inlet temperature and eliminate water, oil and dirt from air; prevent damage to pneumatic tools; yield fewer finished product defects; prevent “fisheye” paint splotches; reduce operational downtime; and eliminate air line purging.

Microprocessor Control Sullivan-Palatek features the “T1” microprocessor on all Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) compressed air packages. The T1 has a customer-friendly display with expanded descriptions of all the operating controls. It has RS485 communication between the T1 and the VFD and displays all pertinent VFD power consumption data at the T1 screen. The T1 will control your specific compressed air needs as the system requires, and will conserve your power when compressed air need is reduced. 20

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Track Talk All Eyes on New Gen-6 Car for NASCAR Sprint Cup in Daytona

watching it on TV or watching it Excitement is building for fact is in 2013 we have cool- at the track.” NASCAR fans and competitors er cars.” F r o m alike for the start of the 2013 While NASCAR’s Car of brand idenNASCAR Sprint Cup Series sea- Tomorrow served its purpose of tity to where son – and in particular, the providing a safer car for drivers to see driver debut of the new Sixth- over the last several years, fans n a m e s , Generation Car. called for more exciting, side- here's the “The car has really awesome by-side racing. Manufacturers l o w d o w n potential,” commented Dale needed to return to a stock on the five The new Sprint Cup cars look more like their road-going Earnhardt Jr. during a test ses- option with deeper character things every counterparts yet retain the safety features NASCAR has sion last month. lines and brand identity. And race fan developed over the past few years. Indeed, the development competitors desired a model s h o u l d and design of the latest that would not only even the know about the Gen-6 car: 3. Slim and Trim: The total NASCAR Sprint Cup Series playing field, but produce a 1. Brand Identity: Gen-6 weight of the car has been racecar continues a robust tra- good show. cars more closely resemble reduced by 160 lbs. (100 less dition of styling that dates back Over the last two years, those found on the showroom on right side; 60 lbs. on left). to the earliest days of the sport. NASCAR and its partners have floor, with eye-catching body- The minimum weight of the Fans will instantaneously worked diligently to satisfy lines and stylish features giving driver has also decreased notice the differences in the those needs. each model its distinctive from 200 to 180 lbs. brand individuality of each “The car is a really good- appearance. 4. Stamp of Approval: With Gen-6 car. looking car,” said veteran driver 2. Safety Enhancements: the exception of the carbon “You’ll stand there and see Jeff Burton. “A lot of effort has Additions of forward roof bar fiber rear deck lid, all body panFords and Toyotas and gone into making these cars so and center roof support bar to els are now produced by the Chevrolets driving by,” con- that we will have better races. the roll cage reinforce integrity manufacturer and individually tinued Earnhardt Jr. “It’s I’m really excited about that and increase the crush structure stamped for verification. great because everything because I think, at the end of the of the roof. Larger roof flaps 5. Your Name Here: Driver looks different, everything is day, that is the cornerstone of improve liftoff numbers and names will be featured on the instantly recognizable.” this sport. It’s an exciting day at decrease the likelihood of the upper portion of the windOptimism is high in the the race track whether you are car becoming airborne. shield; sponsor decals and car NASCAR garage surroundnumbers have been ing the new racecar’s look, removed from headlight and innovative technology and taillight areas and now on-track performance. appear on front and rear “This car is the perfect bumpers; also, a single sponexample of technology sor logo will be permitted on helping our sport,” said the roof of the cars. Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief The Gen-6 car will debut Steve Letarte. “I think we at The Sprint Unlimited now have three makes (Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. on FOX, out here that my little MRN Radio and SiriusXM), boy at nine-years old followed by the 55th runcan tell the difference ning of the Daytona 500 between. If you’re into (Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. on FOX, racing, you want to watch The next generation of NASCAR racecars continues a robust tradition of styling MRN Radio, SiriusXM). Visit cool cars go around the that dates back to the earliest days of the sport. Fans will instantaneously notice www.daytonainternationaltrack. I think the simple the differences in the brand individuality of each Gen-6 car. speedway.com for tickets. Follow NASCAR Performance on Twitter and Facebook www.twitter.com/NASCARauto ■ www.facebook.com/NASCARPerformance


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COVER STORY

The Secret to Great CSI Many body shop owners consider it cheating to micromanage the customer’s experience in order to boost CSI scores. But don’t look at it that way – look at it as improving your customer service and retention. By Hank Nunn

ou’ve just completed the extensive repair of a customer’s “high end” European sedan. Your team has done a great job reconstructing this heavily damaged, complex vehicle. You have every right to be proud. The customer inspected the repair, accepted the vehicle and drove away with a smile! Two days later, the Customer Service Index (CSI) evaluation arrives. The customer only gave you a 7 on the quality score! That car was perfect! They really burned you on customer service, saying the repair took longer than promised and only giving you a 5 when asked if they would refer family or friends to your shop. “The idiots!” you scream. “They don’t understand! We had to wait for insurance re-inspections, fight for repair processes, and the parts on those Euro cars can take weeks!” You ball up the CSI evaluation, toss it in the trash and wonder why customers don’t appreciate or understand what you do. Your CSI takes another hit. Get ready for another call from the DRP coordinator!

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You’re Not Alone » Don’t feel alone, this has happened to all of us. That’s why we need to understand and manage CSI. Yes, you heard me: manage CSI. Customer satisfaction surveys measure the customer’s perception of their experience with your company. To manage your CSI, you must manage the customer’s expe24

February 2013

rience. Remember, customer satisfaction happens in the customer’s head, not yours. Your collision center’s level of customer satisfaction is critical to future success. Many in the industry understand the importance of customer satisfaction and utilize third-party vendors to measure their CSI. CSI is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI), telling your


COVER STORY » Great CSI shop’s management what’s being done right and wrong from the customer’s perspective. Like any KPI, CSI can be measured and even managed. There was a time when we didn’t see the need to measure customer satisfaction. “Hey, I know they’re happy, they keep coming back!” was a comment frequently heard. But today’s collision repairers operate in a significantly different environment. Telling customers, vendors, insurers and other referral sources that you have happy customers is no longer enough – you have to prove it.

tomers are contacted and that the contacts are random. Many collision shop owners and managers choose a CSI vendor due to insurance relationships. If you’re a DRP for ABC Insurance, and ABC uses XYZ CSI, you may choose to use XYZ CSI for your overall CSI service. Look for companies that can support an automatic transfer of customer data from your management system. Avoid depending solely on insurance-provided CSI data as it doesn’t provide a sufficient sampling of your overall customer base.

CSI Providers » There are several CSI providers working in the collision industry. While there are differences, they all provide independent thirdparty samples of customer perception of quality, professionalism, on-time delivery and other factors contributing to their experience of dealing with a collision repair center. CSI can be measured internally by the “do it yourself” method, but outside entities such as insurance companies may question the integrity of those survey results. Few shop KPIs are as important as CSI scores. CSI provides valuable “voice of the customer” feedback, which forms the basis of continuous improvement programs and guides lean implementation. It can provide the foundation of an ongoing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program, designed to keep customers referring other customers to your business. It may factor into your standing on an insurance DRP, or where you’re positioned on their “list.” It may also factor into employee and management compensation plans. If you’re not currently measuring CSI, check out the industry vendors and decide which one provides the service you’re looking for. Some simply provide CSI data, while others use CSI data to provide a basis for ongoing CRM programs. Most use phone surveys, while others use mail or a combination of phone, mail and Internet. There are plenty of choices, but be sure that a sufficient number of cus-

No Cherry Picking » Don’t be tempted to find ways to “not submit” information to the CSI provider on customers known to be unhappy. I’ve heard the logic, “Why pay to find out someone is angry? I already know that!” Not a good idea. While you may see a better score through “cherry picking,” you’re not getting accurate data. The input from the unhappy customer can tell you how to best improve your service. Get as many surveys completed as possible. If one person gave you a “1” on the “refer family or friends” question and you have four others who gave you a “10” (total of five surveys), your score will be 80 percent. But if you have that same unhappy customer with the “1” and nine others that give you a “10,” your score will be 90 percent. Again, don’t cherry pick. Get a lot of surveys!

ogy. Let them talk and recount their experience. Remember, CSI is a measurement of their perception, not yours. Studies show that an unhappy customer whose situation has been corrected can be one of your strongest referral sources!

Score Management » Your CSI score can be managed and improved by focusing on what the customer feels is important, not what we think is important. Remember the previously mentioned example of the great repair on the difficult Euro car that received a poor review by the customer? The shop focused on the quality of repair and did a great job fixing the vehicle but a poor job managing the customer’s experience. Customers today don’t care about the repair. Yes, they can see a really poor job and, when faced with one of those, they really care. But generally we all do a good job repairing vehicles. Let’s face it, unless the repair is really poor, the customer doesn’t care or understand what went into repairing their vehicle. Today’s customer evaluates the quality of the repair by how they were treated by the people in the repair shop. Repair quality is a given. That’s what the customer expects. To increase CSI scores, we need to focus on what the customer perceives as important by managing the customer experience.

Instant Feedback » CSI services provide a means of instant feedback if a customer has voiced dissatisfaction with the repair process. When you receive faxes or email notices after an unhappy customer has been surveyed, don’t discount what the customer says caused their dissatisfaction. Avoid the temptation to read the notice, explain away the issue, decide the customer is nuts and throw it into the closest recycle box. Instead, contact the customer immediately and attempt to correct the problem. If the issue can’t be corrected, offer a sincere apol-

CSI Rule # 1: Focus on customer communication. ost CSI vendors ask customers if the shop “kept them informed” during the repair. The “kept informed” score is the key driver to improve CSI scores. Define the words “kept informed” (or whatever verbiage your CSI vendor uses) at the beginning of the process. Ask the customer: “How would you like to be kept informed during

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COVER STORY » Great CSI

Net Promoter Score: A New Concept New to collision industry CSI is the concept of calculating a Net Promoter Score (NPS). The NPS is a measurement of the percentage of customers who are likely to “promote” your business. Generally, the “refer to family and friends” question is used to calculate the NPS, which is growing in importance with OEM certification programs and insurance companies. “Promoters” are those customers who give your shop 9’s and 10’s when asked, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely is it that you would refer the repair center to family or friends?” “Detractors” are those who are not likely to refer you to family and friends and are generally the 0’s to 6’s when asked the “ultimate question.” In calculating NPS, 7’s and 8’s are neutral. They don’t hurt, but they don’t help, either. Here is a formula for calculating NPS:

Percentage of Promoters – Percentage of Detractors = Net Promoter Score For example, let’s say you have 100 surveys. Approximately 60 percent of those surveyed gave you a 9 or 10 on the “refer to family and friends” question. Twenty percent gave you a 0 to 6 score on that same question. Your NPS is 40 percent (60 percent promoters – 20 percent detractors = 40 percent). The goal in NPS is to move those 7’s and 8’s to 9’s and 10’s. In the above example, 20 percent of those surveyed gave the shop a 7 or 8 on the “refer” question. If we could move those 7’s and 8’s to 9’s, the NPS would increase to 60 percent. (60 percent promoters + 20 percent 7’s and 8’s moved to 9’s – 20 percent detractors = 60 percent). In addition, you can try to move some of those pesky detractors into the neutral category and get those 5’s and 6’s into 7’s. How do you manage your NPS? Since the entire number is generated from the customer’s response to one question, focus on that question at delivery: “Mrs. Smith, we strive to achieve 100 percent customer satisfaction. Your evaluation of our performance is very important. Please take a moment to provide your feedback when contacted. My personal goal is to achieve 10’s when my customers are asked if they will refer to family and friends. Have I earned that score from you?” There’s a lot of information about NPS on the Internet. As noted above, NPS is new to the collision industry. To calculate NPS, the “refer” question must be asked on a scale of 1 to 10. NPS scores above 65 percent should be considered healthy.

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COVER STORY » Great CSI the repair?” Take note of their response and contact them on the timeline and via the method defined by the customer. Have you ever had the customer just tell you to “Call me when it’s done?” So you call when it’s done and the customer doesn’t feel that they were kept informed and your

CSI suffers. When the customer responds with, “Call me when it’s done,” respond with, “I like to call my customers every other day to keep them informed. Will that work for you?” That defines “kept informed” in the mind of the customer and defines acceptable performance. Define “kept informed” with your customer, let

them determine how often and by what method they wish to be kept informed, then do it. Some customers will request status updates via email or text. That’s fine, but check state regulations and company policy regarding text or email usage. If you’re going to use email or text, consider asking that an “electronic communication permission form” be signed by the customer at drop-off. The best communication method is still the phone, especially if the news is bad. Getting a text saying, “Your car won’t be ready today,” leaves a bad impression in the customer’s mind. Calling the customer with updates allows for interaction and provides a more positive experience. In any case, the goal of customer communication is to avoid requiring the customer to call the shop at any time during the repair. Pro-actively communicate with your customers. Improving your customer’s perception of “kept informed” will increase the customer perception of quality, their perception of “on time” and their decision to refer family or friends to your collision center in the future. CSI Hint #1: Call your customers before they call you. Understand that a customer’s call to check status is an indication that your customer update system isn’t working! Develop a system to contact every customer every other day – at a minimum. Changes in status should generate an immediate phone call, not a text or email.

CSI Rule #2: Manage the customer’s perception of “on time.” he first step to improving your “on-time” score is to keep the customer informed and update the target delivery date every time that date changes. Then, at delivery, remind the customer of your track record of keeping them posted as the repairs pro-

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COVER STORY » Great CSI gressed and that you actually did hit your last target delivery date. Avoid giving target dates! Whenever possible, just don’t give a date. Several years ago, we had a poor “on-time” score in my shop. We listened to each of our estimators present estimates to customers and found that we almost always said, “This will take three or four days,” without the customer even asking. Talk about setting yourself up for failure! The customer only heard the “three days,” so when we completed the car on the fourth day, we thought we were on time, but the customer figured we were a day late. By simply dropping the estimated promise date from our sales presentation, our “on-time” score increased 10 points! If the customer asks for a projected completion date, provide as accurate a date as possible, with one day added.

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For example, if you see a three-day repair, tell the customer the repair will take four days. If you’re done in three, you’ve exceeded the customer’s expectations. Finish it in four days and, from the customer’s perspective, you’re still on time. Obviously, target delivery dates change during repairs for many reasons. Whenever the target delivery date changes, call the customer to update them on the status. Always use verbiage such as, “As a result of this parts delay, your target delivery date will be next Monday.” At delivery, remind the customer that you updated them with current target dates during the repair and you did deliver on schedule. CSI Hint #2: Manage the customer’s perception of on time, give yourself an extra day and remind the customer that you did deliver on time, based on your last status update.

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CSI Rule #3: Provide an active delivery, preparing the customer for the CSI survey. ow are repaired vehicles delivered to the customer at your repair facility? The most common way is to ask the customer, “Did you see your car? Is everything okay? Let’s get the paperwork done and we’ll get you on your way.” That delivery system may get the cars out, but it won’t help increase your CSI. Schedule vehicle delivery so that the proper amount of time can be spent with the customer reviewing the repairs, completing the paperwork and prepping the customer for their CSI call. Take time to review the repairs with the customer, pointing out what was

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COVER STORY » Great CSI done. If you agreed to do something extra, point it out to the customer during the delivery. If there is a minor flaw or adjustment that requires repair, correct it right then! Ask the customer if they’re happy with the repairs. When the customer is satisfied and you’ve confirmed that they’re satisfied, you can begin to improve your CSI scores.

Restate and reaffirm that you’ve fulfilled your promise to keep them informed during the repair process. For example: “Mrs. Smith, when you brought your car in for an estimate, I told you that I call all of my customers every other day. Have I fulfilled my promise to keep you informed?”

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Confirm that the customer perception of your facility, and their experience with your facility, is positive and that they feel your customer service met or exceeded their expectations. For example: “Mrs. Smith, did our customer service meet or exceed your expectations?” Next, confirm that the vehicle was done on time. If you missed the initial date, confirm that you met the adjusted date. For example: “Mrs. Smith, do you feel that your vehicle was done on time?” “No, I was expecting it back yesterday.” “That’s right, Mrs. Smith, but I did tell you on Tuesday about the parts issue and we revised the target delivery date to today. So we missed the initial target date, but I kept you informed and we did hit the adjusted target date.” “Yes, you did.” Ask if your customer will refer family and friends to your facility. This has been referred to as the “the ultimate question” because it’s that important! For example, “Mrs. Smith, as a result of your experience with our repair facility, would you feel comfortable referring family or friends to our collision repair center in the future?” Finally, prep the customer for the CSI call. For example: “Mrs. Smith, I’m thrilled that you’re happy with our repairs and customer service and I’m proud that you’re satisfied to the point that you will refer family and friends to our repair facility. Customer satisfaction is so important to us that we have an outside, independent third-party contact our customers to measure our customer satisfaction. You may be receiving a call asking how we did. “Please take a moment to share your experience with the CSI technician. It shouldn’t take more than a minute. My goal is to earn 10’s on all survey questions. If there is anything I could have done better, please let me know.” Whether your CSI system uses mailed forms, faxes or online feedback


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COVER STORY » Great CSI methods, prep the customer on the methodology of your survey and stress how important it is to gather their in-

put. If it’s a mail-in system, provide the customer with a stamped, pre-addressed envelope and follow up in

two days with a phone call asking the customer to complete and mail the CSI survey. Create systems and word tracks to: 1. Systematically maintain contact with the customer during the repair process. 2. Manage the customer’s perception of “on-time.” 3. Create an active delivery confirming satisfaction with customer service, the repair quality, on-time performance and prepping the customer for the CSI follow-up. Doing these things will increase your CSI score, but these things have to be done every day, with every customer, every time.

Conclusion » CSI scores can be managed and improved. CSI and NPS are KPI’s that have a dramatic effect on overall collision repair facility volume as well as managers’ and estimators’ compensation. Managing your CSI should not be considered “cheating” your CSI. Rather, it should be looked at as improving your customer service and retention. BSB Hank Nunn is a 37-year industry veteran of the collision repair industry and president of H W Nunn & Associates Inc., a collision industry training and consulting company. He may be reached at h_nunn@msn.com. Circle 79 for Reader Service

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Industry

Update

ASRW Appoints New NACE Chairman

appreciated by the AutoAutomotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW) has an- motive Service Association nounced that Dan Stander, (ASA) and ASRW staff,” AAM, Fix Auto Highlands said the organization in a Ranch in Littlerecent release. ton, Colo., will Stander is a second-generation serve as the next collision shop event chairman By Kristen Hampshire owner with 30 for the Internayears of experitional Autobody ence. He holds n Sept. 17, 2012, State Farm announced that Congress & Exthe Accredited the pilot program for PartsTrader was being position (NACE). Automotive Manexpanded to Chicago, and collision repairers The 2013 event is ager (AAM) deswould start actively using it in December. In scheduled for ignation from the Oct. 17-19 (with short order, they reported that 475 of 477 Select ServAutomotive Manan education ice repairers in Chicago had registered for the proagement Institute conference begingram. Today, State Farm says all 477 have now signed Dan Stander (AMI) and is a ning Wednesday, up. But supplier participation is another story. graduate of the Oct. 16) at the More than a few repairers are reporting that many University of Colorado. As Mandalay Bay Convensuppliers are actively resisting PartsTrader. One shop an ASA member for 30 tion Center in Las Vegas. reported that State Farm sent it a letter indicating only Stander succeeds Ron years, Stander is active in 48 percent of its suppliers had completed the registrathe ASA-Colorado affiliate, Nagy, who has concluded tion process. The insurer says 266 suppliers of all part currently serving as presia two-year term as the types to date are participating in PartsTrader. dent of ASA Colorado’s NACE chairman from “Data provided by PartsTrader suggests Chicago Collision Division and on 2011-2012. “Nagy’s enthusuppliers that are actively participating in the quotthe state organization’s siastic, diligent service the ing process are generating more parts orders overall Board of Directors. Stander Continued on pg. 60 past two years is sincerely is also instrumental in ASA’s activities at the national level with his involvement in the ASA Korte’s Collision Helps Visiting Australian Couple Collision Division OperaContinue Cross-Country Road Trip tions Committee and its Refinish subcommittee, as year-long trip across North America that took four years of planning well as serving on the ASA came to an abrupt stop in Detroit for Gaby and Jackson Richards, an Board of Directors as Colliadventurous couple from Australia. While driving a 2009 Suzuki sion Division director. Grand Vitara that was shipped from their home in Brisbane, Queensland, He also serves on an inthe Richards’ vehicle was hit on the right side (driver’s side) in a car accidustry committee within dent in Detroit. the Database Enhancement “It was only a couple of days after New Year’s, and we had just visited Gateway administrative Eastern Market when the accident occurred,” said wife Gaby Richards. team and the Database “Fortunately, no one was hurt and the car was still drivable.” Task Force, with members According to the couple, it was Korte’s Collision in Dearborn Heights from AASP and SCRS. that quickly came to their rescue. Jackson found the business through an Since 2007, Stander has Internet search and drove to the shop to meet Matt Korte, who immeditaken an active role as an ately gave the vehicle a thorough inspection and provided a detailed educational presenter and quote. Korte also encouraged the couple to seek other quotes. leader in the collision re“A second collision shop said they couldn’t look at it until the next day, Gaby and Jackson pair industry during and a guy at a third shop quoted the repairs before he really looked at the Richards NACE, and has attended vehicle,” said Gaby Richards. “He blew off our concerns, so we went back the annual event each year to Matt, because we had really good feelings when we met him.” since 2007. Since the Richards’ arrival in Los Angeles this past October, the pair Continued on pg. 62

Chicagoland Suppliers

Resisting PartsTrader

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TECHNICAL

astering Three-StagePaints and Pearls Some painters dread threestage paints and pearls, but there is a secret and a method of matching that works every time..and will reduce your comebacks. By Tom Ferry ome painters are so stumped by three-stage paints and pearls that they dread them and end up painting the entire side of a car for just one panel. I’ve actually seen it happen! The secret to success is to add white or red or whatever color your three-stage is and add 7 percent solid basecoat to your first pearl coat. It still looks like a pearl coat but you can actually blend it like a regular basecoat. You have to tweak things here and there, but that comes with experience.

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Starting Out » Photo 1 shows my first step with a Subaru Forester that I’m blending with a three-stage pearl white. We had taken the hood off this car during a repair a month prior, so when the car came back after another crash, I knew the hood would match. I start by using an old piece of 500 grit to sand through the clearcoat and pearl coat and down 38

Photo 1. How many panels would you include in the three-stage white pearl paint time for this job? Some of you would probably include the hood and rear quarter, but that’s unnecessary.

to the base white that’s actually on this car. You could also just work on where the base is featheredged by the dent you’re repairing. As we all know, there are several base white options to choose from. But with three-stage pearls, you can’t determine which white base to choose from – it’s all a guessing game. In this instance, there are three to choose from: a lighter one, a darker one and one that’s more yellow. I always go for the lighter-than-variance one. After I sand down to the factory white base, I use 1000 grit and polish the area. Now you have the exact fac-

February 2013 | BodyShop Business

You can see here how close I keep the primer to areas I’ve used filler on.


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TECHNICAL » Three-Stage Paints Perfect Paint Matching...with the Progressive Dot Method hat can you learn from a tiny little dot of paint no bigger starts; even before it starts to dry, it will be obvious that it’s than the head of a tack? Plenty...if you’ve been doing the too dark. same paint matching method for 30 years. 4. Start adding more metallic or pearl five drops at a time to A lot of people have showed me a lot of practical ways to do lighten it up. If there’s flop adjuster or weak white in the things through the years, and I typically adopt the ones that formula, use that as a last resort. work and take the shortest time. With color matching in the 5. After drying, you can use a heat gun lightly to speed automotive refinishing world, I came up with my own method things up. The next dot is now lighter and does not change hue and called it the “progressive dot method.” in any way. It’s very simple. You just put a perfect 6. Keep adding more metallic or pearl. dot on a polished part of the car you wish Pearls will make it more milky, whereas to paint and let it dry. It will first dry to light metallics won’t.  You’ll want to pour off or dark. Don’t worry about flop or anything enough paint to tint – and save your initial else yet – they usually dry too dark, unless paint if you mess up your tint somehow. they have a lot of flattener in them. It 7. Add more metallic and test your flop. would take me 2,000 words to describe Use a flashlight and look at the dot sidehow to match paint, and assuming that ways at a 10-degree angle to see if your most of you are quite experienced in auto flop is there. painting, I’ll spare you on how to tint. Suf8. By now, it should be pretty close. fice it to say you don’t have to make it so Sometimes you might see that the color complicated. But I understand your pain requires a metallic, pearl, weak white or and know that some colors can be an something else that’s not even in the forabsolute nightmare: getting the flop right, mula. I use color cards if the color just Using the progressive dot method, you obtaining the right value, etc. isn’t happening – and start with a new can’t even see the last dot because it’s a The progressive dot method is ideal color variance. perfect match. because it’s done in a small area and you’re not wasting time and materials getting the match This particular Dodge gunmetal metallic started really dark required. There are no test panels, letdown spraying, paint pad- even though I went lighter than the variance. You painters know dles, tape, paper, etc. – and a whole lot less waste of expensive that the eye is superior to color guns or variance cards. In the paint. Sometimes it takes four to 14 to 20 tints to get a real torphoto above, you can see I got my match after about eight tints, turous color. But you won’t have any comebacks (you know cus- but it’s right on the money. You can now put a lot of metallic in tomers always worry about color matches). the prime you poured off and, by putting a stir stick in it, make it as close to your match to get a close enough base for initial coverage. You then want to take your good match and put a dot Follow these steps: of it on various parts of the area you’ll be painting. Once those 1. Mix your initial paint up. I usually bring a fender or some dots dry, you should be able to come back and not even notice other part from the car into the color-corrected paint mixing where they are. room. So that’s the progressive dot method. Try it and give it some 2. Dip your finger into the prime paint on a stir stick and put time and I promise you’ll never go back to your old way of a dot onto a polished section of the fender. matching paint. 3. Let the paint dot dry completely before tint cycle one

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tory white base in front of you so there’s no need to guess. Then, I tint my light base using my own “progressive dot” method (see sidebar above). It started out too dark, so I kept adding white to lighten it up and let the dots dry until – bingo! – I got one that matches. Now I have the best match possible for the white base on the three-stage pearl white. In Photo 2, you can see I’m going 40

to blend my white sealer, white base and pearl clearcoat in the small area of the front fender. There’s not much room, but it can be done. First, prep the entire job and tape off. After you spray on your adhesion promoter over the areas to be blended and it’s dry, tape off the rear door. Now spray the driver’s door and front fender with white sealer, keeping it down where the gray primer is (Photo

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3). Feather it out on the edges, keeping as far away from the hood as possible.

The Secret » Now here’s the real blending secret for all three-stage paints: mix up your pearl coat, then pour off half into another cup. Take your base white and pour 7 percent of it into one of the two pearl cups. Now you have a semi-opaque white base with pearl in it. You should be


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TECHNICAL » Three-Stage Paints

Photo 3. I’ve put on white sealer and coats of solid white base before starting to blend out my tinted pearl base.

Photo 2. This photo shows where I start my white sealer. I tape the area so the sealer completely stays away from the top of the fender and the rear door. At this stage, I’ll take the paper off the door and put on a couple coats of solid base.

Photo 4. This is about 85 percent blended. Just a couple more coats of 100 percent pearl coat and it’s ready for clear.

able to then take off the paper from the door and spray two coats right over the white base area and allow the overspray to go onto the door and a little past the white base on the fender (Photo 3). Be patient. If the door doesn’t start blending in after three coats, you’ll need to add some more white base to your pearl. This is where practice makes perfect. Keep blending into the door and fender, going further

base, it won’t work. The transition has to be seamless. I usually put on three to five coats of the final pearl coat, blending out further each time (Photo 4). There shouldn’t be a halo effect. After your blend looks good, paint on the clearcoat and you’re good to go. BSB

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and further by small, three-inch increments, keeping in mind that three coats equals nine inches of blend. This is how you create your blend: by adding white to your pearl base. And you still have the other half of your true pearl to spray. When your blend looks good, switch to the pearl base. Start by fogging it, each coat going past the pearl-tintedwith-white base. If you don’t have a good blend with the white-tinted pearl

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Tom Ferry is the head painter at Ketchikan Autobody and Glass in Ketchikan, Alaska. He can be reached at tomferry@gci.net.


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PROFIT CENTER

Heavy Duty Views and observations from the heavy-duty truck repair side of the collision business…plus helpful advice for those thinking of adding heavy-duty repair to their services. By Phil Meyers

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t seems to me that we collision repairers on the heavy-duty truck side have been the forgotten ones in the industry. So I thought I would present to the car side many of the concerns, points of interest and struggles we have regarding the future of heavy-duty collision – some of which are the same as yours.

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My Journey » I started my journey in this trade in 1961, honing my skills in my father’s independent collision shop. After high school, I served four years in the military. When I returned home, I continued my career in collision, run-

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ning collision departments in new car dealerships, new truck dealerships and large private fleets all over the U.S. Being a “hired gun” willing and able to travel has allowed me to take collision departments from losses to profits all of my professional life. At this stage of my professional career, I want to give back to our profession more than I’ve received. I’m planning on forming a consulting group and a national heavy-duty truck collision association – of which I know a little about after watching my father help form the Blanchard Valley Body Association, the first-ever local collision association in the 1960s. I, too, was able to help start the first Cedar Valley Auto Body Association in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Iowa, metro area.

Management Style » The reason I’ve been successful is that I’ve always been able to convince dealership shop owners to allow me to run their shops like independent shops. When I would arrive at a dealership, I would usually find that they didn’t operate under the “independent shop” business model. I would ask


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PROFIT CENTER » Heavy Duty owners/parts department managers, “Who are your main competitors?” Their answer? “The independents!” (And these independent shops were typically run by their former body/ paint department managers). I also found that the owners didn’t understand the collision side completely. Also, all of the collision parts

were going to the parts department statements. (Note: It’s still that way today on the truck side). I’ve always run my department with the mindset of a successful independent when it comes to setting up procedures, policies and business plans – and thinking and planning ahead to overcome these situations.

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Outside Forces » I believe the heavyduty collision side has been more immune to outside forces than the car side over the last 25 years – but this is changing! For example, the insurance industry’s influence is growing in that insurers are starting to employ policies and procedures that the car side has already. Insurers that previously would only use new OEM parts are now moving toward used or aftermarket parts, although there are still some insurers that insist on OEM: Great West, Westfield and Chubb, for example. Also, many insurance adjusters on our side have changed their stance on parts and are behaving more like adjusters on the car side. Our hourly flat rate is higher, but our line of work requires extra techs due to the size and weight of the parts as well as the height of the vehicles. I currently work for a single-point dealer principle organization-based body and paint department, as we do not have a large fleet with Peterbilt or other makes anchored in our area. We work as required by large national fleets, but many of them also have their own body collision departments, which is becoming the norm. Being an owner operator/small fleet repairer, we have to plan for minimum downtime, as the owners of these rigs don’t have any income coming in while their unit is being repaired. I tell my employees that we have to understand and recognize that our customer’s rig is his business and office, and thus requires our best effort every time. Plus, his driver may also not have an income coming in while the truck is being fixed. These concerns put additional daily pressure on us. Larger fleets usually have fewer time restrictions, but we treat them the same as our owner-operator units. Unlike the car side, the heavy-duty truck side usually doesn’t have car rental allowances or loaners available due to its equipment needs, size and special set-ups (specific transmissions, rear ends, gear ratios and different required equipment for specific freight


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PROFIT CENTER » Heavy Duty mandated by PUCO, as well as other manufacturer requirements). Due to the economy/EPA requirements, we’re seeing more owner-operators keeping their units longer or “glidering” them (putting on a new truck body, frame and front axle but keeping the original engine, transmission, drive line and rear axles with wheels from their previous truck). These all create A cargo box masked additional repair issues. and ready for paint.

Paint/Equipment » As a Peterbilt dealership, we use Imron paint and materials designed for heavy-duty trucks. These materials require special refinishing techniques due to the nature of the material and Peterbilt huck rivets. All Imron materials are much more expensive than car paint; therefore, we have to

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handle car adjusters carefully as they usually don’t have a full understanding of the differences in cost. Our equipment is basically the same as the car side but there are higher expenses due to the vehicle size. We’ve repaired cars, pickups, farm equipment and boats, and offered additional services such as sandblasting, Big trucks require big welding, Peterbilt glass inequipment to repair stallation, custom painting them. and hand striping. We also work for the local ChryslerDodge-Jeep dealership because, in 1972, I ran the body department in that family’s Buick-Opel dealership.

New Business » Like many shops, we’re constantly looking for new business opportunities. Seeing an opportunity in customized parts and solutions, we developed a patent-pending

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PROFIT CENTER » Heavy Duty So You Want to Offer Heavy-Duty Collision Repair?

Needless to say, you need a much larger spraybooth like this one to paint semis.

lower sleeper panel corrosion system to prevent corrosion from spreading. We cover treated areas with a onepiece quality stainless cover that serves to also “dress up” these rigs. The reason we started working at solving these corrosion issues five years ago is because many Peterbilts, Kenworths and other model rigs on the road today have this problem as early as two

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Here is some of the equipment you’ll need: 1. Larger paint booth 2. Large mobile platform ladders 3. Stainless welding equipment along with heli-arc welding equipment 4. Larger frame rack or larger floor pulling system/anchors and pulling post/heavy chains 5. Larger, dedicated working stalls 6. Additional paint mixing system and stock – DuPont, Imron and supplies for Peterbilts, Kenworths and other makes/models 7. Special adhesives/supplies 8. Larger sandblasting system 9. Heavy-duty floor jacks/stands 10. Larger wash bay 11. Mitchell estimating truck system or Mitchell collision books for large or medium rigs For Class 8 and down, I would check to see how many OEM heavy-duty truck dealers that don’t have in-house collision/paint departments exist within a 50- to 100-mile radius of your shop. They can sublet the work to you, so you win because you get additional business and they win, too, because of the advantages that subletting offers. As you can see, it takes a large investment, but it does offer potential to expand your future business. I strongly recommend that you thoroughly research your area and suppliers, plus other competitors first!

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Product

Spotlight Audatex Estimating Accurate Estimates the First Time, Every Time

udatex Estimating 䡲 Ongoing Data Updates — is a next-generaStay current with weekly tion estimating equipment part price upplatform that imdates, overlap calculations, proves productivity and paint decode functions and drives faster, more accurate more. repairs for your business. 䡲 Easy Navigation — A straightNow insurers, collision forward design and intuitive repair professionals and fields allow quick processing. Audatex 3D Intelligent Graphics offer 360-degree rotation, independent appraisers can Estimating has never been unlimited zoom, color-coded parts and substrate materials all collaborate using a sineasier with interactive graphidentification, making it fast and easy to create an accurate gle estimating application. ics, a parts-search utility, the estimate. The result is reduced cycle ability to add attachments times, increased accuracy and more. and streamlined communication. Key features and 䡲 Streamlined Communication — Exchange information benefits include: and share estimates quickly and efficiently. 䡲 Powerful Estimating Database — The most com䡲 Estimating Organization — Get your business on prehensive and widely accepted database in the track with a wide range of reports covering new collision repair market. estimates, labor, parts lists, work orders and more. 䡲 3D Intelligent Graphics — Unparalleled 3D graphical 䡲 Multiple Training Options — Training options include insight into parts and repairs translates into improved everything from quick reference guides and self-paced estimating accuracy and faster cycles. online training, to webinars and instructor-led training.

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PROFIT CENTER » Heavy Duty years and up. The result is we’ve increased our business and achieved an affordable solution to our customers’ corrosion problems.

Cashing Out » Like the car side, we’re seeing an increase in owner operator/ small fleets delaying repair work and/or keeping the insurance money because they can’t afford the downtime to have their rigs A technician at repaired. Insurers have come Peterbilt of Northwest to realize this and are reducing Ohio repairs a semiour proper repair figures more truck hood assembly. and more. It isn’t right, but many owner operators/small fleets need that money to pay for other repairs or expenses (mechanical, tires, higher fuel costs, etc.). In the end, both the customer and the collision shop lose, while the insurance companies win by saving money and closing the claim.

Custom Headaches » Most owner operators/small fleets add additional parts and accessories to their rigs to dress them up, which creates issues with replacement parts because there are so many different manufacturers and suppliers. More insurers now have arrangements with You can’t do heavythese suppliers all over the duty truck repair U.S., thus saving money for without large mobile themselves. This is causing platform ladders. many concerns for both the customer and collision shop as many times, the replacement parts aren’t correct or of the same quality as the original parts. Two Values » Back in the day, a big rig was considered “old” after three to four years on the road and needed to be replaced. Just like cars, big rigs can now run many more miles and be driven for many more years.

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PROFIT CENTER  Heavy Duty Truck Frame Machines vs. Light Duty Frame Machines: What’s the Diff? ight duty frame or body repairs are typically performed on a flat deck style machine. A lighter duty frame has a unitized style body versus the two frame rails that make up a heavy-duty body. The light duty vehicle is either driven on or is winched on and then mounted to the machine. Towers are used to pull the frame with chains attached. In contrast, heavy-duty correction is performed on either a press or rail system, depending on whether a truck or a trailer is being corrected. Bee Line manufactures a system using knees and beams, fastened and bolted together, to correct the frame from the inside or outside of the rails. This practice, Bee Line claims, is safer, more efficient and more successful than the chain method. Heavy-duty frame correction requires greater force to straighten frame rails than light duty correction. A light duty deck style weighs around 4,000 to 5,000 pounds, whereas a Bee Line heavy-duty frame correction system weighs 8,000 to 10,000 pounds. The frame press is engineered out of T1 steel. Heavy-duty correction equipment can be used for Heavy duty frame machines weigh light duty correction, but 4,000 to 5,000 pounds more than only in a limited manner. light duty frame machines. The substantial size of the tools prohibits a full light duty correction.

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Training ith any trade, there is a need for supplemental training. When it comes to heavy-duty frame correction, a more skilled, highly trained technician is preferred due to the amount of pressure applied and the preciseness of the different tool setups required. An expert repair most importantly ensures that safety standards have been met before the vehicle returns to the road. Completing the repair successfully and safely is vital, but to be able to diagnosis and formulate the proper and safest way to accomplish the repair is what truly sets the professionals apart from the rest.

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Advancements here have been a lot of advancements, not just in equipment but also for the technician himself. Bee Line introduced aluminum tooling, which is a lighter, easier-to-lift product that reduces the stress and fatigue imposed on the tech. These specialty tools make the job faster and easier to perform while maintaining a conscious effort to improve safe work practices. —Information courtesy of Bee Line Company

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PROFIT CENTER » Heavy Duty We’re now experiencing many challenges regarding insurance and market values. Many independents, owner-operators and small fleets don’t understand the difference until it’s too late. We run into situations where the rig’s insured value is higher than the market value, or the opposite scenario where the owner underinsured the rig to save money. We’re finding that more owners are keeping

the same insured value year after year, which can cause issues when trying to repair their rigs. Plus, it can cost them money insurance-wise. Advising these customers is challenging, especially when they haven’t been keeping up with evaluating the appropriate insurance coverage.

Qualifying the Customer » In heavyduty truck insurance claims, we always

qualify our customers based on their objectives and needs to create a positive outcome for all parties involved. You have to ask a lot of pertinent questions, listen and analyze to determine the best course of action. This way, you’ll be able to move forward using the proper procedures to best handle and fulfill the customer’s objectives as well as the objectives of all parties involved. That includes understanding the insurance company’s procedures. We ask, listen and explain to our customers the pros and cons to prepare them and us for a successful outcome. There are shops that lower pricing, miss damages, and use lesser parts and materials while cutting corners, but will they be there for the customer and/or be in business long? You may not close all of your deals by refusing to negotiate or cut corners, but in the long haul, your integrity and reputation will shine and outlast many of those in the business who do cut corners.

Put It on Paper » I’ve always believed that the pen is mightier than the sword. Your potential profits start first with putting the job down on paper. You can’t get the job and its financial benefit if it isn’t on paper first. It also pays to know the P-pages in and out and what you’re entitled to be compensated for. We participate in factory training, continued education, paint clinics and in-house training, which allow us to repair damages correctly the first time. It never ceases to amaze us how many jobs we redo as the result of improper repair and refinishing by another shop. Cheapest isn’t best! Our policy is to create value for our customers. Life and business are always built on positive relationships, so you should always strive to obtain a win/win/win for your customer, yourself and the insurance company. This will put you on the true path to success when working with jobbers, parts and service departments, and towing professionals.

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PROFIT CENTER » Heavy Duty times. But it’s up to us alone to overcome this. We can help set up programs in our high schools for those students who don’t wish to attend a four-year college but want to learn a respectable trade for which there will always be some demand. We can also start apprentice programs within our shops so that the young techs can learn from our experienced lead techs how to correctly and efficiently perform the tasks required of this real-world professional trade.

Conclusion » I feel that it’s harder today to succeed in this business, but it has always been hard. We’ve come this far not in vain, but determined to do our daily best for customers, employees, owners and ourselves. I remember when insurance companies required three damage estimates! (Now I’m really dating myself). When dealing with life, business, family and customers, you must adhere to the “The Golden Rule”: “Do

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unto others as you would have done unto you.” By sticking together for the betterment of all, I truly believe we can and will prevail, remembering that insurance companies aren’t repairing or refinishing our customers’ vehicles big or small – we are! BSB Phil Meyers is body/paint department director for Peterbilt of Northwest Ohio. He can be reached at PGMYERS2001@aol.com or (419) 423-3441.


»| Industry Update |« Chicagoland continued from pg. 36 than those who have opted to only receive fax orders,” said George Avery, claims consultant with State Farm. And as roll-out continues, Avery says that PartsTrader data also suggests repairers are shifting to participating suppliers from fax-only suppliers. One repairer says PartsTrader has been shutting down its fax service at 5 p.m. Then, at 8:30 a.m., the fax machine is spitting out pages of parts orders that had been entered via PartsTrader at 3 p.m. the day before. He said PartsTrader has stated

the fax service will end in 2014. He also said it seems PartsTrader is “punishing” dealers that have chosen the fax route. Evidence, he claims, is listing one of the largest Chrysler dealers in the area as an Isuzu/Suzuki dealer. “That took several phone calls to change, and who knows if it will change back?” he said.

An Intrusion? » PartsTrader has been called an “intrusion” into the business of collision repairers. “I’m not going to pay anyone to do business with the customers I do business with, and I don’t believe State Farm

has any business running vendors’ and suppliers’ businesses,” says Jeff Janicke, parts director at Bill Jacobs Chevrolet Cadillac Mazda Subaru Kia Mitsubishi, a Level III supplier on the Service Select program. What about the profit for collision repair players, suppliers are asking. If the margins on parts evaporate, what’s left? Then, there’s the cost of administering the program that has some supply professionals like Janicke skeptical about who’s winning in this arrangement. “There are people I’ve talked to [in other states] who have had to add 50

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to 60 hours a week in administrative costs to take care of this program,” he says. “They’re bearing the burden, and that’s not right.” And State Farm’s assertion that PartsTrader will make parts ordering more efficient is being challenged, too. One repairer said dealers have told him their accountants are saying participating in PartsTrader is impossible. He claims one Michigan dealer that is on the full program had to double its parts staff, while the sales numbers haven’t changed. The dealer’s assertion was that PartsTrader is a tool to move


»| Industry Update |« and monitor data, not to make the process more efficient. “Thirty-minute quote times are in the two-hour range. Every line needs to be checked as the part numbers and prices are very often incorrect. Then, in order to maintain [the dealer’s] own measures on parts department sales and performance, the data needs to be secondarily entered into the dealership’s management system,” the repairer says. Janicke, who manages parts for the 55-year-old supplier that happens to be the Midwest’s largest GM wholesale operation, says there are lots of sup-

pliers out there that will tell the same story. As a player with 23 delivery routes traveling up to 250 miles each day, he’s saying thanks, but no thanks.

Pricing » Pricing is one of the big issues. After absorbing the Select Service discount, there’s not a whole lot of profit left over, argues one Chicago supplier. “Why should I have to bid on everyone? I’m not changing my list price,” he says. “I’m not hardly making any money as it is now with the discount we have to give out.” This supplier’s initial reaction to State Farm’s pilot? “They’re sticking

their noses into someone else’s business. Anyway, there are enough estimating and parts ordering systems out there – and they work. Why does State Farm need to get involved?” One repairer said a salvage dealer reported to him that they serviced 200 quotes in one day, but only sold two – and both were loyal customers.

A Good Idea? » But involving State Farm isn’t viewed as a bad thing by all suppliers, especially because State Farm is the largest insurer and greatest provider of business to body shops.

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“I think [PartsTrader] is a good idea,” says Chuck Turck, service and parts director, The Porsche Exchange. He isn’t thrilled about the fee State Farm announced to participate. (“They didn’t tell us the dollar amount yet.”) But as a Porsche dealer with a “captured audience,” the program will give him more visibility and an opportunity to build relationships with new body shops. “It puts my name out there in a different way,” Turck says. Turck admits the program is appealing because of his dealings with Porsche. In the Chicago Metro area, there are a

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»| Industry Update |« handful of Porsche dealers. The Porsche Exchange is one of two Porsche dealers on the State Farm program. The dealership where Turck manages parts has an advantage because it’s larger than other competitors dealing Porsche parts. He estimates that there are about five other body shops in addition

to his core customers that will come to him for quotes on parts. “It’s a part of the business we didn’t go after or cultivate in the past, and now it is given to us,” he says. Turck isn’t exactly sure how much the business will grow because of the program – “Any in-

crease is a good increase,” he says – and he figures he’ll pick up another half-dozen customers. “That’s all the better for us.” As for that fee to participate: He’ll wait and see, then make decisions about future participation. Meanwhile, other states are looking suspiciously at the program, wondering who’s really going to get the cheese if collision repair shops participate. “How many more times are we going to let the insurance industry change the rules to its advantage?” asked Jeff McDowell, president of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers-New Jersey. “Things are hard enough out here. Enough is enough.” Korte’s continued from pg. 36 has traveled more than 14,000 miles through Canada and Alaska and back through the northern U.S. to Chicago and then to Michigan, where they spent time in Traverse City and at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn before the accident. While Korte’s Collision repaired their SUV, owners Matt and Lisa Korte invited the couple to dinner with the whole family one evening and then to a fundraiser at their sons’ school for a night of euchre. “We have euchre in Australia, but we’d never played it before,” said Richards. “It was fun watching and talking with everyone.” Helping the Richards was also an adventure for the Kortes, as they learned about customs and culture in Australia. “We didn’t have any challenges with the repairs, but having the driver’s position on the right side of the vehicle took some getting used to,” said Matt Korte. “I don’t know how many times we went to the left side only to get out and go around.” The Richards are back on the road driving their fully repaired vehicle. Readers are invited to follow their blog at www.gabyandjackson.com.

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»| Industry Update |«

Legislation Iowa Senator Introduces Bill

Requesting Interim Study Commitee on DRPs owa state Sen. Brad Zaun (R20) recently introduced Iowa Senate Bill 42 requesting an interim study committee on automobile insurance direct repair programs (DRPs). Under the legislation, the interim study committee is to study DRPs used by some automobile insurance companies to provide repairs for claimants. The study will include: 䡲 A review and analysis of the

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use of such DRPs by the automobile insurance industry in Iowa 䡲 The effect of the use of such programs on automotive body repair shops, insurance costs and Iowa consumers. Membership of the interim study committee will include: 䡲 Three consumers 䡲 Four members who represent auto body repair shops in the state 䡲 Four members from the automobile insurance industry.

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Aftermarket Parts Legislation Reintroduced in Oklahoma The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) has announced that aftermarket parts legislation (Senate Bill 1051) has been reintroduced in the state of Oklahoma. S.B. 1051 would require an insurer to disclose to the consumer in writing if an aftermarket emission, safety or crash part is to be used in a repair. Insurers would then be required to obtain written consent from car owners regarding the use of an aftermarket part in the repair. A similar bill was introduced last year but was pulled from consideration due to strong opposition expressed by AAIA members in the state. According to the bill, an “emisContinued on pg. 64

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»| Industry Update |« Oklahoma continued from pg. 63 sion part” is defined as: an oxygen sensor, catalytic converter, exhaust pipe, exhaust manifold, fuel distributor, electronic emission control unit, onboard diagnostic unit or any related parts or components. A “safety part” refers to a replacement of parts or systems essential to vehicle operation, suspension, electronic control units, brake parts, safety systems and air bags. An “aftermarket part” is defined as any part not made for or by the manufacturer of the motor vehicle. The disclosure statement to the consumer would need to state,

“This estimate has been prepared based on the use of crash parts supplied by a source other than the manufacturer of your motor vehicle. Warranties applicable to these replacement parts are provided by the manufacturer or distributor of these parts rather than the manufacturer of your vehicle.” AAIA is once again urging all members with locations in Oklahoma to write to senators stating their opposition to this bill. AAIA believes that requiring these disclosures will leave motorists with the impression that aftermarket parts are of an inferior quality to OE parts.

ASA Announces Opposition to Missouri Triennial Vehicle Inspection Bill issouri State Sen. David Sater (R-29) has introduced legislation that would impact the Missouri State Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Program by eliminating the requirement that all motor vehicles obtain a biennial certificate of inspection, and instead be inspected triennially. Missouri Senate Bill 136 has not been addressed in a committee as of yet. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) opposes these changes to the Missouri Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Program because it believes S.B. 136 would create less-safe highways in Missouri – more accidents leading to loss of property, more injuries and possibly more deaths. State government studies of vehicle safety inspection programs in Missouri and Pennsylvania have indicated that inspection programs deter accidents, injuries and deaths. ASA asks Missouri repairers to contact their legislators and express their opposition to S.B. 136.

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»| Industry Update |«

Corporate CCC ONE Partners with United Recyclers Group on

Parts Listing Initiative nited Recyclers Group (URG) has implemented a parts listing service within CCC ONE Estimating. The service uses parts data gathered by the organization, which works with more than 400 auto recyclers. The new parts listing service provides CCC ONE Estimating customers with direct access to a full recycled parts inventory and creates opportunities for any auto recycler to present its parts and pricing to CCC customers, who

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write 10 million repairable estimates each year. “CCC is making significant investments in its alternative parts solutions to improve the coverage and availability of insurance-quality parts for our estimating users,” said Jim Dickens, senior vice president for CCC. “URG has created a dynamic organization and a quality parts listing service that is open to all recyclers looking to present their parts information to auto repair professionals. The parts listing

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service opens access to all recyclers to provide parts information to CCC customers and is a great complement to our existing network of national, local and independent recycled parts suppliers.” URG’s technology provides inventory and pricing data to CCC ONE Estimating, giving users access to recycled parts inventory and information as estimates are being written. This direct access eliminates the need for phone calls and reduces parts backorders and delays, which can slow cycle time. Auto recyclers do not need to be a member of URG to gain access to the new parts listing service. “By entering into an agreement with CCC, we’re providing auto recyclers access to CCC’s vast network of repairers and insurance

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»| Industry Update |« claims adjusters who look for quality parts all day, every day,” said Michelle Alexander, executive director, URG. “We are impressed by CCC’s leadership and

reputation as a trusted provider of data and technologies to the industry, which will help recyclers become even more successful in presenting and selling their quality recycled parts.” Added Greg Wilcox, owner of Midway Auto Parts, “The new parts listing service available within CCC ONE Estimating will provide us with a cost-effective way to present our parts inventory directly to a motivated audience of professional buyers. CCC has the largest network of repairers and insurance carrier customers, so we’re very excited to be part of the program.”

Goff’s Enterprises Hires New Dealer Development Manager Goff’s Enterprises Inc. has announced the addition of Michael Wells as a dealer development manager. Wells brings with him more than 17 years of experience in the material handling field and the high speed door industry. Joining Goff’s two current dealer development managers, Wells will cover Michael Wells the East Coast and Midwest. He will focus on improving dealer performance through continual training and targeted sales efforts. “Michael will play a key role in our continued efforts to grow and strengthen our distributor network,” said Marcus Mohwinkel, vice president of sales and marketing at Goff’s Enterprises. “His skill set and experience in the industry will be an asset to our company. We are thrilled to have him join our team.” Circle 82 for Reader Service

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»| Industry Update |«

PPG Show Truck to Embark on

Cross-Country Tour PPG Automotive Refinish has announced the 2013 tour schedule of its eye-catching show truck. The colorful, custom-painted 75-foot 2007 Coronado Freightliner will make 20 appearances in 18 states from March through October. Stops include major car, truck and hot rod shows sponsored by the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association, the National Street Rod Association, and other car and truck enthusiast groups. The truck, coated in PPG DELFLEET Evolution F3995 Epoxy Primer, FBC Basecoat, FBC500 Blending Clear and

F3921 Clearcoat, is a self-contained display of exhibits featuring PPG paint products with the truck as the star attraction. Show attendees of all ages are invited to check out the truck’s impressive exterior custom color and design work created by PPG master painter Paul Stoll and a team from California-based Kelly & Son the Crazy Painters. PPG driver Chad Hook will once again guide the Freightliner to its cross-country appearances, with his first stop set for March 8 at the Fourth Spring Nationals in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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»| Industry Update |«

National West Virginia Court Bars Liberty Mutual

from Selling Used or Aftermarket Parts est Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw announced that the Circuit Court of Kanawha County has issued a permanent injunction against Liberty Mutual Insurance Company from using salvaged or aftermarket crash parts to repair motor vehicles that are less than three years old. The court’s order up-

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holds current state law that requires insurance companies and body shops to obtain a consumer’s written authorization before salvaged parts are used for the repair of new vehicles. Attorney General McGraw sued Liberty Mutual in January of this year, after an investigation by his Consumer Protection Division revealed that Liberty Mutual had will-

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fully violated state consumer protection laws. Liberty Mutual admitted in court documents that it had repaired nearly 200 vehicles using junkyard and aftermarket parts in violation of the Aftermarket Crash Parts Act, and defended its use of these parts, which McGraw believed jeopardized consumers’ safety and diminished the value of consumers’ vehicles.

“This is a victory for West Virginia consumers,” said McGraw. “Every consumer has the right to know the type and quality of crash parts used to repair their damaged vehicles.” The court has not yet ruled on the amount of restitution Liberty Mutual will be required to pay to consumers, nor did it rule on the amount of the civil penalties.

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»| Industry Update |«

Consolidation

CARSTAR Adds New Location in Washington State

ABRA Opens Sixth Collision Repair Facility

in Salt Lake City Region BRA Auto Body & Glass has announced the opening of a sixth company-owned repair center in the Salt Lake City area. The new repair center is located at 3383 W. 12600 South in Riverton, Utah, and increases ABRA’s total number of repair centers to 137 in 15 states. The company opened 27 new repair centers in 2012. “This is our first new opening of the year and is the initial stage of implementing our long-term expansion and acquisition plan this year,” said

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Duane Rouse, president and CEO of ABRA. “We anticipate an exciting year filled with increased business opportunities. We look forward to expanding our national footprint in new and existing markets.” “We are gaining momentum,” said Tim Adelmann, ABRA’s executive vice president of business development. “The opening of the Riverton repair center is a tremendous opportunity to help increase our presence in Utah while reaffirming our commitment to serve our customers and business partners in the area.”

CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts is expanding in Washington State with the opening of Complete Collision CARSTAR in Federal Way. Complete Collision CARSTAR, located at 34627 16th Ave. S., is the third location for owner Jeff Middleton, who also owns Exhibition Automotive CARSTAR in Kent and Ballard Collision CARSTAR in Seattle. Middleton was recognized by CARSTAR in 2011 as the top franchisee of the year for operational excellence. He was also recognized by BodyShop Business in 2012 as Collision Repair Shop Executive of the Year. The opening of Complete Collision CARSTAR marks the second CARSTAR location in Federal Way, along with nearby Bob Bjorneby’s CARSTAR Federal Way Collision.

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»| Industry Update |« Fix Auto Adds Two Locations

in Washington State

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Fix Auto USA has announced the addition of two locations in the state of Washington to its growing network of collision repair centers. The opening of Fix Auto Gig Harbor, previously Denny’s Harbor Auto Body, and Fix Auto Puyallup, previously Denny’s Valley Auto Body, brings the total number of Fix locations in Washington to eight and 14 in the Pacific Northwest. “We’ve watched Fix Auto signs pop up all over Seattle in the last year,” said Patty Denny, owner of the two shops. “Marketing and community involvement has always been important to us. By becoming a Fix Auto franchisee, we like that we immediately benefit from the group’s previous marketing efforts while continuing to improve our own through pooled resources and a larger scale marketing strategy. It gives us a significant advantage over independent shops in our area.” Co-owner Mark Denny added, “Most independent repairers have felt the impact of consolidation in some form or another. Our hard work will now be backed by a corporate infrastructure, national insurance representation and the advantage of working together with other top performing shops.” “Fix Auto Gig Harbor and Fix Auto Puyallup are great additions for Fix Auto USA,” said Fix Auto President and COO Paul Gange. “Having them on board continues the strategic expansion of our footprint in the Pacific Northwest with best-in-class operators committed to delivering a high-quality collision repair experience for our carrier and vehicle owner customers.”

Carsmetics Expands into Edmond, Okla. Carsmetics, headquartered in Tampa, Fla., and specializing in minor auto body repair, has opened its second Oklahomaarea shop in the past 12 months. It has 25 other locations throughout Florida, California, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. "We fill the gap," said manager Fred Heath. “We're a great alternative to a large collision shop because customers can drop their cars off in the morning and pick them up at the end of the day looking like new." Circle 70 for Reader Service

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»| Industry Update |« CARSTAR Adds Location in Denton, Texas CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts has announced the opening of the first CARSTAR location in Denton, Texas – Autobody Denton CARSTAR. Owned by Mark Riney, Autobody Denton CARSTAR is located at 820 E. McKinney St. The shop, which has been open since 1977, offers collision repair, vehicle restoration and customization, glass repair, and storm and hail damage repair. As a member of CARSTAR, Autobody Denton CARSTAR will offer an array of services and products for collision repair, including the latest in repair technology, rental vehicles, national warranties on repairs and turnkey service for customers. “We are excited to welcome Mark Riney and Autobody Denton CARSTAR to the CARSTAR network,” said David Byers, CEO of CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts. “We are thrilled to announce our first CARSTAR store in Denton with this new top-notch collision repair center.”

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ADVERTISER INDEX COMPANY NAME

AFC Aframe Spray Booths Alert Stamping Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists Inc. American Honda Motor Co. Anest Iwata USA Atlas Copco Compressors LLC Audatex Automotive Mgmt Institute Automotive Service Equip. BASF Corporation Bendpak Blackburn’s Hubcap & Wheels, Inc. Blair Campbell Hausfeld CCC Cebotech Inc. Certified Auto Parts Association Champion/Gardner Denver ChemSpec USA Col-Met Spraybooths

PG. #

62 21 68 65 73 19 23, 65 39, 51 69 61 27 43 50 32 52 17 70 9 26 53 60

COMPANY NAME

PG. #

COMPANY NAME

Crash-writeR Dent Fix Equipment DV Systems Eurovac Evercoat Farecla Inc. FBS Distribution Co Inc. Herkules Equipment Corp. Induction Innovations Innovative Tools & Technologies, Inc. Jessen Productions Kaeser Compressors Lancer Insurance Co. Malco Products Martech Services Co. Masters School of Autobody Matrix System Automotive Finishes LLC Maxzone Auto Parts Corp. Motor Guard Corp. Nissan Motor Corp. USA Northeast Show

Insert 13 46 67 3, 55 4 41 71 36 33 54 11 70 7 16 30 31 29 64 49 15

O’Reilly Auto Parts PPG Industries Pro Spot International RBL Products Rubber-Seal Products SAAB Parts North America Scorpion Truck Bed Linings Shop-Pro Equipment Southern Polyurethanes Spanesi Spies Hecker Suburban Mfg. Sullivan Palatek Tite Spot Welders Toyota TYC/Genera Corp. U.S. Body Products Valspar Wedge Clamp Systems Inc. Zendex Tool Corp.

PG. #

59 Cover 2 -1 Cover 3 34, 42, 58, 66 12 56 64 35 37 45 5 68 57 69 Cover 4 47 48 57 28 67

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Product

Showcase Washable and Reusable Coverall

Speed Up Cure Times “Rapid Cure” Accelerated Reducer (MRS-155) is designed to accelerate cure times without sacrificing quality and useable potlife. A 2.1 VOC compliant universal reducer, it decreases dryto-sand times by 50 percent. MRS155 can be used with most of the Medallion Refinish Systems’ urethane primer surfacers and clearcoat systems. Medallion Refinish Systems www.medallionrefinish.com Circle 150 for Reader Service

The washable and reusable Clean Coverall from DeVilbiss is designed to keep dirt, dust and other contaminants out of paint finish. It displays a skull and cross guns design with signature colors. It also features a lightweight nylon front, a breathable cotton back, a pullover hood, elastic wrist closures, hook and loop ankle closures, and an elastic waist. DeVilbiss Automotive Refinishing www.devilbissar.com Circle 152 for Reader Service

Alternative to Drilling Spot Welds The 3M Green Corps File Belt is an alternative to drilling, with a long-lasting abrasive surface designed for spot weld removal as well as grinding in other tight areas. A single 3M Green Corps File Belt grinds off more spot welds than drill bits and works well on all types of steel. 3M www.3mcollision.com Circle 153 for Reader Service

Finishing Putty with Great Adhesion Eliminate Corrosion Copper WeldThru Primer is designed to eliminate the corrosion that forms between welded substrates. It has excellent adhesion, and the copperenriched formula provides superior conductive properties that minimize the heat zone, reducing distortion and welding splatter.

Metal Glaze Ultra polyester finishing putty offers excellent sanding and spreading qualities. It contains ZNX-7, which provides superior adhesion to galvanized steel and aluminum, eliminating the risk of pulling back the featheredge. Evercoat www.evercoat.com Circle 154 for Reader Service

Dominion Sure Seal www.dominionsureseal.com Circle 151 for Reader Service

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Quality Breathing Air The Quality Air Breathing System complies with the OSHA requirement for Grade D Breathable Air. When placed near the point of use, it will work with the existing compressed air supply. The four-stage filtration filters the air, and the on-board carbon monoxide monitor continuously monitors the air quality for compliance with current OSHA standards. Martech Services Company www.breathingsystems.com Circle 155 for Reader Service


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February 2013 | BodyShop Business


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The

Shop C.J. Vermaak Production Manager Dan’s Paint & Body 䡲 Tucson, Ariz.

What accent is that? I’m from South Africa. You know, where all the good golfers and swimmers come from.

Are you a big golf fan? No, I’m more into rugby. South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, England – we’re all rivals and go back and forth with the world championship.

Have you ever played rugby? Yes, through college.

It’s a rough sport, isn’t it? Yes, you pay for it the older you get: knees, shoulders, neck, etc. But it’s a fun game.

What’s the worst injury you ever got from playing? I broke my nose and cracked my cheekbone, so I was out for awhile. That pretty much ended my rugby career.

checking parts and ordering parts and eventually became parts manager.

Are you a big hunter? Yes. My greatgrandfather had a cattle ranch that got passed down through the generations. And when you work on a ranch, when you’re not working cattle, you’re hunting.

What’s the best animal you ever bagged? There are a lot, to be honest. I got a very big African leopard all by myself when I was 18. That was a big accomplishment for me.

When did you come to the U.S.? I moved here nine years ago when I got married. I was a professional hunting guide in South Africa, and that’s where I met my future wife, who would take hunting trips there with her father and mother. Dan, her father, owns Dan’s Paint & Body.

How did you go from hunting to collision? The parts manager who worked for my fatherin-law quit and walked out, so he said I needed to come and help out. I started in the back lot

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February 2013 | BodyShop Business

Do you have a trophy room? Yes. My wife is an avid hunter, too, although she prefers to archery hunt more than rifle. I do both.

Did you ever have any “close calls” while hunting? I had one incident where an African leopard bit a guy next to me, but we eventually killed it and that was the end of it. But I got lucky and didn’t get a scratch. BSB


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Circle 78 for Reader Service

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