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> SPECIAL FEATURE: An excerpt from Lean Auto Body. Serving the Business of the Industry



See how Canada fares.

Fix Auto's found a better way to measure paint.




Audatex enters the third dimension.


New tools to keep your costs low.


OPEN MINDS Paul Tseng’s and Paul Chow’s secret weapon.

See 3 PAGE 3ore for m ils! deta Vol.9 No.1 I $4.95 Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40841632 86 John St. Thornhill ON L3T 1Y2

plus: Cross Canada acquires CPS, I-CAR's Canadian plans, your rights to repair and much, much more.

How sharks finish off a Barracuda.

For Chip Foose and Peter Klutt, there’s no room to hesitate when it comes to finishing off Peter’s powerful 1971 Barracuda. They’re going for a look that’s positively … killer. That’s why Chip and Peter chose BASF waterborne basecoat. Shop-proven, quick-drying and as smooth as solvent, BASF waterbornes deliver a durable shine while reducing basecoat VOCs by as much as 90 percent. And it sprays so fast … the ’cuda will never know what hit it. Call 1-800-825-3000 or visit today.

BASF waterborne. Naturally. FooseTM, Chip FooseTM, Foose DesignTM and the Chip Foose signature are registered trademarks of Foose Design Inc. and used with permission. © 2010 BASF Corporation


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

Issue 9 No. 1 March 2010

On The cover AutoMind’s Open Minds

The secret to their successful formula is their willingness to rethink it.

al eci


t Fea


pg.30   Mary Monardo is a force at Mondial Fine Cars.... ...not to be reckoned with.




26  Hot off the shelves The latest and greatest products to help your operation.

04  Publisher’s Message Pride matters. by Darryl Simmons

features 07 News GFS goes greener, Assured’s busy year so far and much, much more. 18  Point Blank Human resources. by Sam Piercey 20 Who’s Driving Inward innovation. by Jay Perry


22  Prairie view Industry partners? by Tom Bissonette

t Cross Canada’s acquisition of CPS means big things for the companies.


Lean Auto Body The 8 wastes, and how to route them out of your shop.

46 Recycling Real people. by David Gold 50 The Last Word Personally lean. by Joe Rayment

16 THE NEXT DIMENSION Audatex ventures into the world of 3D with its latest software.

24 Around the World Canada remains a bright spot in the global collision repair scene.

34  Paint with Numbers A revolution in paint measurement may be in the works.

38 I-CAR North AIA’s plans to keep I-CAR training north of the 49th parallel.

40 Your rights to repair Canada finally has a repair code strategy, but will it matter?

HAVE YOUR SAY We welcome your comments on anything you see in Collision Repair magazine. Send your feedback to or by mail (7725 Yonge St., Suite 3, Thornhill ON L3T 2C4). Please note that letters to the editor may be published and edited for clarity and length.

march 2010  collision Repair  03



Whether it’s Olympic hockey or a job well done.



Darryl Simmons

ike just about every other Canadian, I sat glued to the television as Sidney Crosby took the shot that united the country. Maybe it was only for a moment, but it was a magic moment in which an entire country felt a surge of pride—an intangible that couldn’t be bought like every other commoditized emotion on the market today. The beauty of the situation was that no one on either team was playing their guts out for money. There were no back-room agent/owner negotiations even though the net salary of the players on the ice equaled the gross national product of a small country. There were no production bonuses on the table, no perks for points, and no profit sharing.

After returning from the SherwinWilliams collision repair cruise, I picked up the flawless truck (once again at night) and dropped it at the dealer’s the next day. My lease manager also made a point of commenting the quality of the work. Anyway, I called Jim to thank him and he said something that stuck with me—something that sometimes gets lost in the constant discussions of lean, enhanced cycle time, productivity etc. He said he appreciated the call because he was proud of his work and it was nice to see it appreciated. Pride is something that we see too little of throughout our lives these days, but it’s still inherent in the craftsmanship in the majority of collision repairers out

pride is something we see too little of Throughout our lives these days But every person on the ice was pouring out everything—and I mean everything—they had. This was a team that came together for one reason: to win. But more importantly, to feel the pride that you can only derive from doing the best job possible in spite of any circumstances you face. I couldn’t help but compare this to the collision repair industry. Despite the need for productivity, cycle time, profitability and KPIs, there remains a large amount of pride in the work done. I had the privilege of being reminded of this after bringing my pick-up in for a pre-lease return makeover. Indeed, it was a privilege. Since time was a factor, I explained the situation (scratches and dents accumulated over a couple of years through the “back 40” of the farm) over the phone to Jim Horsley up in Bradford, Ontario and dropped the keys off in the night slot. 04  collision Repair

there. Thank God and let’s hope it never goes away. As you forge ahead in the new world of collision repair—where there is a need for productivity, lean and KPIs, and where government seems to be intruding with more and more regulation—make sure you keep pride in your organization and reward those employees who are proud of their work. It is this sense of pride that will prove the deciding factor for new prospects in the industry and keep the high standards of quality repair. Take it away and money alone just doesn’t cut it. CRM


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

Collision Repair magazine is published by Media Matters Inc., publishers of:

Paint cars faster than ever before. Speed up your operations and increase productivity with DuPont™ Cromax® Pro waterborne basecoat. With 1.5 coat coverage, wet-on-wet application and no flash time between coats, it’s easy to see why leading shops are making the switch to DuPont™ Cromax® Pro. And for even faster results, DuPont™ ColorNet® Color Proofing can give you great color matches before a single drop of paint is mixed. Just a few of the ways that DuPont Refinish can help you reach your operational goals today— while getting ahead of tomorrow’s environmental regulations. To learn more about increasing your productivity visit or speak with a DuPont Refinish waterborne conversion specialist at 1.800.668.6945, prompt 5.

Copyright © 2008 DuPont. The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont ™, ColorNet ®, and Cromax ® are trademarks or registered trademarks of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its affiliates. All rights reserved.



“My favorite way to learn is by talking to other shop owners and managers who share the same concerns I do. Working together we can achieve things that none of could do separately. That’s the value MVP Business Solutions offers.â€? /ÂœÂ“ĂŠ ÂˆĂƒĂƒÂœÂ˜Â˜iĂŒĂŒi *>ÀÀÊĂ•ĂŒÂœLÂœ`Ăž ->ĂƒÂŽ>ĂŒÂœÂœÂ˜]ĂŠ-


World Leaders In Automotive Finishes Š2010 PPG Industries Pantone 307 CVC C100 M6 Y0 K34

NEWS Discount Celebrates an Olympic Hockey Night in Canada In light of Canada playing host to the world for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Discount Car and Truck Rental joined in the spirit by hosting hundreds of their staff, associates, partners and their family and friends when the Canadian and US hockey teams faced off in the preliminary rounds. VP of fleet and sales Jay Singer, national marketing manager Sarah Bloom and VP of revenue management and IT Al Nanji ran the night with ease and smiles among the crowd of avid hockey and Olympics fans. Discount spared no expense at making one of Canada’s most remembered Olympic hockey games all the more memorable for all who attended. The evening began with drinks and appetizers at Jack Astor’s Bar and Grill located in Toronto’s Entertainment District and carried on with a private screening of the main event at the Scotiabank Theatre, where guests were given party packages to cheer on their home team.

LS400 basecoat Amanda Small (back), Lafleur Joyette (left) and Natacha Pinheiro (right) cheering on Team Canada for Discount.

LS400 clearcoat

Jay Singer, VP fleet and sales (left) and Al Nanji, VP operations and IT.

Collision Repair bottom lines safe from cell phone fines How will bans on cellular phone use and texting while driving impact the collision repair industry? Well, possibly not at all. Bans in California, New York, Connecticut and Washington, DC had no impact on collision rates, according to a study by the Highway Loss Data Institute. British Columbia and Ontario recently joined three other Canadian provinces in

enacting similar laws imposing restrictions on handheld device use while driving. If the study’s findings hold true, we can expect similar results in Canada. For its part, the institute was a little baffled by its own findings. One of the solutions it offered up was that people may have switched to using hands-free devices more often, which comes with its own perils.


Mirka Abrasives adds two new members to its team Eric Simard and Andrew Rennert have joined the team at Mirka Abrasives Canada Inc. Eric Simard comes to Mirka as a sales representative covering the Western Quebec and Ottawa markets. Eric has over 10 years experience in the OEM, wood and industrial markets, having worked previously in MRO products distribution as well as for AE Abrasives. Andrew Rennert is joining as sales representative for the GTA and Eastern Ontario areas and brings with him over 16 years ex-

ANEST IWATA USA, Inc. Eric Simard (left) and Andrew Rennert (right).

distributed by: ASET (Automotive Spraying Equipment Technologies) 800-628-5449

perience in industrial and automotive sales, having held positions previously with Uniweld, ClipLight. march 2010  collision Repair  07


Fast Greens With Air-Dry Technology

Since switching to SherwinWilliams’ HP Process and the AWX waterborne basecoat system, we have finally realized the results we want. The HP process used with AWX is lean and green.

— Phil McNaul | Miller’s Collision Services Fort Erie, Ontario

Don’t putt around, it’s actually easy being green – just call 1-800-798-5872.

On the golf course, fast greens are hard. In the collision shop, being fast – while being green – is hard, too. So how do you speed up production while doing the right thing when it comes to the environment? With the new HP Process™ from Sherwin-Williams, now you can. Bill Gooder (Left) Paint Technician

Phil McNaul (Right) Collision Services Manager

The HP Process uses proprietary Air-Dry technology to remove the need for baking. It achieves a fast cure time at ambient (70-75°F) room temperatures, allowing for same-day repairs. In fact, its HPC15 Clearcoat can achieve a 15-minute cure that can be sanded, polished and even delivered to the customer. The HP Process not only benefits the environment by reducing a shop’s carbon footprint, but it impacts the bottom line by lowering energy costs and helping paint more cars, faster. The HP Process stands for higher productivity, higher performance, higher profits, a healthy planet – and especially a happy painter.

NEWS CSN works with Extreme Response Canada to help Haiti When CSN put a call out to its 78 member shops for support to aid the relief efforts in Haiti, the response was overwhelming and heartfelt. John Goodlet, general manager of Simcoe Collision~CSN, who had been to Haiti twice over the past few years on humanitarian projects, advised CSN to get in touch with Extreme Response Canada. Extreme Response Canada is a humanitarian aid organization committed to meeting the needs of people living in extreme situations. They work primarily through partnerships with community-based organizations, helping them reach out to their neighbours. They are actively involved in 18 countries through 27 partnerships or projects and currently have two projects on the go in Haiti. As John Goodlet has had first-hand experience in Haiti, he has seen the results Extreme Response has on the people there. “Many times when you are donating to a

cause you may think you are giving, but in fact you are receiving,” Goodlet said. “I gave them my hands, they gave me their hearts” Extreme Response Canada was founded in 2006 as a non-profit global organization dedicated to providing relief and support to people living in extreme, often lifethreatening conditions. With a passion for the world’s poor, Extreme Response Canada programs target those at greatest risk. Priority areas of program support focus on addressing the most immediate and critical physical needs. They include: • Providing shelter for those with no home. • Providing school supplies and education for those who want more opportunities. • Providing food for those who are hungry. • Providing love for those who need a hug and encouragement. • Providing life-skills training for those who will soon be left to fend for themselves. Visit if you would like to learn more.

CANADA HAS CHOSEN ITS BODY SHOP Why Should I Convert My Body Shop To A Maaco? Maaco is ranked #1 in its category by Entrepreneur Magazine in its Franchise 500 List Maaco has a Canada-wide 97.4% customer satisfaction rating [measured by CSI Complete]

From left: John Goodlet, GM of Simcoe Collision~CSN, Larry French, national director of sales, CSN and Paul Cripps of Extreme Response Canada with a $10,000 donation to Haiti relief on behalf of CSN locations across Canada.

Maaco receives 75% of its business through retail out-of-pocket customer pay Macco services more than 500,000 customers / year in North America [572 more customers / year per shop on average than a traditional body shop]

Maaco Canada average store volume = $1 Million PLUS Half of Maaco’s Canadian shops achieve average sales of over $1.4 million annually with a 12% average net profit

Healthy shops have healthy hr plans: CARS Having a human resources strategy in place is good for business in the automotive repair industry, according to the new Canadian Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) Performance Driven report. They found that shops that look set to grow over the next year are typically also the ones with an HR plan, a training strategy and budget, a system to evaluate employees’ training needs and benefits for employees who finish training. Other highlights from the study include:

• “29% of industry employers surveyed say they have one or more unfilled positions,” 13,000 in total. • “Small businesses still make up the largest portion the sector, with 55 per cent of businesses employing only 1 to 5 people.” • Large shops employing 10 or more services bays now make up 26 per cent of the sector—up five per cent from 2005. • Almost one third of facilities surveyed don’t employ apprentices. You’ll find the full report at

Canada Has Chosen Maaco,

Now It’s Your Turn. CALL

today to learn how you can convert your body shop into a high-volume Maaco franchise.

march 2010  collision Repair  09

NEWS Manon Duplantie becomes Fix Auto president Fix Auto Canada has announced the appointment of Manon Duplantie as president of the company. Recognized for her enthusiasm and leadership, Duplantie takes over the helm of the network of collision repair shops, with 175 franchises in the Canada in addition to more than 75 other Fix Auto facilities in the United States, the United Kingdom and France. “It is with immense pride that I have accepted the position of president of Fix Auto Canada,” Duplantie said. “Since I joined the company in 1998, I have always put the accent on innovation and the search for new marketing concepts, with an eye to reinventing the image of the collision repair industry. I therefore plan to keep moving in the same direction, while continuing to capitalize on teamwork and the trust-based relationships that we have cemented over the years with our many

business partners as well as our customers.” Duplantie joined Fix Auto in 1998 as a customer service representative. When she accepted that position, she had little idea of the stimulating career that lay ahead. Thanks to her acute business sense, excellent people skills and creative, innovative thinking, she rapidly climbed the corporate ladder. She was appointed marketing manager of the insurance division for Quebec in 1999, and then sales manager for the entire province in 2000. She was named vice-president, sales and marketing, Fix Auto Canada in 2002, and with her associate Guy Bessette acquired countrywide franchise rights. Duplantie quickly gained industry recognition. As the Fix Auto network’s preferred point of contact with insurers, she built a reputation as a peerless mediator and achieved outstanding results. Indeed, in 2005 AkzoNobel acknowledged her as one of the most

Fix Auto Canada president Manon Duplantie. influential women in the North American collision repair industry. “I’ve always believed that good leaders must know how to convey their passion for the job and draw out their teammates’ talents,” she explained. “That is what constantly drives me in my work, because at the end of the day, it’s the foundation for the reputation of a company like Fix Auto, where success hinges on quality of service and sound fundamental values.”

Allstate to use Copart exclusively in Ontario Copart Inc announced it will be the exclusive provider of vehicle auction services for Allstate Insurance Company in Ontario. In addition to the Ontario deal, Allstate has also selected Copart as its exclusive US provider of vehicle sales and auction services. The efficiencies of Copart’s auction model and its global buyer base spanning more than 100 countries set Copart apart as a leading and innovative vehicle auction company. “We chose Copart because of its proven track record in meeting the needs of our customers and assisting us in realizing our strategic objectives,” said Bill Daly, Allstate’s assistant vice-president of auto claims. “We believe that Copart’s proven method of auctioning vehicles provides us with the best opportunity to maximize our salvage results.” Copart, founded in 1982, provides vehicle sellers with a full range of services to process and sell salvage and clean title vehicles to dealers, dismantlers, rebuilders, exporters, and in some areas, to end users. Copart remarkets the vehicles through Internet sales utilizing its proprietary VB2 technology. 10  collision Repair

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NEWS About the town with Assured The start of the decade has been busy for Assured Automotive—take a look at some the highlights. By Megan Ng

Recognizing excellence Assured recently held their “Start of a New Decade Staff Event.” With over 320 staff and their spouses or guests in attendance a wonderful evening was had by all. Des D’Silva, Assured’s CEO, welcomed everyone and thanked them for their dedication to the company. “At Assured, our staff is the key to our success and to that end we want to thank each and every one of you for your commitment and contribution to Assured Automotive,” D’Silva said. The evening featured fine food, great company and some very memorable moments. Tony Canadé, Assured’s president, presented various facility and individual awards. They included: • Assured Employee Decade of Excellence Awards: 23 10-year plus employees. • Assured Customer Service Excellence Award: Assured Milton.

Assured Milton, winners of Assured’s Customer Service Excellence Award, posing with some of the execs at the Start of a New Decade Staff Event.

• Assured Operational Excellence Award: Assured Scarborough Centre. • Assured Sales Excellence Award: Assured Mississauga North.

• Assured Store of the Year Award: Assured Downtown. • Assured Lifetime Achievement Award: Attilio Giancola.

Assured Opens A new store in Leaside

Sharlene Dobsen (left) and Sherry English (far right) of the Certified Women’s Network with Leaside manager Steve Belfry (centre-left) and Assured’s John Rodrigues (centre-right).

Assured recently hosted the grand opening of their Assured Leaside Facility. Their newest facility is located at 90 Wicksteed Avenue in the heart of Toronto’s Leaside neighbourhood. Insurance, dealer and vendor partners joined Assured staff for an entertaining evening. The facility itself has the latest state-of-the-art equipment, including a

paint and prep track system and a 360 degree vehicle carousel for increased manoeuvrability and efficiency. “The Leaside market is one that we are very excited about,” said Assured president Tony Canadé. “Our expansion into this market is in keeping with Assured’s Growth Strategy and consistent with our commitment to better serve our insurance and dealer partners.”

Apprentices: Win $200 for your word! Submit a 500 word essay about why you chose a collision repair career and you can win $200 for tools, training or whatever you want to put it towards! Courtsey of Tom Bissonnette of Parr Auto Body and Sam Piercey of Budds' Collision Services! We'll select the best entry for the prize and print it in an upcoming issue of Collision Repair magazine. Send submissions to with the subject line “Why I chose CR.” All submissions must be received by April 10, 2010.

12  collision Repair

Wis nonu llup vulp tat in I cho ut w g ex se is au dolo er iucoll gu re fa struisio ccum eWminim igni d et n re sl ea sand is no dolo vepl ade augi v re n rp am ulpu faci uexllup er sit ir blee nis de ndre wisit cau l iri tw m ex dco n o wis I chos vu is a eltautt in praes se... ure erci lore llam elgiq augu e co equa fac iliusgni eua llisio e m ignng ue xem en diam is n repa c te ib m r com odit l e h um et ac el sa mve u inim ir be lit vo iustrumy no giata aug is nu ipis llanau caus Equa n Wis no lo lp d d i e... utat dolore ved et nsend re re ue iam t au wb nullu vel gait islaaor si. m e feug ciaotis fa ulla ptat c. iIt,e ve rpe lit ad vulp u x n ul d nd in lit g erc ut w g ex ue rem diala len ull less x el adrtesit w duent is au ing vdo er iu meaugiam mo am eq ut no is dolo gue tie strudvenim is t s E e ua e it et dippit del d a minim re fa nib ilis t, coliq et dign quad ccum at ipsustcipis luittaatu nim mum h dolo iriureevel de am raese iriure ignisl w a ib gia sand leuani istunu elis rper llfe od co asuis lerugait in ex la ea au re fa lp nulp velit mm quate iri e u erorer ci ex odol sit wtuisimtvsan ndde giam si. si e feuut ipsu ullan vo epraeve rem siurte lla el ut up con yn . tat. drem lore gia sturu a sel ill no m zz el ta tu nim vulla exer tis d Ittie, atecos a ritugaliaiq m ilisdolorpiquate faci digquam veli onse mm wis au cing co v d d m ui es n nd co ns e m ni sa er o t ip s m fa gue litn enib et ex equa less ad y dnoa fe nmse ad mod h elis vel in velitos lu eu uis su cto stm du diam eq i eloodia vel il tanst.Len it au in qu tat mmod te esto vo nt et ac er ua t. D la esded giatue exnulput ex isit, wis ve tie o do ssre ipisi t, c ia veex ed talituiadbmla dip Equa tem feug er au at.dIt, cont sido blao cort ero equisimnulp er du om ea t. iatis ga t auga r si. it ex it t. Dlit in r mo noustt seam ese aungi do vel ui badfateccLtie it ulla leeass qu et zzrit ullumsi. ullan oipsu d diripi iuua la a umdi faeq amlup aliq mod augi st iu d drem t ru c us t, o st u stru amet cu co q tat. uis min cci nos ad ru m d mgmiaod veni lutat p dR ex me orteuingait uisit It do ent d ti ipsu m di iriu wisranu od ec stin ex t lu gna u vu , q lorpeu e sc oe on feuis tumsa pta llum llanduisreim ermatm ero ertetu stlpout coipsustr rat. i eug er si mo od n ve t. m nipo si. e n tem l illam er d sto faci es ae co ait vu It do zzrit ven ros n ulpu ud Rtie co ns iriu ssen lorp min aliquia lla sed ta ta on equa ree en odolu ismex era t.Les odiat m quuta co eu se d t vele nism ndre td ed do tv nse mmod m . Dui od isit,t aqu un ssis olo ptate e t ip co bl t te aisi a augi rp rtin ul e ex ea u nod m erpiri exe l in e lumm tm alit sto inim raur amet essee rilis n m no faccum sto erost ra od lu od n is ib la u o olvup do ptat. seq iustr i ga iriusci min m he It do udFa it ent do zzri ulptaute blan ua euga lorper ccum dre uisis t. N vel tet t urp lo it vu incid at ve dolo ad lland im unt at l in es llaernos rer in to la fac dolo te rem veli dolu re iatum to do hen ip ex c Ignim t ptat. min molu er au it la um my no vulla tat. gait ge s eles met feu ilitSe vel nibh Du ss alit ul equi ga et ercin i si tie laore it dio ecte g ea ta fa m ipsu t nse facilit ccum msa dolo de quat ndre bor sis . Ibh t etum euip mod enis ionsed dolo borp er ulla

NEWS Assured marks the ‘Start of the New Decade with Strong Partnerships’ at its AGM On February 4, 2010, Assured Automotive held their first ever general meeting at a social venue, inviting their associates, dealers and insurance partners together in one room to discuss their future together. The meeting, titled the “Start of a New Decade with Strong Partnerships,” took place at Oliver & Bonacini Canoe Restaurant and Bar in Toronto. Assured demonstrated their theme by beginning the evening with a platform for their partners to meet and socialize over hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. The formal speeches started on a high note with guest speaker Sam Malatesta, chartered director of Assured and president of Malatesta Capital Corporation. “Collaborative innovation is my underpinning thesis,” Malatesta said. “In 1993 when I got in this industry, I saw an opportunity to

Assured CEO Des D’Silva continued with a speech on how his father taught him to achieve success through the tenacity to strive and believe in partnerships. “You take it—it dies with you. You give—it lasts forever,” D’Silva said. “That’s my pedigree. That’s my background. “In 2005, people said they needed something to enhance the customer experience. We looked to our insurance partners and our dealer partners and we grew. We grew because we have the greatest technicians who care enough to know the vehicles they service are for real people. We grew because of strategic relationships with Audatex and great companies like Enterprise. And we grew because of leader management in our stores.” The final note of the evening was from Assured president Tony Canadé, who discussed

“Our Focus is Spray Booth Filters!”

• • • •

Pit Filters Ceiling Filters Door Filters Intake Filters

We stock filters for 100s of makes and models of spray booths! From left: Alex Walker, Tony Canadé, Rick Yates and Des D’Silva at the Assured AGM in February.

collaborate with the supply chain. It’s about the consumer. What is the consumer saying today? They want us to collaborate. Consumers are much more focused on working with companies who have service transparency and predictability.” Malatesta also pointed out that the industry is beginning to see many established companies branch out to other companies who have been able to tackle and establish a name for themselves in their own respective markets. The public has seen companies like Ford collaborate with Microsoft and Chrysler with XM satellite and radio. In the early 1990s, less than 10 per cent of consumers were listening to the advice of insurance companies for where to go for their vehicle needs. Now insurers have become a driving force in the collision industry because of strengthened strategic relationships.

some of Assured’s obstacles and accomplishments and thanked the insurers and dealers who entrusted faith into their company five years ago. “We’ve overcome the consumer’s primary objection to want to utilize insurance partner preferred facilities,” Canadé said. “The objection used to be to go back to the dealer. We made the opportunity to say to our insurance partners they are all one in the same.” Based on their 2009 customer satisfaction index, they found that 97 per cent of their customers are as likely or more likely to renew with their current insurance company and 80 per cent are more likely to renew. “That’s collaboration,” said Canadé. “That’s companies working together to ensure the benefit of our mutual customers and we continue to look at new ways to develop that collaboration for our customers.”


Keith Hayward “The Filter Guy” Cell: 416-801-5218


36 Armstrong Ave., Georgetown, ON L7G 4R9

march 2010  collision Repair  13

NEWS Fix Auto signs two new locations Fix Auto announced that they added two new locations to their network roster: Fix Auto Pickering Central and Fix Auto Kitchener. Located at 715 Kingston Road, Fix Auto Pickering Central has been in operation since 1987 and is part of a Buick, GMC and Chevrolet dealership. Manager Bill Oakman is no stranger to the Fix Auto network. As the former body shop manger for a General Motors dealership that did not endure General Motors’ recent transitions, Oakman is glad to be back in industry and as part of Fix Auto’s roster. “I am pleased with the way everything turned out in the end and look forward to being part of the Fix Auto network again” Oakman said. The second of the two locations, Fix Auto Kitchener, is owned by Ron Reist who is greatly committed to supporting his locations’ mission of ongoing service excellence. Located at 125 Lennox Lewis Way, the location features state-of-the-art equip-

ment and 14,000 sq. ft of production capability that can service all vehicles including, commercial trucks, class A power units and highway tractors. “I am greatly looking forward to being part of the Fix Auto Network,” Reist said. “To further our reputation, I am very excited about joining Fix Auto and aligning our values and standards with the network to further grow and expand our business.”

Top: Bill Oakman, manager of Fix Auto Pickering Central with his team. Above: Fix Auto Kitchener on a sunny day.

Global Finishing Solutions utilizing heat-recovery to go even greener Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) has once again made a move to reduce the environmental impact of its manufacturing facilities. By installing heat recovery units on each of its three spray booth exhaust stacks, GFS is able to utilize the heat generated during the operation of these spray booths to control the temperature within the manufacturing shop itself. When the spray booths are being used, typically to paint structural steel and other components, the hot exhaust air is passed through three heat exchangers (one on each exhaust stack), which use this heat to provide warm air for the production shop area. By re-using the heat generated by the spray booths, GFS was able to significantly reduce the usage of its existing facility heating system. In fact, the 60,000 CFM air make-up unit currently installed will 14  collision Repair

be replaced with a 10,000 CFM unit, while still providing the same comfortable work environment for their employees. In the analysis done by the Focus on Energy program, they estimated these changes will reduce GFS’s electrical consumption by over 31,000 kwh per year

cent less energy than other turrets with similar capabilities. The usage of servomotors in place of hydraulics means that there is no need for the use of messy oils or refrigerant coolers, significantly reducing the environmental impact of the turrets operation. In addition,

GFS’s electrical consumption by over 31,000 kwh per year and its natural gas consumption by over 23,000 therms. and its natural gas consumption by over 23,000 therms annually in its Osseo, Wisconsin manufacturing operation. GFS has also invested in a new turret press for their sheet metal processes. This new turret, a Murata Motorum ServoDrive press, is 100 per cent electrically operated, using approximately 70 per

this new turret is much more efficient in its operation when compared to the previous turret that was in operation. When compared to the older turret, the new one essentially doubles operation speeds and provides improved production capabilities while lowering operating costs.

Why be anonymous when you can be visible?

TO JOIN THE NETWORK CALL 1.877.344.4349 Untitled-1 1


6/16/09 12:00:10 PM


A Audatex enters the world of 3D with the latest version of its estimating software. By Joe Rayment

Above: Side-by-side comparisons of Audatex’s old diagrams vs. their 3D models.

16  collision Repair

udatex has added a new dimension to its popular estimating software: the third one. With this new addition, you’re still able to bring up the familiar vehicle diagrams using Audatex’s popular software. But with 3D Intelligent Graphics, you can now zoom in on parts, spin them around, or view them from the opposite side, underneath, above or diagonally—just as if you were holding them in own hands. “We feel the market has been in need of [something] beyond 2D graphics,” said John Kotsopoulos, managing director of Audatex Canada. “As vehicles become more complex and technology-driven, it will be very important for insurers and repairers to better understand how these new advancements fit together.” Audatex has been working with automotive manufacturers to develop the 3D models. The company launched the 3D Intelligent Graphics option for Audatex Estimating clients in November at NACE 2009 in Las Vegas. Since then, hundreds of repairers in North America, including Canada, have added the feature to their estimating process. “The feedback that we’ve had so far with 3D Intelligent Graphics has just been absolutely outstanding,” Kotsopoulos said. “Repairers have been the first to embrace it since they are so intimately involved in the creation of the estimate and identification of parts required for collision work.” The Canadian shops that are currently using 3D have found it helpful—it reduces parts ordering errors, and it makes diagrams, particularly for complicated components, much easier to decipher. “There are many advantages to 3D Intelligent Graphics,” said Jeff Bean, spokesman for Audatex North America, Inc. “Parts suppliers have told us they love 3D because there’s no confusion over what people are discussing. Shops have told us that ease of use brings more efficiency to day-to-day operations, and the technology can be shared with vehicle owners visually at the counter to better explain the work to be performed.”

FEATURES It’s also proven to be a good training tool. Recent changes in the scene of what they’re actually looking at—more details. The feedindustry mean there are many new people in the sector who don’t back we’re getting is that 3D translates into fewer estimating errors.” necessarily have the encyclopedic knowledge that comes from Audatex is rolling out the changes in waves. The company’s been repairing cars for 30 years. The 3D Intelligent Graphics provide tech- adding new models daily, starting with the vehicles repairers aren’t nicians the ability to do a “virtual tear down” of a vehicle without the likely to come across on a regular basis and for which they would time or risk it would take to do so physically. A few creative shops have brought the system out As vehicles become more complex and technologyfront and centre. Now, when customers bring their driven, it will be important for repairers to better cars in, someone at the service desk can call the model of the car up on a computer screen and zoom understand how everything fits together. in to exactly what work has to be done: what has to be dissembled to get to the problem area, what parts need to be replaced or repaired and what costs are associated with the more likely require the enhanced views provide. The thinking is that process. It helps provide transparency in an easy-to-understand way. 3D for uncommon vehicles will be more valuable to repairers and “It’s a lot easier to understand compared to our other previous insurers than cars they come across every day. views,” said Kevin Walsh, Audatex senior account representative. “Primarily it will be the European and Asian ones that are comWalsh demonstrated the software for Collision Repair in a Vancouver ing overseas with all the high-tech gadgetry,” Kotsopoulos said. coffee shop. As he showed off the various new features—zooming, “The manufacturers are building technology into vehicles that will spinning and switching back and forth between 3D and 2D (which help prevent more people from hitting each other. That could be will remain a part of the program)—his two-year-old laptop didn’t considered a dilemma for the collision repair industry. But we don’t seem to slow under the improved images. see it that way. Shops must be prepared and have the appropriate In Walsh’s travels for Audatex, he’s found a lot of interest in 3D level of training, tools and equipment to deal with these vehicles. among the collision repair community. “Unfortunately, shops often They represent the future, just like 3D Intelligent Graphics. It adds times select the wrong part. Now, with 3D, they get a more visual a whole new dimension to the repair process.”  CRM

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point blank with piercey

HumanResources The good, the bad and the ugly.


W Sam Piercey

hen ever a group of collision repair shop owners get together, the elephant in the room is always human resources. Everybody knows it’s there, but nobody wants to be the first to talk about it. At the risk of offending some, or getting the silent praise of others, I’d like to share my views. Like I’ve said many times before, there are always exceptions to rules and rules to exceptions. In this case, there’s the good, the bad and the ugly of employer–employee relationships. Morton said it best about his salt girl model: when things are good, they’re really good, but when things are bad, they’re awful. Anyone who’s ever owned or managed a shop has had good employees. You can spot them a mile away. They’re at work on time, never complain and carry a smile that’ll warm the heart of a witch. Whether it’s the receptionist, prepper or body tech, you can count on them to get the job done without

Monday these guys just won’t change. These are the employees who looked good on paper but when they punch in, the foul attitude surrounds them like a dark cloud. They are like a flu that can kill the enthusiasm of the good workers. We as employers put up with them, deal with their personal baggage, even loan them money, but when things don’t go their way they leave us hanging. Then, there’s the ugly. These are the employees who constantly think the grass is greener at another shop. They’re the ones who take advantage of all the perks you can muster and ditch you at the first sign of something better. The only thing worse than them are the pond scum employee hunters who stalk your shop looking for easy prey. It’s time to take a look at what we can do to stop the employee turnaround and to help us help ourselves. Perhaps we could petition the government to attract craftsmen from outside the country or refuse to hire people without real job histories and background

I’d take an ounce of Positive Attitude over a pound of aptitude any day getting into a long debate about the hows and whys. It’s their good attitude for the most part. And I’d take an ounce of positive attitude over a pound of aptitude any day. Good employees make up most of our workforce. Thank God for that. It’s for them that we owners and managers host picnics, pay extra benefits and try to create the best work environment possible. On the other hand, you’ve got the bad ones. They question everything, and I mean everything. They’re the ones who show up a minute before work starts and have their tool box or computer shut tight before anyone else notices the day’s through. They’re the ones slumped low in the back at meetings, yawning or texting on their phones. You can do everything in the book to get them motivated, but no matter what they say in that seminar on Saturday, come 18  collision Repair

checks. We could start to hire people under job contracts that need to be signed up front and then evaluate the job experience. Maybe we need to have holdbacks on training money, only giving training money back once they’ve met the agreement terms. If I had the answer, I’d certainly share it. All I can say for sure is we need to get control of the situation. So wake up and scrutinize your hiring techniques. After being in this business for more years than I’d like to admit, the best advice I can muster is fairly simple. Bottom line: hire slow, fire fast. But I’ve gotta run. I’m interviewing and don’t want to keep them waiting. CRM Sam Piercey is the co-owner of Budds' Collision Services in Oakville, ON. Sam is a long-time Coyote member and sits on many boards and committees. He can be reached at

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who’s driving?

InwardInnovation Dedicate to making constant improvements.


T Jay Perry

empers were running high at a recent industry meeting when the subject of profitability came up. Inevitably, the focal point became compensation. Without doubt, compensation is an issue that must over time be reviewed and adjusted to properly provide enough of a financial base to make it worthwhile for business people to stay in this industry. Compensation, of course, runs way beyond just the door rate. That said, the door rate when adjusted for inflation over the past 20 years is lagging behind, which means that owners are falling into debt by subsidization.

raise its head above the crowd surely it would be decapitated. I also firmly believe that the industry has not done enough in the area of operational efficiency gains. In my conversations with insurers, they tell me they are seeing no appreciable difference between so-called lean practitioners and non-lean. This does not mean that lean does not work. Lean works, and very well. To me it means there is a lot of lip-service to lean and not as much practice as there should be. The insurers themselves hold blame in this too as they throw down speed bump after speed bump in attempting to gain a competitive advantage through distinct procedures that com-

There is a lot of lip-service to lean and not as much practice A lot of this subsidization has come from owners underpaying their landrental rates or themselves in consideration of equitable return on investment. An even greater portion has come from our tradespeople not receiving on-par wages for professions such as electricians, mechanics, plumbers and others. Further disproportionate reimbursement in the area of operations (such as clean vehicle for delivery), materials (such as overspray protection or capping dollar amounts for consumption) or “free” services (such as concierge service) that must be performed without impacting the bill, and much more. I do believe that the industry as a whole must address such inequities; if a single entity (group or shop) were to

plicate the interaction between the two industries. But that is a whole other story for another article. A recent US study suggested that the insurers’ attitudes toward looking for innovation from our industry is ripe but fairly hopeless as they really do not see any true practitioners of different methodologies in the collision industry. Usually what they see is a better marketing package without much substance. Contained within are many claims for superior service levels, but these have rung hollow to date. I think that will change shortly and I think it goes beyond the individual shop’s ability to make the spectacular gains that are available if their is more trust between the industries. Obviously, that is beyond your control. The thing that is in your control

is your individual shop’s innovation. I only work with shop owners who are totally dedicated to making continuous improvements to the way they operate. These people are not complacent, nor are they wasting time blaming other industries for falling behind financially. They are proactively working on solutions that inch them forward toward the stated goal of reducing costs and raising service levels. How much is achievable? How about 20 per cent in productivity? How about seven per cent greater profit? I have seen this and more when the full strength of a creative staff is challenged to figure out ways to beat past performance numbers. These kinds of improvements do not come in big lumps but rather in small amounts. As I pointed out at a recent seminar I conducted, if you make a one per cent improvement (a very manageable amount) each week you will adjust over 50 per cent of the company within a year. That’s how you get spectacular results. So in summary: yes, we have to be compensated properly to compete with other industries poaching our work force and to produce appropriate return on investment for investors. We also need to continue to look inward. It does pay us dividends if we make those continuous improvements. This is how you control what you can control and stay 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

Did you know Canadians bought 4,220,000 light vehicles in 2009.

That’s 19.5% of the total fleet and a whole lot of repairs you can expect. 20  collision Repair

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Intelligence. Built In.

Prairie view


The collision repair–insurance company polka.


Tom Bissonette


very time I hear someone refer to an insurance company as an industry “partner” I give my head a shake. Webster’s dictionary provides the following definitions of the word:   1)  one that shares: partaker.   2)a. one associated with another es-

pecially in an action: associate, colleague.   b. either of two persons who dance together.   c. one of two or more persons who play together in a game against an opposing side.

22  collision Repair

  d. a person with whom one shares an

intimate relationship: one member of a couple.   3) a member of a partnership especially in a business; also: membership. With respect to our provincial auto body association (SAAR) and the Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), I thought I would see if we could use the term “partner” to describe our relationship. Let’s start with #1: one that shares: partaker. This could be argued both yes and no. SGI shares information in a one-way communication—“these are our procedures and policies” kind of

sharing. When it comes to information sharing or liability sharing the answer is no. For example, we have no idea how our shops in Saskatchewan measure up in regards to cycle time, touch time or even cost severity; SGI does not publish or share this information. Another example is aftermarket parts. If we have any problems with fit and finish, it is between us and our supplier to work it out; SGI does not share in resolving these disputes. 2a: one associated with another especially in an action: associate, colleague. Again we can argue yes and no. Yes we do follow their estimates as a starting point to repair our mutual customers’ crash damaged

Prairie view vehicles. However, any ideas that our industry suggests to make the repair and administration process simpler falls on deaf ears. Refer to point one—“these are our procedures and policies.” 2b: either of two persons who dance together. This one is definitely yes. Every day that I go to work with SGI in this industry seems to be a dance somewhat like a polka gone bad. We need to be constantly vigilant to see that we get paid for each and every procedure that we do (with our labour rate there is no room for error) and it seems that even though we all follow the same procedures and policies, no two SGI offices follow them the same way! 2c: one of two or more persons who play together in a game against an opposing side. Let’s assume the opposing side in this case is waste. In an age where lean thinking is standard procedure for

collision shops it seems government insurance has a different standard. 2d: a person with whom one shares an intimate relationship: one member of a

have the other’s best interests in mind. To be fair, I’m sure we have shops that don’t have the insurance company’s best interests in mind, but do they have to

Every day I go to work in this industry seems to be a dance couple. From an industry standpoint we would love to have an open, respectful, honest, two-way communication relationship rather than one where we have no choice but to submit to the demands of our insurance “partner.” 3: a member of a partnership especially in a business; also: membership. When two entities do business together on an ongoing basis in the “real world” my experience has been that both sides

treat us all like we are not to be trusted? I look forward to the day when we can all truly call the insurance companies our “partner.” Until then, I will have to refer to them as my client and hope that our relationship improves in the future. CRM

Tom Bissonnette is the owner/operator of Parr Auto Body, a collision repair facility located in Saskatoon, SK. He can be reached at


Cares “



Assured Automotive honours Attilio Giancola (“Tony G”) for his commitment to the collision repair industry. Attilio was recently awarded the “Assured Automotive Lifetime Achievement Award.” As the first ever recipient of this award Attilio’s contribution and dedication to; and promotion of the collision repair industry is unequalled. Attilio is one of the founding partners of Oaktown Collision (now Assured Automotive) and his sphere of influence and inspiration has proven invaluable to Assured over the years. From today forward this Prestigious Award will be known as the “Attilio Giancola Lifetime Achievement Award”. Thank you for everything “Tony G” – Assured Automotive.


Lifetime Achievement Award

Left to right: Des D’Silva, Keith D’Silva, Attilio Giancola, Tony Canade, Tony Raposo and Rodney D’Silva.

march 2010  collision Repair  23


Canadian collision repair facilities are relatively unfazed by the recession so far, though the developing recent low car sales is likely to cause repair rates to fall in coming years. Currently, the industry is experiencing cutbacks from wholesalers and suppliers, while an increased number of medium-size shops are closing down. There are around 7,000 shops in the country, more than half of which are in Quebec and Ontario. The total has dropped by five per cent compared to the early 2000s. The loss, however, isn’t universal. In the last year, some businesses have raked in record profits while others reported slowdowns. Expansions are becoming more common among the larger shops as well. So far, the Canadian collision repair industry has fared well in comparison to its international counterparts.

Around the World Canada remains a bright spot in the global collision repair industry. By J.C. Wen


t was a tough year for the global economy, and the auto industry wasn’t spared any pain. As plunging car sales continued to dominate the market, the collision repair industry faced its share of challenges as well. The rocky year may be behind us, but just how well has the world’s repair industry fared in the current economic climate? IBIS, the International Bodyshop Industry Symposium, conducted a Global Focus report using the collected data from 14 varied publications around the world. The report targets the change in relations between repair shops and insurers as well as the new directions the industry is headed in the re-sized market. Here’s how Canada compares to five of the other major auto-producing nations. United States

Being ground zero for the global recession, the US has been dealt a significant blow to its collision repair market. The overall business rate has dropped by 15 per cent. In the last decade alone, 7,000 shops have closed down due largely to higher operating costs. The total number of US facilities, by some calculations, is expected to fall within the next five years by another 10 to 25 per cent. Partly due to higher gas prices, Americans are becoming less willing to drive to work. They’re also becoming less inclined to pay for repairs. In the shops, repairers and insurers are butting heads over repair decisions and labour rates. While insurers insist on keeping the best premiums for their policy holders, collision repair facilities are opposed to insurers steering their customers away from OEM parts to cheaper aftermarket ones. On average, collision repairers are also finding themselves with $20 less per hour than mechanical repair shops.

24  collision Repair




Since investors are unsure of any significant market rebound in Italy, many are withholding making investments in the industry. Demand for manufactured parts has dropped tremendously for both vehicle manufacturers and the repair market due to the loss of 300,000 new car sales in 2009. Increasingly aggressive insurance policies have caused a rift between insurers and repairers as insurers have fought for lower labour rates and additional complimentary services. Repairers, on the other hand, view these conditions to be impossible to work with, and are reluctant to make compromises for quality reasons. In the last eight years alone, Italy has lost 3,000 collision repair shops and is now suffering from a downsized workforce.

With most repair facilities in Japan having single ownerships and selective locations, owners often struggle with operating costs and finding successors to continue their businesses. Around five per cent of the facilities in Japan are lost every year for the same reasons. The recession has also made it difficult for owners to obtain bank loans. A recent hike in material prices has some insurers refusing to reimburse repairers for the added costs. Although some facilities have taken up negotiations with insurers to obtain the full payment, the permanent result is yet to be seen. In early 2009, new car sales were 24 per cent lower than in the previous year. Residual value for cars remained unchanged.


While Germany has always maintained a close working relationship between dealers and collision repair facilities, the current network is being threatened by the slumping car sales. The resized market has seen body and paint shops growing more competitive. With a large number of dealers and suppliers shutting down, the trend is likely to impact commercial and industrial paint shops as well. Due to the decreasing accident rate, heavier accident repairs are now generally focused on newer vehicles, which have greater residual values.


The hard numbers are stacking up in the UK as new car sales fell sharply by 18.8 per cent in the past year. The new car market has dwindled by 21 per cent as well. Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders projections place new car registrations in 2009 to fall to 21.6 million. In the last decade, the country has lost approximately 3,500 individual collision repair facilities. Although the recession has further accelerated this decline, the number and size of collision repair groups are currently experiencing a growth spurt.

march 2010  collision Repair  25



on the

A look at some of the products that can help your facility get work done better, faster and cheaper.

Shelves Steck

Hatch Jammer XL

The Hatch Jammer XL allows collision repair technicians to hold lift gates or hatches in a partially open position for sanding, painting or buffing. It adjusts the work angle of the hatch door from 15” to 21” to 34” and to full extension of 59”. This allows technicians to secure the hatch position to repair and paint the hatch as well as securing the hatch to replace lift struts and access interior cargo area work. Hatch doors are easily positioned by attaching the metal J hook to the striker and latching the larger loop end of the extender bar to the latch. It has adjustable slide bars, which gives up to 59” to adjust the angle and is secured with two locking pins and tightened with three adjustment knobs. Steck claims it saves up to 10 minutes of set-up time by eliminating the need to continually adjust wooden blocks that shift during the paint and repair operations, improving quality of work.

> 26  collision Repair

Induction Innovations


The Inductor Pro Max 4 is the only commercial-grade induction heating tool with a two-year warranty and a full year on attachments. Capable of heating aluminum or steel, this powerful machine operates on only 120 volts/20amps and performs better than one would expect out of 240 volts. Pro Max 4 comes with new high performance Inductor “U-Series” attachments moulded in high temp, impact and chemical resistant epoxy polymers including: • U-Series Glass Blaster: Removes Bonded Glass, SMC panels, Metal bond adhesives. • U-Series Concentrator: Instantly heats nuts, bolts and all types of hardware red hot in seconds. Removes body caulking, seam sealers and hail dents (no additional attachment needed). • U-Series Rosebud: Mildly heats aluminum or heavier gauge steels red hot in seconds. • U-Series Fast-Off Pad: With reversible Velcro hand straps, removes stripes, vinyl graphics, dody side mouldings, sound pads, vapor barriers, stress-relieving sheet metal repairs and more. >


Performance Threading System


Dirt Trap

The 3M Dirt Trap Protection System provides a complete paint booth solution that traps dust, dirt and overspray—reducing defects in paint jobs by as much as 50 per cent. The Dirt Trap System features an adhesivebacked material that is applied to wall and floor surfaces and a clear film to protect lights and windows. Once the material fills with debris, it is simply removed and replaced. “We spend a great deal of time working with body shop owners and paint experts in their shops, participating in their daily work to understand the challenges they face and the ways we can apply 3M solutions to help them,” said Pat Hager, 3M division scientist for 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division. “Our research showed that painters spend a great deal of time removing dust and dirt from paint repairs that stem from airborne contaminants in their paint areas. Our research also showed that painters needed help keeping a freshly painted surface clean and free of defects in their paint booth.”

3M was able to leverage several of its existing technology platforms to tackle the problem—using advanced technology and a green, solvent-free process to hold dirt and dust to the surface. The 3M Dirt Trap System also helps collision repair facility owners protect the investment in their paint booth by keeping the booth clean and bright. This eliminates the need for repeated washing that can promote corrosion or the cost of repainting the booth to restore its appearance. It also saves maintenance expenses by eliminating cleaning tasks such as sweeping, rinsing and scraping windows. This reduction in maintenance increases booth utilization and minimizes the down time for maintenance. >


single-arm Magnetic Blower Hanger

Karajen Corp has expanded on the success of its Magnetic Blower Hanger, releasing a single arm version of the product. This new product is similar to Karajen’s original model in all of its benefits except that it is equipped with a single arm instead of two arms. The purpose of this new alternative design is to offer shops a choice—not all need two blowers running at the same time. Now, either one of the Karajen Blower Hangers provide a quick and easy solution for waterborne paint drying. Using the Blower Hangers is simple— just attach it anywhere to the wall by its powerful magnets, aim the blowers and adjust the volume of air. >

The new Performance Threading System focuses on three critical features for users: thread quality, improved durability and ease of use. With this new system, users simply place the tap in the hole and it aligns itself perfectly, every time. Every tap features Irwin’s patented Chip Breaking Technology (CBT), ensuring improved durability and cleaner cuts when threading. The new self-aligning dies feature the addition of an alignment plate that takes the frustration and guesswork out of threading a rod or stud. Just place the die on the stud and it aligns itself. The result is better quality threads, faster. To thread with taps and dies, drive tools are needed, which is where the new Performance Threading System Drive Tools come in. They include a simple-to-use die stock and two adjustable tap sockets. Again, previous drive tools required a lot of steps, time and frustration, which often resulted in less-thanperfect alignment and poor thread quality. With Irwin’s latest die stock, there’s no longer a need for set-screws, mini screwdrivers, or multiple steps. The user simply drops the die onto the die stock, twists the patented Die Lock Ring, and starts threading. > march 2010  collision Repair  27


Lista International

Automotive Stationary Storage and Workbench

Specially designed for automotive service and repair, Lista’s Automotive Storage and Workbench solution can be configured to suit specific needs without custom cost. The workbenches come with a durable stainless steel work surface and backsplash. The stainless steel wet clean base is adjustable for levelling and ideal for easy cleaning under the workstation. Additional Lista bases, including fork truck base and frame base, are also available. To customize overhead workbench space, Lista offers a stationary riser shelf, which can be configured either as open shelving or as a support for overhead cabinets with retractable or hinged

doors. This new riser system can support multiple lighting options and power requirements. The overhead cabinets allow convenient access to computer monitor and keyboard tray, binders, manuals, supplies and other bulky items. Lista’s tool storage cabinets serve as pedestals for the workstations. Choose from multiple cabinet options including the combination cabinet, featuring double-width full-length top drawers. Their extensive cabinet offering includes a large number of different heights and sizes, and allows them to

offer some of the largest cubic storage capacity in the industry. They also offer a wide range of belowwork surface storage options including technician cart storage, lift control cabinets, hose reel cabinets, trash storage cabinets and over 50 additional combinations of shelf and bulk storage cabinets. >

Car-O-Liner Meguiar’s

CTR12000 welder

This improved polisher delivers between 1,800 opm and 6,000 opm, providing the most versatile speed range in its class. Packaged in a convenient canvas bag, Meguiar’s Dual Action Polisher, now with Cruise Control, increases torque when downward pressure is applied. Extended wear upgraded brushes can be quickly changed with the easy sideport access, making the G110V2 a great choice for your professional DA needs.

With the fully automatic CTR12000 spot welder, as soon as the welding process begins the electrode on the welder extends toward the steel sections to fuse together where an extensive measuring process is activated to determine the overall thickness of the steel. The CTR12000 welder then records the total thickness of the metal plates within thousandths of a second. When the current begins to flow, it recognizes and determines whether any of the construction components are made up of high strength or ultra high strength steel. The subsequent fully automatic welding process is then based on the measurements taken without having to enter or adjust any parameters in advance.



G110V2 Dual Action Polisher

28  collision Repair


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Business The secret to AutoMind Collision’s successful formula is their willingness to rethink it. By Joe Rayment


AUTOMIND SNAPSHOT AutoMind Headquarters 268 East 10th Avenue Vancouver, BC PHONE: (604) 825-6666 WEB: YEARS IN OPERATION: 28 CARS PER MONTH: 140

STAFF Techs: 7 Preppers: 1 Detailers: 1 Painters: 2 Office: 3 Frame: Car-O-Liner Measuring: Car-O-Liner Booth: Europea Paint: AkzoNobel

30  collision Repair

hen Paul Tseng says he believes in the power of word of mouth, he means it. He first discovered AutoMind Collision after asking a friend for a good place to get his car fixed. A few years later, he took over as the company’s president and CEO. Still, it’s been a long journey. Under Paul’s guidance, AutoMind has become a considerable force in British Columbia’s lower mainland. They can lay claim to being one of the most technologically savvy facilities in the business. Their website is a slick operation complete with a series of videos describing for customers what happens during different types of repair. It also offers real-time status updates and repair photos throughout the process, both from a computer and remotely through smart phones such as iPhones and Blackberries. It saves time. If customers are curious about their cars, they don’t have to call the office to find out at which point in the repair process it is. Similarly, someone at AutoMind can spend the time they’d use answering that call on something else. But it also has benefits that aren’t so easily measured. If you have a smart phone or computer handy, telling a friend how some idiot ran into your truck can easily lead to logging in to the AutoMind website to show off the photos. “That conversation is our goal,” Tseng said “…It’s better than any kind of advertisement. You can buy a TV slot, a radio slot, or any other kind of advertising, but that can never compete with a referral from an existing customer showing them our work.” It speaks to AutoMind’s business practices that this is relatively easy for them to do—the data the company produces is all centrally stored, well kept and digital. Technicians record their work as they go and the relevant information feeds directly to an individual customer’s account page, which they get when they bring in a vehicle. The transparency this provides is key to the company’s philosophy. AutoMind began in 1982 when three collision repair technicians partnered to open a shop. They’d met as apprentices nine years before, and had for a few years talked about the idea of breaking off to open their own shop—one where they


Opposite page: AutoMind’s president and CEO Paul Tseng (left) and information system director Paul Chow. Left: AutoMind’s website gives visitors more than just directions to the facility—it gives them information on the repair process and real-time status updates on their vehicles.

could do everything right and shake off the industry’s less savory locations will immediately have the latest versions. “Any update we habits. The first facility was on 7th Avenue in east Vancouver, a few have to do we do it once,” Tseng said. blocks north of AutoMind’s current flagship shop. Similarly, if they wanted to set up a satellite office, they could do so In the following years, the business continued to expand. By in the time it would take to connect to the Internet. 1998, the company had four locations in the Vancouver area. The Recently, they’ve introduced an online partners’ interface to same year, they took the first step to creating a consistent brand by their arsenal. It’s geared toward their dealership, fleet manager and introducing an AutoMind logo. insurance provider partners. Once they create a login account, the When Paul Tseng became AutoMind’s first CEO in 2004, he interface provides centralized information on all the vehicles that continued in this spirit by working to unify the locations under a are at AutoMind for that particular client. As with the customer accommon vision, focusing on efficient operation, customer expe- counts, it cuts down on the number of call-ins and makes life easier rience and transparency. Part of that strategy included building for partners who have a lot of vehicles to keep tabs on. a website to aid the customers’ experience and to differentiate “They like the idea a lot. Now they don’t even have to call us,” Tseng AutoMind from the competition. Paul Chow, who was teaching web design at the British Columbia Institute of “Moving forward, we discovered that the website and customer interaction Technology, came in on a temporary basis through it is a never-ending, continuing process of improvement” to build the new site. Two and a half years later, Paul works at AutoMind full time as their information system director. “Moving forward, we discovered that the website and customer said. “There’s peace of mind for them too. When they refer a customer interaction through it is a never-ending, continuing process of im- to us we have the information and photos forever. They can see what provement,” Chow said. “So I was brought on board to take care of actually happened to a car—that’s the transparency we strive for.” not only the website, but the efficient flow of information.” Tseng’s day-to-day has changed a lot since he began. At first, he As his title suggests, Chow now handles the company’s overall in- took care of a bit of everything—managing from the shop floor, formation strategy, which covers just about every inch of AutoMind. so to speak. After the branches came together to elect him CEO The website and AutoMind’s internal information strategy have he started focusing more on big-picture issues: branding, reducing progressed in lock step, each playing into the other. “We sort of lay- costs and establishing an efficient workflow that left technicians, ered them on top of each other,” Chow said. When the site started insurers and customers happy. to pay dividends in reducing the number of times a customer had to Along the way they picked up the tag line “Open Up.” Refreshingcall in to get the information they wanted, they looked to see if they ly, it’s something you see reflected in the realities of their operation. could apply the strategy internally. It’s apparent in their account pages, where customers can see every The organization is run off of a central server. Instead of having detail, including pre-repair photos of their vehicle. You can also see separate full-blown computers at every station, employees work off it in the fact that Tseng now dedicates quite a bit of time to sharing “thin clients”—basically a monitor and a box that is connected and AutoMind’s experiences. About once a week, people from the inuses the larger, more-powerful central computer to store informa- dustry come through the facilities to see AutoMind’s operation. He tion and do the heavy processing. also attends AkzoNobel’s Regional Performance Group meetings, The system allows them keep all their files centrally located, where collision repairers get a chance to discuss the problems and which is a necessity in providing real-time updates for custom- solutions they’ve found in the industry. ers. It also allows for other internal efficiencies. If they want to “They learn from us. We learn from them,” Tseng said. “We always make changes to the paperwork the technicians use, for example, share everything we learn through the course of our lean journey. So they can update the documents on the server and everyone in all the knowledge continues to flow and grow.” CRM march 2010  collision Repair  31

women of the industry

Women’s Industry Network (WIN) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to encouraging, developing and cultivating opportunities to attract women to collision repair while recognizing excellence, promoting leadership, and fostering a network among the women who are shaping the industry. Collision Repair magazine is pleased to announce that Mary Monardo, and every woman profiled in our Women of the Industry section, will receive a membership to WIN.


Mary T

For more information on WIN, please visit

Mary Monardo is a driving force... ...not to be reckoned with. By Megan Ng

wo things that come to mind upon meeting Mary Monardo: the first fearlessness. The second is respect. Before life as president of Mondial Fine Cars began for Mary in 1992, she ran a smooth operation in the Monardo household as a stay-at-home mom to two girls. The idea to start an auto collision business came to her when talking to her husband, Vince, who was a painter at the time taking care of high-end vehicles. She believed so much in his skills that she was confident they could take his talent and her managerial skills to the next level by starting their own business. Mary knew that in order to make the shop successful she would have to be involved in every facet of the business, so with the support of her family she enrolled in an automotive program in Toronto and earned her diploma as a certified appraiser. Today, Mondial, located in Weston, Ontario, consists of two facilities—12 000 sq. ft. and 10 000 sq. ft. respectively. It is a family operation, including her husband and son-in-law. Mary’s daughter Nicole works as Mondial’s office manager. Mary hopes Nicole will one day be as successful as she has with operating the shop. Not to be outdone, her other daughter Sandra has followed in family’s entrepreneurial spirit. She currently owns a thriving interior design business—Sandy Joe’s Interior Design Ltd—in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood. As a successful partner to Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Mary and her team of 13 are sending out repaired vehicles at a lightning fast pace. “We’ve been with Enterprise Rent-A-Car for many years. They are a great team to work with. They’re honest and ethical. They 32  collision Repair

respect women in and outside of their company,” Mary said. “We have a great relationship!” An average day for Mary starts at about 6am. She is in the shop working by 7am organizing the day, placing jobs in order of which vehicle is next authorized to be repaired, personally writing estimates, documenting the vehicles with photographs and assigning job duties every morning to her staff. Vehicles are usually released in about two to three days. At the shop, Mary is known to be a bit of a drill sergeant, but on the other hand, she is also known to be giving and charismatic, earning well-deserved respect from her employees. “As a woman, you have to make sure your staff recognizes you. As a boss, I make sure I control the situation if one the guys is giving me a hard time,” Mary said. “When they first come in, they don’t see me as a boss, but after the first week I make sure they know.” Her capacity to manage work and people simultaneously has no doubt contributed to her success, as has her desire to prove to skeptics that women can be successful in the industry. “More women should be in parts, supplies, sales—all aspects of the industry. This is an old industry, traditionally dominated by men, but it is in need of new people,” she said. “This could be a booming industry, but people have misconceptions about being in [it] so they don’t take the time to learn about it. “There are a lot of vehicles out there and there are a lot of jobs in this industry for women to be good at it. Women, come join the team!”  CRM



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Fix Auto’s Steve Leal has figured out a better, more accurate way to measure paint use.


By Megan Ng

t started with an idea from Fix Auto’s Steve Leal to create a system that accurately and efficiently measured paint use in collision repair shops. Easier said than done. But Leal found the right people to put the idea into play and together they are working on something that could change the paint game for the entire industry. Currently, there is no way to get true numbers for paint materials and have the data in real time in your repair order details. That’s because, currently, there’s no system in place that can do this accurately and efficiently. It’s the final piece to knowing the true gross profit on a repair, in real time, even before the job is delivered. When it comes to writing the invoice and figuring out costs, repairers are forced to make educated guesses on paint materials. Similarly, customers have to take the repairer’s word for it when they get the bill. It’s a situation Leal didn’t like. For Leal, Fix Auto president of Ontario, Alberta and Atlantic Canada, this was the missing link in being able to achieve full transparency. During the repair process, parts can be accounted for in actual numbers. Paint, with its liquid form, creates challenges, but should be no different. After all, if you can’t accurately measure material costs, you can’t accurately plan your business. By early fall 2009, Leal was sharing his vision and bringing it into motion with the help of Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes and the engineering resources of Mitchell dealer MPX Data Systems. “As an owner, you should know the basic stats of your area,” Leal said. “Labour rates and materials prices can differ from each province.” With an Internet-compatible smart scale provided by the Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes team, MPX was able to gather information on the cost of materials and labour to create the ABS Enterprise management system’s real-time interface, all in one web-based system. The system is capable of measuring paint usage, actual cost and sold amount of paint materials in progress on every repair done in shop much more scientifically than in the past. It can track the liquid amounts used including costs on a specific type of paint or primer by day, week, month or year. Aside from providing transparency, the system tabulates what amounts are needed to the tee, the time required to complete a job and labour costs you’ll need to invest to execute an order. This is possible because the interface allows for two-way communication. With ABS Enterprise in place, a shop manager can extract in34  collision Repair

Top, from left: Fix Auto president of Ontario, Alberta and Atlantic Canada Steve Leal, MPX Data Systems president Dan Duic and Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes director of sales and operations, Canada Bob Leibel. Bottom: Some of the Fix team watching part of the demo the night of the presentation.

formation such as the average paint cost per repair and compare to the industry averages in real time. If your numbers are high, you’ll know there’s an area you can improve to bring your costs down to industry par. “Steve is the only person running a management system fully hosted, which can spot problems in real time,” said MPX Data Systems president Dan Duic. “The ABS Enterprise will be hosted by Mitchell and allow owners to connect to an online database. Shops can see what’s coming up and what is due for the day. Adversaries say it couldn’t be done, but now it’s going to change the game.” Everything in the system is documented in real time. Shop owners and paint suppliers input and update information live, which they can then share with other facilities. If shop owners can see costs on paint supplies increasing or decreasing in real-time, they can budget paint material costs and for other materials and labour costs by comparing their stats against others. It can also automatically generate emails when supplies are in need of re-stocking. “It goes to the heart of lean—you can’t be lean if you can’t measure your costs,” Leal said. “There is a sense of ‘anti trust’ associated with the collision repair industry [from consumers and

FEATURES insurers]. This system will reveal administrative costs and what is the Smart Scale and ABS Enterprise interface to their staff. the actual cost of paint supplies to fix a car. You can double check “I think it’s a great system. It measures everything precisely,” said information for verification—it will be true transparency.” Juliano Iafrate, owner of Fix Auto Burlington East. “We can use Instead of calculating inventory numbers on paint, shop own- spreadsheets to try to track everything, but nothing like this.” ers will be able to see the cost per RO and answer the question Leal is hoping to bring ABS Enterprise into the Fix Auto neton every shop owner’s mind: what are the potential sources of work as a mandatory procedure for all branches over the next two waste in the paint shop? years. The “theme of lean” and cost controlling is something he Furthermore, owners can be confident in money spent on paint would like reinforced with the training and integration of the ABS supplies as the system will calculate how much paint the technicians Enterprise. It will begin for Fix Auto shops in the summer of 2010. should be using for each repair and how long it takes to complete a job. If more or less paint “We can use spreadsheets to try to is used to work on a particular car, they can track everything, but nothing like this.” view the error on the system and figure out how to remedy problems right away with staff. Because Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes was the first Rather than launch training across the map, they’ll introduce it to embrace Fix Auto’s idea, their Formula Express Color Retrieval one store at a time to ease the transition. system is currently the only one that’s compatible with ABS EnterFuture upgrades to the system will include inventory and prise. However, with the focus on transparency for the future, the management of non-liquid material. system may soon expand with other partnerships in the industry. “This system is already light years ahead,” said Bob Leibel, At an information session on the system to Fix Auto shop owners Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes director of sales and at the Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes office in Mississau- operations, Canada. “Once you have the data, you just need to ga, Ontario, all hands on deck appeared excited about introducing probe at it. The possibilities are endless.” CRM

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march 2010  collision Repair  35 22/02/2010 11:02:10


Cross Canada


Collision Parts Specialists Bumper remanufacturing facilities play key role. By Darryl Simmons


name well-respected and recognized by shops, jobbers and insurers across the country is about to get a lot more renowned. With the Cross Canada Autobody Supply acquisition of Collision Parts Specialists (CPS), the company is ratcheting up its service to shops and jobbers right across the country. The focal point of the acquisition is the state-of-the-art Winnipeg bumper rebuilding operation. Peter Sepetanc, president of Cross Canada, says the move helps reach his goal of raising the benchmark across the industry. “We always focus on developing leading-edge technologies and solutions to meet the ever-changing needs of our clients. John Santos [CPS president] is an expert at producing top quality remanufactured bumpers and this was something that Cross Canada really needed to add to its product portfolio.” An added benefit is G&A rebuilding, which enables Cross Canada to fulfill the industry’s ever-increasing demand in the Ontario market for rebuilt bumpers. According to Sepetanc, the move adds the rebuilding capacity necessary to keep their distributors competitive. Aside from strengthening Cross Canada’s current distribution and its presence in the metropolitan areas, it also retained one of their biggest customers. “Overall, we believe this move will deepen Cross Canada’s commitment to be the vital link in the supply chain by providing exceptional service, superior quality product and unparalleled customer support,” Sepetanc said. Cross has been growing strongly over the last 10 years, opening branches in Edmonton, Burnaby, BC and Calgary as well as expanding their warehouse space in Toronto. This acquisition will enable Cross to expand sales to large strategic “industry partners” while retaining its offerings to its reseller partners. CPS has been one of Cross Canada’s biggest customers and according to both companies, the relationship improved each of them. Acquiring the established CPS brand gives Cross an experienced platform to the direct channel. It also allows Cross to diversify its 36  collision Repair

product portfolio for the jobbers by adding the four CPS bumper manufacturing plants. CPS will benefit with a much stronger presence in the industry when dealing with customers and insurance companies due to the strong brand name of Cross Canada. According to John Santos, the CPS bumper division was ideally suited for Cross Canada to expand their product offering, so the fit and timing were perfect. “Paul Reichert and I have taken CPS–North Star from three locations to nine in just three years,” Santos said. “To continue further growth, we needed to align ourselves with the industry leader—and who better to than the country’s largest importer and supplier of aftermarket parts. “This move is extremely beneficial to our customers, giving them heightened access to more inventory, better product offering and improved services.” The synergy between the two companies also played an integral role in CPS’s decision to join with Cross Canada. According to Reichert, the companies share common views and a corporate commitment to serving customers. “Through listening to our customers at the right time and providing results in real time, our focus is on customer service, borne out of our experience of servicing clients across Canada in multiple channels,” says Paul Reichert, CPS vice-president and director of sales. “We do this via voice, email, web ordering, and personal contact, with an emphasis on continuous IT and leading-edge software improvements, adding creativity to generate powerful insights and actionable ideas. That’s what makes us different. This is what Cross Canada will continue to ensure: positive results for all its customers in the distribution channel.” This is the latest chapter of the Canadian success story Cross Canada has woven over the past 30 years. Family owned and operated since 1962, the company was started by Milan and Justina Sepetanc, who opened a small body shop after immigrating from Slovenia. In short order, they recognized a need

FEATURES Opposite page: from left, CPS president John Santos , Cross Canada president Peter Sepetanc and CPS vicepresident Paul Reichert. Far left: some newly fabricated bumpers. Left: Paul Reichert, John Santos and Peter Sepetanc in their chrome plant.

for good body panels and started supplying them to other shops. The rest is history. Today Peter Sepetanc and Sylvia Soulliere, the second generation, is welcoming the next generation: Peter’s son Joel and nephew Tyler are slated to play major roles in senior management. Cross Canada, headquartered in Windsor, Ontario has national reach with five main distribution centers—Windsor, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Burnaby—providing over 315,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space and serving more than 8,000 distributors-coast to coast. Collision Parts Specialists is another Canadian success story. Family owned since 1973, it was started by Cas and Maria Santos, who immigrated from Portugal. John and Lina Santos, the second

generation, partnered with Paul Reichert in 2007 and the company entered an aggressive expansion plan. At the time of the acquisition, CPS, headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, had nine strategically placed locations: Winnipeg, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, North York, Mississauga and Kamloops. With more than 155 employees and 92,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space, it serves a distinct industry need with four bumper recycling plants and an electroplating chrome bumper facility. John Santos and Paul Reichert will join the Cross Canada senior executive team. “We have been listening to the needs of our clients and watching the changes in the industry and will strive to stay ahead of the curve to continually improve our offerings,” says Sepetanc. “We will continue to be recognized for brand quality, service and innovation.” CRM

march 2010  collision Repair  37


I-CAR Continues in Canada

I-CAR partners with AIA Canada to keep their training north of the 49th parallel.

B By Megan Ng

AIA president Marc Brazeau (right) and I-CAR president John Edelen (left) announcing the deal.

eginning in May, the Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA) is set to take over I-CAR training in Canada. That word came from AIA president Marc Brazeau and I-CAR president John Edelen when they officially announced partnership January 23. “Fundamentally, it was based on some of the difficulties I-CAR International faced in 2007—it was particularly devastating for us financially. The original plan for I-CAR Canada under its current structure was to cease operations at the end of the 2009 year.� The question remained as to whether or not I-CAR could continue to be well structured in Canada or if it was better suited to its original US grounds.

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38  collision Repair


FEATURES In 2008, I-CAR Canada began a comprehensive review on what was being done and what should be done. They advertised a request for proposal and AIA stepped in as the ideal candidate. They would be able to uphold I-CAR’s work in the field and remain in line with I-CAR Canada’s values. The two parties began negotiations in August 2009. “AIA will continue to dialog with I-CAR International as they are also making changes in their own training,” Brazeau said. “We have worked out a special licensing agreement, which is custom designed to specifically meet the needs of the Canadian marketplace.” The two parties are still working to finalize the agreement. Brazeau realizes that with any integration of distinctive groups, there are going to be some challenges, but he and his staff, along with Edelen, are committed to making the transition as seamless as possible. A transition group chaired by Roland Taube of Akzo Nobel has been set up to ensure the process is as smooth as possible. In the mean time, I-CAR headquarters in Toronto will continue to run business as usual until the transition to AIA occurs. Aside from easing the transition, one of Brazeau’s main priorities is finding the right people to make sure the right programs are taking place in Canada. They are currently seeking a training

program director to lead upcoming projects. They also have to focus on building an International Learning System (ILS) from the ground up as part of the new infrastructure of the merger. Presently, a third-party tech company in Kanata, Ontario is helping AIA and I-CAR engineer the new system. “This is a team effort,” Brazeau said. “We want to listen to the needs of the market.” They are also seeking help from various stakeholders and leaders in the collision repair industry to organize an advisory committee. The duties of the board will be to make decisions and provide accurate feedback on the industry when making critical moves that relate to the certification program. Since the CCIF meeting took place, plans have got underway. AIA and I-CAR are still working to secure the licensing agreement, which they hope to complete soon. “By the time we assume management responsibility in May, the industry will be able to see that a smooth transition has unfolded,” Brazeau said. “The objective and desire is to work with stakeholders across the country in all parts of the supply chain. We’ve spent a lot of time making sure it’s a win–win situation for both parties and that the ultimate winners are the people who are part of the collision repair industry.” CRM

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It’s been a long road, but Canada finally has a strategy for sharing diagnostics codes. Does it matter?



Your Rights to Repair By J.C. Wen

fter months of posturing and politics, the industry came together to create the Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard (CASIS). It establishes a framework for OEMs to share purchasable service information—particularly diagnostic codes for on-board computers—with the repair industry online. It also means bill C-273, the “Right to Repair,” is now dead. Canadian auto manufacturers will fully implement CASIS before the deadline of May 1, 2010. With the agreement still unfolding in the industry, the National Automotive Trade Association (NATA) and its affiliates now shoulder the task of communicating with shop owners on the basis of the voluntary framework. In shops such as British Columbia’s Tsawwassen Collision, where mechanical repairs are a crucial component to the shop’s daily operations, owner Peter Sziklai maintains talk with local NATA members on the details of CASIS. Through the Automotive Retailers Association (ARA) in BC, Szikai came to understand what the agreement entails. “As far as consumers being protected, and as far as consumers being best served, having full access to information does not mean that information will be properly used,” Sziklai said. “It would make specialized operations better, but it wouldn’t generally solve all the problems for all the general repair guys out there.” Like many shop owners, Sziklai finds the practice of keeping service information proprietary outdated. But under the current system, Sziklai recommends other owners focus on specializing in repair. “I think this is an example of the notion that general repair facilities are getting tougher to maintain. People are going to have to focus on what to specialize in because even if all the data were available to you, the equipment is still very expensive,” he said. “So, let’s say by legislation and by agreement you are allowed to have everything, but you still have to buy it. Not many people can afford $50–60,000 on diagnostic equipment they use every now and then, so they would have to decide what to specialize in.” Since the mid-90s, the majority of cars and light trucks on the road have had onboard diagnostic systems. The growing dependence on computers to manage things like steering and braking made it necessary for independent shops to acquire the proper scan tools to perform diagnostics and monitor faulty codes in the system’s data. 40  collision Repair

However, with the flux of latest engineering advancements, OEMs are now instilling unique and idiosyncratic components into their own brand of onboard systems. By doing so, they created tiers of proprietary codes and information that could only be accessed by franchised dealership technicians. The general public in Canada is largely unaware of the issue. And until recently, the government paid little heed to the lobbying efforts of the aftermarket industry. It was only after the Automotive Industries Association (AIA) proposed a government-mandated solution that Brian Masse, NDP MP for Windsor West, decided to introduce the private member’s bill C-273 to the Parliament floor. The bill was dubbed the “Right to Repair.” Similar to bills proposed in the US, the legislation aimed for a national program in which the aftermarket industry had equal access to OEM tools and information as any franchised dealership. But in most US states, with the exception of New Jersey, lawmakers had consistently and overwhelmingly struck down the bills in favour of voluntary agreements—ones that reserve the right for OEMs to put purchasable diagnostic information and software online. Ottawa was similarly hesitant to tie down the industry with legislation. After gaining support from Canadian repairers, shop owners and OEMs, representatives from the NATA brought the voluntary option to Parliament and prompted a three-day renegotiation of the bill, during which NATA representatives and Masse agreed to work with the AIA in drafting an industry-oriented solution. The parties later involved the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association and Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada, who eventually signed resulting agreement: CASIS. Early last fall, NATA executive vice-president Dale Finch formally signed the agreement with members from the other associations. “This agreement ensures that all auto manufacturers will provide access to service and repair information, which will increase competition in Canada’s service and repair industry for the benefit of Canadian consumers,” Finch said during the signing of the deal in an Ottawa repair shop. By then, Finch was confident that the industry no longer needed a government-mandated solution. Masse agreed. A month after the signing of CASIS, Masse sent “Right to Repair” back to the House of Commons and motioned it to proceed no further. It was time for the new agreement to prove itself. CRM

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Making Your e n i h Business a lea c n ma by Chris Ortiz

An excerpt from Kaizen Assembly’s Lean Auto Body


ain street perceptions of the lean philosophy are that its concepts can only be applied to the manufacturing industry and that the best candidates for its implementation are companies producing only one type of product. My experience with the auto collision repair industry is similar, in that regard. Often, the argument is that body shops do not have repetitive work. The diversity which exists in the type and quantity of automobiles, as well as the complexity of the damage, makes it nearly impossible, some believe, to successfully apply lean manufacturing techniques. However, quite the opposite is true. Think about your own shop. The level of repairs needed from one automobile to another is not infinite. If it were, repairs would never be complete. Whenever a process is complex and varied, lean principles can and should be applied. Also, most auto body shops engage in the same type of common auto repair processes such as estimating, teardown, prep, painting, drying/curing, re-assembly and possibly detailing or cleaning. Of course, the amount of time spent on each process is contingent on the level of damage as well as part lead time from dealers and auto parts supply vendors. Lean is about waste reduction, where waste is defined as any non-value-added work within each operational process. This includes any unnecessary administrative procedures, which can cause a multitude of problems that ultimately increase costs. I will discuss these wastes in greater detail in Section One. For now, let’s focus on the main issues to be addressed. Ask your self the following questions: • Do your technicians spend time sifting through tool chests, looking for tools? 42  collision Repair

• When a technical cannot locate a necessary tool, do they leave their work area and borrow or “steal” the tool from a co-worker or another work area? • Are all your estimates 100 per cent error free or does vital information that has been forwarded by the insurance companies contain administrative mistakes, which will cause issues for your technicians? • Do you have automobiles sitting idle for hours, waiting on parts to arrive? • Do those same automobiles sit outside, waiting for a work area in the shop to become available? • Are your shop supplies disorganized or hidden behind cabinets, causing technicians to spend time hunting for the appropriate item to perform the work? • Does it take longer than necessary to set up your paint operation? • Are excessive amounts of supplies and parts sitting around in the parts room, taking up space and tying up money? • Do people meander around your shop, continuously looking for things? • Do your technicians receive the wrong parts after waiting days for the correct one to arrive? • Do people wander around the shop asking questions about pick-up dates or which job to work on next? The list of questions you could ask are endless. But the answers are critical when attempting to run an effective and efficient repair shop. Right now, the single most important question you should ask your self is how many of these time-wasting, inefficient, profitrobbing activities occur in your operation, and how often?

Paint • People • Performance

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FEATURES The auto body repair industry is “ripe” for lean and the industry, as a whole, is one of the most competitive I have ever observed. Auto body repair cannot be outsourced to other countries like China or India, which allows for a lot of local competition. In the county I reside in, more than 40 body shops exist, and every time an accident occurs, these same 40 shops compete for the repair work. Car owners and insurance companies can select from numerous vendors, which creates a highly competitive market. If you want some or all of that business, you need to make sure that your shop performs to the best of its ability—at all times. A body shop is a production factory for repairs and it is critical that you start thinking about it that way. Lean helps eliminate hidden costs, which often go unnoticed: hidden costs are wastes that drive down productivity and ultimately, squander profit. The auto body industry also operates under fixed numerous costs, which are directly related to the insurance and estimating process and

are outside of your control. Wouldn’t it be nice to increase the number of repairs your shop can perform, without raising those fixed costs? Or, to reduce those variable costs, which you can control. And be able to repair even more vehicles? If your answer to both questions is yes, this guide is exactly what you need to help you begin your lean auto body journey. Lean Auto Body is a how-to guide that provides a step-by-step approach to implementing lean in your shop. This guide was specifically designed for the auto body repair industry and therefore will only discuss the lean tools and techniques that make sense for a body shop. The success of our auto body and repair clients has proven how powerful and effective lean can be toward eliminating costs and increasing profitability. I would like to show you how lean can help your business thrive in today’s competitive economy. You will be embarking on a journey that will transform your shop into a robust, efficient, and highly competitive enterprise. It all starts with learning about how lean can help.

Read this guide and make it happen. Chris Ortiz, President Kaizen Assembly, Inc.

Section One: The Eight Wastes Waste exists at every level of a body shop. Waste is defined as any non-value-added work that occurs during any phase of the repair process: that your customer has no interest in. Essentially, two types of work are performed in any shop: value-added work and non-value-added work. Value-Added Work

Value-added work is defined as any work performed, which the customer cares about. Value-added work includes: • Tearing down a car • Prepping panels for paint • Applying filler

44  collision Repair

• Painting the car • Installing parts and replacing vital fluids Non-Value-Added Work

Non-value-added work is defined as any work performed, which the customer does not care about. Non-value-added work includes: • Searching for tools and supplies • Setting up the paint booth • Travelling to and from the office • Idle cars waiting for parts • Transporting cars around the shop • Making mistakes during repairs

FEATURES • Cars returned by the customers • Extended sanding and buffing time I am not implying that non-value-added work will be completely eliminated; however, the primary goal of a lean journey is continuous improvement and waste reduction. Why should your technicians walk fifty feet to retrieve a tool from a cabinet, only to find that it doesn’t work properly? Why should they dig through piles of assorted tools and gadgets, wasting valuable work time? Wouldn’t it be more cost effective to have all necessary tools organized, in good working order, and within the reasonable reach of your technicians? The eight wastes

The eight wastes of an auto body repair shop are: • Overproduction • Over processing • Transportation • Motion • Waiting • Defects/rejects • Inventory • Waste of human potential To read about the eight wastes, and how to get them out of your business, tune in to the next issue of CRM for the second installment of Kaizen Assembly’s Lean Auto Body. Or, if you want to get a jump on the competition, you can buy a copy for your facility at CRM


Were you reading closely?

How does Ortiz define waste? win this! Send your answer to editor@collisionrepairmag. com to enter a draw to win a copy of Lean Auto Body for your facility, a $39.99 value!

march 2010  collision Repair  45


RealPeople Embracing cultural diversity.


O David Gold

ften times I am asked what drives me. Or how do you keep so motivated. My answers are always fairly simple: it is the people in this industry and our customers that keep me going more than anything else. This is because there is nothing more rewarding than to know that our businesses help sustain not only our lives but that it also has a profound impact on the lives of our employees and their families. The auto industry has in many ways been a stepping stone for new immigrants in the country to find gainful employment

46  collision Repair

and to be embraced by the community. D.J. Harrington, a prominent industry speaker, uses the phrase “Real People” to describe members of the industry. I have always interpreted D.J.’s message and tag line to mean that we are perhaps more grounded and less scripted than someone like a Wall Street executive, for example. In looking at a list of D.J.’s clients on his website,, it is evident that 15 out of 21 of the companies that enlist his services are somewhat auto related. There is so much talk about the need to communicate and work together in our businesses these days; with all of the complexities in new-model vehicles,

this need is more important now than ever before. The quality of people that we hire for our industry is vital to our survival. The marketplace has changed and consumers need to feel comfortable with their sales people or service advisors for true relationships and business building to take place. One important way to incorporate this “comfortable” feeling is for businesses to reflect the cultural diversity in their communities and to reach out to look for these understated yet talented individuals. It has been a blessing for me to witness the growth and dedication that certain individuals in our own company possess.

Recycling Recently, Standard Auto’s go-to industry consultant visited our location and, while on a facility tour, stopped and said to me, “this is the most culturally diverse business I have ever seen.” “Jim,” I answered, “the school up the street from us has a sign out front that says, ‘We have students from 99 different countries.’” It only makes sense for us as a company to break down notions from the past and look for employees that reflect the areas in which we operate. It is not uncommon to come into our office and hear sales and customer service people speaking Cantonese, Mandarin, Tamil, Urdu, Hindi, Sinhala, Arabic, Punjabi, Sindhi, Telugu, Malayalam, and even a little English! Like any business, auto recycling and collision repair need good people to grow. This is important because if you are not growing, you are shrinking; your competition will gladly take the opportunities you missed and leave you behind.

It takes all kinds of people to run a thriving business and with the appropriate balance of talent from different backgrounds a great company can emerge with appreciative employees and customers. Our industries are so intertwined.

When you look at things from this perspective it really helps take the emotion out of the equation for important business decisions. I have been fortunate to have fostered many long-lasting relationships that will

Like any business, We need good people to grow. There is always a need for auto parts at the right price and collision repair facilities to install them properly so that the people in our communities can get to and from work and help our towns and cities prosper. I often tell our people how more so now than ever before, we as a business have a responsibility to do well at work for our families, our employee’s families and even our customers and their families.

stand the test of time, and this is priceless to me. Throughout the years I have been educated on many cultures and have seen unique people come through our operation. They have all had a profound and positive impact on my life. CRM David Gold is the co-owner of Standard Auto Wreckers, an auto recycling facility with locations in Toronto and Niagara Falls, New York. He can be reached by telephone at 416-286-8686 or via email at

march 2010  collision Repair  47

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PersonallyLean Efficiency starts at home.




Joe Rayment

e’ve talked a lot about lean concepts this issue, which I like—an efficient industry is a happy industry. Considered processes help us do more for less and, more importantly on an individual level, help us avoid the terrible situations that arise when we realize a business isn’t sustainable. The thing that resonated with me most while working on this issue was ad admission from the AutoMind team: nothing is ever going to be perfect. The important part is evaluating constantly and improving whenever you find something you can do it better, faster, or at less cost.

commute? Are there forms you can fill out quicker if you do them digitally? Feel like you’re sending the same email again and again? Maybe it makes sense to draw up some canned responses— “We’ll finish work on that by…”—and only worry about the sentence or two that are unique to the situation. Take a look at things you do repetitively. That’s usually where you’ll find the most opportunity to improve. I had an epiphany a few months ago when I realized I could open my email client with a keyboard shortcut instead of digging around for the icon. It only saves a few seconds, but it saves that time two-, three-dozen times a day. They’re baby steps, and they seem in-

There are small, zero-cost solutions that can improve your business I like it because the idea behind it is that baby steps are valuable. Even if something only saves a few seconds a day and if the financial impact is minor or impossible to measure, it’s still a valuable change. There are big-picture things you’ll have to tackle and expensive upgrades you’ll have to consider. There are also small, zero-cost solutions that can improve your business. They’re the easiest to enact as well as the easiest to overlook. But there are a lot of people in this magazine who know more about running businesses better than I do. The question I’d like to put to you is: are you personally lean? I don’t mean waist lines. I mean the day-to-day things you do to get business done. If you haven’t done so recently, give yourself a minute or so to consider your personal workflow. If you adjust your work day to start a little earlier, do you avoid traffic and shorten your

50  collision Repair

consequential individually, but they add up. Maybe after a bit of planning you can get your morning emails answered 10 minutes earlier. If you’re working a five day week, by Friday that’s almost an hour you can spend working on something important. Or, if you’re so inclined, to relax. There are worse ways to spend your time. Which brings me to my second point: efficiency’s not just a business concern. If you or you employees can get things done with fewer obstacles in the way, everyone goes home a little less aggravated. Even if you can’t measure it in dollars, that’s still a pretty nice bonus.

Joe Rayment is the editor of Collision Repair magazine. He can be reached at 905-370-0101 or via e-mail at











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