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BOTH SIDES NOW: INSURER PARTS PROCUREMENT Serving the Business of the Industry


Inside Toyota’s Certified Collision Centre program.


The latest and greatest in measuring systems.


Sherry Baird and Jon Bell keep progress moving at Victoria, B.C.’s Advance Collision.



The status quo is not an option.

Automakers turn to exotic materials to meet CAFE standards.


New t produc from ! k c te S


Steck’s new tool pulls glue

tabs and pins, Mike Jerry of Mitchell on shop sustainability and Brett Campbell follows in his family’s footsteps at City Centre Collision~CSN. Volume 12, Number 2


April 2013




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On The cover 29 The dream team Advance Collision has garnered a dynamic, loyal staff team ... and it was no accident. Volume 12 Issue 2, April 2013

features 34  executive vision Mike Jerry of Mitchell on profitability and the best way to ensure shop longevity. 36  Family footsteps Brett Campbell’s love of art drives him forward in the family business. 39 Precision engineered The latest and greatest in measuring systems. 42  parts procurement Are insurance mandated parts procurement systems here to stay?

Matthew Ohrnstein of Symphony Advisors gives us the low down on what’s driving the industry forward.

47 50

Vasco Rebuli on Toyota’s Certified program.



Today’s top measuring systems are accurate down to the millimetre.

47 Go or Grow? Maintaining the status quo simply isn’t an option. 50 Certified Repair Inside Toyota’s Certified Collision Repair program. 52  the light touch Automakers increasingly turn to exotic materials as they strive to hit CAFE standards.


departments 04 Publisher’s page  by Darryl Simmons Summer students. 20 Prairie View  by Tom Bissonnette Rate review.

BoTH sIdes noW: Insurer ParTs ProcureMenT Serving the Business of the Industry

OEM SpOtlIght

Inside Toyota’s Certified Collision Centre program.

On the Cover: Sherri Baird and Jon Bell of Advance Collision in Victoria, B.C.

22 Point Blank  by Sam Piercey Rejected, not approved.

Photography by: Gregg Eligh,

24  Who’s driving?  by Jay Perry The future.

True Measure

The latest and greatest in measuring systems.


Sherry Baird and Jon Bell keep progress moving at Victoria, B.C.’s Advance Collision.



The status quo is not an option.

Automakers turn to exotic materials to meet CAFE standards.

ClASS Plus


Canada’s collision repair information resource. New articles and top news stories daily. Visit

HAVE YOUR SAY. We welcome your comments on anything you see in Collision Repair magazine. Send your feedback to

26  social media by Jonathan Barrick Measure it! 32 View from the Top  by Dick Cross Generation next. 64  Recycling  by David Gold Gold standard. 66 Last word  by Mike Davey Robo devolution.

april 2013  collision Repair  03

publisher’s page

SummerHelp Leverage student know-how. By Darryl Simmons


can still see mounds of snow and ice out of my window as I type this, but summer is going to be here before we know it. Winter has us in its icy grip, which is kind of an odd phrase when you think about it. If ice really had much “grip,” then winter wouldn’t be the busiest season of the year for the collision repair industry. Nevertheless it is the busy season for accidents and so I think there’s a strong chance that you’re not thinking too much about the lazy, hazy days of summer yet. But maybe you should be. Now is the perfect time to start lining up some student help for the summer. Now

PUBLISHER DARRYL SIMMONS (905) 370-0101 general manager Ryan Potts

All of that’s on the technical side, though. Don’t get me wrong, technicians are one of the most vital components of your business and if you don’t have them, you can’t do much. The technical aspects of the job are becoming more complex every year, but they’re hardly the only thing keeping you up at night. Marketing, business planning, social media: the list of needed tasks continues to grow, seemingly every day. You don’t necessarily need hotshot technical skills to handle a lot of those items, but you do need time. I’m willing to bet that your personal time is in short supply.


you may end up gaining a solid employee for life. is the right time to hire an apprentice to start this summer. Graduation at a lot of the technical schools is around May, so it’s best to get them signed on right now, before they either go somewhere else or leave the business entirely, as we know happens far too often. Don’t forget, no matter what province you live in, there are subsidies to help you out when it comes to hiring apprentices and students. We published a guide to these incentives in our December 2012 issue. Please contact Mike Davey at if you don’t have the issue on hand and he’ll send you the electronic version. Those subsidies can add up to a major chunk of change. They’re sitting there, waiting for you to claim them. When you think about it that way, it’s kind of silly not to hire an apprentice. You may also get an apprentice started down the road to becoming an experienced body technician. We can always use more of those.

Summer students can help here too. Think about it. There are students studying to be specialists in just about anything you could need. Why not hire one for the summer and see what they can do? Someone who is, for example, two years into a four-year marketing and social media program won’t have all the skills and know-how that a top-flight consultant does, but they’ve got their own advantages. For one thing, they’ll be a lot cheaper. For another, the student you hire will know what an incredible opportunity this is for a student (or don’t hire them) and they’ll treat it like one. They’ll bring energy and passion to work every day. And who knows? You may end up gaining a solid employee for life. CRM

04  collision Repair

SUBSCRIPTION One-year $29.95 / Two-year $55.95 Collision Repair™ magazine is published bi-monthly, and is dedicated to serving the business interests of the collision repair industry. It is published by Media Matters Inc. Material in Collision Repair™ magazine may not be reproduced in any form with out written consent from the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertising and disclaims all responsibilities for claims or statements made by its advertisers or independent columnists. All facts, opinions, statements appearing in this publication are those of the writers and editors themselves, and are in no way to be construed as statements, positions or endorsements by the publisher. PRINTED IN CANADA ISSN 1707-6072 CANADA POST CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL SALES PRODUCT AGREEMENT No. 40841632 RETURN POSTAGE GUARANTEED Send change of address notices and undeliverable copies to: 86 John Street Thornhill, ON L3T 1Y2

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Collision Repair magazine is published by Media Matters Inc., publishers of: T H E T RA I N I N G P O RTA L F O R C O L L I S I O N R E PA I R


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the front end

People on the move Carles Navarro has been appointed as President of BASF Canada, effective Feb. 1, 2013. He succeeds Laurent Tainturier, who is preparing for a new assignment within BASF Group. In this role, Navarro assumes responsibility for all of BASF’s businesses in Canada. Prior to this appointment, Navarro held various positions within BASF Group, including: business management for engineering plastics; business management for polyurethane specialties in Spain; and general manCarles agement of the Navarro. BASF Polyurethanes subsidiary in Turkey. Most recently, he held the position of VP Sales and Regional Market Development in Spain and Portugal. Darcy Gorchynski has been named as Director of Business Development (Western Canada) for the Insurance Claims Services division of Audatex Canada. Gorchynski brings with him 32 years of experience in the auto insurance industry, having worked with the Manitoba Public Insurance Company and most recently, Insurance Company of British Columbia. Darcy Gorchynski can be reached at darcy.gorchynski@ Darcy We d g e C l a m p Gorchynski. Systems has announced the addition of Bernard (Bernie) Gooding to the new position of Area Sales Manager. Gooding started in the automotive industry in England, and entered the collision repair industry after moving to Canada in 1988. He has managed collision repair facilities since 1990, and brings extensive knowledge of repair process and techniques and the collision repair industry. Prior to joining Wedge Bernard Clamp, Gooding Gooding. was with Craftsman

Collision for 14 years, rising to the role of Regional Manager and being recognised in the industry and communities for outstanding customer service. Gooding can be reached at bgooding@ Automotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW) has announced that Dan Stander, AAM, Fix Auto Highlands Ranch in Littleton, Dan Colo., will serve Stander. as the next event chairman for the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE). The 2013 event is scheduled for Oct. 17 to 19, with an education conference beginning Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev. Paul Randles has joined Fix Auto Canada as General Manager for Atlantic Region. Randles brings over 20 years of experience as a sales professional Paul including expertise Randles. in customer service and educational programs. Randles has focused his activities in the automotive and finance sectors. He has previous experience working with Equifax, RIFCO, and Reynolds & Reynolds, and has spent many years developing business opportunities and establishing customer relationships in the automotive industry. Some key partners have included General Motors, Chrysler, Toyota and their dealer network. CARSTAR Automotive Canada has announced that Colson Cole has joined the organization in the role of National Operations Colson Cole. Manager. In this role, Cole will work with CARSTAR’s technical team to assist franchise partners in achieving “best-in-class” status, manage CARSTAR’s vendor relations strategy and will work as a liaison with CARSTAR’s insurance team and insurance partners in matters

06  collision Repair

Rattle-rattle Clank!

Hey boss. Burning the midnight oil?

We've had that help wanted ad for weeks and we haven't received one qualified applicant, so I'm building a robot to help around the shop.

This isn’t going to be like your automatic, selfpropelled laser measuring system that went berserk at the auto show, is it? They still haven’t rebuilt the convention centre.


We agreed NEVER to speak of that again.

Follow Collision Repair magazine at...

Progressive collision centers require more than exceptional color match to remain ahead of the competition; they rely on industry-leading training and services.

Both PPG’s leadership in color match accuracy and its highly acclaimed MVP Business Solutions training and services equip your collision center for success. Meet your match.

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the front end

re l a t i n g t o s t o re performance. Cole joins C AR S TAR a f t e r working as Ontario Regional Manager for UAP/NAPA Auto Howard Parts, where he Berg. worked for five years. Additionally, Colson has direct collision industry experience and has acted worked as a manager in three collision centres in Ontario and Atlantic Canada. Colson was a member of the Dupont Association of Quality Circle Round Table and is a current member of I-CAR and the Young Executive Society of AIA and a regular attendee at the Canadian Collision Industry Forum. He also has a passion for local community causes and charities having been

involved in Big Brothers & Sisters, The United Way of Toronto and Junior Achievement. PH Vitres D’autos has announced the appointment of Howard Berg to the position of Assistant Vice-President – Ontario. The company’s brands include PH Vitres D’Autos, Nationwide Auto Glass, Brunswick Auto Glass and Atlantic Windshield. Berg is now responsible for all Ontario sales and operations, reporting directly to David Proulx, Vice-President/Quebec-Ontario. He brings 24 years experience in management within the automotive industry to the position, with experience in OEM Alain parts, aftermarket Masse. parts, collision

consolidation, automotive recycling and auto glass. UAP h a s a n nounced that Alain Masse has been appointed to the Sylvie position of ExecuLeduc. tive Vice President, NAPA Operations. During the last two years, he has successfully led the company’s Heavy Vehicle Parts Division in the role of Executive Vice President. The company has also announced that Sylvie Leduc has been named Executive Vice President, Heavy Vehicle Parts Division. Leduc joined UAP in October of 2012. She took advantage of an orientation program during which she gained extensive knowledge of the operations of the company’s two divisions.

Jack Martino Sr.: 1928 - 2013

Byron Bird: 1952 - 2012

It is with great sadness that we must announce the passing of Jack Martino, Sr. Jack and his brother Frank were the co-founders of Martino Brothers Collision~CSN, with two locations in Toronto, Ont. The locations are currently owned and operated by their Jack Martino Sr., above, was one of the respective sons, Vince and Jack. co-founders of Martino Jack Sr. passed away at 7:00 p.m., FebBrothers Collision. ruary 6, 2013. He was an inspiration to many during his more than 50 years in the collision repair industry. He will be greatly missed by his many friends and family. The funeral service was held on February 9, at All Saints Catholic Church in Toronto followed by the internment.

It is with deep regret that we must announce the passing of Byron Bird of DuPont Performance Coatings (DPC). Bird passed away suddenly at the age of 60 at his cottage in Parry Sound, doing Byron Bird. what he loved most, hunting with his friends and his dog, Chica. Devoted father of Jennifer (Matthew) Chaves, Jamie (Cam) Ferguson, Taylor and Kohle. Adored spouse to Jacqui Esposito and her daughter Rosie. Cherished son of Ellen and the late Everett Bird. His good nature and humour will be missed by many including his customers, colleagues at DuPont and friends throughout the collision industry.

Uh Oh!

Better Get Maaco!

The Premier Collision Center ... that also Paints Cars!

“I can attribute my success to a steady dose of advertising, continued brand awareness in the local market, and consistent quality work with a stable crew combined with customer service. Profitability has been a result of following the systems and procedures of the foundation that Maaco was built upon”. – Brett Byers, Maaco Franchisee of Barrie

Grow your business. Align with a nationally recognized business.

08  collision Repair


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Reader Letters

The Apprentice disconnect: Why aren’t they in class? Large numbers of interested, motivated young people are enthusiastic about the trade and sign apprenticeship contracts each year across Canada. With their help, the industry has no skills shortages. But … over 70 per cent of them won’t make it to their first time at school! The work to date shows that: 1) There is no shortage of new apprentices entering the trade (signing agreements), 2) Efforts to sign up new apprentices are showing reasonably consistent numbers for the last five years, 3) There is a massive attrition rate between signing up as an Auto Body Collision Damage Repairer (ABCDR) apprentice and the apprentice actually arriving at the Training Delivery Agent (TDA), usually a community college, for training and 4) There are significant differences in volumes of apprentices in school between provinces. I am working on a short study/review with the members of the Canadian Council Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) and asking them for their numbers on autobody apprentices. We know how many graduate each year in each province and we also have data that shows once they get to the TDA, chances are good they will stay in the trade. TDAs tell us consistently that attrition rates are nominal and they are the same in other trades in motive power, somewhere in the 15 to 20 per cent range over the three to four years of intake at the school. Ontario shows a total of 314 new apprentice contracts in the year (including pre-apprentice), yet the colleges tell us that only 132 went to class. Not included is Toronto’s fee-payer class of 82 students. Alberta’s Apprenticeship Branch advises 276 first year signed apprentices

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10  collision Repair

in autobody, but only 74 went to class; 14 in Calgary and 60 in Edmonton. Alberta charged 43 collision repair shops last year with failure to send new apprentices to school. Autobody was the highest number of charges laid for a sector. Saskatchewan reports only 12 showed up for school out of 47 signed. Saskatchewan reports the total number of apprentices dropping from 127 to 120. Manitoba’s data is very similar, reporting 55 signed apprentices with only 14 going to school. Manitoba’s number of apprentices, unlike Saskatchewan’s, is going up from 177 last year to 186 this year. British Columbia’s figures are currently not available due to provincial privacy and FOI concerns. Nova Scotia reports some 18 registrants for the trade but typically only three or four show up for class. This year, because the trade has now been deemed “restricted,” attendance numbers are up to nine, according to their college instructor. Nova Scotia reports a total of 66 apprentices. We do not have a skilled trades shortage in terms of students. There are lots of motivated, eager, intelligent young people signing up for the autobody trade. Ontario alone shows 141 new signed apprentices from April to September of this year. The problem is that we are losing some 60 to 70 per cent prior to school starting. That’s why Ontario shows an 80 per cent failure rate. They are looking at the number of contracts signed against CofQ completion. If they looked at physical TDA entry against completion writing, the numbers would be in the 10 to 15 per cent range. As long as we have people who get paid to tell us of skills shortages and civil servants who get remunerated and assessed on the number of new apprentice contracts signed, not on graduation, then these false perceptions will continue. However, the work done by IEC’s, youth apprentice groups,, the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, CCDA and co-op programs has worked to maintain the interest in the trade. So the answer to the shop-level skills trades shortage is not awareness, but doing a better job of retention, employer assistance early in the process, getting that young person to school sooner and dealing with employer release. That is where the focus should be. If that problem could be solved by even 50 per cent, it would mean 192 additional technicians per year in Ontario and Alberta alone. We already know why that young person leaves their employer, from the IEC/HRDC/HARA study on skilled trades retention. Since everyone has done a good, proveable job on attraction, the discussion should now focus on how to do a similar job on retention. Putting dollars into awareness programs, when we are losing over 70 per cent of apprentices, is a massive misuse of funds. One issue that keeps popping up is that it would appear only 30 per cent of eligible collision repair facilities owners even apply for the $10,000 apprenticeship grant to offset costs. These monies could well be used for retention cost reduction and could keep apprentices better employed. From a practical viewpoint, if a province sees a 80 per cent failure rate (with autobody being the highest attrition rate in their figures), why should they continue to fund seats? John Norris Executive Director Collision Industry Information Assistance What’s your view? As an industry, should we continue to place much of the emphasis on attracting new recruits, or is it time to shift more resources to retaining the students already attracted to the industry? Let us know via email to


DuPont Performance Coatings to be renamed Axalta Coating Systems The Carlyle Group has completed its acquisition of DuPont Performance Coatings for $4.9 billion and announced that the company is being renamed Axalta Coating Systems. As an independent company, Axalta Coating Systems will build on a foundation of more than 90 years in the coatings industry. The company serves more than 120,000 customers in 130 countries and provides customers with a full range of coating systems.

“In addition to driving performance and excellence, one of our greatest strengths is the systems-based approach we take with our customers,” said John G. McCool, President of Axalta Coating Systems. “Along with coatings, we provide customers a full spectrum of tools and services to help them use our products effectively. We offer customers hands-on opportunities to learn how to use these products and applications tools

in our 42 training centres throughout the world. This capability helps our customers improve their performance and productivity while allowing us to enhance our offerings by gaining a better understanding of customer preferences.” Axalta Coating Systems will continue to supply the same brands as before, including Standox, Spies Hecker, DuPont Refinish and Imron.

WIN names keynotes for 2013 Conference T h e Wo m e n ’s Industry Network (WIN) has announced the keynote speakers for the 2013 WIN Susan Fowler. Conference, Empower the Leader Within, scheduled for May 5 to 7, 2013 at the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix, Ariz. The General Session of the Educational Conference kicks off with Susan Fowler, author, motivational speaker and an expert on personal empowerment who will present the conference theme, “Empower the Leader Within.” Fowler’s extensive experience and knowledge gained through 15 years of advertising, sales, production, and marketing across the U.S. has fueled her quest to help individuals achieve the highest levels of success. Day two of the Conference will feature keynote Barb Moses carrying the conference theme another step forward with “Empowering the Leader Within by the Observer Becoming the Observed.” As a Vice President and Master Trainer of Discover Leadership Training. For more information, please contact Tina Clark at tina@ or go to page/conference-2013.

april 2013  collision Repair  11


Maaco Regina kicks off Skate4Smiles Fundraiser with $10,000 donation The 3rd Annual Skate4Smiles Fundraiser in Emerald Park, Sask. got a big boost from Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting in the form of a $10,000 donation. The event is Charlene Klyne (centre), GM of Maaco Regina, held to raise funds for presents a donation to Carla and Mike the Children’s Hospital Ellert of the Skate4Smiles Fundraiser. Foundation of Saskatchewan in memory of Dawson Ellert, a young boy who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2010. Surgery to remove the tumor was successful, but Dawson suffered a stroke during recovery and passed away. Inspired by Dawson’s caring and compassionate nature and his ever-present infectious smile, his family created the Skate4Smiles Fundraiser. “We are very inspired by the Ellert Family,” says Maaco Regina’s GM, Charlene Klyne. Klyne’s son Mack was a personal friend to Dawson. Maaco is a part of the Driven Brands family of automotive brands, which includes Meineke, Econo Lube, Aero Colours, AutoQual and Drive N Style. Klyne added, “This donation reflects the newly established Driven Brands Charitable Foundation, which seeks to raise $1 million a year towards funding medical care, research and education that will continue to save and improve the lives of millions of children.”

12  collision Repair

Tab-It upgrades Steck’s Stud Lever to pull glue tabs Steck Manufacturing Company has released the Tab-It (P/N 20013). Combined with the Steck Stud Lever (20014), it gives technicians the ability to work with both glue tabs and traditional studs (pull pins) and aids in controlling the dent pulling process as well as accuracy of the pull. A strong, high impact polystyrene glue tab collar that slides over Stud Lever’s handle to allow the 3/8-inch by ½-inch U-shaped capture mechanism to slide under the top of the glue tab and grab the round or short sides of oblong stems. Tab-It also includes a 3 ½-inch by 1 ½-inch padded extension block to protect the painted surface. This also allows the Stud Lever’s existing pivoting base to slide into the extension block, so the tech can raise the height of the Stud Lever to allow the technician to quickly adjust to the glue tab’s height. The Stud Lever’s pivot base allows one-handed operation, which Steck says and provides increased leverage, acThe Steck stud c u r a c y a n d re a c h f o r lever and Tab-It kit in action. the pull and crown compression processes both vertical and horizontal, including roofs and lower rocker panels. For more information, please visit



network ?

Choosing a network is an important decision. Fix Auto has put together this exercise to make it easier. Rate three networks, and compare the results.

Rate the networks from 1 to 10 on each of the following criteria, then add up the totals. 0 points — hopeless

6 points — good

2 points — weak

8 points — very good

4 points — average

10 points — excellent

Networks > 1



Network image


Customer service


Freedom of action


Member selection




Training and support


Relations with insurers




10 Innovation and technology

total per Network / 100

Any network thAt scores lower thAn 75 points will not live up to your expectAtions.






AIA study says Vehicle fleet older than previously thought by Mike Davey

Canada’s vehicle fleet is older than previously thought, according to an update to AIA Canada’s 2012 Outlook Study. When first released, the Outlook Study indicated that the average age of light vehicles in the Canadian fleet was 8.54 years. Since its release, however, DesRosiers Automotive Consultants (DAC) has used greater data availability to update the average age of light vehicles in Canada to 9.26 years. The relevant information is in Section 2.11 of AIA’s 2012 Outlook Study. DAC has indicated that the methodology formerly used to calculate the average age of light vehicles in Canada assigned a value of 16 to all vehicles over the age of 16 years. This was done because originally the R.L. Polk & Co. data used by DAC grouped together all vehicles over the age of 16 into one age category. “The ‘Old Methodology’ assumed all light vehicles 16 years and older were counted as 16 years old within this weighted average age calculation. This methodology was used because historically registration data from Polk ‘rolled up’ all the counts for vehicles of 16 years of more into a single number,” according to a written statement from DAC. “The ‘New Methodology’ now uses the discrete ages of light vehicles back to the 1981 model year. Thus discrete data is available for the number of vehicles by specific age, all the way back to 31 years old.”

The average age provided is now more accurate as a result of this change in methodology, providing a more realistic picture of the age of Canada’s vehicle fleet. The average age is greater than was previously thought. Below is a comparison of the series modeled by DAC: 2007





New Methodology






Old Methodology






AIA Canada says the new methodology will be used for all studies going forward, given that this new way of calculating the average age of Canadian light vehicles better reflects the Canadian vehicle landscape. Despite this change in methodology and in the average age of Canadian vehicles, it should be noted that the trends and conclusions drawn from the data sets remain the same. Though the value of the average age has increased, the overall trend of increasing vehicle ages has not changed. The old metholodology shows an average increase in age of 0.27 from 2007 to 2011. The new methodology shows an average increase of 0.30 over the same time period. AIA members are encouraged to visit to download the latest version of the Outlook Study, which includes the updated information.

Feds strengthen safety standards The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, have announced new safety regulations that will require new vehicles in Canada to include shoulder belts in the rear centre seat. In addition to introducing a mandatory requirement for lap and shoulder seat belts in the rear centre seat, these amendments will make vehicles safer by requiring vehicle safety testing using female and child-sized dummies, in addition to the male testing dummies that were previously required, improving air bag deployment testing and increasing the vehicle test speed to better protect occupants involved in serious frontal crashes. Manufacturers have until September 1, 2015 to comply with the new requirements. Older vehicles are not required to be retrofitted.

14  collision Repair


IBIS 2013: A view to the future The 13 th International Bodyshop Industry Symposium – IBIS 2013 - is set to take place on May 20 to 22, 2013 at the five-star Montreux Palace Hotel, set against the spectacular backdrop of Lake Geneva, Montreux, Switzerland. Collision Repair magazine is the official Canadian Publisher Partner for IBIS. Over the course of the event, IBIS 2013 will deliver strategic ideas and global insights from global experts and industry leaders, as well as offering the opportunity to share best practice with your peers and counterparts from around the world. In addition, IBIS provides its participants with unrivalled high-level international networking opportunities. Powerful program The IBIS team, led by Conference Director David Lingham, has been hard at work since mid-2012 developing a powerful programme for IBIS 2013. “Our theme of Future Business Models has really captured the market’s imagination and I have had requests from major players from around the world wishing to get involved in the program,” said Lingham. “I am delighted that we have been able to bring together a highly impressive group of speakers and contributors from countries as diverse as Australia, Brazil, China, Finland, Germany, UK and USA, each of whom will be sharing their experiences of some of the important developments in their own markets, as well as looking at topical and thought-provoking subjects such as networks and repair segmentation. In addition, we will be reflecting on the practical implications of the new technology that will affect our industry in the coming years. There will be much to debate both in and out of the conference room and our aim is that every IBIS 2013 participant will leave Montreux better equipped to profit from the challenges of the coming years.” World class support The quality of IBIS is reinforced by its continued support from world-class partners: 3M, Akzo Nobel, Audatex, Automechanika, BASF, Enterprise and Innovation Group, whilst joining our impressive partner line-up for the first-time this year is Quindell Portfolio Plc. IBIS 2013 takes place May 20 to 22, 2013 at Le Montreux Palace Hotel, Switzerland. The delegate package costs £1,695 (approximately $2,645 CAD) and includes two nights’ accommodation, a two-day conference program with networking breakfasts, lunches and dinners, IBIS 2013 contacts list, a post-IBIS event report and more. For the latest IBIS 2013 information and to secure your delegate place please visit or contact Nicola Keady at

A selection of photos from IBIS 2012.

Visit for more.

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april 2013  collision Repair  15


BASF sponsors classic cars at cias BASF Canada’s Automotive Coatings business sponsored the Classic Car Collection at this year’s Canadian International Autoshow, February 15 to 24, at the Metro Toronto Convention Rick Valin Centre (MTCC). The collection of BASF Automotive was displayed on the 700 level Coatings and of the MTCC. Carles Navarro, The Classic Car Collection is President of BASF Canada. a 40,000 sq. ft. display of classic and custom cars that have been built and restored in Canada. Among the cars on display this year were a 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing owned by BASF and restored by Legendary Motor Cars of Halton Hills, Ont., and a 1955 Jaguar XK 140 FHC built by Deez Rods and Ridez of Belmont, Ont. Both cars were built and restored by BASF customers using the company’s Glasurit 90 Line waterborne paint brand. The Gullwing was restyled by well-known designer Chip Foose in 2011, and debuted in the BASF booth at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show that year. The car is painted with two tones of Chip Silver with a red pinstripe separating them. The restyling also includes custom bumpers, grill and side moldings. “There were only 1400 Gullwing coupes produced between 1954 and 1957. Everywhere the car travels, it’s a show stopper,” said Harry Dhanjal, Business Manager, Refinish solutions, BASF Canada. “The Jaguar is called 1CRAZYCAT and has won top awards at car shows across the U.S. and Canada. It is definitely a one of a kind.” The Canadian International Auto show is Canada’s largest auto show. To mark its 40th anniversary, this year’s show celebrated the past, present and future of the automotive industry, featuring 600,000 sq. ft. of displays and exhibits. For more information, please visit

The 1955 Jaguar XK 140 FHC called 1CRAZYCAT built by Deez Rods and Ridez of Belmont, Ont.

Straighten out some hoods. Or frames, or door posts. Wedge Clamp’s EZE Roller is a tower of strength for any shop. Distributed in Ontario by AutoQuip Canada. NitroHeat


16  collision Repair

The 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing owned by BASF that was on display at the Canadian International Autoshow, Feb. 15 to 24, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The restoration work was completed by Legendary Motor Cars of Halton Hills, Ont.

A custom Camaro painted by airbrush and customization artist Ron Gibbs was up for auction to benefit charity. The total value of just the graphics and paint is more than $30,000.

Audatex and Aviva renew partnership Audatex Canada has announced the renewal of its long-term strategic partnership with insurance provider Aviva Canada. The multi-year agreement calls for Audatex Canada to continue to provide Aviva Canada with its end-toend claims processing suite of software to manage claims efficiencies. “Achieving better business efficiencies will enable us to strengthen relationships with consumers and continue to provide the best customer experience,” said Greg Dunn, Executive Vice President of Claims for Aviva Canada. “We greatly value our partnership with Aviva Canada. Extending this important relationship aligns to our mutual goals of optimizing the customer experience for millions of Canadians by improving business processes through more efficient and cost-effective means that meet or exceed industry best practices,” said Anthony Giagnacovo, Managing Director, Audatex Canada. “The Audatex platform provides a truly integrated claims process that can lower overall transaction costs, condenses cycle times, and delivers the analytics businesses need today to optimize their operations. We look forward to further supporting Aviva Canada with our industry-leading, intelligence-based automotive claims solutions to deliver better value for consumers.” For more information, please visit


CAPA testing shows need for proper identification of plastic substrates Effective this year, new parts submitted for CAPA Certification will have to comply with requirements to identify the type of plastic used. The CAPA 201 Plastic Standard, which covers bumper covers, grilles, fenders and other exterior plastic parts; CAPA 301 Lighting Standard, which includes headlamps and tail lamps; and CAPA 501 Bumper Parts Standard have all been updated to include marking requirements for the plastic material or blend standard symbol. The CAPA Technical Committee approved this new requirement to ensure that CAPA Certified parts reflect the industry’s need for uniform identification of plastic components. CAPA says this will facilitate the selection of materials and procedures when repairing and painting plastic, as well as aid in recycling. “While the manufacturers of CAPA Certified parts have adopted a variety of part marking methods over the years, having a set of re-

quirements, based upon SAE specifications, will further increase the value of CAPA Certified parts to the market,” said Jack Gillis, CAPA’s Executive Director. “Molded substrate information in a plastic aftermarket part is not uncommon. However, as CAPA has dramatically demonstrated to the public, whether or not that substrate marking is actually correct is another issue altogether. The “exploding” nonCAPA Certified aftermarket energy absorber for the Ford Fusion was marked to indicate it was made of the same material as the Ford part (PC/PBT - Polycarbonate / Polybutylene Terephthalate) but it was actually made of ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene). The result: A part that looked exactly like the car company brand part, but literally exploded on impact.” For a dramatic example of this issue, please visit capacertified. org/crash and select “Watch the Video” on the right hand side.

Boyd announces cash distribution

A video released by CAPA shows the dramatic difference upon impact of different substrates. The energy absorber on the right was marked as being of the same material as the Ford brand part on the left. The energy absorber on the right literally explodes on impact. The testing was performed by MGA Research.

“A new generation in collision repair performance.”

Boyd Group Income Fund has announced a cash distribution for February 2013 of $0.039 per trust unit. The distribution will be payable on March 27, 2013 to unit holders of record at the close of business on February 28, 2013. Boyd Group Income Fund’s policy is to pay monthly distributions to unit holders of record on or around the last business day of the month. Holders of units who are non-residents of Canada will be subject to withholding taxes.


At Assured Automotive, we deliver on our promise to provide each policy holder with a quality collision repair. We fully understand that a positive repair experience with us, leads to a repeat customer for our Insurance and Dealer Partners. We NOW HAVE 45 LOCATIONS throughout Ontario to serve you better. Assured Automotive is a proud supporter of the Michael “Pinball” Clemons Foundation and their efforts to build hope, security, education and opportunity.

Outperform with Assured! april 2013  collision Repair  17




CSN Collision & Glass and ProColor Celebrate a New Partnership! CSN Collision & Glass and Quebec-based Carrossier ProColor create Canada’s largest and fastest growing national collision network, with over 270 locations to serve your customers. Together, we are committed to building stronger relationships with all industry stakeholders in order to continue to exceed customer expectations. The same high standards of quality and customer satisfaction are guaranteed at all network locations across the country. Rest easy knowing you’ve made the right decision. CSN and Carrossier ProColor are dedicated to providing your policyholders with quality repairs and exceptional customer service built on confidence, trust and integrity. This is a promise we make today and moving forward. To learn more about CSN Collision & Glass, visit www.

prairie view

Newreality Only 10 per cent of shops are making a reasonable ROI. By Tom Bissonnette


e used to have labour rate negotiations every year with our provincial insurer, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI). Now they call it a “rate review” because, quite frankly, there is no negotiation. Usually every year we would get around a 2 per cent increase to keep up with the CPI even though our actual costs of doing business were increasing more than that every year. Our previous provincial government, the NDP, liked to keep rates low because they would brag that they supplied the citizens of this province with the lowest bundle of utility rates in all of Canada and they include car insurance in those calculations. After pressing our now right of centre provincial government, the Saskatchewan Party, for some fairness in dealing with SGI, their upper management decided to engage our industry. In 2010, SGI and our provincial auto body association, the Saskatchewan Association of Automotive

Repairers (SAAR) decided to initiate a study into the health of our collision industry similar to the one done a year or two earlier in Manitoba. The idea was to get some concrete numbers so we could come up with a fair labour rate and formula for increasing it. SGI awarded the contract to Meyers, Norris & Penny (MNP), an obvious choice since they did the study in Manitoba. MNP took a few months to get up to speed and started sending out questionnaires in early 2012. From there it took until late summer for all the results to be tabulated and put in report form. SGI met with our SAAR executive and told them, based on their interpretation of the MNP report, that our industry was doing fine compared to the rest of Canada. With this in mind they felt no rate adjustments were necessary, but they would consider working on efficiencies to help us become more productive. First off, and no offence, shops in Saskatchewan don’t really care how we stack up against shops in other provinces; generally we are not competing with

IBIS – the International Bodyshop Industry Symposium – is the world’s most influential forum for collision repair leaders and market influencers, bringing together industry professionals from around the world. Join the world’s leading collision repair and motor claims professionals in Switzerland next May for the 13th annual IBIS to discuss the future direction of the global repair market. IBIS 2013 – world-renowned speakers and the most innovative, thought-provoking and challenging IBIS content yet. For more information and to book your place visit or please contact Nicola Keady on: +44 1296 642826

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prairie view

them for employees. We are competing in Saskatchewan with other four-year trades for employees. Add to this we are competing with the mining sector and oil industry as well and they pay above average wages with very little training required. Recently the city of Saskatoon did a study on the wages of four-year trades. They found that the average wage paid to journeyman tradespeople was $35.40 an hour. The average wage for a journeyperson auto body technician in our city is $28.63 - a whopping $6.77 per hour less than the average for other four-year trades! In addition, there are some interesting facts that the MNP report revealed: • Shops selling less than $1 million a year basically do not make any money, certainly not enough to train their technicians and buy new equipment. The low net profit was -5 per cent and the high was 4.8 per cent. • Out of 321 shops in our province, 246 sell less than $1 million a year. An incredible 76 per cent of shops! • 47 shops sell between $1 and $2 million, averaging about 7.9 per cent profit. This is just under 15 per cent of shops. • 28 shops sell over $2 million averaging 11.3 per cent profit. They represent about 9 per cent of shops. Only 10 per cent of the shops are making anything close to a reasonable return on their investment. So what is it going to take to get collision shops on an equal footing with the other four-year trades?

Obviously we need to get our journeyman rate up to $35.40 per hour on average. If we raise our employee’s wages by $6.77 per hour we would need to add $20.31 to our current $69.63 door rate making it $89.94 per hour. Sounds like a lot doesn’t it? Check what you pay the local dealership, plumbing outfit or electrician for service work and, again, no offense, but I do not think those guys have to be as skilled as body techs today. Sure, some technicians are 150 per cent efficient, but those guys are getting to be few and far between. Today’s cars are complex and difficult to repair. It is getting tougher to beat flat rate times and the equipment needed to repair the newer vehicles is very expensive. I know that insurance companies don’t like the idea of increased costs because they are feeling the pinch too. Unfortunately, it is getting to the point where collision shops are going to be forced to pay more to attract and keep employees, not to mention they are going to have to make significant investments in equipment as vehicle technology continues to become more sophisticated. Let’s see what happens. CRM Tom Bissonnette is the owner/operator of Parr Auto Body, a collision repair facility located in Saskatoon, SK. He can be reached at

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Some of these apples need a polish. By Sam Piercey


ave you ever heard the expression, “A bad apple spoils the barrel?” Well, I think a few of the folks working the image desks at some insurers are bad apples. I don’t want anyone to think that I’m trying to paint all of these people with the same brush. Most of them are good folks who know their jobs. But a handful of these stooges are complete morons. I’ve never seen so many rejected/not approved uploads coming back as I’ve seen recently from the few lazy bottom feeders you find working the image desk. They’re wasting our time, they’re wasting their employers’ time and they’re holding up repairs to their customers’ cars. They’re making

name of the game is getting that customer back into their car as soon as possible. The repairs have got to be safe and done right, but holding us up unnecessarily doesn’t help us to make the repair better. We repair to standard, no matter what. Condescending to us isn’t going to get the job done faster or better. “The picture is not clear. The picture does not show the time you’re asking for. I can’t see the VIN. Your parts price is too high, we only pay this amount. Send more pics! Send more pics! SEND MORE PICS!” Look, I understand that these guys have to keep an eye out for mistakes. That’s part of their job, and everyone makes mistakes sometimes. After all, there was only one

Condescending isn’t going to get the job done any faster. both us and the insurer look bad, and they’re getting paid for it! I really don’t get it. It’s slowing down cycle time, plus tying up my estimators and frustrating all of my staff and I’m sure frustrating some of their staff too. In some cases, we get told to call them back, but when we do, we can’t get a hold of them for ages. As I said, not all of these people are the same. Most of them are great. The ones that aren’t need to be dealt with. Insurance folks, a lot of dealing with this is going to come down on your shoulders, because you’re the ones employing these people. To me, the obvious solution is to fire their asses right out the door. They’re costing both you and me an unbelievable amount in wasted time. Do our insurance partners want us to waste time? No, of course they don’t. When we’re doing an insurance job, we’re serving the insurer’s customers. Some of those customers are going to blame the shop, but a lot of them are going to blame the insurance company. No matter who they blame, the

22  collision Repair

perfect man in this world and they nailed him to the cross. If you’re an image desk person and you’re reading this, ask yourself, “Do I have a guilty conscience?” If you do, then you need to wise up. We can forgive you your ignorance, as long as you’re committed to doing something about it. Try to understand that the body tech is being penalized, the shop is being penalized, your employer is being penalized and your customers are being penalized. Don’t assume you know the right answer. Get educated. Ask us questions, but don’t be condescending. We’ll give you what you need to do your job better and earn the respect of the shop guys and gals you have to deal with every day. That’s got to be worth some of your time. CRM Sam Piercey is the co-owner of Budds' Collision Services in Oakville, ON.Samisalong-timeCoyotemember and sits on many boards and committees. He can be reached at

“I use the time I save to take my daughter to cheerleading.” “My son is a top-level gymnast and my daughter is into competitive cheerleading. And that’s why I love NitroHeat. The quality is awesome; flash-off is so fast, dust has no time to settle, and we’re using 25% less material. But what NitroHeat saves me most is time. Instead of an hour and a half, I can paint an entire car in an hour – including three coats base, clear and drying time. That leaves me more time to spend with the kids.” – Dave Naismith, Painter Craftsman Collision North Vancouver, BC

Telephone (toll-free): 1.800.615.9949 or 604.207.9595 • ©2012 Wedge Clamp Systems Inc. All rights reserved. Patents pending.

who’s driving?

Thefuture There’s an invite with your name on it, if you have courage. By Jay Perry


o yourself a favour and pick up the January 14, 2013 issue of Fortune magazine. It’s this year’s version of the “Future” issue. It is a fascinating read on some not-sodistant realities we will be living. There is the usual space travel for commoners mentioned of which we have all heard. To me the interesting part of that discussion is there is already a price war starting to brew. Originally broadcast charges of about $200,000 are now sounding like under $100,000. Still too rich for my blood but an interesting phenomenon that demonstrates a point I have said for decades, every business will forever be challenged to do what they do better, faster and cheaper.

The only mishap the vehicle has had was when a human was at the controls. In that issue there was little said about the materials we will use to construct our cars, but if anyone should be aware of that fact it is the current collision repairers and insurance companies in auto coverage. Telematics are currently being used to revolutionize the insurance industry. This is important because it affects human behaviour through creation of awareness. When someone is conscious of their behavior, they can modify it. Think about your kids realizing that their driving habits will affect their rates, so they might think twice about what they are doing. How will that consciousness affect your business? How soon will that kind of

educate yourself and participate in your industry! There is a large section of the issue on how the corporate world is changing its ways of running. A great deal is written about robotics. Surgery is currently being done by robots and more will be developed so the likelihood of that being something you and I undergo during our lifetimes is strong. Beyond the micro-world of surgery there is the macro-world of exoskeletal developments of the robot universe that will amplify our physicality and bring new lifestyles to paralysis victims. You will read about edible food wrappers, wafer-thin computers with flexible construction, vertical farms, brain evolution, mega-regions as opposed to mega-cities, improvements to healthcare that allow humans to live to 150 years of age (the first one is expected to be born this year) and so much more. So how does all of this affect your life? The nugget I found was a prediction that improvements to vehicular movement to be achieved by autonomous vehicles will reduce congestion, pollution and accident related deaths by 600,000 per year. How? By eliminating crashes. Did you know that the Google autonomous vehicles have logged over 500,000 kms of mistake-free driving already? 24  collision Repair

thinking wash into other activities that influence your bottom line? What about attitudes toward vehicle ownership itself? I think these are all good questions to ponder as it should influence your decisions about your business model. Number one, participation with a network or remaining independent? It is expected in 2013 that almost 25 per cent of repairs will be done in network shops. Change is afoot in attitude too. With CCIF now coming under the auspices of AIA and becoming more action-oriented, what kind of advancement will be made within the industry? Even in the U.S. there is movement toward a more action-centred approach to business. So where are you going to be in this sea change? Educate yourself and participate in your industry! It is the only way you can be the one who’s driving. CRM Jay Perry is the founder and owner of Automotive Business Consultants (ABC), a performance coaching company specializing in the automotive service industry. He can be reached via e-mail at


Document Control Mitchell’s FastPhoto Manager tracks every photo, on every job, every single time.


anually organizing repair orders is a long and tedious process. Adding to that is the crucial task of making sure each and

Mitchell RepairCenter

every step of an order is documented. Mitchell’s RepairCenterTM FastPhoto Manager streamlines this process by helping collision

repair facilities better categorize and organize vehicle images and their corresponding repair orders. RepairCenterTM FastPhoto is the premier photo management system for collision repair facilities. It is designed to help repair shops improve operational efficiencies, while guiding them towards becoming more profitable. The system helps shops improve, profit, and thrive by providing better, faster and more accurate documentation for every repair order. Mitchell’s RepairCenterTM FastPhoto Manager gives repair shops the power to instantly and automatically sort, size, organize, load and link photos to repair orders and estimates, eliminating the painstaking process of manually categorizing photos to the corresponding repair order. This is made possible through Mitchell’s specially designed FastPhoto digital camera which enables photographers to document an array of images and transfer them wirelessly. The camera is easy to use and allows a user to scan, snap, send and share images to customers and carriers, all with the touch of a button found directly on the camera. Scott Noseworthy of Fix Auto Ottawa Innes has been using the system since January of 2012. He says the RepairCenterTM FastPhoto system proved its worth recently, when the Ottawa area was struck by a severe hail storm. “We were doing about four claims an hour, eight hours a day,” says Noseworthy. “Without the FastPhoto system, it wouldn’t have been possible to keep up.” That’s an extreme example, but Noseworthy says the RepairCenterTM FastPhoto system has helped save time on every single job. “It’s at least ten minutes per job, and in a big, busy facility, every single minute counts,” he says. The management system found within RepairCenter TM FastPhoto allows repair shops to easily create a scanable barcode to

correspond with the repair order and set the repair stage from the camera, enabling users to take as many photos as needed. Each photo then automatically appears in the corresponding repair order, which streamlines the process, saving repair shops both time and resources. Simply scan the barcode, and all of the repair order’s information will appear on the screen. A user can then completely and efficiently assess a vehicle’s damage through comprehensive photo documentation, and transfer those photos through secure, wireless technology. The repair order’s status is also viewable through a built-in tagging system. Additionally, RepairCenterTM FastPhoto is complemented by RepairCenterTM Mobile, which allows repair shops to manage their business when away from their desks, while simultaneously helping to increase customer satisfaction, in addition to enhancing inshop communications. The key to the true power of Mitchell’s RepairCenterTM FastPhoto Manager is that all photos can be documented and categorized centrally, while multiple copies are saved for repair shops’ purpose, in addition to being backed up on Mitchell’s servers. This enables the organization of all images at every stage of the repair order process, allowing estimators to view all photos with ease at any given time. The ultimate goal of Mitchell’s RepairCenterTM FastPhoto Manager is to help a shop not just survive, but thrive and find maximum efficiency. RepairCenterTM FastPhoto assists that goal by leveraging the latest technology to let repair shops focus their attention on the repair, and not™the paperwork. With Mitchell’s RepairCenter TM FastPhoto Manager, repair shops can have their eyes on every step of the process, no matter where they are.

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Bar code technology automatically links your photos to your repair order or estimate.

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Labor efficiency percentage is simply sold labor h

Snap by 100 (sold hours/worked hours X 100). Labor ef

some type of “shop clock” that allows technicians

Easy-to-use, ruggedized efficiency can helpdigital you correctly determine your s camera makes documenting damage and repairs a snap. CYCLE TIME

2 3

Repair cycle time is commonly expressed as “keysused by insurance companies to grade their DRP s ways so it’s vital to understand how your DRP par


It’s a simple answer to a simple question: “How lik

Send recommend your shop to a family member or frie

number of customers who answer 9 or 10 and sub

Instantly sorts, sizes, and loads through 6. Knowing your NPS is a great baseline f your photos wirelessly for easy satisfaction and loyalty. sharing with customers and carriers.

4 5


This is Job Costing 101, but the ability to look at yo carrier or estimator will give you huge insight into department.


Capacity isn’t just measured by the number of ope the job, but also depends on other variables—suc capacity, how can you effectively schedule vehicle

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social media

measuringsocial “Likes” are nice, but measuring real success means you need to dig deeper. By Jonathan Barrick


ikes, followers, friends and fans are what every business covets. But does having more followers than the other guy really mean that you’re doing better? Just like with any other measure of business success, the true story lies under the shiny surface and isn’t always what we expect. First, let’s talk about what numbers like “followers” and “likes” really mean. All other things being equal, having a large number of followers is a good thing. The catch is that all things are never equal, so having a big number of followers

customers have with your business. You know you’re not the only collision repair business participating in social media. What you can do is try to “out-awesome” your competitors by being more interactive, more engaging, and more valuable. Measure this by looking at your “share of conversation” with tools like You can see how many times your business name pops up in relation, as well as your competitors, and see just how much of the conversation is about your business. Posting more often, posting better content and providing better customer

quality is more important than quantity. An audience of 1,000 junk, spam and inactive accounts doesn’t amount to much. can be very deceptive. Quality is more important than quantity. An audience of 1,000 junk, spam and inactive accounts doesn’t amount to much. 500 highly focused, active followers that truly care about the content you are posting are the ones who will comment, share and like your stuff, gaining you more exposure and credibility. Measuring the quality of your audience can be done through a variety of simple methods. For example, looking at their location through your Facebook page insights can tell you if they are even in your market. You can also view demographic info to help determine if you’re reaching the right audience. In addition, simply looking at the interactions occurring around your content, and at the type of content generating those interactions, will give you a good idea if yourfollowers are truly interested. One of the most telling measures you can look at is sentiment. This refers to the attitude followers have when interacting with your company. Examining interactions will reveal a great deal about the satisfaction and affinity your 26  collision Repair

service are just a few ways to affect change and gain a greater share of the conversation. Tie your social efforts to measurable goals. For example, many businesses use their Facebook page to generate awareness of a contest or community event and measure the results of the event. You’ll soon see if your fans are paying attention to your content. Measuring social actions is important. In the same way that you should always pay attention to the profitability of a repair job, so should you look at the effectiveness of your social activity. Time is a valuable commodity, and being able to tie the time spent on social to real business success provides assurance that what you’re doing matters and allows you to focus your efforts on activities that provide the biggest benefit. CRM Jonathan Barrick is the Marketing Manager for Global Finishing Solutions, and a strong proponet of social media for business. He can be reached at 705-719-4014 or via email to jbarrick@

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profiles of success

Jon Bell Jr., John Bell Sr., David W. Baird and Sherry Baird.


Dream Team By Hayden Kenez

Advance Collision has garnered a dynamic, loyal staff team– and it was no accident.

One of the most common anecdotes collision repairers use to describe why they entered the industry is simple: a steady paycheque and hands-on work. Not so for the leading members of Advance Collision in Victoria, B.C. The staff at the shop, many of whom have worked at the repair shop for over a decade, have developed strong ties to the shop that transcend a paycheque. april 2013  collision Repair  29

profiles of success

Diversification played a prominent role in helping to reshape Advance Collision.

The collision repair centre has risen from a joint-family enterprise to a flourishing establishment that employs over 30 staff members. Humble beginnings at a facility that was only big enough for the founding partners soon attracted business that merited several property acquisitions and a burgeoning, multi-shop partnership. It boasts a low staff turnover rate, with many employees having been employed for over a decade. The owners can rely on trusted managers to oversee the day-to-day operations. Conversely, the managers can count on a committed staff team to ensure work is completed in a timely, efficient manner. So how did the shop garner all these enviable traits, all the while maintaining a commitment to excellence and diligence? It can all be traced back to a long-held business model and a staunch commitment from those who lead the shop. Ramona White is one of two managers who guide the day-to-day operations of the shop. She explains the system of trust built amongst employees that has allowed the shop to thrive throughout the decades. It all begins with equality. “Everyone here is treated equally – and

The staff of Advance Collision. Clockwise from bottom centre: Ramona White, Chris Bradley, Kathleen Fobert, Darryl Morneau Keith McGowan, Steven Dardengo, Kevin Nadiger, Warren Robertson, Paul Gilmore, Earl Gammon, Brandon Sutton, Daniel Fowler, John Glover, Gregory Whelen, Cameron Weiss, Ron McPhee, Wolfgang Fleischer and Ralph Boge. BELOW: David W. Baird, one of the founders of Advance Collision is also an accomplished artist. You can see more of his work at

very well,” says Ramona. “We pride ourselves in customer service, and we have a great crew that works together to make sure that happens.” Although this ethos dates back to Advance’s early days under founders John Bell and Dave Baird, it’s still prevalent today. The Advance Collision crew, headed by co-managers Ramona White and Chris Bradley, along with owners Sherry Baird and Jon Bell, isn’t accustomed to dropping their work once their shift is over, or leaving the shop the minute it closes. Instead, employees are encouraged to stick around, use the available equipment to work on personal side projects and generally fraternize with one another. Management regularly hosts barbeques, seminars and other events for staff in an effort to strengthen relation-

30  collision Repair

ships and maintain an affable and engaging work environment. “A lot of people lock the shop down and go home at the end of the day,” says Ramona. At the facility, she explains, employees are happy to stick around. “People genuinely want to spend time at our shop. We encourage them to hangout here, work on their cars – and they do.” While maintaining morale among staff remains a constant priority, the company has undergone some major changes to keep pace with an ever-changing industry. The recent economic recession had a profound effect on independent shops, with many insurers opting to do business with nationwide chains in an effort to reduce costs. Like many independent shops, Advance Collision felt the pressure of this move.

profiles of success

However, the facility and its staff remained resilient, even declining a request from the RSA insurance group to join a nationwide chain in order to sustain their business relationship. “Our presence in Victoria was enough branding,” explains Chris Bradley. The years of devotion to the Victoria community, coupled with longstanding and loyal customer relationships helped to ease the constraints felt by independent shops during tough economic times. An extensive customer base has helped to pave the way for the continued success of the shop. “We have a very large customer base for being here 50 years,” says White. “We pride ourselves in customer service and taking care of our people.” Rather than join a chain or network in an effort to ensure continued prosperity, owners Baird and Bell recognized that their shop had become a fixture in the community, and decided to expand on that. Bradley says they focused their energy on innovating their business to better meet the needs of customers through diversification, adding new facets to the business to attract a wider array of customers, and better serve their existing ones. “We had to really sharpen our pencils and work smarter,” he says. “We trained our staff to repair windshields, air conditioning and other tasks we used to sublet out. We’ve definitely expanded our capabilities.” It’s also been sustaining the long term customer relationships that has kept Advance on the leading edge of the collision repair industry. Co-owner Sherry Baird stresses the importance of developing a loyal customer base in cementing their business in the repair industry, as well as ensuring their permanence in the Victoria community. “We spend time cultivating relationships with our customers,” says Baird. “All the shops that have opened and closed over the years didn’t focus enough on this. We’ve always known what’s going on, because we have that integrity and trust.” Another factor critical to Advance’s success is how the team is organized. It’s pragmatic, simple and effective, and has ensured the smooth operation of the facility, as each employee understands and accepts their roles, responsibilities and exactly whom they report to. Owners Baird and Bell oversee the financials and direction of the business, offering advice and motivation to managers Chris and Ramona. The managers then translate

Branding and awareness are important components of Advance Collision’s strategy.

Darryl Morneau and Keith McGowan replacing a windshield. Offering a diversity of services is one key to Advance Collision’s success.

that motivation into action, with Ramona overseeing communications and technological aspects of the business, and Chris handling upkeep, maintenance and interacting with customers. “We’re very much on the same page in terms of keeping our team positive and keeping spirits high,” explains Ramona. It’s amazing how that can positively affect other people.” Employees at the shop benefit from a hierarchy that’s as clear as it is direct, and understand the different roles the leaders have assumed. It’s just one of the many ways Advance continues to offer friendly, efficient and quality business to its customers. After all, that’s the bottom line for the shop that has earned its reputation

through years of commitment to diligent work, gathering a cohesive staff team and ensuring the shop runs smoothly, regardless of the small day-to-day tribulations inherent in the industry. “We’re committed to 100 per cent attentiveness all the time,” says Baird. “I believe in our people. That’s part of the secret to the longevity of our staff. Profit is important, but the people are too.” The future of collision repair is difficult to predict. With the perpetual innovation and implementation of new technology in cars and tumultuous economic conditions, Advance Collision is preparing for whatever may lie ahead. “A lot of changes are coming,” says Baird. “But we’re following everything closely, and we’re up for anything.”  CRM april 2013  collision Repair  31

View From the top

Thinkvolunteer It’s less about pay, and more about working on something important. By Dick Cross


hat’s the deal with employees? So many Generation Xers, Ys and Nexters just aren’t committed to their jobs like we were. It can’t all be video games and bad parenting. The actual diagnosis is pretty simple. It’s both of us – together. Like oil and water, or helium and a spark. From our side, we continue to see the people who work in our organizations as we always have – as employees. We believe they should be grateful to us for giving them a paycheque and ought to express their gratitude by doing what’s needed and what they’re told – with loyalty and enthusiasm.

leges showed a surprising willingness to accept 15 to 30 per cent less income in order to work in a place they admire. Sounds disorienting, but it’s not. Adjusting your business to these new realities, and to the substantial benefits of smarter people working harder and more creatively for you, starts with you. It’s your responsibility to let go of how you’ve thought of personnel in the past, to create a company that people see as a superior fit with the things they care about. Employees need to see the workplace as a place they’re inspired by and are proud to serve. A place where they want to give you their all.

motivating our new age workers requires us to see them through their lenses.

But on their side, many see themselves quite differently – as volunteers – and not as objects in transactions that give them pay for compliance. They see themselves as valuable assets with something important to contribute, whom we don’t seem to appreciate. This, even in this economy, fails to dissuade them from expecting jobs where their talents will be well received and magnified. Along with their passions, their ingenuity and their ideas to furthering a cause they respect. The message for us? Time doesn’t go backwards! Our days of command and control, and compliance for pay, are over. Motivating our new age workers requires us to see them through their lenses. Not as simple placeholders in rigid structures who follow orders. But rather, as unique individuals with different desires and, in many cases, far higher potential to contribute than we could ever imagine. As volunteers, not employees. Even pay, the old sledgehammer in our toolkit for compliance, isn’t what it used to be. Up-andcoming generations expect fair compensation. But pay, even beyond what they consider fair with lucrative incentives for exceptional performance, has lost a lot of its punch. Recent surveys of high potential seniors in high schools and col32  collision Repair

How? We can do this by setting a standard for yourself that warrants their admiration and commitment, by being the model that doesn’t settle. Steve Jobs was famous for this. He set outrageous standards and accepted nothing less. You don’t have to run a business like Apple to apply the same methods. And you can be more kind, but nonetheless extreme, in following his example. It doesn’t matter whether you’re creating life-changing technology or repairing shoes. Admiration for your business centres on your own admiration. For your business. For your volunteers. Backed up by your own relentless demonstration of the standard that you expect to be met by everyone, serving one another. That kind of admiration only flows downhill, starting from you. But its wake gathers up maniacal followership among today’s volunteers, seeking to give you more than you’ve ever expected ... from an employee.  CRM Dick Cross is an eight-time turnaround CEO, private equity partner, consultant, the originator of The Mid Tier Presidents Course for Executives at Harvard, frequent speaker, chairman and member of numerous boards, and author of the book “Just Run It!” He can be reached at

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Mike Jerry of Mitchell on profitability and the best way to ensure shop longevity. By Mike Davey


xecutive Vision focuses on discussions with key players in the auto claims economy, their views on the present industry and their vision for the future. In this issue, Collision Repair magazine’s editor Mike Davey speaks with Mike Jerry, General Manager of Mitchell Canada, to discuss his views on the present and future state of the Canadian collision repair industry. Collision Repair magazine: Hello Mike. Thanks for joining us. I think most people would agree that the collision repair industry has more than its share of critical issues. In your opinion, what single issue is the most critical? Mike Jerry: I would have to say claim and accident volumes. Claims have been declining for years due to a number of factors. All of those factors are still present and new ones are starting to crop up. Collision avoidance technology is becoming more and more common in new vehicles, even in mid-range and economy cars. CRM: What would you say to a shop owner who is feeling the effects of that right now? What can they do? MJ: Obviously there’s no way to make accidents appear out of thin air. People are

driving less and driving safer. In the case of collision avoidance technology, the cat’s out of the bag and there’s no way to stuff it back in. The only real solution that I can see is for owners to ensure that the business coming through their doors is profitable. Don’t make decisions just to get volume. Volume is great, if you’re making a profit on every job. Otherwise, higher volumes are just a way to lose money faster. Sacrificing short-term margins for long-term volume can work, but it’s essential to look at how it will work out in the long view. CRM: What are the three most important steps a shop can take to help secure longevity? MJ: Measuring profitability, managing to profitability and investing in their business. I’ll also throw in a fourth: location, location, location. You need to measure your profitability in precise terms. That means knowing exactly which activities drive profitability. Managing to profitability doesn’t just mean having profit targets. What’s needed is a systematic approach using a consistent analytical framework. Most shops try to bring costs down to the absolute minimum and increase revenues, but achieving those does not always yield maximum profitability.

34  collision Repair

Profitability management requires techniques for optimizing returns, not just maximizing them. Investing in the business is absolutely essential for survival in anything but the very short term. First, shop owners need to invest in training, not only in “how to repair” but also “how to run a business” and invest in the appropriate systems, and most of them know this. There was a time when a tech’s skills didn’t need much upgrading from one year to the next, but those times are long gone. Second, new vehicle technology drives new repair processes which drives new equipment needs. Not investing in technology will inevitably put a shop behind its competitors. That brings me to my next point, that of location. Location has always been important for most businesses, but it’s only recently that we’ve started to learn just how important it can be for a collision repair facility as well. As insurers look to contain repair costs, minor differences start to add up, and a good location and promotion can mean a significant difference in volume. CRM: What do you think will be an area of growth for collision repair facilities? MJ: The biggest area of growth for most


facilities are operating efficiencies, maximizing the margins within their four walls. That extends not just to the actual bodywork and painting, but also complementary services, mechanical service, detailing, glass, etc. Finding efficiencies in the shop is the surest way to grow. The best way for a shop to tap into that is to measure their business. Peter Drucker invented the concept of management by objectives, and he still says it best: “You cannot manage what you do not measure.” CRM: Volkswagen has recently adopted a “mega-platform” for their vehicles, allowing them to stretch a fundamental vehicle concept across many different vehicle types, sizes and brands. If this methodology spreads to other OEMs, how will it affect repairers?

will be common across several platforms. This will reduce the likelihood of backorders because of low demand. CRM: Thinking solely of how it’s going to change the business, what’s the biggest technological advance we can expect in the next few years? MJ: There are actually two. One of them applies to everybody in business, the other is solely a concern for those of us in the auto claims economy. Social communications are incredibly important today.

Managing to profitability doesn’t just mean having profit targets. What’s needed is a systematic approach using a consistent analytical framework.

The fact that Facebook users have surpassed email users is a testament to how the paradigm for communication and collaboration has changed. Mobile capabilities are giving us access to information at anytime to make the right decisions. Looking solely at vehicle technology, I would say the biggest technological advancements in the next few years will be the advent of products like NanoSteel (a molecularly altered mild steel) and the expansion of aluminum to structural and suspension components on a wide range of common vehicles. NanoSteel should be a benefit because it will not require an upgrade of welding equipment and should act like mild steel in the repair process, but it is 20 per cent lighter than regular mild steel.  Shops will have to prepare for the onslaught of aluminum, making sure they have the technical instructions from the OEM to accurately estimate and repair those components. The best way for shops to adapt is to engage with social marketing firms and management systems that provide these capabilities. CRM

– MIKE JERRY MJ: The mega-platform concept traces its roots back to the early 1980s with the Chrysler K-Car. They stretched that one front wheel drive platform into convertibles, coupes, sedans of various wheel bases and it was the basis for the first minivan. With VW using the same strategy,  it should help repairers as many components will be shared across platforms and shops can become accustomed to the shared construction and metallurgy. As a side bonus, attaching parts, such as struts, springs, gussets and so on,

Mike Jerry, General Manager of Mitchell Canada.

april 2013  collision Repair  35


Family Footsteps Brett Campbell’s love of art drives him forward in the family business. By Andrew Ardizzi


ity Centre Collision~CSN, the North Bay, Ontariobased repair shop owned by Shane Campbell, owes its future success to the past. Campbell’s son, Brett, has grown up inside the business and has taken every opportunity to work in his dad’s shop when not in school. “Most of my family is involved in it so I kind of got thrown into the business,” says Brett Campbell, 19, who currently works on the production floor at City Centre Collision~CSN. A self-professed “car guy,” Brett says he feels at home on the floor, having been around it most of his life. Despite his pedigree, he soon learned there was a difference between knowing cars and working on them. “It was difficult in the beginning to learn to mask and sand. I kind of just did things and learned from them,” he says. Brett recalls the steepness of the learning curve, but he quickly learned from experience and from asking many questions when he was unsure of something. He feels it’s one of the best ways to become a more knowledgeable and able worker. Understanding the environment is a team, Brett is happy to play his part and contribute wherever he can. “I like the teamwork aspect,” he notes. “Everyone in the shop has their role and everyone has to do their own job to get to the next step. You learn a sense of teamwork.” Being a younger person working in the collision repair shop environment himself, Brett believes it’s a great trade for young people to consider as a career. “There are actually a couple of younger guys

Brett Campbell.

here,” he says. “I feel like it’s definitely something that younger people should get into.” Working primarily on the prep side at the moment, Brett hopes to get some more work in on the painting side in the near future. “I like to see the finished product and seeing it done. I’m pretty meticulous, so it’s a pretty good place to be in the shop,” says Brett, who also paints in his spare time, but in the more traditional medium of canvas. “I just want to make sure everything is perfect when it goes into the booth and I enjoy when you get to see the customer comment on the finished product.” He already has an appreciation for customer service, understanding customer

36  collision Repair

loyalty comes from a willingness to go the extra mile for customers. “If someone is pleased they’ll tell other people and recommend us to their friends and help us build customer loyalty,” he says. As for Brett’s future, which includes taking automotive business management at Georgian College in September 2013, he one day hopes to take over the family business and continue to help it move to new heights. It’s clear he knows where he’s headed and what he hopes to accomplish. “I see myself owning a collision repair shop and becoming the only one in North Bay,” he says. “I want to get the business to that point.”  CRM

Welcome to Future of the Industry, Collision Repair magazine’s feature profiling young up-and-comers in the industry. Is there a young person in your shop who goes above and beyond in attitude and passion for the business? Let us know and you could see them profiled in an upcoming issue. Please contact Mike Davey at 905-370-0101 or via email to for more information.

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Measuring Systems Mechanical or electronic, precision is still the name of the game. Measuring systems have fared well through the technological evolution of recent decades. Once forced by necessity to follow the “rule-of-thumb” protocol, today’s collision repair professionals can benefit from extremely precise and quick measurements. Over the following pages we’ve compiled some of the leading-edge systems on the market today, which have incorporated intuitive technology and easy-to-use interfaces to assist repairers in conducting the most accurate measurements, and thus the best possible repairs. Electronic measuring systems seem to draw a lot of the attention, with computer controls and laser precise measurements, but we shouldn’t forget that mechanical measuring systems have also continued to evolve. They are more rugged and more precise than ever before, and the price can be attractive for a shop on a budget. As always, please research any purchases thoroughly before you sign on the dotted line. Inclusion of a product in this section is not intended as an endorsement of these systems by Collision Repair magazine or its staff.


Chief Automotive

Car-O-Liner bills the Car-O-Tronic Vision X3 as the most advanced measuring system on the market. The Vision X3 features Car-O-Liner’s handEye software download for iPhone and iPad, a measuring slide that updates data three times per second and access to the largest vehicle database in the world. While the system boasts cutting-edge technology designed to conduct precise measurements, Car-O-Liner has placed a special emphasis on creating a user-friendly, intuitive system that allows shops to navigate the program with ease. The entire measuring process is accomplished in three steps: registration of the work order within the system; conducting of automatic centering and measuring; printing out measuring results. The Vision X3 strikes a delicate balance between the two demands often made of measuring systems: technological savvy to produce precise results and intuitive software allowing repairers to conduct efficient business. Other highlights include a complimentary one-year subscription to Car-O-Liner’s vehicle database, Car-O-Data, which Car-O-Liner says is the most complete available.

The collision repair industry has always been plagued by the difficulties that come with trying to get upper body measurments for vehicles. Chief A u t o m o t i v e Te c h n o l o g i e s hopes to alleviate the task with its Intelli-Tape digital measuring tape. It is able to measure point-to-point distances faster and more accurately than previously possible, and can measure lengths of up to 80-inches and document them in either inches or millimeters. This low-cost device is also able to send data wirelessly and fill out the necessary fields within a tech’s Genesis software. The Intelli-Tape features a PH aluminum cable that’s able to effortlessly slide and retract to two metres in length, while its high impact ABS composite housing provides the durability needed for a busy shop environment. Measurements are easy to read thanks to high-intensity LCD display backlight, while the Intelli-Tape is easy to operate and is comfortable to use due to the soft keypad and raised task buttons. Intelli-Tape comes complete with features that ensure precise, accurate and reliable measurements every time, while the Intelli-Tram allows for the Tape to fit snugly and securely while in use. Its light weight and easy manueverability help make it a perfect tool for the tough, rugged shop enivironment.



Car-o-tronic vision x3


april 2013  collision Repair  39


Steck Manufacturing

Wedge Clamp

You might be forgiven for thinking this is an ordinary tape measure at first glance. It looks very similar to the tape measures you would find among a carpenter’s gear or in toolboxes in homes throughout the nation. But that appearance conceals a tool made exclusively for the autobody repair professional. Steck says its Measure ‘N Stick helps give technicians more ability to work autonomously, thanks to its hand-free measuring system. The company says its perfect for tricky situations in the shop when a technician needs to measure solo, or wants a continuous measurement during a pull. Steck’s Measure ‘N Stick uses four magnets on all sides of the tape measure, which allows you to hold it firmly against metallic surfaces such as the vehicle’s body, while the unique tip is able to hook into small areas. The adjustable rear tip of the tape allows you to make hole-to-hole measurements with ease, while the rear hole slide is capable of adjusting into three different positions. The Measure ‘N Stick is 16 feet in length, long enough for any but heavy veh i c l e s . I t p ro v i d e s m e a s u re m e n t s in both metric and inches.

Wedge Clamp says its Pivot Measuring System was carefully designed to provide shops with maximum performance in restoring total vehicle symmetry in the fastest possible time. Part of its strength lies in the pivoting action, which the company says means that fewer pieces are required to reach any point you wish to check for misalignment, whether for damage analysis or to have accurate targets for pulling. The top arm can be rotated and telescoped to measure all critical upper body points and the system can measure lower body length, height and width from the same mounting point. The system works with any standard 3D vehicle measuring specification. There are two methods for mounting the Wedge Clamp Pivot Measuring System onto a vehicle. For those who already own a Wedge Clamp, the system can be mounted directly to Wedge Clamp’s anchoring system bars. Wedge Clamp also offers the Pivot Quick Mount Kit, which the company says will allow you to mount the system independently for damage analysis, or with any other rack or bench system.



Kansas Jack

Dent Fix

The Tru-Point Sonic 360 is a computerized, electronic measuring system that uses ultrasound technology to cultivate productivity improvements with industry-leading speed and accuracy. The Sonic 360 allows you to obtain accurate measurements every time on the first try, and can log and monitor 12 measurements simultaneously, saving you time and money. It also features an “Attachment Points View” that enables technicians to view vehicle attachment points using the program’s magnifying glass function. Technicians can zoom in on specific attachment points for increased visual accuracy, allowing technicians to make informed and accurate decisions throughout the repair process. The Sonic 360 also features three distinct live measurement displays that gives you real-time pulls feedback, complemented by the ability to log point-to-point vehicle dimension data and create c u s t o m re p o r t s t o m e e t y o u r s h o p ’s n e e d s . T h e Sonic 360 is user-friendly and makes every technician an expert, while creating the one-stop workstation every shop needs.

CEG offers a full range of mechanical tram gauges, including the DF-3, manufactured by Dent Fix. It is a solid tram gauge for multi-person shop use. CEG says this extruded aluminum tram gauge is lightweight, yet remains rigid when fully extended. The telescoping design allows a lone person to operate the tram gauge with complete confidence. To use the DF-3 Tram Gauge, the technician simply extends the tram gauge as much as needed. An instant readout of the measurement is continuously visible through the view window. The display window is large, which CEG says allows technicians to easily read the precise measurement. The DF-3 offers both standard and metric measurements. The DF-3 Tram Gauge can be used to take point-to-point measurement from 3 to 10.5 feet. The unit is complete, with sections to add on or put together. The DF-3 Tram Gauge includes two bullet pointers, two right angle pointers, two 350 mm pointers, two cones for zeroing out larger openings and a nylon storage bag for both the tram and the accessory pointers. Vehicle data covering the past 10 years of vehicles is available at an approximate cost of $1000.

Measure ‘n Stick

Tru-Point Sonic 360

> 40  collision Repair

Pivot Measuring System

DF-3 Tram Gauge





The NAJA from Celette comes in two versions, the 3004 and the 3005. Both versions include a storage trolley, but the 3005 also offers built-in storage for a laptop computer. The system communicates via bluetooth wireless between the computer and the sliding head, and Celette says the software is very user friendly. Celette says there is no risk of faulty readings with the NAJA, as the system uses different colours to indicate to the technician the condition of the reading. When you see green, you know it’s good, while a red reading indicates that it’s faulty. The company says the system offers very high accuracy and reliability, based on the NF X06044 EUROPEUSA standard. Measuring reports can be recorded and printed and a calibration check bar is included, which can help in the ISO process. Vehicle data is supplied with the NAJA system, including both comparative and point-to-point data.

Touch is an universal electronic measuring system manufac tured by Italian collision repair equipment manufacturer Spanesi. Spanesi says the Touch system offers quick equipment positioning, without the use of adapters, and the company says the repairs can be carried out on any straightening bench. A database is available, containing all of the main points for chassis and suspension. The system also allows user to create a custom database. The Touch system allows for real-time visualization of the repair in progress, allowing technicians to track pulls as they occur. The Touch system also provides a printout of the repair process that Spanesi says is very easy to understand. Options are available for motorcycle dimensioning and wheel alignment all from the same unit. The database also carries upper body dimensions. The Touch system adapts to any straightening rack or bench or measures directly from its mobile cabinet. The system also works directly from a twin post lift for quick use in a blueprinting process.





april 2013  collision Repair  41


The Current View Insurance mandated parts procurement has its share of promoters and detractors. By Mike Davey


nsurer mandated parts procurement will be a fundamental part of the business going forward,” says Brad Desaulniers. Desaulniers is the President and CEO of PartsCheck Live, an online, real-time quote and bid system for the collision parts marketplace. He is also the author of the PartsCheck Live blog, hosted on WordPress, where he discusses numerous issues to do with parts procurement systems. In a nutshell, an insurer mandated parts procurement system is software that a shop must use to acquire parts when working on claims from a particular in-

surer. This assumes, of course, that the shop is on a DRP with that insurer. The mandated use of the program is part of the DRP agreement. Currently, there are two major insurer mandated parts procurement systems in North America. The first is the program used by Intact Insurance’s Rely network of collision repair facilities, currently only operating in Canada. The second is State Farm’s PartsTrader, currently still in testing mode in the U.S. It has yet to make its way to Canada, even for testing. PartsTrader is originally from New Zealand. The program State Farm is testing

42  collision Repair

has been developed specifically for North America and is not a copy of the program used in New Zealand, but Desaulniers says the collision repair industry in Canada can still learn from the experiences of New Zealand’s repairers. “I have a video posted on my blog, where repairers from New Zealand say their greatest regret was trying to fight the implementation of PartsTrader, rather than working with the insurance industry to make sure they had influence over how the market evolved.” This is ver y similar to an opinion advanced by Matthew Ohrnstein of


Symphony Advisors at a meeting of the repair community in Canada who critiCanadian Collision Industry Forum in cize Intact’s program, but another point early January of 2013. of view says this is simply a model whose “The largest U.S. auto insurer, State time has come. Farm, has adopted this business model,” Desaulniers says that the recent rollout said Ohrnstein. “It’s likely here to stay of insurance mandated parts procurement and not worth fighting against. It’s better is a market driven process that cannot be to be on the instopped, as many side, and push for automotive parts more standardizah av e e s s e nt i a l l y tion of software become comAn insurer to minimize the modities. He says mandated c o mp l e x i t y a n d he expects to see administration.” more and more of parts Wendy Hillier is these programs as the Vice President, other insurers recprocurement Supply Chain and ognize their value. system is Procurement for For more on this, Intac t Financial please see “Parts software that Corporation. She as Commodity” on a shop must says that although this page. there are definitely “I’m sorr y, but use to acquire advantages for the shops cannot win parts when program for Intact a fight with insurwhen it comes to ance carriers, and working on containing costs, it does no one any there are also adgo o d t o t r y an d claims from vantages for shops live in denial. The a particular who participate in MSOs understand the program. t h i s an d are a c insurer. “Intac t’s par ts tively engaged in procurement prothe process now,” gram is focused on says Desaulniers. the acquisition of quality parts as an essenThat does not mean that the programs do tial component in repairing our customers’ not have their share of critics. Pierre (Pete) vehicles in a safe and timely manner,” says Piette is a former collision centre owner Hillier. “The program supports our Rely and the current owner of Just Bumpers, shops in reducing cycle time and im- a company based in Sudbury, Ont., speproving the overall cost of repairs.” cializing in new and recycled bumpers. A number of the U.S. trade associa- He says the introduction of Intact’s parts tions have released positions statements procurement program has had a negative against State Farm’s PartsTrader program, economic impact on his community. and there are certainly members of the “It’s creating unemployment in different

Parts as Commodity Brad Desaulniers believes that the main drivers for insurance mandated parts procurement programs are market forces. He draws from the paper “Market Commoditization of Products and Services,” by Bülent Dumlupinar, published in Review of Social, Economic & Business Studies. The entire paper is available online at http://partschecklive. surviving-commoditization. pdf. Reprinted below are some relevant sections: “When the products/services provided by a firm can be supplied equally well by a number of other firms, then that product/service simply becomes a commodity (undifferented product/service) and price is often the only factor in supplier selection. Once a firm becomes simply a commodity with no value-add, the company often loses control of its destiny to other firms which add value and proactively manage the process on a value added basis … Since commoditization is an externally instigated process - born of products maturation, market saturation, and industry dynamics - companies cannot stop the process … The driver towards commoditization is perhaps the most powerful force in business today.”

april 2013  collision Repair  43


The parts list for a job is imported directly from the estimating system into PartsTrader, where you can request quotes or place a direct order to the supplier of your choice in seconds.

sectors,” he says. “There are no auto recyclers signed up in our community and the Kia dealer, the Hyundai dealer, the Mitsubishi dealer and the Honda dealer aren’t signed up. Glass cannot be purchased in this area, those orders have to be placed in Quebec. Shops want to buy from local dealers, but they can’t, and that’s hurting us. The money is leaving the community.” Hillier says one of the main purposes of the program for the perspective of the shop is to simply provide parts availability and pricing through a single portal in less than 30 minutes, providing the shop with a savings in time. “Shops were able to make a choice on parts ordering in less than an hour of the vehicle arriving at their shop. Parts are then delivered according to the availability as specified by the supplier. Returned parts (due to incorrect part

selection or quality of part) have historically been over 15 per cent. Our parts program has reduced the rate of return to under 10 per cent,” says Hillier. Piette believes that consumers prefer to support their local economy when they can, and that the Intact program has hidden costs of which consumers are unaware. “If you’re waiting on parts to come in from Toronto, the car is sitting at the shop and the cost of the rental is piling up. Somewhere down the line this is going to be passed onto the consumer one way or another,” he says. Hillier says that, across the entire Rely network, delays in production are actually down. “The improved cycle time around ordering repair parts, receiving the parts and the reduction of parts returns deliver value

State Farm’s PartsTrader Much of the discussion regarding parts procurement programs in the U.S. has focused on State Farm’s PartsTrader system. State Farm is currently testing the PartsTrader system in a number of markets to see what changes must be made before the system is rolled out to the insurer’s Select Service repairers. The first stage of testing included four smaller markets, and the program has since been rolled out in the Chicago area. Essentially, a shop using the PartsTrader program is asked to provide a list of preferred suppliers, including a default parts dealer for each make. For example, if you regularly purchase Chrysler parts from the local Chrysler dealer, then you can name them as the default dealer. Other suppliers go into your pool of preferred suppliers. Only repairers can modify their list of default dealers. State Farm cannot. The first step is to write the estimate just as you normally would, in your preferred software. The estimate may include a mix of new, recycled or aftermarket parts that you consider to be the most appropriate for fixing the vehicle. You then upload your repair estimate to the PartsTrader application. You may then choose how long suppliers may take to respond—a time period of 30 to 60 minutes. During that time, your preferred suppliers as well as some others who supply parts to your region will provide pricing and delivery information, and may attach photos or provide other details if they think it will help you make your selection. You may receive quotes for recycled parts when you wrote an estimate for new, and you may also find competitive pricing on OE parts when you were considering recycled. The application is designed to help you consider all options to get the information you need to procure parts effectively. If time is of the essence, PartsTrader enables you to place a “direct order” instantly with the supplier of your choice, without requesting quotes. Once the quoting period has elapsed, the PartsTrader application include a decision-making tool that identifies best prices and delivery times, which you can then filter, based on what you feel is the best option. Repairers can then choose to filter by Part Type (OEM, non-OEM or Recycled), Delivery Time and other options. The choice of who to buy from and which parts to buy remains under your control, and buy price is never disclosed to State Farm. Once you are finished with your selection, you can place the order instantly. In cases where customers want an estimate on a driveable vehicle, the shop writes the estimate just as they would today. If that customer then comes to that shop for repair, the estimate is uploaded to PartsTrader at that time. For more information on PartsTrader, please visit

44  collision Repair

to various stakeholders in the process,” says Hillier. “Our policyholder benefits through improved repair cycle times, the shop benefits from reduced wait time and delays in the repair process, and the parts suppliers benefit from a competitive opportunity to bid on the sale of their parts.” John Norris of Collision Industry Information Assistance (CIIA) has long been a vocal critic of the Intact program. He believes that while there are advantages to these programs, they lie entirely on the side of the insurer, not with the repairer or motorist. “Efficient collision repair facilities that already have electronic ordering systems have to have a duplicate system now, and there is definitely the potential to lose local vendors. Those suppliers can sell parts for the same price, and sometimes cheaper, but the facility must order from often more remote suppliers, at sometimes lower margins and lower profits,” says Norris. He is also concerned that structural body parts are only the start.

The Quote Selection tool within thePartsTrader application gives you a quick snapshot of best price options. You can then filter based on your acceptable delivery time, part type, or by supplier to make your final selections and order.

“I suspect insurers will aggressively target other areas of the repair process. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find them starting to look at paint procurement profits first.” There may controversy surrounding these programs, but there is strong indication that they’re here to stay. Insurers are looking for ways to contain costs in the repair process. As long as these programs continue to help them do that, and as long as repairers are willing to sign on, insurers will likely continue to run them.  CRM april 2013  collision Repair  45


Go or Grow? The status quo isn’t an option. By Matthew Ohrnstein

Matthew Ohrnstein, speaking at a recent event in Toronto, Ont.


here are several prominent issues facing the collision repair industry that require attention, solutions and action, and simply ignoring them will only exacerbate their effects. It is valuable to take a step back and gauge each one, understanding the root cause and implications each issue poses to the industry. One undeniable fact is that Canadians are driving less and therefore, accidents are less frequent. This fact, coupled with the implementation of new vehicle technology, an aging fleet of vehicles in operation and higher deductibles, continues to shape the future of the industry. When set into motion, these trends and others create a devastating domino effect, which reduces demand for collision repair services and

intensifies competition for a smaller piece of the collision repair pie.

Trends impacting repairers

Simply put, a reduction in the total kilometres driven by Canadian motorists reduces time spent on the road, and in turn, reduces accident frequency and demand for collision repair services. Accidents are on the decline, per household to about one every 10 years. Additionally, vehicle owners are electing to go with higher deductibles, which often means they may forgo repairs, or do only minimal repairs when there is a collision. Higher deductibles also empower the consumer to choose his or her own collision repair facility, thus bypassing traditional direct repair referral channels.

New vehicle technology is also reducing the need for repairs as the level of complexity and the cost to replace expensive components makes the decision to total a vehicle vs. repair it much easier. Increasing vehicle complexity also demands new levels of competency in repair. To keep pace with the perpetual innovation of cars, collision repair centers must ensure their staff understands the increasingly complex repair processes needed. Recently, I asked the participants at the CCIF meeting in Toronto if they thought insurance claims and collision repair personnel have timely, accurate and actionable technical repair methodology available to them. Of those I surveyed, 56 per cent of colliapril 2013  collision Repair  47


sion repairers and 18 per cent of insurers answered no. My impromptu survey returned results which were alarming. What if 56 per cent of heart surgeons did not have adequate repair methodology available for open heart surgery? Canadian collision repairers must also contend with a parts market that is significantly different from its American counterpart. The make-up of the Canadian parts market differs from the U.S. particularly in terms of usage of OE parts. In the U.S., the usage of OE parts has declined as a percentage of total parts sold from about 75 per cent to 63 per cent over the last decade. While in Canada, OE parts have held steady for the last three years at about 74 per cent. Aftermarket parts in Canada have edged up about 1 per cent to a 13 per cent share. Recycled parts have declined by a similar percentage. This is most likely due to short supply, as a significant portion of total loss vehicles are shipped abroad and/or rebuilt. Rather than filling the parts supply funnel, these coveted recycled parts are slipping through Canadian collision repairer’s and insurer’s

fingers and making their way to foreign destinations. This shortage is yet another pitfall that requires full understanding as a prerequisite to any viable solution.

Influence of insurers and OEMs

Consolidation and financial performance issues are intensifying competition among insurers. This is driving insurers’ strategies in the market place, and shaping the future of the insurance industry, and consequently, the collision repair industry. The inherent link between the two businesses means that any effects resonating with insurers will make their mark on collision repairers in a matter of time. For example, through taking more control over the customer experience, resizing their DRP networks and looking at ways to ensure future repair capacity, insurers are beginning to take a more hands-on role in their approach to relations with collision repairers. Their financial pressures include the fact that in several recent years the combined ratio of property and casualty has exceeded 100 per cent. Put into simple terms, insurers have paid out more in policy

Property and Casualty Insurance Cycle Rates decreased Price competition

Investment income realized PROFITS LOSSES Profits realized

2002 48  collision Repair

Combined ratios >100


acquisition, administrative and claims costs than they received in premiums. This has caused a demand for increased efficiency and cost containment. As a result of the intensifying competition from peers, insurers have responded by increasing their spending on advertising in an attempt to increase their market share, scale and distinguish themselves from competitors. Furthermore, acting on CSI data, which shows that customer satisfaction with the claims process affects 44 per cent of policyholders’ overall satisfaction with their insurer, insurers have focused on the inner workings of collision repair shops. Insurers are becoming more involved with the customer at shop level. For example, in the U.S., some insurers maintain their own claims staff at the shop that focuses on managing customer communication, severity and parts usage in an attempt to wield greater control over the repair process, while the repairer focuses on cycle time and quality. Direct Repair Program performancebased relationships are becoming the rule. The measurement of repair vs. replace, alternative parts usage, cycle time and other key performance indicators is raising the bar for collision repairers in an already complex industry. Neglecting to focus on insurance carriers needs and performing in the upper tier of their DRP, is a formula for extinction. The OEM industry is another related market that will certainly have an impact on the Canadian collision repair industry. There are several trends gaining prominence for OEMs: • Rebounding vehicle sales will cause an increase in insured vehicles and increase collision repair severity and demand. • Increased use of advanced technology and materials will force collision repairers to increase investments in equipment, training and diagnostic software to properly assess and repair vehicles. • OEM certification programs and telematics will change the balance of power between insurance referrals and OE/dealership directed collision repair work.


Do insurance claims and collision repair personnel have timely accurate, actionable technical repair methodology information available to properly assess and repair the vehicle damage?

Property and Casualty Canada Combined Ratio 100 80 60

No 55%

Yes 45%

40 20 0 F: Indicates a year for which only projected data is available.

The next move

Another significant trend within the collision repair industry is collision repair consolidation. At a time when market conditions are forcing repairers to consider the stark choice of “Go, Grow or Status Quo,” the “Grow” option offers three choices: join a larger collision repair organization through merger or acquisition, add new locations or join one of the managed collision repair franchise networks. As the “Status Quo” is not a viable longterm option, the “Go” option seems to be the direction—willingly or otherwise—for many collision repair facilities. Many repairers do not even recognize the pot they are sitting in is simmering and will soon be boiling! This is reflected in the numbers. The Canadian shop population was around 8,000 in 2000. The general consensus in the industry was that this was far too many shops for the work that was available. The shop population numbers since then have borne this out. There are already fewer than 6,000 facilities still in operation, and that number is likely on its way to 4,000 within the next 10 years, possibly even sooner. The situation in the U.S. is similar. There were over 46,000 shops in 2000, compared to fewer than 37,000 today. Indications are that this number is on its way down to 30,000 locations across the country. The U.S. market is roughly ten

times the size of the Canadian market. However, the number of shops in Canada is proportionally higher than in the U.S. Factors such as Canada’s geography and widespread population may play a role in this. The real pressure is on the mid-sized shops, those doing between $1 and $2.5 million in sales per year. They will find it increasingly difficult to hold their ground, so many of them are likely to try the “Grow” option. Some will likely stay independent and attempt to grow by acquiring existing shops or opening new locations. But expect to see a large percentage becoming part of something bigger—in effect, growing—by joining networks or selling to multiple location operators. The 10 largest non-dealership networks, both corporately owned and franchise systems, are now taking in 12 per cent of all collision repair sales volume across North America. That might not seem like a very large percentage, but bear in mind that this amount of business is being handled by fewer than 1800 facilities across those 10 networks, racking up approximately $3.6 billion in business last year. The total number of shops in North America at the present time is about 43,000. In other words, the top 10 networks comprise less than 0.5 per cent of the total number of shops. They attract business far out of proportion to their numbers.

These larger operations are attractive to insurers. A single point of contact makes their lives easier. A large network of shops is more able to offer volume discounts (and finds it easier to buy in volume, allowing them to offer those discounts). Perhaps most important, standardized operating procedures and leveraging technology solutions drive uniformity of performance. A “problem shop” is the network’s problem to deal with, not the insurer’s. Grow or Go are the only real options for a repairer today. Whichever route you choose, all the critical success factors still apply. Whether you contemplate expansion or you wish to make yourself attractive for a potential sale or candidate to join a franchise organization, develop a reputation for first class service, technical competency and top tier performance with your insurance partners. CRM Matthew Ohrnstein is the Managing Director of Symphony Advisors, a management consulting firm focused on delivering strategic, operational and financial advisory services. Prior to founding Symphony Advisors, Ohrnstein served as Chairman and CEO of Caliber Collision Centers. Over the course of Ohrnstein’s eight-year tenure with Caliber Collision Centers, the company acquired or developed 68 collision repair centers in California (38) and Texas (30) with annual revenues exceeding $200 million and more than 1,600 employees.

april 2013  collision Repair  49

oem spotlight

Toyota Certified Quality repairs go hand-in-hand with protecting customer interaction. By Mike Davey


ars are becoming more complex.” It’s almost a mantra in the collision repair industry, repeated so often that the words start to lose their meaning. That’s a good thing, though, as it’s not simply a challenge that the industry must deal with. It’s been the default state of affairs for years now and the OEMs show no sign of slowing down the pace of technological innovation. If anything, they’re going faster! Toyota Canada started its collision repair program in 1995, but it’s only in the last few years that the car maker has initiated the certification of collision centres. “

“Toyota, Lexus and Scion have a reputation for quality and dependability, and part of maintaining that means making sure we have a collision solution for our customers,” says Vasco Rebuli, Toyota Canada’s Manager, Body and Paint. “We’re committed to making sure that our dealers’ customers can have their cars repaired properly, without having to leave their market area. We currently have 84 dealers with certified collision centres in Canada. Approximately two-thirds of our dealerships don’t have an in-house collision centre.” Enter the independent collision centre. The overall program is split into three

Avenue Collision~CSN is located in the heart of Toronto. The shop was designed with OEM certification in mind.

50  collision Repair

Ken Friesen’s Concours Collision~CSN Royal Oak location was one of the first TCCC designated facilities in Canada.

parts: Toyota Certified Collision Centre (TCCC), Lexus Certified Collision Centre and Scion Certified Collision Centre. The TCCC program is the essential core, with Lexus and Scion designations added if a collision centre can pass the audit for those as well. The goal for all designations is ensuring repairs are performed properly and protecting the customer relationship. Ken Friesen is the President and CEO of Concours Collision Centres~CSN. His Royal Oak location in Calgary was one of the very first independents to receive the TCCC designation. “Through the selection process, Concours had to demonstrate the highest standard of excellence through a commitment to professionalism, quality repair, and customer satisfaction,” says Friesen. Toyota puts its reputation on the line every time it certifies a facility. Independents are required to first to find a Toyota and/or Lexus dealer within the dealer market area that is willing to sponsor them. After that hurdle is cleared, the facility must pass an intensive audit. Please see “The Audit” on the next page for details. The audit process is thorough, but it’s likely going to become even tougher down the road. “The current audit process will be revised and quite likely become more stringent.

oem spotlight

As the pace of innovation accelerates, more OEMs will likely move towards a certified repair model.

Vasco Rebuli.

This means those currently on the program will need to recertify,” says Rebuli. Maintaining an OEM certified designation is an ongoing process. Assuming you get a sponsor and pass the audit, here’s what you’ll need to provide: • A minimum 12 month warranty on all collision repairs against defects in material, workmanship and application. • Fu l l d i s c l o s u re on a l l i nvoi c e s where non-OEM parts are specified and used. • Purchase genuine parts to complete the repair from the sponsoring dealer. • Market/advertise in conjunction with sponsoring dealer, subject to guidelines provided by sponsoring dealer. • Ensure no unauthorized use of documents by collision center staff. Access to the Toyota Canada information portal will require the signing of a confidentiality agreement. Toyota is using various methods to encourage its customers to go with TCCC collision centres. You’ll also receive software to capture CSI data and invitations for lean management training courses, paid for by Toyota Canada. Toyota also provides TCCC facilities with access to DuPont, for assistance with shop layout and consulting. One of the biggest advantages is simply access to information.

“Certified collision centres have access to our dealer portal. ” says Rebuli. “It contains important information and unique data regarding our vehicles, including collision repair manuals and bulletins, service repair manuals, wiring diagrams and service bulletins. Soon, TCCC shops will have access to online and hands-on technical training, which is part of the certification program for technicians. We’ll likely release that in late-2013.” For more information on the TCCC program, please contact Vasco Rebuli at 416-431-8344 or CRM

The Audit The audit for the TCCC program includes 401 questions in 16 different areas, and all must be up to standards before the collision centre can earn the designation. This isn’t a special requirement for independents, though. Toyota dealerships have to meet the same standards. The 16 areas the audit focuses on are listed below. Note that the technical aspects of the repair process aren’t the only things Toyota is concerned about. Protecting the customer interaction is paramount. Body repair Clean and orderly facility Customer interaction Detailing Estimating Image JIT logistics Parts synchronization and operations Primer procedures Production Quality control Refinish procedures Safety procedures Standard equipment Standard operating procedures Vehicle delivery

Dave Stretz, Chris Stathonikos and Matthew Stathonikos outside CARSTAR Calgary Sunridge with their official TCCC certificate.

april 2013  collision Repair  51


The 2000 and 2012 iterations of the Ford Taurus have very similar styling, but radically different curb weights. The 2000 model weighs in at 3.300 lbs., while the 2012 ups the ante to a whopping 4,015 lbs. A consumer-led increase in the number, type and power of various onboard systems has helped to increase the average vehicle weight over the last decade.

L i g h t w e i g h t

Structures As automakers strive to hit CAFE standards, they increasingly turn to exotic materials. By Andrew Ardizzi


t least where fuel economy is concerned, efficiency has b e c ome a p ol it i c a l point of interest in the automotive industry, largely due to t he Ob ama administ rat ion’s C o r p o r at e Av e r a g e Fu e l E c o n o my (CAFE) initiative. The administration’s plan aims to require automakers to nearly double fuel economy within all vehicles to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. In doing so, it is believed the increase in fuel efficiency will directly lead to reduced oil dependency— cutting consumption by an estimated 12 billion barrels—while saving consumers $8,000 throughout the lifespan of their vehicles, in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions as a whole.

The question on many minds within the auto industry, however, is how this is going to be accomplished. In October 2012 at the International Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE), I-CAR Technical Director Jason Bartanen and I-CAR Industry Support Manager Steven Marks offered some insights into what manufacturers are doing to push vehicles toward becoming more fuel efficient, specifically how manufacturers are shifting towards lighter weight materials to compensate for consumers’ affinity for the gizmos that make driving with your family a safe and entertaining experience, and how collision repairers must prepare for these changes. Bartanen and Marks gave a presentation titled “Lightweight Vehicle Structures,” and noted that one of the challenges now facing

52  collision Repair

manufacturers in light of CAFE is the total weight of cars, which are composed not only of the structure, engine and body itself, but the extra accessories that make up the fully modern vehicle. “Everybody wants 500 horsepower, everyone wants to go from 0-60 (miles per hour) in two seconds, they want 80 miles per gallon and they want widescreen TVs for their kids in the back of the car,” jokes Bartanen. “We’ve got a lot of conflicting issues. All of these things are really fighting one another. We’re adding more quiet and comfort to the vehicle, but that means more weight.” Bartanen says each of these additional components—infotainment systems, navigation systems, safety systems and adaptive cruise control—helps to add that extra weight, because each is attached to a com-


Magnesium auto parts are cast, rather than stamped or extruded. Repair is generally not an option with magnesium structures. Photos courtesy of I-CAR.

puter, which is attached to a sensor, which are attached to output systems. All these required additions that make on-board accessories work slow down the vehicle and make it more weighted. He notes additional challenges, such as the demand to increase acceleration in these increasingly heavier cars, while enhancing additional features such as roll-over protection. “We’ve got to put more reinforcements inside the vehicle,” he says. “Everyone wants a five star vehicle crash rating with a thousand air bags to protect their families and all that stuff is adding weight to it.” While creating a “strong box” body structure within the car’s framework is essential to protecting its occupants, and safety feature videos of crash tests demonstrate the importance of protective standards, these protective provisions also conflict with the CAFE timeline as it nears its target date—one of the first target deadlines being roughly 36 miles per gallon, up from the 2010 mark of around 25 miles per gallon. “The vehicle manufacturers are tasked with trying to lighten the structure as much as possible to save some of that weight,” he says, noting the difficulties in making this a reality at the present moment with certain model cars such as the Taurus and Accord. Bartanen notes that both vehicles saw an increase in their total body weight between the 2000 and 2012 models, adding that the engineers working on improving fuel economy are actually doing a great job despite cars being weighed down by their own electronics, comfort and safety systems.

Bartanen says manufacturers need to start offsetting the weight of new vehicles in order meet CAFE benchmarks, and that we will begin to see greater strides toward meeting those goals as more light weight materials such as fibre optics will be used to decrease the weight of wire harnesses. Yet as vehicle structures evolve to comply with CAFE, the collision repair industry will be affected by these changes and will be forced to adapt along with manufacturers and their engineers. “All of these things are certainly going to have an effect on the collision repair industry,” he says. “How we approach the vehicles, how we analyze the damage, what we can and can’t do to those vehicles is going to change more and more dramatically as we continue to move forward.” Bartanen uses the new Honda Accord as an example, a car which sports higher strength steel than its predecessors by reducing the thickness of the metals used, in conjunction with aluminum, magnesium or other composite parts to lighten the physical structure of vehicles because

they can’t lighten certain other things. As a result we’re going to see higher strength steels being used on new cars to lighten the total load of the car, of which he says accounts for 35 per cent of a vehicle’s total mass. The gradual shift towards high grade steels, with more vehicles stepping away from using mild grade steels. Bartanen notes cars like the new Honda Accord, which is built with 1500 MPa steel in its body, will affect the collision repair industry directly. “It’s going to affect us from the damage analysis process to the part removal process to the part installation process. It’s going to require us to know what the vehicle manufacturer is saying in each and every case,” he says. “The vehicle information they’ve got on how to repair the vehicle is going to be as critical as it’s ever been. So having that access to that information is certainly critical to a complete and safe repair.” Marks notes the Cadillac ATS’ new structure as another example. The ATS sports dual-phase steel on the lower rail, contrasted against normal practice which relegates it the side structure of the vehicle. “There are many different features and so much technology in this ATS. They’ve done everything they possibly can to make that car lighter,” says Marks. Marks says GM has reduced as much weight all-around as they could design wise, punching holes where they can to reduce weight while using higher strength steel to make it thinner. Marks also notes the strut towers on the ATS are aluminum and are rivet bonded to the front steel structure of the car. Its ribbing and forming make it stiffer altogether, making the ATS stronger as a whole. “This car has just an amazing amount of strength,” he says. “In the case of the aluminum strut tower, technicians will need to rivet bond the replacement aluminum casting to the steel structure. There is a procedure for it now.” “You’re going to be seeing more and

Removing spot welds in AHSS can be a major challenge. The harder steels make drilling more difficult, and techs must take care to avoid the holes in flanges being reused and spot welded. Photos courtesy of I-CAR.

april 2013  collision Repair  53


more of this mixed material,” Marks says. “They’re going to use anything they can that works as good, anything they can use to fit the application.” Where tinkering with the body design of cars is concerned though, it all comes back to how repairers are going to deal with the post-CAFE era of lighter bodies. Marks believes that as companies move towards using aluminum or composite body structure, collision repairers are going to need to make sure they’re knowledgeable about what materials they need and what they’re working with. Especially where aluminum is concerned. “The use of aluminum is certainly going to continue to expand,” Bartanen says. “Alcoa’s recently done a $600-million ex-

it’s all aluminum,” Marks says. “So it’s like the structure of it is aluminum, but the exterior rivet bonded body panels are steel.” Marks says the two materials are joined at the pinchweld area through rivet bonding, while, as Bartanen notes, the front section of the car is an adhesive only sectioning joint, making it crucial to know what you’re dealing with as a repair tech. Marks believes these new cars are hybrid in every way imaginable, including metals, attachment methods and techniques and batteries. While aluminum use will make cars lighter in the long run, it presents its own risks. One of the concerns regarding aluminum use is the potential for galvanic corrosion wherever steel and aluminum

parts, carbon fibre use is becoming increasingly common as well. Bartanen says carbon fibre materials are going to become equally prevalent in the coming years as cars become lighter, whereby entire components of a car may be a singular, seamless piece on the interior, or will compose entire parts on the exterior such as fenders and hoods. “The Corvette has some carbon fibre applications on the fender and the hood,” Bartanen says. “I think we’re going to start seeing more and more carbon fibre. Painted pieces like the Corvette fender, the Viper hood and fender that are coming out, they’re going to offer a little bit more repairability. There will be some information on how to accurately assess damage which will be out

Aluminum structural parts fall into three categories: Castings, extrusions and stampings. Photos courtesy of I-CAR.

pansion in one of their Iowa facilities. I’ve got a hunch they’re not doing that on a whim, I think they’ve got to have a reason behind making that type of investment because they’ve got orders from vehicle manufacturers for aluminum parts.” Bartanen uses the 2013 Range Rover as an example of what was formerly a fully steel vehicle that is now 700 pounds lighter due to the use of aluminum, and that it will be something the industry sees with more frequency in the future from a vaster number of car manufacturers. Several examples already include the Corvette ZO6, ZR1 and C7 Stingray, the new Jaguar XJ, the McClaren AMGSLS and the Audi A8. The integration of aluminum into the manufacturing of new vehicles to comply with CAFE will also see more hybrids structures such as the new Porsche 911 which has an aluminum interior bonded to the car’s external steel structure. It will also necessitate having access to all of the car’s repair instructions and information. “The rocker and quarter panels of the 911 are going to be steel, so that is going to throw people for a loop. You’re going to take a magnet and be like, ‘Ah, it’s a steel car.’ Guess what? From the pinchwelds inward,

come into contact, and Marks says it’s something repairers will need to watch out for. “Make sure you watch for galvanic corrosion where steel bolts go in or where aluminum attaches to steel,” he says. “Watch out for corrosion protection between dissimilar materials.” Corrosion protection is vital to ensure the durability and integrity of a car’s structure, while some welding techniques actually erodes OEM coatings. He was also careful to note the potential issues of shops intermixing the materials, and while some keep the parts separate, the practice is not widespread. As for repairers who believe the shift towards aluminum materials won’t affect them, Bartanen says shops need to understand that this is where the auto industry is heading. “There are going to be a high volume of aluminum vehicles in the next few years and you’re going to need to know how to repair them,” he says. This includes becoming familiar with laser welding and how to remove it, spot welding, corrosion protection, MIG Brazing and all of the different rivet, bolting and adhesive techniques to successfully repair modern steel and aluminum-bodied vehicles. In addition to the use of aluminum on car

54  collision Repair

there concerning carbon fibre repair.” Bartanen also noted the new Lamborgini Adventador which is made with a seamless C-F body structure without any bonded modules and requires full carbon fibre repair if the structure is damaged. The issue with carbon fibre use, though, is that manufacturing full-scale carbon fibre-based vehicles is costly, there is a low part production rate and it’s labour intensive. For collision repairers especially, it will require having the right tools to do the job, and needs very specific training to understand how to recognize damage to the carbon fibre structure, combined with OEM information on layers, resins and weaves. As these new, lighter vehicles become increasingly common, techs are going to need to be aware of the different methods available to complete repair orders, especially concerning composite structures. It’s a new age for repairers, as the industry shifts toward a more fuel-efficient landscape, and with it, an alteration to how vehicles are fundamentally made. The industry will require all the information needed to successfully complete repairs, something Bartanen and Marks view as essential as the auto industry evolves toward meeting CAFE’s benchmarks.  CRM








Tower alleges OPP officer threatenened him with sex toys By Andrew Ardizzi

A tow truck driver who alleges he was the victim of police abuse has called on the Ontario Provincial Police to fire one of its officers. Jagdis Tirbany, 45, of Toronto, released a statement through his lawyer claiming the officer in question verbally threatened him and allegedly brandished sex toys at him while Tirbany was being finger printed at a police station on Keele Street near Wilson Avenue. Tirbany says the incident occurred in March 2012. Tirbany released a video of the incident on February 13, 2013, in which an officer, said to be Const. Ludgero Cafe, is shown holding objects while asking several questions of Tirbany in the video’s audio. The video can be found on YouTube under the title “Toronto OPP hidden camera appears to show cop brandishing dildos Mar 8/12.” In the video, Cafe is seen briefly with what appears to be sex toys in both hands, and suggests they will be used on Tirbany. “Which one do you want to use, this one or the other one?” Cafe is heard asking in the video. “If you ever end up going to jail, in a nice mostly dark place ... that’s exactly what Bubba’s gonna do to you; I will personally

send a nice text to take care of you in there.” Tirbany also alle ge s that two other of ficers were present during the incident but did not report it. The Special Invest i g a t i o n s U n i t ( S IU ) , Ontario’s provincial police watchdog, investigated the incident and charged Const. Cafe with uttering a th re at wi th inte nt to cause bodily harm, although Tirbany’s lawyer, Davin Charney, said the Crown quietly dropped the charges on February 1, 2013. As reported in a number of sources, the Crown determined there was little chance of conviction. Despite the case being dropped by the Crown, Tirbany intends to file a lawsuit against the provincial police force. “The lawsuit will allege sexual assault, intimidation, and wrongful inter ference with Mr. Tirbany’s tow truck business,”

A still from the video taken by Tirbany appears to show Const. Ludgero Cafe brandishing what may be sex toys. A voice (alleged to be Cafe) is overheard saying “Which one do you want to use? This one or the other one?“

according to an offical statement released by Tirbany’s lawyer. “The claim is expected to outline a pattern of harassment by OPP officers against Mr. Tirbany including falsely arresting him on one occasion and threatening to arrest him on another occasion.” Tirbany has also filed a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director regarding the conduct of the three officers and expects a written report to be released in the near future.

PTAO Charity Golf Tournament to benefit underprivileged kids The Provincial Towing Association of Ontario (PTAO) has announced that it will hold its 2013 Charity Golf Tournament at Cardinal Golf Club in Newmarket, Ont. The tournament will take place on Thursday, June 6, 2013. The day will start with lunch, then onto a shotgun start at 1:30 pm followed up with a dinner, silent auction and awards presentation. The proceeds from the PTAO 2013 Charity Golf Tournament will directly benefit The Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund,

a registered charity that provides as many as 25,000 underprivileged and special needs children with a memorable summer time oppor tunity to attend one of more than 100 day or residential camps. All donations are directed to suppor ting the children at camp, as the Toronto Star handles administrative costs. For more information or to book your foursome, please visit

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Contents Recycling News..........57-63 ARC’s Gold Seal program, OARA Convention and much more. Recycler’s View................64 by David Gold

OARA and Cardinal “net” work at Raptors game By Andrew Ardizzi

Aarda’s President’s outlook for 2013 By Steven Cox

Mary Poirier of Valley Automotive and Don Fraser of AADCO Auto Parts.

Mike Maio of Monster Auto Wreckers.

Cardinal Couriers recently opened up its private box at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre to members of the auto recycling community to take in a Raptors basketball game. The OARA-Cardinal Raptors basketball event was held in early February, bringing together many Ontario auto recyclers, including representatives from Thorold Auto Parts & Wreckers, Boston Auto Wreckers, Standard Auto Wreckers, AADCO Auto Parts, Valley Automotive and Modern Auto Parts. The auto recycling group watched the Raptors as they battled the Miami Heat. Although the Heat ultimately won the game by a score of 100-85, the event was enjoyed by all. “Events like this are a great opportunity for us to reconnect with some of our most valued customers,” says Adrian Pavone, President of Cardinal Couriers. “It’s about having fun, but I also think of it as an opportunity to find out where auto recyclers are experiencing challenges and see if there’s something we can do to help alleviate that.” For more information on Cardinal Couriers, please visit

Adrian Pavone, President of Cardinal Couriers.

Mike Ventresca and Frank Serravalle of Thorold Auto Parts.

Another busy year has come and gone in the auto recycling industry! 2012 was a pretty good year for the most part and hopefully your yard experienced more highs than lows. Related to that, I wanted to take a few moments to reflect on some of our progress last year, while also looking ahead at what 2013 may hold for us. During the past year or so, a major accomplishment of AARDA was seeing all of its members make the grade under the new CAREC code. While we should all take the time to appreciate this accomplishment, we must also recognize that meeting the standards set within the new code will be an ongoing business requirement. This is because the Automotive Recyclers of Canada, at their fall meeting in Richmond, B.C., decided that the audits must be done every two years, other than in cases where the grade achieved in the audit was 85 per cent or higher. In those cases, a third year will be allowed in between audits. While on the topic of environment, I also wanted to apprise our members that we have asked to meet with the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) to discuss how provincial regulations can be updated so that Continued on page 58.

april 2013  collision Repair  57

AARDA’s President’s ... continued from page 57.

all automotive recyclers who apply for licences through Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC)should be required to meet the CAREC standards. During 2012 we continued to be quite active in our charitable programs, giving out $2,000 bursaries to seven Alberta colleges that have automotive programs. We also provided funding to assist the Alberta Motor Association (AMA) in their “None for the Road” program which provided free junior hockey game tickets to drivers at stop checks who had nothing to drink before getting behind the wheel. We are hopeful that this sort of program, in addition to the aim of making traffic safer, will also add to our profile as an industry among AMA’s almost one million members in Alberta. Steven Cox, President of AARDA.

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This relationship with AMA has been growing of late, with representatives of their association calling us up on several occasions, asking that AARDA members bring vehicles to demonstrations by the police at malls and stores showing how quickly thieves can break into a locked vehicle and steal valuables. Members have given positive feedback to AARDA regarding the value of this local publicity to their businesses. I’m confident we’ll see a lot more of these joint initiatives with AMA in the future. Early in 2013, we’ll also be giving each AARDA member yard the opportunity to allocate some of our remaining grant funds that were accumulated from the Ford and GM end-of-life programs towards local charities. As well, you may recall that we had announced a plan to use some of the funds from these car programs to subsidize the cost of enhancing emergency first aid training at each of our member yards. As an association we highly value the safety of all employees in our industry and wanted to support the priority of ensuring a safe work place. Another accomplishment for AARDA during 2012 was the very successful Annual General Meeting that we held in April in Edmonton which allowed for some free registrations depending on the number of delegates sent from each yard. This was quite successful and resulted in one of our best conference attendances to date. By all accounts the conference was highly successful. The conference being planned for 2013 will be of even greater significance, since it will also be a celebration of our 25 years as an association. The conference is being held on June 7th and 8th at beautiful Sylvan Lake and it will be important that we have a really good turnout of our members, associate members, and other stakeholders in our industry. If you haven’t already marked your calendars to attend please be sure to do so! Also, be sure to look at page 78 of the 2013 Canadian Auto Recyclers magazine where AARDA has taken out a full page ad on this important event. The ELV programs that were so successful in 2011 were continued in a reduced format late in 2012 with General Motors participation, and we are hopeful there will be more of these types of opportunities for our members in future. We certainly appreciate the efforts of ARC, our national association, in opening the doors to such opportunities for AARDA direct members. So thanks to everyone who helped to make the past year successful, in particular the members of our Board of Directors who provide a great deal of their time and energy with the purpose of making things better for all of AARDA’s direct and associate members. Thanks also to our associate members and sponsors who support our meeting and conferences so generously. Thanks also go out to our members for your participation in our AGMs and other events that we plan. Finally, thanks to Ian Hope, our Executive Director who has kept a keen eye out for developments and opportunities that will benefit your businesses. I look forward to working with everyone in the year ahead to positively impact and work with you in moving our industry forward as we move into our next 25 years as an association trying to make our industry bigger and better for all of our members.

ARC launches Gold Seal Program for certified auto recyclers The Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) has launched its Gold Seal Program to provide high quality recycled parts, with no surprises on delivery. The Gold Seal Program is a voluntary quality assurance accreditation program for ARC Members that utilizes a series of standards, audits and CSI requirements to help ensure high quality recycled parts are reliably provided to repairers, insurers and the motoring public. All ARC Members are already audited to the Canadian Auto Recyclers Environmental Code (CAREC). ARC says Gold Seal certification takes those qualified members to the next level. “This was the natural evolution of our industry,” says Steve Fletcher, ARC Managing Director. “Recyclers have seen the benefits of their CAREC certification and Gold Seal addresses the needs of our key customers to ensure a smoother interface and experience.” Modeled after the Automotive Recyclers Association’s (ARA) successful Gold Seal Program, the ARC version of the business certification model plays off of the strength of the ARC recycler network and the unique characteristics of the Canadian market. “We are pleased to be the first international association to

support ARA’s efforts to enhance the auto recycling industry on a global scale. Adding on to the existing Gold Seal model has meant a smooth transition for our Members,” added Fletcher. The program will be tested in Ontario and launched nationally in the spring of 2013. For more information on the Gold Seal Program, or to find local Gold Seal recyclers, visit or contact Steve Fletcher at or 519-858-8761.

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april 2013  collision Repair  59

OARA Convention and Trade Show Guide By Hayden Kenez

The Ontario Auto Recyclers Association (OARA) and its members are ready for the association’s annual trade show and convention, taking place March 21 to 23, 2013. This year’s event will feature more exhibitors than ever, with an expanded focus on all aspects of the auto recycling industry. This year’s convention takes place in Toronto at the Airport Marriot Hotel and will see an unprecedented number of exhibitors on display during the trade show portion of the event. OARA has added nine companies to its trade show roster: APU Solutions, Cool Catz, Copart, Crumb Rubber Manufacturers, Direct Separation Solutions, Hold Please Communications, International Plas-Techs Recycling, Liebherr Canada and Retire Your Tire. Last year’s show saw the trade show and some presentations running simultaneously, which, according to OARA Executive Director Steve Fletcher, posed a problem for those torn between attending the two. While the trade show offers great networking opportunities and views of cutting edge products, seminars dispense invaluable information from industry professionals. This was a problem for attendees looking to capitalize on all aspects of the convention. Fletcher says OARA decided to separate the trade show from seminars to accommodate viewers conflicted by the simultaneous schedule. “There’s so much learning going on during both the trade Janet Taylor of Summerhill Impact speaking at the 2012 OARA Convention show and seminars,” says and Trade Show. A number of speakers Fletcher. “This way people will and presenters have already been confirmed for this year’s convention. be really focused.”

The trade show will run after lunch on Friday afternoon into the evening, while seminars will be interspersed throughout the weekend schedule on both Friday and Saturday dockets. Friday evening also hosts a reception within the Trade Show area followed by the very popular charity casino and auction for the OARA Employee Scholarship Program. Friday is also the day when OARA invites insurers, repairers and other industry stakeholders to attend. “This is our opportunity to showcase the industry and provide an inside look at what modern auto recycling is all about,” says Fletcher. Recyclers from across the country have recently taken notice of the expanding convention, with participants traveling from nine provinces across the country set to attend this year. Fletcher says that the convention has been tailored to fit a broader audience, and is receiving a warm reception on the national scale. For more information on the 2013 OARA Trade Show and Convention please visit

Convention overview Thursday, March 21, 2013 7:00 – 10:00 pm: OARA Board of Directors Meeting Friday March 22, 2013 9:00 am – 1:00 pm: Seminars and Presentations 1:00 – 2:00 pm: Luncheon (in the Trade Show) 1:00 – 8:00 pm: Trade Show 5:00 – 8:00 pm: Reception 8:00 pm – midnight: Reception and Fundraising Casino Night


Saturday March 23, 2013 8:00 – 9:00 am: Industry Insider Breakfast 9:00 – noon: Seminars and Presentations Noon – 1:30 pm: Industry Luncheon 1:30 – 5:00 pm: OARA Annual Meeting 6:00 – 7:00 pm: Reception 7:00 –10:00 pm: Murder Mystery Dinner


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Trade show spaces are officially sold out as of time of publication. Below is the full list of this year’s exhibitors: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Abrams Towing Actual Systems/Pinnacle Al Jon APU Solutions *NEW Berpa Auto Auctions Bomet Recycling Buddy Automotive Innovations Burlington Corporate Apparel & Promotional Canadian Recyclers Health Benefits Canadian Towing Equipment Cardinal Couriers Checkmate by Commercial Forms & Recycling Supplies Cool Catz *NEW Copart *NEW Cowan Insurance Crow Environmental Crumb Rubber Manufacturers *NEW

Artists and designers who work with recycled car parts were one of the more unusual aspects of the 2012 convention.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Crush Software D.G. Bevan Insurance Brokers Ltd. Direct Separation Solutions *NEW Eagle Towing Equipment H.R. Runciman Hold Please Communications *NEW Hollander Inc. Impact Auto International Plas-Techs Recycling *NEW Lamb Fuels Liberty Tire Recycling Canada Liebherr Canada *NEW LKQ Corporation ML Environmental – SEDA Monidex Distribution International Phoenix Automotive Cores Progi Rebuilders Automotive Supply Redhill Equipment Retire Your Tire *NEW SL Marketing Metal Recycling SST Salvage Supply & Tech Summerhill Impact Trillium Tire Veolia ES Canada Industrial Services Vortex Depollution Wholesale Auto Parts Warehouses

A professional magician helped to keep attendees entertained at the Wholesale Auto Parts Warehouse booth at the 2012 convention.

The auto recycling industry’s environmental initiatives were well represented in 2012, including a booth from Switch Out, with Caroline Sturk and Marlee Kohn.

Last year’s trade show featured a number of displays, including this “Transformers“ styled police cruiser.


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Impact Auto Auctions braves the cold to help Canada’s homeless Staff at Impact Auto Auctions bundled up to brave the cold in an effort to raise funds for Canada’s homeless, hungry and hurting in conjunction with the “Coldest Night of the Year” fundraising campaign. On Saturday, February 23, 2013, employees from Impact locations in Ontario and Alberta tookpart in the charitable event. They joined thousands of walkers in 39 cities across Canada who are assisting local charities in each community. While each charity has a specific, local focus, all are common in their support for the homeless, hungry and hurting.

62  collision Repair

“Our employees tell us how strongly they believe in helping the less fortunate in our communities, particularly people who are without food and shelter,” said Terry Daniels, Impact’s Managing Director. “We are tremendously proud of their heartfelt volunteer spirit and thankful to everyone who is generously sponsoring these worthy charitable organizations.” This year, Impact’s walkers were fundraising for Mission Services of London, Ont.; The Refuge in Oshawa; Ont.; Samaritan Centre in Sudbury; Ont.; Hope Mission in Edmonton, Alta. and the Kerr Street Ministries in Oakville, Ont. Coldest Night of the Year is a nationwide campaign that offers participants the chance to get a glimpse into the hardships that Canada’s most vulnerable citizens endure on a day-to-day basis. Volunteers will take part in five and 10 kilometre walks during the dead of a winter’s night in a bid to better understand the trials faced by homeless Canadians. For more infomation, please visit

IAA launches new I-Pay feature to make buying salvage easier

Serving the Automotive Industry for Over 45 Years

By Hayden Kenez

Insurance Auto Auctions has announced a new feature on its IAA Buyer App that the company says will make purchasing salvage vehicles through mobile devices easier. I-Pay, a new function on the app designed exclusively for Apple devices, is a payment system for purchasing vehicles online. It allows buyers who hold a U.S. bank account to complete transactions through their devices. Tom O’Brien, CEO at Insurance Auto Auctions, says the I-Pay system is a step forward for the business in better connecting customers. He says IAA is focusing on enhancing the technological aspects of their IAA Buyer App service, “…to meet the growing demands of our customers and provide a best in class buyer experience.” However, some professional auto recyclers aren’t as optimistic about reducing impediments to purchasing scrap vehicles. Steve Fletcher, Managing Director of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada, is skeptical of the advantages the I-Pay system will bring to the auto recycling industry. “News like this is worrisome for professional automotive recyclers,” says Fletcher, citing the probable target for the app as particularly troubling. “It might help international buyers, hobbyists and curbsiders.” And while the company says the app will make the buying process simpler, and quicker, Fletcher says this generally isn’t a concern for professional auto recyclers. “A professional automotive recycler can still write a cheque,” he says, “This is part of a growing trend to remove any salvage

buying restrictions and open salvage access to anyone with the cash.” Dave Gold from Standard Auto Wreckers echoed these concerns, “This new app is something that lends itself more to the flyby-night buyer of salvage rather than those businesses with roots in the community.” “We procure salvage from all sources so we can reuse the car components and fill orders from our collision repair customers on behalf of the insurance companies who are starving for our green recycled parts. As the salvage gets exported overseas, our recycling partners will also feel the effects.” One concern for professional auto recyclers are unscrupulous individuals who buy vehicles not for parts or for scrap metal, but to sell overseas, possibly in countries that do not have a rigorous approach to vehicle branding or lax environmental laws. Fletcher also notes that at least one online business seems to already be catering to the scrap export market, offering to coordinate overseas transport and other services specifically geared to only exporting vehicles. The auto recycling sector depends on a relatively steady stream of salvage vehicles to provide parts to their customers. “More salvage moving outside of North America or to private individuals is starving the auto recycling sector. Most auctions seem to be working to expand their international buyer bases, decreasing the availability of parts and driving up salvage prices,” says Fletcher. “That’s not good for insurers and repairers in the long run.”

ARAAC launches new logo, revamped website The Automotive Recyclers Association of Atlantic Canada (ARAAC) has announced that it has signficantly revamped its website and also premiered a new logo for the association. For more information, please visit

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recycling  i


ARC’s new program will hold us to the highest standards.

By David Gold


here’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s holding professional automotive recyclers to a higher standard than ever before. As I write this, the Automotive Recyclers of Canada has just unveiled its new Gold Seal Program, and it promises to raise the bar for auto recycling throughout the country. Successful applicants to the program will lead the automotive recycling industry by implementing industry standards for customer service and recycled part quality based on the highest professional service goals and ethical business practices in the automotive recycling industry. You may be familar with CAREC, the auto recyclers environmental code that every member of ARC has to meet. The Gold Seal Program goes much, much further than environmental compliance. Don’t get me wrong. Environmental compliance is important, but an auto recycler who has earned the Gold Seal is already doing what they need on the environmental protection side. The Gold Seal is about making sure we meet the needs of our key

customers in the automotive repair trades, giving you a smoother experience when you order and use our recycled parts. The Gold Seal Program covers customer service standards, standards for how we describe parts, scheduling and delivery standards, warrantees and business practice requirements. When you get right down to it, all of those things are elements of customer service. The very first requirement of the new program shows that making sure you’re served to the highest standards is our primary concern. Here it is: “Gold Seal Certified Automotive Recyclers recognize the professional automotive and collision repair industries; mechanical repair and vehicle owners are our primary customers. Collision repair and mechanical repair facilities and their customers, the owners of the vehicles being repaired, are the life blood of our business.” To put it in simple terms, it’s all about you guys. It always has been, but now it’s in writing. There are a lot of other elements to the program, including

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recycling  i

compliance audits, rules for customer interaction and monitoring satisfaction and so forth, but in my opinion, everything else about the Gold Seal Program flows from that simple statement. You can see the full requirements at ARC’s website,, but there are some specific aspects I’d like to dig into here. If we look under “Business Requirements, we find a couple of items that bode

insurance company either. There are times when a car is a total loss for safety reasons, but mostly it’s a question of depreciation and damage too expensive to fix. I am positive that insurers would like to avoid those situations as much as possible. I think the parts of the Gold Seal Program that deal with our promises regarding delivery and schedule are going to be a great thing for the industry too. We

the gold seal is about making sure we meet the needs of our primary customers. very well for the continued relationship between repairers and recyclers. 19. Gold Seal Certified Automotive Recyclers will cooperate with repairers to obtain insurance supplements due to part availability and cost restraints. 20. Gold Seal Certified Automotive Recyclers will work with repairers in every way to minimize the number of vehicles that become total losses. I think you’ll agree that those are great goals. Total losses don’t do anybody any good. You don’t get the repair job, we don’t get to sell you any parts, and the customer doesn’t get their car. It’s not ideal for the

know that you can’t afford delays. I can’t promise you that you won’t still find delays in the repair process, but I do believe they won’t be coming from Gold Seal auto recyclers. The new bar is set very high for professional auto recyclers, but that’s what our customers deserve. CRM David Gold is the co-owner of Standard Auto Wreckers, an auto recycling facility with locations in Toronto, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York. He can be reached by telephone at 416-286-8686 or via e-mail at

april 2013  collision Repair  65

last word

roboDevolutioN Autonomous vehicles raise safety concerns at MIT. By Mike Davey


came across an article on recently that asks the question, “Can You Be Trusted with Google’s Driverless Car?” According to at least one expert, the answer is no. Bryan Reimer is a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AgeLab. The MIT AgeLab was created to invent new ideas and translate technologies into practical solutions that improve people’s health and enable to stay active and engaged throughout their lifespan. The ethos behind the AgeLab is that innovations in how products are designed and services are delivered is just as important as the technology

Put me in a car as a passenger, though, and my attention goes right out the window. That even applies when I should be watching the road, like when I’m supposed to be giving directions. DRIVER: So, is that turn coming up soon? ME: Huh? DRIVER: The turn! The turn we’re supposed to make! ME: Oh. Huh. That was about six blocks back. Sorry. That brings us to Reimer’s main problem with the driverless cars. Even when they can function without human interven-

a human being must still be present, and not just physicallY. itself. In Reimer’s particular case, his research focuses on how people can be trained to understand new vehicle technology. One of his prime concerns is driver engagement. According to the article in Forbes, Reimer isn’t ready to “trust anyone with a vehicle that so fully turns the driver into a passenger.”  “We have case study upon case study of how individuals are terrible overseers of autonomous systems,” Reimer says. He believes that it’s simply human nature to pay less attention as a passenger than as a driver. I can speak to the truth of this from personal experience. Like most people, I consider myself an above average driver. However, I’ve got some anecdotal evidence to back me up. Passengers driving with me for the first time often comment that I drive like I’m taking a road test. Both hands on the wheel, except to work other controls like the turn signal. Check the rear view every seven seconds. When changing lanes, check mirrors and blindspot, then signal, then check again, then merge. My mother was a driving instructor, so I got drilled pretty heavily on this stuff.

tion, a human being is still supposed to be present, and not just physically. They need to be alert, ready to take over operation of the vehicle if the robot fails. The key, according to Reimer, is for automakers to develop vehicles that help drivers, but don’t take over for them completely. “When the automobile does too much, drivers can become underaroused,” Reimer says. “They need to be doing enough to remain actively engaged. The real question is not our ability to technologically evolve autonomous vehicles. It’s how to connect the driver in a cohesive way with those technologies. We have not figured that out.” Reimer also points out that when ABS started showing up in cars, older drivers sometimes panicked at the strange sounds the system made and took their foot off the brake, while teenagers and young adults often responded by simply driving faster. CRM

66  collision Repair

Mike Davey is the editor of Collision Repair magazine. He can be reached at 905370-0101 or via email at

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Collision Repair 12#2  

Collision Repair 12#2, April 2013