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TOMORROW’S DAILY GRIND: THE FUTURE OF ABRASIVES Serving the Business of the Industry



Passion and a love of cars drives JEAN LAPOINTE and LUCIE DION at Fix Auto Blainville.

THE BEST ESTIMATE Practical tips to make sure you don’t leave money on the table.

Volume 10  Number 4


The venerable exposition has new tricks up its sleeve.

>> PLUS BMW’s collision

conference, training’s new direction and much, much more!

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On The cover 24 INDUSTRY PRIDE

Volume 10 Issue 4, September 2011


Jean Lapointe and Lucie Dion are set to improve the industry’s image at Fix Auto Blainville.

features 14 Insider’s view We take you inside 3M for the company’s Auto Care Camp.

18  the best estimate Insider tips on finding all the damage, the first time through.

29 NACE PReview Are you ready for Orlando? See what’s in store for 2011’s biggest event.

34  her way Michelle Rolls has always had her own way of looking at things.

37  fine grind Advances in abrasion are lead by advances in coatings. Find out how.

49  Recyclers news Resource ARAAC’s Code of Practice; ARC’s Certification Process and much more!

37 29

departments 04 Publisher’s page  by Darryl Simmons Small victories.

42 Point Blank  by Sam Piercey TOMORROW’S DAILY GRIND: THE FUTURE OF ABRASIVES Serving the Business of the Industry



Passion and a love of cars drives JeaN LaPoiNte and LuCie DioN at Fix Auto Blainville.

The Best estimate Practical tips to make sure you don’t leave money on the table.

NaCe PrevIew

the venerable exposition has new tricks up its sleeve.

>> PLUS BMW’s collision

conference, training’s new direction and much, much more!

On the Cover: Fix Auto Blainville is moving forward with SOPs and lean. Cover photography by Simone Winkler.


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

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

Save money.

44 Prairie View  by Tom Bissonnette Cross-Canada connection.

46 Who’s driving?  by Jay Perry Measure and change.

56  Recycling  by David Gold Parts prices.

58 Last Word  by Mike Davey Safety last.

september 2011  collision Repair  03

publisher’s page

smallsteps Focusing on small positives can lead to something great. By Darryl Simmons


t’s easy to focus on all the little things that go wrong on a daily basis, whether it’s at home or at the office, and lose sight of the positives. But in tough times, it’s those little positive things that need to be recognized and celebrated because they can accumulate and become something great. As parents know, it’s really easy to find things that your kids have done wrong, from not cleaning their room to feeding the dog ice cream. But as parents, the best thing to do is to focus on what they’ve done right and let them know that you noticed. This is just as important in the business world as it is in parenting. This was brought home to me recently on a trip

better way to combat it than by showing that we do our part, in small ways, to change the world for the better? It’s a small thing, but when you add small things together, they make a big difference. It’s the same with the MIW award. This year, the only Canadian on the list is Michelle Rolls of Queensway Fix Auto. Michelle made the list because her shop is well run, but also because of her commitment to the community and the industry—sponsorship of local sports teams, her ability to adapt to the changing landscape and her work with the Automotive Retailers Association. Again, it’s really a bunch of little things that add up to one big thing.

if you’re doing something right, then spread it around. to Salt Lake City. While I was there, I saw AkzoNobel present two awards for outstanding performance. One was AkzoNobel’s long-running Most Influential Women (MIW) award and the other was the FIT Sustainability Award. The FIT award, which AkzoNobel has only been giving out for the last two years, focuses on the key attributes of focus, innovation and talent. Mark Milacic of Mark’s Auto Body in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, was one of only three recipients this year, and the only Canadian winner. It’s a perfect example of honouring small successes. Not that the award itself is a small thing, far from it. However, what Mark’s Auto Body did to get there is a succession of small steps. One good example is the shop’s loaner cars. The shop gives their customers a Prius while their cars are being fixed. It ensures the customer can get around while also trying one of these hybrid cars for an extended period of time. This is not only good for Mark’s Auto Body’s image; it’s good for the entire industry. We know that the public thinks of us as a dirty, polluting industry. What

These are difficult times. There are fewer reported accidents and a higher number of write-offs. Everybody’s pushing to be more sustainable, more productive and do more with less. During these times, celebrating the small things becomes more important than ever. Celebration of small victories was part of the promise made a decade ago when we founded Collision Repair magazine, and it’s something we still strive to do today. They say that integrity is doing the right thing even when nobody is watching. Well, if you or someone you know is doing the right thing, then we want to watch. If you’re doing the right thing, then spread it around because it will encourage others to do the same. Let us know. Give us a call, email us through the e-zine or join the forums at www.collisionrepairmag. com. We’ll help you spread the word.  CRM

04  collision Repair

PUBLISHER DARRYL SIMMONS (905) 370-0101 EDITOR MIKE DAVEY ART DIRECTOR DANIELA LUBERTO assistant EDITOR Michael raine Interns andrea chan, Samantha silvaggi COLUMNISTS DAVID GOLD, JAY PERRY, SAM PIERCEY, TOM BISSONNETTE VP INDUSTRY RELATIONS GLORIA MANN (647) 998-5677 VP Digital Media JOE PLATI (647) 669-2625 circulation department Pat Cappelli (905) 370-0101 publisher’s assistant Ryan Potts SUBSCRIPTION One-year $24.95 / Two-year $35.95 Collision Repair™ magazine is published bi-monthly, and is dedicated to serving the business interests of the collision repair industry. It is published by Media Matters Inc. Material in Collision Repair magazine may not be reproduced in any form with out written consent from the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertising and disclaims all responsibilities for claims or statements made by its advertisers or independent columnists. All facts, opinions, statements appearing in this publication are those of the writers and editors themselves, and are in no way to be construed as statements, positions or endorsements by the publisher. PRINTED IN CANADA ISSN 1707-6072 CANADA POST CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL SALES PRODUCT AGREEMENT No. 40841632 RETURN POSTAGE GUARANTEED Send change of address notices and undeliverable copies to: 86 John Street Thornhill, ON L3T 1Y2

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

magazine T H E T RA I N I N G P O RTA L F O R C O L L I S I O N R E PA I R

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the front end

Reader’s letters Send all letters to Mike Davey at editor@ Submissions may be edited for length and clarity.

An estimate is almost the same as an educated guess, and the cheapest (and least accurate) type of modeling. In my opinion, there cannot possibly be a “best” anywhere in this practice. The

The process of writing an estimate has always

industry needs to embrace the proper repair

perplexed me. If we look at the definition of the

planning techniques through lean initiatives. This

word it begs the question whether or not it should

would be by far the most effective and produc-

even be in the collision repair vocabulary. “Esti-

tive practice for collision repairers and insurers,

mate: Approximation, prediction, or projection of

but most importantly for the customer.

a quantity based on experience and/or informa-

Sharon Wells General Manager, Collision Clinic

tion available at the time, with the recognition that other pertinent facts are unclear or unknown.”

People on the move New Director at PPG Automotive Refinish PPG Canada has announced the appointment of Rafael Hinojos to the position of Director, Automotive Refinish, PPG Canada effective July 1. In his new assignment, Hinojos will be responsible for the continued growth of the Canadian PPG Automotive Refinish business unit, the company says. Hinojos joined PPG Industries in 1998 and has held various positions throughout his 13-year career. His proven track Rafael Hinojos.. record as a territory manager, national account manager, business development manager and, most recently, North American manager of national accounts will position him well in his new role. Hinojos has extensive knowledge of the automotive refinish business and emerging trends with multiple-shop operators.

Thatcham announces new strategy director Thatcham has announced the appointment of Neale Phillips to a new position of Strategy Director on the Thatcham Management Board. Phillips, who joins with a wealth of previous director level experience at both AA Insurance and Centrica, will play a key role in developing the future business strategy of the automotive research centre.

With a broad background in insurance and financial services, marketing, product, management and online development, Phillips’ first priority will be to lead the preparation of Thatcham’s new three year plan, which will seek to reinforce the core strengths of the business, whilst taking the company to new heights in the future.

Tony Goff Named Man of the Year By LLS Goff’s Enterprises announced that its president, Tony Goff, has been named Man of the Year for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society’s Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter. LLS’s Man & Woman of the Year Campaign is a 10-week fundraising competition among individuals in communities across the U.S. to raise funds for research and support for families affected by blood cancers. 06  collision Repair

Goff’s campaign turned in a record $57,963 for the Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter. The centerpiece of Goff ’s campaign was a large scale event at the Calatrava at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The event consisted of a live concert in which Goff was the lead singer of the newly formed “52nd Street” Billy Joel Band.



network ?

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8 points — very good

4 points — average

10 points — excellent

Networks > 1



Network image


Customer service


Freedom of action


Member selection




Training and support


Relations with insurers




10 Innovation and technology

total per Network / 100

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






carstar golf tournament raises funds for the fight against cf Left: Sam Mercanti, president of Carstar Automotive Canada and Ian Ladd. Right: Andy Alijohn of Dominion Insurance and Bernice Di Vito of Carstar - Autobahn Collision Barrie. Below, from left: Lisa Mercanti-Ladd and Karen Rush of Carstar; Dave Stala; Gloria Mann of Collision Repair magazine; and Patricia Gluchowski from RBC.

The Beverly Golf and Country Club in Copetown, Ontario, recently played host to the Carstar Automotive Canada golf tournament. The event drew together about 150 people. Together they raised approximately $15,000 for Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Carstar Automotive Canada has made a number of large donations to Cystic Fibrosis Canada over the last decade. In fact, the organization is now in the Guinness Book of World Records as the holder of the record for “World’s Largest Car Wash – Multiple Venues.” The company also raises funds through its October “FrightLites“ campaign.

ACG Golf Comes Through For Peel Children’s Safety Village

From left: Ivan Tulfa, president of Atlantic Collision Group, Christie Hallett, administrator of the Peel Children’s Safety Village and Rick Evans.

The Atlantic Collision Group’s golf tournament had two results. A lot of people got to play golf, and the Peel Children’s Safety Village has received a big funding boost. This year’s donation from the Atlantic Collision Group totals $16,588, raised solely by proceeds from the golf tournament. This year marks the 19th year in a row that the 14 location Atlantic Collision Group has held a charity golf tournament, and the fourth year in a row that the proceeds have gone to Peel Children’s Safety Village. The tournament took place at the Nobleton Lakes Golf Club in Nobleton, Ontario. 08  collision Repair


2011 MIW Winners Honoured in Salt Lake City AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings Americas hosted industry leaders on July 19 at the elegant Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah for the presentation of awards to the 2011 Most Influential Women in the Collision Repair Industry (MIW). Five distinguished honourees were recognized. The five comprise a cross section of service areas within the collision repair, from both the United States and Canada, including publishing, industry association, independent shops and multishop operations. Michelle Rolls, owner of Queensway Fix Auto Collision in Prince George, British Columbia was the sole Canadian on this year’s list. The MIW program was established in 1999 by AkzoNobel as an industry honorarium. The goal of the program is to promote the contributions of key leaders as well as grow the future involvement of females within collision repair and raise awareness of their contributions as a valuable resource pool. AkzoNobel, through the MIW program, collaborates with the I-CAR Education Foundation to provide scholarships to deserving women seeking to advance their education and pursue career opportunities within the collision repair industry. The annual $25,000 MIW scholarship has to date provided scores of students the ability to advance their careers.

From left: Frederica Carter of AkzoNobel, Michelle Rolls of Queensway Fix Auto, Laura Costello of AkzoNobel and Gigi Walker of Walker’s Autobody.




12:06 PM

Tiger Auto parts expands facilities Tiger Auto Parts has announced the opening of its second warehouse, located in Brampton, Ontario. The new warehouse is over 70,000 square feet, and supplements the company’s existing warehouse and head office space, located in Scarborough, giving Tiger Auto Parts a total warehouse space of 180,000 square feet. “The new warehouse will allow us to better serve the western GTA and beyond, into communities like Mississauga, Milton, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, Kitchener, London and so on,” said Nasser Ismael of Tiger Auto Parts. “We’ve also added shipping capability that allows us to ship orders all over Ontario and Quebec, with next-day delivery.” Tiger Auto Parts celebrated the opening of the new warehouse with an employee barbecue. For more information on Tiger Auto Parts, please visit

Mike Younos, operations manager for Tiger Auto Parts at the new warehouse location in Brampton.

• • • •

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BMW Certified repairers rock vancouver

More than 20 owners of collision repair facility owners, seven representatives of major Canadian insurers and employees of BMW Group Canada came together recently for the annual meeting of BMW Certified Colllision Repair Centres.

Vancouver is accustomed to excitement. It wasn’t just the opening night of the Stanley Cup playoffs that created the vibe in Vancouver recently—it also had a lot to do with the annual meeting of BMW Certified Collision Repair Centres. More than 20 repair owners along with seven representatives of Canada’s key insurers gathered to hear what’s new with the network and where the future of the industry is headed. Featuring informative presentations from Audatex, RS Finishing and Car-O-Liner, the conference combined the opportunity to discuss common business concerns in a casual environment. The combination worked very well. Breakouts in meeting are common, but this conference had one of the most interesting and daring twists ever seen in the industry. The key insurer representatives were separated from the repairers. Robby Robbs of Nucon facilitated a roundtable

to determine the key concerns and challenges insurers faced when dealing with the BMW repair community. Meanwhile, the repairers broke into three groups to discuss their issues. Although sparks would be expected, upon return the two groups found they were not as far apart on many issues as a cynical observer might have expected. After all, the two groups do share some of the same goals. “At the end of the day, all we want to do is make sure the customer’s car is fixed properly. Safety is first and foremost to all our repairs and we will never compromise that mandate,” said Sam Piercey co-owner of Budds, a BMW Certified Collision Centre in Oakville, Ontario. The main concerns were focused around parts availability, public knowledge about BMW repair procedures, specific training and the expense of the proper equipment required to do so.

From left: Kevin Campbell of Chapman Auto Body~CSN in Halifax, Jacques Lavigne of Intact Financial, Sam Piercey of Budds’ Collision and Rick Valin of BASF. 10  collision Repair


On the second day of the three-day event, after touring the BMW parts warehouse, attendees visited Number 1 Collision, a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility. After a guided tour, there was a bonding and riveting training session conducted by BMW staff from the US and Germany. The BMW Brand Academy took place on the third day at the BMW Regional Training Centre. During dinner at Stanley Park’s Tea House, the event was summed up perfectly

There’s nothing unusual about breakout sessions during industry meetings. However, the BMW conference followed an unusual format, with insurers sequestered to discuss the issues their industry has, and repairers breaking into three separate groups to discuss things from their end. It turned out that both sides of the aisle share a number of key concerns.

Air Speed Frequency drive Direct fire gas burner Heating recuperator Smart cure

Victor Pasnyk of Allstate Insurance and Aram Kazazian of White Oaks Auto Body in discussion during one of the coffee breaks.

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by Aram Kazazian of White Oaks Auto Body, a BMW Certified Collision Repair Centre in London, Ontario. “Having the opportunity to sit and discuss in an informal manner with insurers, suppliers and repairers is a very satisfying experience. It goes a long way to furthering the relationships among our repair network. We repairers appreciate all the hard work and effort by the organizers, sponsors and insurers who made this happen and we look forward to working together to better the collision industry.”

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september 2011  collision Repair  11


Grand Opening of Carrosserie Demers~CSN The official grand opening of Carrosserie Demers~CSN took place recently. Over 175 people came together to help celebrate at the grand opening barbecue. This is the fourth facility owned by the Frangione and Palermo families. They also own Bemac Autobody and Paint~CSN, Capital Collision Centre~CSN and Turpin Collision Centre~CSN, all located in Ottawa. The highlight of the event was the donation of a vehicle to Espoire Rosalie, a foundation that provides for abused children and women.

The exterior of Carrosserie Demers~CSN.

Espoire Rosalie, a foundation that provides for abused women and children, was the recipient of a brand new car. The organization will use it to provide pick-ups and other services to women and children in need.

Joe Frangione, right, one of the owners of Carosseries Demers~CSN, and his father Gaetano, one of the founders of Bemac Autobody and Paint.

Boyd Group Acquires Cars Collision Centers in U.S. The Boyd Group has announced the closing of the acquisition of Cars Collision Center of Colorado and Cars Collision Center (together, “Cars”). The total consideration for the transaction of approximately US $21 million, subject to normal post-closing adjustments, was funded with a combination of cash, U.S. bank debt, third-party financing and a seller take-back note. No new equity was issued related to the transaction. The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to the Fund’s earnings, cash flows, and distributable cash per unit.

believe that Cars will be an excellent strategic fit with Boyd Group’s existing organization and will further enhance Boyd’s competitive position in the United States.” The Cars acquisition adds 14 new locations in Illinois, eight in northern Indiana and six in Colorado. It substantially expands the Boyd Group’s presence in the Chicagoland market to a total of 45 locations, an increase from 23 previously. The acquisition adds Indiana and Colorado to the Boyd Group’s

“We are very pleased to have completed the acquisition of Cars,” said Brock Bulbuck, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Boyd Group. “The acquisition is another major strategic move for us in expanding our footprint and executing our growth plan. We

North American footprint. With the acquisition, the Fund now has a total of 164 repair centres in North America, consisting of 127 centres in 13 U.S. states and 37 centres in the four Western Canadian provinces.

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12  collision Repair

Ad_comp_frame_Layout 1 11-08-03news 11:36 AM Pag

AIR COMPRESSORS Steve Mauthe, Claudia Morgillo and Claudio Chiodo, co-owners of Fix Auto Streetsville, at the open house celebrating the facility’s joining of the Fix Auto network.


Fix Auto Streetsville hosted an open house recently at its location in Mississauga, Ontario. Steve Mauthe founded the shop in 1987, and last December he brought on the husband and wife team of Claudio Chiodo and Claudia Morgillo as co-owners. “The way the industry is going, it’s time for a brand,” said Mauthe of joining the Fix Auto network. “As an independent owner and operator you cannot afford to do it all on your own. You need a marketing group, you need some power and you need national recognition and the Fix Auto group seemed to be the perfect fit for us.”


built better

Fix Auto Streetsville Hosts Open House

Over 175 people were on hand to help celebrate the addition of the Missisauga’s shop joining of the Fix Auto network.

new maaco in mississauga Maaco Systems Canada has recently converted an existing collision shop into a Maaco Collision Repair and Auto Painting location under its banner program. This latest location, in Mississauga East, is operated by Raghbir Rangi, who co-owns the location with Mike Singh. Rangi has over 10 years of industry experience and specializes in trucks, as noted by their United Truck booth, coming in at 38 feet long by 18 feet wide by 16 feet high. This new location follows other recent Maaco banner program openings at John Gibbons Kia in Chatham and Brock Ford Sales and Automotive Center in Niagara Falls. Maaco Systems Canada has also announced the new ownership of Maaco Markham. Peter Min is the new Maaco Markham owner/operator. Maaco Systems Canada will have at least two more locations opening by the fall of this year.

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Behind the Curtain at 3M Headquarters By Michael Raine

During a recession more people are inclined to do their own repairs, but also more likely to bring their vehicles to a professional for serious repairs rather than buy a new one. That was one of the messages delivered by 3M at its Auto Boot Camp for automotive media. The event was a rare glimpse behind the curtain of the 3M headquarters, with Collision Repair magazine providing exclusive Canadian coverage. The first day began with a tour of the state-of-the-art 3M Innovation Center that offered a brief history of the 109-year-old company, and a look at some of the 45 technology platforms that the company specializes in. A follow-up presentation by representatives of 3M emphasized the company’s belief that there is a lot of untapped potential in the DIY automotive market. The sales reps explained that, according to 3M’s own surveys and research, heavy DIY work among consumers is becoming less common, but light DIY work, such as changing a headlight, is becoming more common. According to 3M’s 2010 survey, 42 percent of respondents said they would try to do some or all of their required vehicle repairs themselves and cited the weak economy and high unemployment as the reason. However, the number of people who said they would have a professional do all of their repairs was up five percent. On the professional side, 3M demonstrated a number of products including the Dirt Trap Protection System, which protects paint booths from dirt, dust and overspray and cuts down maintenance time. The Dirt Trap Adam Spah of 3M discusses the Protection System is a non-woven Perfect DeNibbing System, which the company says removes nibs faster and adhesive that sticks to the walls easier than the traditional process. and floor of the paint booth, trapping dirt, dust and overspray and preventing it from contaminating a fresh coat of paint. It is easy to install and remove and lasts for about three months, according to 3M. As well, attendees got to test the AccuSpray System primer gun. According to the 3M team demonstrating the product, the AccuSpray

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Call 1-866-325-2886 14  collision Repair

Wayne Banks of 3M discusses small dent repair.

system allows repairers to increase productivity by decreasing primer standing time and cleanup time and also reduces material waste. According to 3M, this system combines a HVLP spray gun with a replaceable atomizing head to perform at a fraction of the cost and effort. The primer gun also reduces overspray and can be used on large surfaces or for spot-hits the size of a dime. Another professional product demonstrated was the Perfect DeNibbing System. According to 3M, the product removes nibs from a paint job faster and easier than the traditional process, which helps paint professionals do more in less time. The micro-sanding technology reduces the paint finishing area down to less than a size of a quarter and saves time by allowing repairers to sand dirt nibs away while minimizing flat spots. The micro-polishing technology delivers a high-gloss finish while reducing clean-up time. Of course, there is a lengthy process that goes into the unveiling of new products. Steve Widen, U.S. Marketing Manager of fillers, adhesives, sealers and coatings for 3M, told Collision Repair magazine that it can be anywhere from one to five years between when 3M identifies a need in the market to when they unveil a new product. “We have a team called the Sue Endle of 3M explains the Paint Restoration System, one of a number Hot Team, which is our hot opof 3M products demonstrated at the portunity team,” explains Widen. company’s recent Auto Boot Camp at its headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota. “They go out and work in the industry and … come in five or six days a week for a month at a time. They just watch the process of the body men, the painters, the preppers, the owners and sometimes the estimators and see where we can fit our products into where they can improve the process. Reduce waste, cost, take out steps in the process and actually get the car done faster.”


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akzonobel at the montreal GRAND PRIX From zero to sixty in three and a half seconds. More than 18,000 rpm. One thousand horsepower engines reaching dangerous top speeds of 230 mph. Thousands of fans. Nothing matches the excitement of Grand Prix Formula One racing. AkzoNobel, a key technology parnter of the winning McLaren-Mercedes Racing Team, formed its own crew to take part in the Montreal Grand Prix. But the action didn’t start, or end, with the race. Behind-the-scenes pit tours gave a close up look at how these marvels of metal, basically land rockets, were

monitored and controlled with remote sensors that were tracked as far away as London, England.

 Domenic and Frank Novielli of Mister John Auto Collision, and Al Whitlock, sales manager of Renewit.

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16  collision Repair

 Above left: Tony Nero, owner of Regent Carstar Collision with guests.  Above right:  Domenic Novielli, Nancy Ng of AkzoNobel and Frank Novielli, general manager of Mister John Auto Collision Ltd. in Toronto.   Below: Dennis Koklas, owner of multiple Fix Auto locations, Sylvain Seguin and Dave Smith of AkzoNobel, Claude Dauphinais of LAR, Gaetan Godin, owner of CarExpert Trois Riviere, Andre Cabana of AkzoNobel.


“Formula One racing is known throughout the world as the essence of best-in-class. It takes a combination of cutting edge technology and a team of elite professionals. We at AkzoNobel believe our company shares these traits and as such we are proud to be a technology partner with the winning McLaren-Mercedes team in the car driven by Jenson Button,” said David Smith, Country Manager for AkzoNobel Car Refinishes. No trip to Montreal is complete without sampling some of the best food in the country and this outing proved no different. BuonaNotte, one of the city’s best new dinner clubs, served up a fine sampling to the AkzoNobel crew made up staff and key customers.

Fix Auto Announces Mandatory I-CAR Training Fix Auto has announced to its affiliates across Canada that at least one person per location must acquire mandatory I-CAR training set by Fix Auto. Fix Auto requires that each location must have completed the Hybrid Electric and Alternative Fuel Vehicles course, the Vehicle Technology and Trends 2011 course as well as two other I-CAR or equivalent courses of choice. With I-CAR’s new Independent Learning option, shops will be able to learn on-line through the 20 short courses, worth one-quarter of an I-CAR point, or through the 50 full courses, worth one I-CAR point.

“Watching Formula One racing on TV is great, but there’s absolutely nothing like the adrenalin rush you get as the engines thunder past you,” said Joe Frangione, owner of Bemac Collision~CSN in Ottawa, Ontario who took in the race with his wife Enza.

  Above: Darryl Simmons, publisher of Collision Repair magazine, Dave Smith, country manager of AkzoNobel and Luis Enriquez of AkzoNobel.

 The race itself isn’t the only exciting thing around the track. There’s excitement to be found in observing every member of a pit crew functioning like a well-oiled machine.

september 2011  collision Repair  17


Best Estimate The

Writing it right the first time. By Michael Raine Jasmin Liaqat, manager and co-owner of O’Sullivan’s Collision performs an estimate on a recently arrived vehicle.


riting an estimate is arguably the most crucial step in the repair process. An incorrect estimate to can lead to unnecessary headaches for everybody involved. Unfortunately, knowing what an estimate needs is more complex than ever before, because of the rapid changes in the way vehicles are built and the materials used. Computerized or automated estimating systems certainly ease this process, and through most of the country estimating books have been relegated to the dustbin of history, along with the eight-track tape player and mechanical computers. However, an estimate produced by a computerized system is only as good the information a repairer enters into the system. That’s why identifying the damaged vehicle correctly and completely is the first step in writing the best estimate, according to Rick Tuuri, vice president of industry relations for Audatex. “I would make sure that I got all the options, that the vehicle I was working on is defined as completely as possible within the estimating system,” says Tuuri. He

points out that because modern vehicles Tuuri adds that, on a unibody vehicle, differ so greatly, it is not enough to simply damage travels. Therefore, the repairer identify the vehicle as a Mustang, for ex- must look well beyond the impact area. ample. The repairer must tell the system “They’re designed to do that for safety, whether it is standard Mustang, a GT or so you need to make sure that you’re a Cobra. Each model differs slightly and capturing all the damage as accurately if the repairer is not specific, they run the as you possibly can.” risk of receiving the wrong part. Greg Horn, vice president of industry relaOnce the vehicle and option packages tions for Mitchell, says this is where repairers have been completely identified, a thorough have a major advantage over appraisers beanalysis of the damage must be done. cause a repairer can do a full or partial This is where it is crucial to ask de- teardown in order to assess the damage. t ai l e d qu e st i ons to t he car owner, according to Dan Espersen, senior program manager collision at Alldata. “Ask for details as to how the collision happened, so they can understand where to start looking at the car and formulating a repair plan. There may be some indirect damage areas that are affected and if they don’t ask the right questions, they’re not going to get the 3D screenshot of the Audatex estimating system. right repair plan built.”

18  collision Repair


“I encourage collision repair facilities repaired Volkswagen requires that the to not write an estimate until they’ve fully two pieces be adhesive bonded together torn the vehicle down,” says Horn. “There and put back in. is a kind of a split in the industry over “If the collision repairer didn’t have whether that is the right approach but I that repair procedure right at hand, he see that it reduces supplements and re- would have to later submit a supplement duces down time back and forth between for the materials needed for the adhesive the insurance companies.” bonding,” says Horn. When he first learned how to do an There’s no question that having the core st i mate, Hor n rect procedures in says his boss mind is imporgave him a ke y tant. Estimating is bit of advice that a task that requires “Think in ever still holds true. the ver y latest increasing “ T h i n k i n e ve r knowledge. increasing circles “Estimators circles like like a rock in a need to start p o n d . Ke e p o n sourcing OE or a rock in a gradually going up-to-date inpond. Keep on out and looking dustry procedures until you see abor technical sergradually going solutely no more vice bulletins on out and looking damage.” thes e vehicles,” Tuuri says that says Espersen. “A until you see in order to do lot of them aren’t absolutely no a proper tearlooking at the new down and write up-to-date procemore damage.” the best estimate, dures or they’re repairers need upnot finding things – Greg Horn of Mitchell to-date training. that they could “Training is esget additional revsential in writing enue for.” a good estimate because you need to unAs well, advises Tuuri, repairers need to derstand how the vehicle is designed to understand and identify the substrate marespond in a crash situation.” terials. “Today’s vehicles are loaded with As well, Horn says, “Collision repairers exotic materials… so you have to know may not look at the repair procedures whether you can repair a part, whether that are required. In today’s world, what you can replace them and a lot of times used to be a somewhat straightforward that goes to not just the extent of damage repair can be a lot more complicated but to the type of substrate.” because the metal involved.” Tuuri adds that repairers should not He adds, to illustrate his point, that assume that a part must be replaced the two halves of the boron steel B- rather than repaired. pillar on the Volkswagen Passat are “It’s easy to say replace and refinish laser welded together and when being but there’s a lot of money people leave on the table, from a collision repair perspective, by replacing a part versus repairing it,” he says. “They’ve got all these products on the market that are designed to repair these bumper covers and yet a lot of people feel they need to replace them because they’re plastic or polyurethane and they got a dent or a rip in them and people just don’t know that they can be repaired.” Espersen agrees but notes An estimate on a front fender repair on the Mitchell estimating system. that the estimator must

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be aware of the technician’s training and skills in that particular area of collision repair. “A lot of [estimators] will just replace the part when it could have been repaired cost-effectively and safely if the technician has the skills to do it.” When opting to replace, Horn says recycled parts should be kept in mind. “If you look at the estimate makeup, about 44 percent of the cost of a repairable estimate is in parts. If you can make an

understand what’s included in each of the panels that you’re calling to replace or piece that you’re calling to replace, it helps you write the best estimate.” Espersen notes that there are sometimes holes in the estimating systems’ built-in procedure pages, which causes discrepancies between what the OE recommends and what the estimating system recommends. “If the estimators are relying on those procedure pages solely, as re c om me nd e d re pl a c e ments or operation on those without sourcing the OEs or the recommended procedures, they could be losing revenue,” says Espersen. Also, he warns that the labour times that the estimating systems offer are not always accurate. “There could be a lot of additional operations that they’re not sourcing that the estimating systems don’t provide and Screenshot of the ALLDATA S3500 Home page. they’re losing revenue.” There is no doubt that writing a complete and acimpact by putting used parts in the ap- curate estimate is an essential skills. That propriate vehicles, you can reduce the way, Tuuri points out, estimate writing overall cost of the repair.” is one of the first things that young reHorn adds that repairers and insurers need pairers learn in school. to really understand the procedure pages. “Everything you do with a car starts “Those are really the rules as to what is with an estimate,” he says. “The best estiincluded and what is not included in a spe- mate you write is your best foot forward cific replacement,” he says. “It’s all about on the entire race to win, which is reaccuracy, so I think that by understanding pairing a car as quickly, economically and the procedure pages and making sure you profitably as you possibly can.”  CRM

Rick Tuuri, vicepresident of industry relations for Audatex.

Dan Espersen, senior program manager collision, Alldata A Division of AutoZone.

Greg Horn, vice president of industry relations for Mitchell International.


NE 20  collision Repair

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CSN Collision & Glass

Welcomes Its Newest Members! BUCHAN’s Au to Bod y CSN ~ May 16th, 2011

BODYLINES Au to Col lisi on ~ June 1st, 2011


Darryl Creasor, owner and operator of Buchan’s Auto Body ~ CSN in Parry Sound, Ontario, has been proudly serving the community and surrounding area since 1962. For nearly 50 years, Buchan’s has been committed to satisfying its customers with timely information, progress reports and quality repairs that are second to none. This state-of-the-art repair facility is ideally located in the heart of the city. When asked about the reason for joining the industry’s network of choice, Creasor reports that he has been eager to connect with the leaders of the collision repair industry. He is truly delighted to be part of CSN Collision & Glass.

Jim Caranci, owner and operator of Bodylines Auto Collision ~ CSN in North York, Ontario, has joined the network of collision repair facilities in order to remain connected to his peers and stay informed regarding the direction of the collision repair industry. It is important to Jim that his local relationships built over the years are strongly linked to those relationships developed by CSN on a national level. Welcome Jim and Bodylines Auto Collision ~ CSN!

FOREST HILL Auto Body ~ CSN June 20th, 2011

CASCADE Co llis ion ~ June 13th, 2011


Located in Hinton, Alberta, is Cascade Collision ~ CSN with the Canadian Rocky Mountains in their backyard. Duane Wilson and Jan Batovanja have been serving the Hinton community and surrounding area for nearly 40 years. When asked the reason for joining CSN Collision & Glass, Jan Batovanja states that they were “looking to join a team of industry leaders who are working to improve themselves and the collision repair industry.” After completing some research into the available options today’s collision repair industry has to offer, the decision was clear: “by joining CSN, we will be able to work more closely with all industry stakeholders who are leading the way to change and continuous improvement” states Batovanja.

Milt owne Colli sion ~ CSN July 5th, 2011

For more information, please contact us at: CSN Collision & Glass 377 Evans Avenue, Suite 102 Toronto, ON M8Z 1K8 1-866-400-4CSN

Lance Stevens, owner of Miltowne Collision ~ CSN, is now a proud member of the network of collision repair facilities. Located at 751 Main Street East in Milton, Ontario, Miltowne Collision ~ CSN has been in business since 1993. In today’s fast-paced economy, it is important to stay connected to business peers, partners and leaders in order to keep abreast of the ever-changing collision repair industry. As a successful entrepreneur, Lance strongly believes that being a member of CSN will assist him in staying ahead of the curve and allow him continued success in the future.

Domenic and Luigi Pacitti, owner and general manager of Forest Hill Auto Body ~ CSN have chosen to add their second repair facility to the network. In 2009, the fatherson duo originally became members of CSN Collision & Glass with their collision repair facility located in Richmond Hill, Forest Hill North Auto Collision ~ CSN. It was an easy decision for Domenic and Luigi to include their Toronto location to the list as the opportunity arose. “It is important that we continue to expand in the appropriate markets as demand for our quality repairs and reputable customer service increases” states Larry French, National Director of Sales for CSN. French adds: “Domenic and Luigi are great business owners and continually strive to improve today’s collision repair industry. They both hold the special qualities and insight CSN looks for in its members.”


Join the right network of leading collision repair facilities. Make the right decision – with confidence. CSN Collision & Glass is a network of highly qualified collision repair facilities across Canada. Your facility benefits from national presence and insurance business, while maintaining community independence. CSN Members are hand picked as a result of their individual quality standards. To join a leading network of like-minded repair facility professionals, contact 1-866-400-4CSN (4276).

Confidence. Trust. Integrity.

Profiles of Success

Pride Trade By Melanie Grondin

in the

Jean Lapointe and Lucie Dion of Fix Auto Blainville instill it in their staff.


ean Lapointe and his wife Lucie Dion, joint owners of Fix Auto Blainville, have already had careers filled with achievements. Far from resting on their laurels, however, they chose to take on new challenges by acquiring a collision repair facility in 2009. “To understand where I am today, it is necessary to know where I’m coming from,” says Lapointe.

When he was 13 years old, Lapointe started working summers and weekends in a collision repair facility. He later became a heavy-machinery mechanic during the construction boom that accompanied the building of hydroelectric complexes in James Bay, Quebec. It is a natural part of booms, however, that they come to an end. Lapointe worked for a large, recognized company, but in the early 1980s he still had concerns over the

24  collision Repair

feasibility of continued employment in that industry, so he decided to return to his first love: the business of collision repair.


“I have a passion for cars,” says Lapointe. “I like the diversity of the collision repair industry, but above all, I just love cars. It is as simple as that. From the very beginning, I chose to work in the collision repair field

Profiles of Success

SNAPSHOT fix auto blainville 440 Avenue 22 Est Blainville, Quebec J7C 4L8 facility Production Area: 15,000 sq. ft. Office: 2,000 sq. ft. Measuring: Wedgeclamp Estimating: Audatex, Mitchell Management: Mitchell ABS Paint: Sherwin Williams Customer Follow-Up: TOD Solutions

existing Fix Auto location that had been in business since 1994 and of a scale that corresponded to their high ambitions. “It is one of the largest collision repair facilities in Quebec,” says Lapointe. After 13 years of coaching and mentoring others to help build the Fix Auto network, Lapointe wanted to put his knowledge into practice while continuing to share it with others. “I also wanted to live the life that other members are living and try my own ideas in practical terms. Living it allows me to validate whether those ideas are viable,” says Lapointe. Lapointe’s primary goal, however, is to upgrade the image of the collision repair industry as a whole. “It is absolutely necessary that the public start to recognize our trade. Collision repair needs to take its proper place among the traditional trades,” says Lapointe. “Technicians who are proud of what they do are a necessary component of this.”

to be close to cars.” Pure love of the automobile was the motivating factor behind Lapointe’s first shop in the Quebec City area, which opened for business in April of 1983. “It was an independent shop when we started, because there were no networks at the time,” says Lapointe. “When Fix Auto appeared, I became the first franchisee in the Quebec City area.” When Lapointe’s collision repair facility joined the Fix Auto network in

1993, it was the beginning of a long and fruitful association between Lapointe and the network. Lapointe became Fix Auto’s vice-president of operations at the company’s head office in 1996; a role he occupied for 13 years. Throughout these 13 years, Dion stayed by his side, accomplishing several invaluable tasks. By 2009, though, Lapointe and Dion decided they wanted to own and operate a collision repair facility again. They purchased an

Employee Objective

This objective pushed Lapointe and Dion towards making their facility the best place it can possibly be for employees. They have set up various processes and obtained a number of coveted certifications to make the shop, and hence the work environment, the very best it can be. The first of these initiatives began in June of 2010, when Fix Auto Blainville was certified under the Green Key program. september 2011  collision Repair  25

Profiles of Success

Green Key is a government program designed to recognize businesses that maintain certain environmental criteria, such as waste reduction, equipment management and processes. Very few collision repair facilities have ever received the Green Key certification. Fix Auto Blainville was only the second workshop to be certified in Quebec. Lapointe’s next step was to seek out education on various management methods. He became interested in the concepts of lean management and its mantra of continual waste elimination. While working at the Fix Auto head office, Lapointe had taken a course at the Superior Technological School in Montreal on the Kaizen method, but it was after an Ecolean course taught by Steve Feltovich of Sherwin-Williams in September of 2010 that Lapointe realized how lean management could be used in his collision repair facility.

A clean and inviting waiting room is essential for improving the image of the collision repair industry.

“I have A passion for cars. I like the diversity of the collision repair industry, but above all, I just love cars.”

Entrepreneurial Spirit

“Sherwin-Williams has a beautiful vision of the entrepreneurial spirit, and a real dedication to helping us become better managers,” says Lapointe. “These days, if you want to stand out from the pack and continue to improve, you must have management training. There really are no other choices. The Sherwin-Williams’ approach really corresponds to my philosophy of businesses and what I want to do for the remainder of my career.” “Knowing Jean’s background, we understood that he wouldn’t be satisfied with simply operating the shop he had recently acquired,” explains Yves Roy, Region Manager Eastern Canada at Sherwin-Williams. “He had always been a respected leader with Fix Auto and he made his vision clear: he wanted to be a business leader in the collision industry. Together, without National Account Team, we developed a plan that included Ecolean training, shop visits from our North American technical team to establish standard operating procedures, registering Jean and Lucie in a Vision Group program and a visit from our Lean instructor, Steve Feltovich. We worked with Jean and Lucie to set the plan in motion and they did the rest. This is a great story of partnership between customer and supplier.” As has been said before, you need more than a good manager to input lean principles in the collision repair

– Jean Lapointe

facility. Active participation from staff is absolutely essential. For one thing, employee participation drives pride in the work that they do. Employees who have responsibility for their own work are generally happier and more productive. “I want my technicians to be proud of their trade,” says Lapointe. “The icing on the cake is when the employees say to us that the system we have set up starts to have a definite direction. They understand the advantages and we can start to work towards our goals.” Lapointe isn’t simply depending on maxims about how to manage employees when he puts these processes in place. He conducted a survey of Fix Auto Blainville’s 33 employees to determine what the perception was of the direction and vision the company was embarking on. Lapointe and Dion used the survey results to set up a number of committees, such as the Continuous Improvement Com-

26  collision Repair

Keeping the tech side as clean as possible is important too.

mittee, which is made up exclusively of employees. Their task is to define the irritants and work out solutions. “The improvements will come from them and not from us,” says Lapointe. “I think we often neglect to ask enough questions of our employees. They’re the ones who deal with the processes every day, and are best able to spot where a problem is developing.” It is certainly beneficial for employees, but the staff are not the only ones to benefit from the inputting of lean processes. Thanks to increased efficiency, Fix Auto Blainville is now open seven days a week, from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Increased hours of operation make it a lot easier for customers to access the facility’s services. Repair times have improved, and costs are better controlled than ever before. Happy employees mean happy customers, and that means better business for everyone at Fix Auto Blainville. CRM

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  The Orange County Convention Center will host NACE 2011.


O to

rlando By Michael Raine

Your guide to the biggest highlights of NACE 2011.

Exhibits: Oct. 6-8, 2011 Conference: Oct. 5-8, 2011


Orange County Convention Center, West Building 9800 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819




utomotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW) makes a move to sunny Orlando, Florida this October. The event was created in 2008 as a way of bringing together the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) and Congress of Automotive Repair & Service (CARS) under one roof. According to organizers, this year’s ASRW is shaping up to be one of the best yet with overall registration for both NACE and CARS tracking at 163 percent ahead of last year, and conference registrations up an incredible 378 percent compared to 2010.

september 2011  collision Repair  29



This year’s event will open with a welcome reception on Thursday, October 6 at an offsite location. CCC Information Services is sponsoring the event. Reception attendees will be treated to Hors d’oeuvres, beverages and lively music. The ASRW 2011 conference will feature more than 80 courses covering almost every conceivable topic. As well, I-CAR is set to run 13 educational sessions over four days including a new session entitled “Vehicle Technology and Trends 2011,” which will look at new materials and equipment, changes in vehicle makers’ procedures and new government regulations. S ome of the exp ected conference highlights are Bryan Dodge of Dodge Development on “Building a Team that Works Without You,” Margie Seyfer from Impact Presentations on “Communicating With People Who Drive Us Crazy,” and Mike

 Roger Turmel of Autoquip shoots crap during the Garmat Speakeasy event at NACE 2010. Orlando has different amusements to offer, but there will still be numerous opportunities for entertainment and socializing.

 Last year’s ASRW drew a near-capacity crowd, and this year’s registrations have more than doubled.

Anderson from CollisionAdvice with a presentation entitled “Leadership Best Practices – How to Inspire, Delegate, and Coach Your Team to Success.” There will also be several sessions on social media marketing. The social media marketing sessions are attracting a lot of interest, according to show organizers.

is free to qualified MSOs. The event is limited to 100 participants (maximum of three per company), which includes access to the Exhibit Hall on all three days and all of the MSO activities taking place on a dedicated day. If you’re an MSO and you haven’t already jumped on this, do it now before the last spots are filled.

Multi-Store Owners

Also new to this year’s ASRW is the Multiple Shop Owners (MSO) Symposium. According to organizers, the symposium is designed to fit the specific MSO needs via a full day or two half days dedicated to MSO networking and content. Owners of multiple collision repair facilities face challenges that single-shop operators do not. Education directed to them is long overdue. The schedule has been designed so that MSOs can engage in all four full days of ASRW or participate only in the MSO Symposium—tentatively scheduled to take place on Friday, October 7—if time is limited. The best part is that the MSO Symposium

 From left: Athena Hilts, Sylvia Roccia and Jamie Rodriquez of Fix Auto at NACE 2010.

30  collision Repair

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Building on the success of last year’s event, ASRW will host the second annual Industry Forum & Reception. The forum will discuss timely industry issues and will be followed by a networking reception. The ASRW organizers say it is “Designed as a professional venue to discuss relevant, thought-provoking topics, attendees of the industry forum participate in compelling, current—and even controversial—discussions that transcended the industry.” The forum includes two tracks, mechanical and collision, and each forum track will have two topics with a networking break in between each session. Last year’s event hosted the first Association Leadership Summit and it was such a success that organizers have brought it back for 2011. The summit, which is sponsored by the Automotive Service Association (ASA), brings together leaders of dozens of automotive associations to discuss future plans, developments, and best practices. Knowing that ASRW is as much about the networking opportunities as it is about the educational sessions, organizers have created the NACE Network. This is a space of 11 small-to-large meeting rooms located directly outside the show floor where attendees can meet and give impromptu presentations in a private setting. The rooms will feature, according to ASRW

 NACE’s original logo.  NACE’s current logo.

• TOUGH • POWERFUL NACE HISTORY NACE began in 1983 with a 171- exhibit booth trade show and conference that attracted 1,573 attendees. Initially, the acronym stood for National Autobody Congress and Exposition, but after attracting a worldwide audience of industry professionals, NACE became the International Autobody Congress & Exposition but retained its original acronym because it had become so recognized in the industry.

 Ron Nagy, president and owner of Nagy's Collision Center, will serve as chairman of NACE 2011.

For information, go to www.asrw. orlandomeetinginfo. com


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SPECIAL NACE Issue! Vol.10 No.5

NEXT ISSUE The next issue of Collision Repair magazine will feature an exclusive preview of some of the latest and greatest new products and equipment that will be shown on the NACE show floor. There are a lot of great products and gear from years past, but this is all about the brand new equiment just coming to market and premiering at NACE. Don’t miss it!

organizers, comfortable furniture, wireless Internet access, electricity, and a plasma flatscreen television or projector and screen that can connect to a laptop. The NACE Network meeting rooms are free to ASRW attendees and will be allotted on a first come, first serve basis and can be reserved for up to 90 minutes.

The Exhibition

Of course, the ASRW also features a massive exhibition where attendees can visit with over 300 suppliers from around the world. There will be exhibits from the top manufacturers of all the latest equipment, products, services and technology available in the collision repair market. The product displays cover everything from coatings and refinish products, welding and cutting and estimating systems to safety equipment and auto auctions. New to this year’s expo, the ASRW has announced a partnership with the Muscle Car Network of Florida. The Muscle Car Network plans to display about 80 vehicles on the show floor. Network members will display their rare, exotic and hot rod vehicles. On Saturday, October 8, the Muscle Car Network will donate to a local automotive charity to further education and training for the next generation of automotive service and repair professionals.

32  collision Repair

 From left: Bob Leibel of Sherwin-Williams, Steve Leal of Fix Auto and Serge Leblanc of Sherwin Williams at SEMA 2010. While not officially part of ASRW, SEMA took place in Las Vegas at the same time, and was an added attraction for many. However, moving ASRW has definitely not had an adverse effect on registrations.

The ASRW will close with an expanded Town Hall event on Saturday, October 8. This year’s Town Hall is entitled, “How Will Healthcare Reform Affect My Business?” It will look at the impact of health care reform included in the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and possible future changes in health care laws. Industry experts will review the new law’s impact on independent collision repair businesses and attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions of health care experts.  CRM


ASRW 2011 // ORLANDO, FL USA THE PREMIER EVENT DEDICATED TO THE AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE & REPAIR INDUSTRIES Exhibits: October 6–8 // Conference: 5–8 // Orange County Convention Center

women of the industry

Doing It Her Own Way

Michelle Rolls went from hesitant manager to award-winning owner. By Michael Raine


or Michelle Rolls, owner/operator of Queensway Fix Auto in Prince George, British Columbia, life in collision repair was not the plan. Growing up in the industry and seeing the long hours her parents worked discouraged her from following in their footsteps. But sometimes life has other plans. Now a key player in an industry she didn’t intend to join, Rolls has won the 2011 Most Influential Woman in the Collision Repair Industry (MIW) Award. Growing up, Roll’s parents, Phil and Mary, owned two collision repair facilities in British Columbia but their daughter was determined to follow her own career path. “My parents were absolute workaholics and I thought that if it’s that much work, then I don’t really want to do that,” she laughs. Instead, Rolls studied business at college and after graduation worked in office management. However, not long after one of the collision shops needed a new manager and Rolls reluctantly began working for the family business. A year and half later Rolls also received the Industry Partner Award from her alma mater, the College of New Caledonia.

her parents announced they were selling the shops and retiring. The opportunity to own her own business, and have a larger role in an industry she had

“I like to laugh and have a good time and be comfortable with the people I work with.” grown to love, was too tempting for Rolls. In April of 2003 Rolls purchased Queensway and cemented her place in the industry. Since taking ownership, she has instituted her own way of doing business. “I like to laugh and have a good time and be comfortable with the people I work with,” Rolls explains. She says the employees at Queensway are like a family, constantly playing pranks and telling jokes. Knowing that she didn’t want to spend every waking moment on work, Rolls made sure she surrounded herself with a solid team. “When the staff are in place and the right people are in the right places, then I’m able to get away.” As well, Rolls says she has seen the industry change greatly. “It’s not as much about fixing cars anymore, it’s about administration, and paperwork and relationships with insurance companies.”

However, change is not something Rolls is scared of. In an industry where technology is constantly changing, businesses must be willing to adapt. “I like technological changes, I like to learn about new things and I think it keeps it interesting for everyone; sometimes frustrating but interesting nonetheless,” says Rolls. In addition, Queensway joined the Fix Auto network in 2010. What hasn’t changed is Rolls’ love of the Prince George community. “I’ve made more friends from customers than from anything else,” she says. To give back to the community, Queensway sponsors many local sports teams. “Those are the people we need to make our business solid and I like to support those who support us,” explains Rolls, adding, “I believe in buying local, staying local, as much as we possibly can.” That commitment to her customers, industry and community may be why Rolls gets singled out for awards. The MIW award is not the only award on her mantle. In 2007 she received the Automotive Retailers Association (ARA) Member of the Year Award. Though very modest when talking about the awards, Rolls notes that she’s more involved at the industry level than many shop owners and sits on the executive committee of ARA’s collision repair division. “[I] believe in a healthy industry is good for all of us, including my shop.” Collision repair may not be the industry she intended to work in, but it is now the industry she loves. Rolls plans to do her part for that industry in the community as well. The awards are just a bonus.  CRM

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 Michelle Rolls and every woman profiled in our Women of the Industry section will receive a membership to WIN.

34  collision Repair

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By Mike Davey

Advances in coatings drive advances in abrasives.


hether your goal is to smooth or roughen a surface, abrasion is the key, and has been since prehistoric times and the invention of the stone axe. Abrasives and abrasives technology go back a long way and have a rich history. Naturally occurring abrasives, such as shark’s skin and sandstone, don’t really count as abrasives technology. It’s not surprising that people would pick up rough surfaced, tough times like those and use them to sand and polish wood, stone and soft metals like bronze. The surprising thing is how far back in history abrasives technology really stretches. We know that an unnamed, unknown engineer invented the first true example of abrasives technology. It was certainly crude by today’s standards, as it was simply a circular wheel mounted to a lathe-like arrangement and used to grind bronze for tools, weapons and ornaments. Sure, it can’t match today’s tech, but what’s amazing is that this example of engineering ingenuity is over 4,000 years old.

Even coated abrasives have a long history. There are Chinese records dating back to the 13th century that describe the use of natural gums being used to glue crushed seashells to sheets of parchment. Abrasives technolog y jumped forward again as the 19th century turned to the 20th, this time with the invention of coated abrasives using silicon carbide and aluminum oxide. Not only does abrasive technology have a venerable provenance, it owes a lot to the existence of the automotive industry. Henry Ford alone may have done more for grinding and abrasion than any other single person in history. He wasn’t the actual inventor, but demands he placed on engineers drove innovation. Ford insisted on light parts with high strength,

making alloy steels the only possible solution. These parts needed grinding, rather than cutting, to finish them. That need drove innovation. A lot about abrasives has changed over the years, but that’s one thing that hasn’t. Technical requirements are still what’s driving the need for newer and better abrasives technology. When it comes to the collision repair, it is generally advances in coatings that lead the way to advances in abrasives, according to Bill Suzuki, a technical service rep with 3M Canada. “The OEM and the paint companies introduce new coatings that are lower VOC and more scratch resistant, so we have to move up to materials that can abrade these products. We have to offer the repairer a way to cut these coatings,” says Suzuki. september 2011  collision Repair  37


Happy Birthday 3M’s Wetordry sandpaper has hit a milestone this year, turning 90 years old. Invented in 1921, it was the first abrasive that allowed the use of water to carry away particles and keep them from clogging the grit. The very first application for the new product was automotive paint refinishing.

New optimized materials, such as new resins and different mineral technologies, are just one part of the story. The grit may do the actual abrading, but the humble backing lurking just below the surface also has a part to play. “Resins are one thing we’ve seen advance, but the backing of the disc is another,” says Suzuki. “Getting the dust away has become much more of a concern over the years, and even something as seemingly simple as the design of the holes in the disc has a big effect on that.” Brett Stachel of Sia Abrasives has seen some of the changes in abrasives products first hand. When he started with the company nearly two decades ago, most products were still aluminum oxide, first introduced in sanding applications nearly a century ago. The change since then has been dramatic. “With aluminum oxide, the rule was the longer the bake time, the harder the grit. It was really the only option,” says


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38  collision Repair

New coatings demand new products. For example, 3M has a product designed for the toughest of ceramic clearcoats.

Stachel. “Most of our products now are ceramic or diamond.” Stachel agrees that it’s primarily innovations in coatings that has lead to these advances in abrasives technology.

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Not only does abrasive technology have a venerable provenance, it owes a lot to the existence of the automotive industry.

“We’ve got to design and deliver a product that can open up OEM primers that are extremely hard. Refinish products have become extremely hard, even harder than than the OE,” says Stachel,

noting that this phenomenon is still ongoing. “In Europe they’ve been doing a lot of testing with ceramic clearcoats. These are about as tough as the windshield on a car.” Coatings with the sheer strength of tempered glass may not be ready to market yet, but the day is likely coming. Although advances in coating make more and more research necessary for the abrasives companies, Stachel points out that at least some of the advances in abrasion offer an advantage at the shop level, and not just in terms of being able to do the job. “Our diamond products not only give a faster cycle, the longevity of the discs is just scary,” says Stachel. “Say you’ve got a shop doing five blends per day with 1000 grit diamond. They can usually go a whole week before replacing the disc.” There’s been a lot of work done to reduce the amount of dust that escapes to ruin paint jobs and detrimentally affect the health of staff and the cleanliness of the shop.

WHAT’S IN A NAME? The distinction between glasspaper or sandpaper doesn’t mean much when it comes to today’s auto applications, but there was a time when it was crucial. Glass frit cuts much better than cheap sand, but the difference is only obvious when you’re working with it. Cheap counterfeit sandpaper was often passed off as true glass paper, and experts have urged caution when purchasing what purports to be glasspaper since at least the 17th century.

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“A clean shop, clean air and a clean environment are all very important,” says Andrew Rennert of Mirka. “Our solution is a wire mesh type product that basically allows a shop to go entirely dust free. Any dust is sucked right through disc, where it can’t interfere.” In addition to new grits, advanced backing and the drive towards a dust-free environment, we’re also seeing a lot more dry sanding than wet sanding, according

Sometimes you have to go hard or go home. Sia produces two diamond abrasives, Sia Carat and Sia Carbon.

to Craig Chaffee, training manager for automotive refinishing for Norton/ St.Gobain. “People can see what they’re doing better using dry instead of wet,” says Chafee. “Taken with the move to waterborne coatings, it’s natural that everything is going more toward dry sanding. The best practices, both from our end and the coatings company, are calling for abrasion that’s both drier and finer.” Waterborne coatings became standard in Europe years before comparable regulations were enacted in North America, so the current situation in European markets provide a clue to Canada’s future. “We’re seeing a lot more vacuum s a n d i n g t h a n w e u s e d t o,” s ay s Chaffee. “In Europe it’s about 85 p e rc e nt v a c uu m s an d i ng , but i n North America it’s only about 15 percent. We’re seeing vacuum sanding grow every year, though.” It’s hard to predict what the next great leap forward in abrasives technology


A dust free shop has several important benefits. Mirka’s Net sanding product is designed to draw dust away from the tech and the work surface.

will be. It’s one area of technology where the job that needs to be done dictates the way research will go. One thing’s for sure, though, abrasion has come a long way since the days of sandstone and shark’s skin, and advancement hasn’t reached the end of the road.  CRM

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40  collision Repair



Shark’s skin makes excellent sandpaper for use on some surfaces. Polynesian islanders frequently used shark’s skin to polish their canoes. It’s a smart bet that we would have an even bigger problem finding qualified techs if the first step in changing sanding discs was still “Kill a shark.”

Natives of the island of Comoros off the coast of Africa, use the rough scales of the living fossil, the coelacanth, as sandpaper.

In Japan, the rough horsetail is boiled and dried, and then used as a polishing material for some crafts. It is considerably finer than most sandpaper. The rough horsetail is a plant by the way, just in case you were starting to think that every single weird thing people have ever used for sanding involved cruelty to animals.

JR’s Auto Body Chicago, IL

JR’s Auto Body Realizes Dramatic Savings with Matrix System Conversion Proves to be a Success JR Auto Body has been in business for JR’s over 50 years in the Chicago-land area. A little over 8 years ago, the decision to convert to Matrix System products was made by owner, John Strauss. He was approached by his local supplier KC Body Shop Supply, who introduced Strauss to Ma Matrix System. “The consistent and dependable service, mixed with great reliable products and lower prices made the decision easy for us,” stated Strauss.

Finding Value JR’s Auto Body sampled the comparable JR products that Matrix System had to offer and found them to be of greater value. As Strauss said, “We’ve tried other paint brands in the past, but could find none that would compare to the quality, color match, and cost of Matrix System. We we were delivering great looking vehicles with lower repair costs. Who wouldn’t find the value in that?”

Satisfaction Guaranteed JR’s Auto Body is a first-class shop that has remained profitable and competitive by using Matrix System JR products in today’s challenging market. They have realized many advantages from the relationship such as immediate attention, a wide range of products, outstanding finishes, and considerable savings. According to Strauss, “We are completely satisfied with the full line of products that Matrix System has to offer. We have been able to deliver an outstanding finish on every vehicle that has passed through our shop and thanks to Matrix System we are able to remain profitable and competitive without making any major sacrifices.”

A Perfect Match is a Beautiful Thing The relationship between JR’s Auto Body and Matrix System is one that makes perfect sense. JR’s Auto Body has been able to capitalize on accurate color match, outstanding service, and significant savings from Matrix Sy System products. “It’s like the good ole’ days. We get to see our local distributor and the Matrix System sales rep from time to time. You just don’t get that kind of service from any other paint manufacturer today.”

For more information on how you can experience the same benefits by using Matrix System, call 800.735.0303 or visit us online at

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By Sam Piercey


e’re looking at another five percent increase in the price of paint materials in September. We’re told that the cost of oil, the cost of shipping and on and on has caused this price increase. I guess it’s nice to know exactly how and why this is happening, but it still doesn’t help us to pass the cost on. We’ve seen no increases from insurers over the last few years, while overhead has increased steadily. We’re now paying between $250 and $325 for a litre of paint with no reducers or hardeners. That’s just

save a bit of money over the year by turning your bake ovens off for the last paint job of the day. Just let it cure overnight, every single day, all year round, and you’ll end up putting some money in your pocket. That’s good, because you’re going to need it. The cost of dry goods has risen as well. We’re paying more for sanding materials, masking materials, everything. The money to pay for these things has to come from somewhere, and right now it’s coming out of our margins. The cost of labour has increased, but it’s not like that money is going to the body techs. I’ve been speaking to some of my

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for white mixing base. You still might have to mix up five or six colours to get the shade you need, and the cost keeps going up. Sometimes you may want to take a look at the brand of material you’re using, depending on the job. There are cost-effective ways to save money using a cheaper brand of paint that won’t change the quality of the repair. Speaking of which, how can we do the best job possible when insurance companies are taking away blend time? It’s bad for the image of both the insurance industry and the collision repair facility to have repaired cars driving around that are two different colours. I suggest taking the new parts, painting them inside and out, then pull the car in and blend. Have your painter make spray-out cards to help them get the job right the first time. They can build a portfolio of these cards, and that will allow them to paint the whole car and blend in one shot. You’ll end up saving cycle time. Energy costs have been spiking higher and higher for the last few years. Electricity’s higher, natural gas is higher. You can

42  collision Repair

techs, asking them if they’re encouraging their family to go into the business. The response I’ve been hearing is “Why would I want my son working for peanuts?” We have to hire extra labour to deal with extra administration. There might be good reasons for increased paperwork, uploads and photo imaging, but those benefits are not realized by the collision repair facility. It’s just another uncompensated cost. So costs for materials are up, costs for energy are up and staffing costs are up, despite no raises for body techs. What does that tell us? I’ve been beating this point for what seems like forever, but the fact of the matter is that we need an increase in labour rates. I’d strongly recommend prioritizing your DRPs. Concentrate on the strongest, the ones that send you the most business, and keep them happy.  CRM

Sam Piercey is the co-owner of Budds' Collision Services in Oakville, ON.Samisalong-timeCoyotemember and sits on many boards and committees. He can be reached at

prairie view

Crosscanada From Newfoundland to Saskatchewan, we all have something to teach. By Tom Bissonnette


know that some shop owners tend to just stick to themselves, mind their own business and don’t concern themselves with the comings and goings of our industry. Sometimes I wish I could be like that—but really, I’m glad I am not. Because of my willingness to participate in the networking activities of our industry, I have had the pleasure to participate in one of the coolest employee relations experiments ever. My long-term friendship with Derrick Ryan from Torbay, Newfoundland provided us both with an opportunity to grow our young technicians, and gave us both a chance to better our shops with an exchange of our two young head painters.

The Exchange

Our lad, Brayden Neufeld, spent a week at Derrick’s collision repair facilty and his lad, Justin Codner, spent a week at our shop this past June. Both young men are stellar examples of excellence

in their chosen profession, so it was a pleasure to allow them both the opportunity to experience their chosen industry from a different perspective. Here is what Brayden has to say about the experience: “At first, I did not know what to expect. It was scary going to a different shop because I didn’t know if I would fit in or not. After a couple of hours of plane delays, I arrived in St. John’s and got picked up by two of the most amazing people I have ever met—Kathy and Derrick Ryan. They became my mom and dad for the next week and they made me feel totally at home.”

Know the Score

“Monday morning came and I met their staff. What a great group of guys! I was still scared that I might not fit in. Work started with a meeting letting the men know how many hours were in the shop, what hours they should leave that day and where they stood in regards to their goal for the month.

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Great Processes

From left: Kyle Dolan, Gary Kotzer, Shane Desrosier, Ed Pagoda, Manuel Vasquez-Ahmo, Ryan Koroll, Justin Codner of Garland Auto Body, David Sather, James Neufeld and Tom Bissonnette. Seated, from left: Janine Habraken, Chelsea Stebner and Janet Reddekopp.

“It was like a sporting event; everybody knew the score. As the week wore on, I saw how important this was to the staff. They talked to one another, they knew what had to get done and figured out how to do it as a team. At this point I felt like I was fitting in and I was part of the team – what an amazing feeling!

“They had some great processes and policies that made the jobs go quicker and with better quality, to avoid comebacks. I always had work coming over from the body men so I was never standing around looking for something to do, I could not believe how much work these guys put through working together as a team, it was awesome! What a great group of guys! “It was an amazing trip. The people I met are world class. Words can’t explain the type of people Kathy and Derrick Ryan are but I heard a phrase in Newfoundland about being the ‘best kind’ and that is what the Ryan’s are. All the people at their shop are the “best kind.” Just as we at Parr Auto Body feel like a family, where we care a lot for each other and what we do, I felt the exact same way at Garland Auto Body. Thanks to Tom and Derrick for allowing me this incredible opportunity.” I hope that Justin felt the same way about his time at Parr Auto Body and his experiences with our people. We, like Derrick and his team, are a work in progress and we feel that with initiatives like this, we are moving in the right direction. CRM Tom Bissonnette is the owner/operator of Parr Auto Body, a collision repair facility located in Saskatoon, SK. He can be reached at

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september 2011  collision Repair  45

who’s driving?

quantumchange When you measure behaviour, you change the behaviour.

By Jay Perry


came across some interesting information lately as I was doing my usual studying of business and improving processes. The article was not about our industry specifically, but the information about measurement was definitely applicable to any business. Very simply, the quote from Inc Magazine, April 2011, page 123 said, “As IBM has discovered, the act of measuring alone creates an imperative for curiosity and innovation, for changing behavior. Just as when you keep track of every calorie you eat, you start cutting back. Just as when there’s a real-time miles-per-gallon number on a car’s dashboard, you can’t help but drive in such a way as to keep the number high.” To me that is fascinating when we consider that well over 40 percent of the collision repair

what do you do? Do you share the numbers with those people in your organization whose behaviours create the numbers? That’s right. It is behaviour that creates numbers. Without very clear, concise direction, your production crew will be off-track, thus creating inefficiencies, mistakes and warranty problems. These factors will end up leading to a bad reputation. How much does that cost you? If you have things that the numbers show to be in need of change and the people in your company that are affecting those areas are not properly guided to change those behaviors, how much does that cost you? If you have suffered incompetence without holding people responsible for doing the job at the level that you need to be profitable, how much does that cost you? If you

without very clear, concise direction, your production crew will be off-track. industry does not have a reputable management system being used in the shop. In my experience, most that do watch the wrong thing, if they are watching at all. They really don’t seem to have a clear direction and focus regarding what they are trying to accomplish when they do see numbers. Many more people interpret the numbers incorrectly.

Measure for Efficiencies

Based on this, I can’t help but think that there is a lot of room in our industry to pick up some efficiencies if we simply start to measure, then refine what we are measuring to give a more accurate picture of what is truly going on. After we start doing that, we should place our attention on the interpretation of the numbers to insure the measurement is as accurate as possible, giving us data that is helpful to the growth of the business. Don’t lose sight of the simple truth, “the act of measuring alone creates ... changing behavior.” Are you measuring? Do you track your gross profit on ever y job? Do you track it weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly? If you see change, 46  collision Repair

do not measure people to provide a baseline of the issues that need adjustment, how much does that cost you? If you do not set goals and provide training that helps people accomplish those goals, how much does that cost you? Remember that IBM discovered just measuring something changes the way people view the subject and subsequently behave. That’s it. Measuring alone creates the imperative for change. People cannot see any reason to change their behaviour if they do not see the clear effect of that behaviour. If you are hiding the numbers or not explaining the deeper meaning behind the numbers to your people, you are not really measuring. The crew are plodding along, conducting business as usual and making the same mistakes as before. That is not going to help you be the one that is 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


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Contents News.........................................49-54 Including ARAAC Adopts Code of Practice; ARC’s Certification Process and Final Phase; Lecavalier Wins Award; and much more!

news resource

OARA Presents Over $123,000 Cheque to Children’s Charity

By Michael Raine

Representatives from OARA, the Ontario Tire Stewardship, Liberty Tire and the local media met in Stirling, Ontario on June 6 to present a cheque for more than $123,000 to the Sunshine Foundation. The money comes from this year’s Tire Take Back Program, which all involved say was an outstanding success. Ontario recyclers, over the course of two days in May, collected 48,000 tires, completely eclipsing last year’s numbers. OARA members raised over $123,000 for charity, far Shirley Veley from Sunshine’s Kingston, exceeding the association’s goal of $100,000. Ontario chapter says the foundation is absolutely thrilled with the results and the work of Ontario’s recyclers. “We have so many kids waiting for their dreams and $123,000 can go a long way.” The foundation will use the money to make dreams come true for children with severe physical disabilities and life-threatening illnesses. As well, Steve Fletcher, executive director of OARA, says programs such as Tire Take Back, while doing great work for charity, can do a lot to raise the profile of auto recyclers among the public and government at all levels. “We have very positive stories of members engaging with their councillors or their mayors of the regional government to demystify what happens at an auto recycler.” He adds, “At the provincial level it demonstrates to government that we’re a responsible Continued on page 50.

400 Auto Wreckers Promotes Children’s Literacy with Book Giveaway By Michael Raine

For most parents the local auto recycler wouldn’t be the go-to place for children’s books, but most parents don’t bring their kids to 400 Auto Wreckers in Holland Landing, Ontario. Since last Christmas, Tom Huehn and his staff have been giving a free book to any kid that comes into the facility with a parent. There’s no catch, the folks at 400 Auto Wreckers just love making a child’s day. “It’s just fun, the kids light up and the parents light up,” says Huehn, who’s always looking for new ways to promote auto recycling while helping the local community. “We don’t make a production out of it but you know you’re doing some good and I know I’ve handed books to kids who don’t have a lot of books.” Huehn says the program began last Christmas because he and his staff thought it would be nice to have a little present for their customers’ children. Huehn says the books were so well received by both kids and parents that that they wanted to keep the book-giveaway going year-round. Continued on page 50.

Recycling column......................56-57 Parts Prices by David Gold

SARA Becomes Official at First Association Meeting SGI Salvage and the independent auto recycling industry came together in late June in Regina to make history. The Saskatchewan Automotive Recyclers Association (SARA) was born in a typical Saskatchewan manner—collective action is required and that is what the industry rallied around. At an organizational meeting for the new auto recycling industry association meeting, draft bylaws were reviewed and approved, membership criteria established and an interim Board of Directors elected. The corporation became active at the end of July and membership applications were then processed. Steve Fletcher from the Automotive Recyclers of Canada was on hand to help move the organization along, and to brief the group on activities of the national association that will be made available to SARA and its members. “We expect that SARA will make a formal application to join ARCby the fall, at which time SGI Salvage, one of the founding members of ARC, Continued on page 50.

From left: Mark Riffel, Cheryl Hoimyr, Steve Fletcher, Allan Fontaine and Jack Smith.

september 2011  collision Repair  49

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Continued from “OARA Presents Over...” on page 49.

industry and we can get things happening.” Woodbeck Auto Parts had the pleasure of hosting the cheque presentation because they collected more tires than any other recycling facility in the province. Greg Woodbeck credited OARA with creating the flyers and promotional materials that were then handed and posted around the Stirling community. Woodbeck said the large farming community came out in full force to support the event. “They were firstly taken that they get to get rid of those five or six or 10 old tires that they had but then what they realized was what they were bringing in was actually money for a very good cause,” says Woodbeck, who’s family-run business collected 4,011 tires. All the tires collected during the event are handled by Liberty Tire Recycling and

From left: Greg Woodbeck, Gail Woodbeck, and Bruce Woodbeck of Woodbeck Auto Wreckers.

processed at its plant in Brantford, Ontario. Peter Hutley from Liberty explained that most of the tires are turned into crumbs rubber, which provides infill for sports fields, and paving for running tracks and equestrian surfaces. The rubber is also reused in welcome mats, portable speed bumps, railroad ties, and many other products.

Continued from “400 Auto Wreckers...” on page 49.

In fact, parents don’t even have to buy anything for the child to receive a book. With a wide array books to choose from, the staff looks for young children who may be just learning to read all the way up to boys and girls in their early-teens. Huehn says the books can be bought many places but most come from Scholastics, an educational book provider who sells books by the case or box. Huehn says it feels so good to give away books that the staff gets excited when a child comes through the door. “Our staff here gets right into everything. Our office guys, a kid comes in and it’s about who will get to the box first for the kid.” Huehn talks about the program with enthusiasm, obviously thrilled with the response it has elicited from his staff and customers. “Some people come in and they just can’t believe that this just happened,” laughs Huehn. “I tell them we’re trying to compete with the Happy Meal.” Of course, the program has other benefits. “The other thing is the kids sit in the office and wait for the car part with their mom and dad and they’re quiet.” It’s programs like this, Huehn says, that could change perceptions of auto recyclers and he’d like to see other recyclers do the same thing. By giving away children’s books, 400 Auto Wreckers is creating a positive and memorable experience for every parent and child that enters the shop. “We’d like to get to the point where children, when they see the sign at the end of the street, they’re going to be saying, ‘let’s go to 400 Auto Wreckers.’”

Continued from “SARA Becomes Official...” on page 49.

will step aside and allow the new association to represent all Saskatchewan auto recyclers,” said Steve Fletcher of ARC. Cheryl Hoimyr, from SGI Salvage and the catalyst behind the formation of the new group, will stay on as an ARC board member representing SARA as their Secretary/Treasurer. “It is important that we maintain the continuity of the ARC Board. There are so many great things happening

nationally that we want the transition to work smoothly,” commented Cheryl. The new association has chosen to utilize the National Code of Practice for Auto Recycling as its base for their membership criteria. ARC also announced that they will hold their 2012 board meeting in Regina on April 21 to coincide with SARA’s first ever industry meeting.

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ARAAC Makes Code of Practice A Membership Requirement The Automotive Recyclers Association of Atlantic Canada (ARAAC) has made compliance with the National Code of Practice for Auto Recyclers, a requirement for all current and future members. In order to be certified all ARAAC members must be audited. The Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) and Environment Canada developed the Code Of Practice to Derek Covey, president of ARAAC, says Code of Practice support the national Retire Your Ride program. will give consumers confidence. “We’re adopting the code because it’s the most stringent rules, policies, regulations in regards to our industry,” said Derek Covey, president of ARAAC. “It brings credibility and professionalism to our association. We like to be at the forefront and this definitely helps us achieve our goal.” An independent auditor, retained by ARAAC and ARC, visited each of the association’s 27 member companies around the Atlantic Provinces and evaluated their practices against the standardized protocol. Covey says there was unanimous agreement among the association members that being certified should be a membership requirement. By getting certified, recyclers are stating that every vehicle they handle goes through a methodical process to maximize reclamation and minimize environmental impact. Good reusable parts, batteries, mercury switches, oils, fluids, coolants, gasoline and refrigerants are all removed and properly managed and the rest is sent for metal recycling. Covey added that by making certification a requirement, the association has given the public confidence that their end-of-life vehicles are being dealt with in an environmentally responsible manner.

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ARPAC, Intact Reach Deal on Non-Deployed Airbags By Michael Raine After a lengthy process, ARPAC reached a deal with Intact Insurance to cover the association’s non-deployed airbag program. In 2010, the provincial government prohibited the sale of used non-deployed airbags. However, a Ministerial Order came into effect in October 2010 allowing for the resumed sale of used non-deployed airbags. ARPAC members and the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) reached a deal in November 2010 for the start of the pilot project. Originally slated to begin in early 2011, ARPAC ran into trouble finding an insurance company that would cover the sales of used non-deployed airbags in Quebec. Simon Matte, chief executive officer of ARPAC, told Collision Repair magazine, “This kind of program never existed so it was a matter of comprehension.” The initial sales numbers are expected in the third quarter of 2011, says Matte.

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ARC To Roll Out Final Phase of Nationwide Certification Process At a recent meeting in Banff, Alberta the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) backed up their commitment to having all of its members certified to the National Code of Practice for Auto Recyclers with the funding to complete all of the remaining audits across the country. “For years, a national certification program has been a dream of the association. We have always pushed our provincial associations and their members to follow best environmental practices in every aspect of their operations, but up until now there has never been a way to accurately and objectively measure both the facilities and the processes everyone used,” said Steve

an independent auditor to physically visit all of the recyclers who were participating in the program to evaluate their business against the standardized protocol. Any potential shortcomings were rectified and confirmed by the auditor before a recycler was deemed certified. Only certified recyclers were permitted to participate in the national scrappage program. “As successful as the Retire Your Ride certification process was, we recognized that there were still some gaps in the national coverage,” stated Fletcher. “Now we’re putting our money where our mouth is to get the rest of the recyclers certified so we can

to maximize reclamation and minimize environmental impact. Good reusable parts, batteries, mercury switches, oils, fluids, coolants, gasoline, and refrigerants are all removed and properly managed before the remaining hulk is sent for metal recycling. The next step, says Fletcher, is to push the government for legislation that will make it mandatory for anyone handling end-of-life vehicles to be certified. “With certification, people know that a recycler has been thoroughly checked out by a third-party auditor. They know they’re dealing with one of the good guys. But I’ve seen some of the nightmares out there. There are guys who buy cars

Fletcher, Executive Director of ARC. ARC developed the National Code of Practice for Auto Recyclers for Environment Canada to support the national “Retire Your Ride” program. It includes strict compliance requirements for a recycling operation to properly and legally process a vehicle. ARC and their member associations retained

finally state with absolute confidence that all of our members do things the right way.” Going forward, any recycler who wants to join a provincial association will first need to complete the certification audit as a condition of membership. Every vehicle that a certified recycler handles goes through a methodical process

just to crush them and sell them for scrap metal. They let toxic fluids and heavy metals just escape into the soil and groundwater. They don’t recycle any usable parts and don’t care about the environmental damage they’re doing. I can tell you there is a real need for legislation to make sure everyone handles vehicles responsibly and properly.”

CSPA Adopts Strict ‘Zero Mercury Purchasing Policy’ The Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA) announced new policy changes in their latest Environmental Performance Report, including a new focus on mercury switches. The report highlights many of the recent environmental successes and initiatives undertaken by the CSPA, and also includes their new policy stance on mercury that is sometimes left behind in scrap metal. This new policy for scrap metal, entitled “Zero Mercury Purchasing Policy,” shows the strong commitment of the member companies to preventing mercury emissions. They state, “CSPA supports the principle of utilizing mercury-free scrap steel to the greatest extent practicable, from automotive and non-automotive sources.” To ensure that this purchasing policy is executed, each of

the CSPA member companies will now require that all steel mill scrap that is supplied to them is mercury-free. This move demonstrates their deep commitment to environmental performance. This policy also supports the automotive recyclers and dismantlers from across Canada who have been voluntarily recovering mercury switches from end-of-life-vehicles for the last decade. In fact, member companies of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) have submitted around 60 percent of the switches to the Switch Out program over the past 12 months, but only represent 20 percent of the registered participants. Since CSPA member companies will now require suppliers to have programs, and possibly an audit, in place to

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identify, remove, track and properly dispose of sources of mercury there will effectively be a levelling of the proverbial playing field. In other words, businesses that have not voluntarily pulled mercury switches will need to rise to a higher level of environmental achievement in terms of automotive de-polluting, if they haven’t yet done so. Failing to do so could affect their ability to stay in business. This is an excellent example of how markets can drive environmental change for the better, according to Summerhill Impact, operator of the Switch Out program. Driving the market towards sustainability is in fact part of Summerhill Impact’s goals, so this initiative is a particularly good fit between the funders and managers of Switch Out. Switch Out hopes that the CSPA’s new policy will drive new program registration.

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i  recycling news

Auto Recycling Yard Tour Preview

  Miller’s Auto Parts operates on 45 acres and has a meticulously organized 22,000 square foot storage facility.  A snap shot of Dom’s Auto Parts 65 acre facility.  Sonshine Auto Parts operates on 80 acres and has around 3,000 vehicles on-hand.

  Mike Meagher, Halifax driver for Maritime Auto Parts. Notice the “Green Parts” logo promoting the business.  Woodbeck Auto Parts sits on 37 acres and handles around 2,000 vehicles per month.

Go to gallery to see all yard tour photos.

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september 2011  collision Repair  53

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ARAAC Holds Successful, Festive Annual Meeting The Automotive Recyclers Association of Atlantic Canada (ARAAC), in conjunction with the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC), held its annual members meeting on June 11 and 12 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Nearly 100 people representing 35 companies attended. Everyone got together the night before the official start of the conference for a pub night put on by Jeff Miller Auto Parts, Covey’s Auto Recyclers and Trevor Kingsbury of Wholesale Auto Parts Warehouses. Everyone had a great time over food and drinks and burst into celebration when Maxim Lapierre scored late in third period to give the Vancouver Canucks a lead in the Stanley Cup finals. In typical Maritime fashion, the mood was jovial and there were many laughs. Following a members meeting, ARC’s Steve Fletcher gave an update on the national association as well as updates on the National Code of Practice, the Retire Your Ride program, the Switch Out program, and other national initiatives. One highlight was a presentation of Dave Schandor from Marshall Auto Wrecker on “100 ways to improve your auto recycling business.” Among his many suggestions and tips, Schandor spoke about the importance of maintaining a clean, professional looking facility and inspecting all parts thoroughly and constantly. Schandor also advised recyclers to make the return process as painless as possible for customers because a happy customer is a regular customer. Other presentations included Jeff Smith of on “The Importance of Communication for Auto Recyclers,” Janet Taylor of

Summerhill Impact on “Switch Out and the CSPA’s Mercury Free Buying Policy” and Michael Hoeher of Recyclers Source speaking about “Profitability in the Least Expected Areas.” Gloria Mann from Media Matters spoke about how Canadian Auto Recyclers and Collision Repair magazines are serving the auto recycling industry through their print publications, websites, weekly e-zines and events. Also on Saturday, a “best suggestions” contest was held and Ed Macdonald of Maritime Auto Salvage won with his suggestion of “listen to your staff.” He took home $100 plus bragging rights for his insight. On the final day of the event, the folks at Island Auto Supply in Charlottetown hosted a yard tour of their facility. Sponsors included ArcelorMittal – Scoudouc,, Impact Auto Auction, John Ross & Sons, Monidex Distribution and Wholesale Auto Parts Warehouses.

Lecavalier Auto Parts Wins ‘Phénix de l’environnement’ Award By Michael Raine Lecavalier Auto Parts won the pretigious “Phénix de l’environnement” award on June 9 for its educational program on the environmental benefits of recycled auto parts. The contest is the highest recognition for know-how in environmental protection and applications of sustainable development in Quebec. Éric St-Pierre, Lecavalier’s Eric St-Pierre (left) was human resources manager on-hand to accept the award. at Lecavalier, was on-hand at the Salon Rouge de L’Assemblée Nationale du Québec to receive the award. The Ste-Sophie, Quebec company won for its Industrial Visit Program, which teaches students, professors and repair industry professionals how worthy it is to use recycled parts as an ecological habit. “This is wonderful news because this will follow us for years and years because this is the highest recognition for the environment in Quebec,” Veronique Patry of Lecavalier Auto Parts told Collision Repair magazine. “We are full of excitement and we will publish this logo of the Phoenix award on our website to let people know that it is a good choice to use used parts when you need to repair your vehicle.” Patry said the award is not only beneficial for Lecavalier but for the entire auto recycling industry because it will inform the public, particularly in Quebec, of the environment benefits of using recycled parts.

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Partsprices Everything is sold at a discount. By David Gold


have noticed a significant focus on two related issues at the last few industry meetings I’ve attended. First, the salvage acquisition issues that plague recyclers, and second, the part prices charged by auto recyclers. The growing sentiment is that because salvage acquisition costs have risen dramatically for auto recyclers, there has been a corresponding rise in part prices. While it is true that insurance companies are extracting significant returns on their salvage via global auction outlets, it must be noted that recycled parts will always be discounted. There is no question that the auto recycling business is getting more competitive. While this means that we aggressively bid for salvage, it also means that we compete to sell our parts. Our main competition is not with fellow recyclers, but with new OEM and aftermarket parts providers, so it stands to reason that we would have to be on the ball with pricing to add value to our most important customer, the professional collision repairer.

Our parts are priced as assemblies. The $125 tail lamp lens that the dealer quotes is not the same as the tail lamp assembly that we are quoting for $75. Comparing apples to apples is what really needs to happen and some “analysis paralysis” is necessary at this time to dispel misunderstanings about prices. As the automobile is getting more complex, pricing parts is also becoming more challenging Auto recyclers use the latest industry programs and review the OEM prices for the part components that make up the assembly. We price our parts based on this data. Key people at each recycler review the data on each and every vehicle as there is no standard industry base price for our parts. Our part prices are not just pulled from the sky, but are strategically generated to add value to our customers and to ensure that they are priced to sell. Perhaps one of the reasons there is no established price level for the used auto part is our desire to see our parts sell. Our part prices are fluid and typically

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trend lower on a weekly basis. There are many reasons why, but one thing is for certain, we are not looking to grow an auto parts museum. Many of our part pricing philosophies are based on the big picture of our operations to make sure that we can continue to be profitable and grow for the future. Since part pricing is fundamental to our success, any legitimate auto recycler has specialized part pricing

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sale of the slower moving and common parts as we are watching our overstocked trends very closely. If our part prices appear out of whack it is important to question them. The algorithms are not perfect and the automatic pricing programs that we use (which bring most of our part prices down to a point where they sell quickly) do not consider parts with no activity or sales requests to be a problem. So, the

There are only a few parts where we must be firm on price. software on hand to compliment the individual recycler’s efforts. Recyclers use software that utilizes complicated algorithms designed to find the optimum point where supply meets demand. Most auto recyclers are not running out of the common parts. A tour through your local auto recycling operation will provide a first hand view of the multitude of parts we are stocking and from what makes and models. There are only a few parts where we must be firm on the price. Many auto recyclers are even providing extra incentive to their salespeople to encourage the

computer doesn’t know to modify or change the part price as there is no demand for this part. Prices on low demand parts are negotiable, and that is why a close relationship with your salesperson is best. Our goal is to price our parts to sell. There should never be a problem that we can’t solve together.  CRM David Gold is the co-owner of Standard Auto Wreckers, an auto recycling facility with locations in Toronto, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York. He can be reached by telephone at 416-286-8686 or via e-mail at

september 2011  collision Repair  57

last word

safetyfirst Forget crash mitigation. We need a new kind of driver. By Mike Davey


just read an article in USA Today titled “Putting the brakes on crashes.” It details a lot of the new safety equipment the OEM is either rolling out now or in the process of designing. These new devices are sorted into four broad categories. The first is lane departure warning and mitigation. The idea with these is that the car will warn the driver if the car starts to leave its lane, and maybe even nudge it back in line. The second are sensors that look ahead of the car, and automatically start braking if there’s an imminent danger of collision. If it’s too late to avoid the collision completely,

Regardless, we can expect to see these systems rolled out in a much wider variety of cars in the very near future. They’re a device the OEM can add at very little cost, but with enormous public relations benefit. I really don’t expect to see a decrease in the total number of accidents because of them, although I would expect something of a drop in severity. The problem with any kind of safety device is that they don’t do much to mitigate the most fallible component of the system: the driver. A study out of Purdue University in 2006 seemed to show that the more safety

safety devices don’t do much to mitigate the most fallible component. the system activates the car’s onboard safety devices, like the seatbelts and airbags. The third new technology comes in the form of blind spot detection. Sensors on the sides of the vehicle warn you if you’re about to collide with something in your blind spot. The fourth is adaptive lighting. These are headlights tied into the car’s steering. As you turn the wheel, the headlights turn as well, illuminating the road around the curves. That way you can see the deer you’ve just smashed into. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released a report on the automatic braking technology that Volvo has used in some of its SUVs. According to the report, automatic brakes have prevented one out of four low-speed crashes. Frankly, I expect those numbers to drop as these systems are rolled out to more and more vehicles. Think about the stereotypical Volvo driver for a minute. I don’t know about you, but I get a mental image more in line with the word “antiquing” than I do with the term “drag racing.”

devices are put into a vehicle, the worse people become at actually driving the car. They simply stop paying attention, and expect the ABS system, the airbags, stability control, etc. to do the job for them, or at least mitigate the damage. A friend of mine got rear-ended about 20 years ago. The driver of the other car was flabbergasted that such a thing could happen. “But I have anti-lock brakes,” she said. She was depending on technology to do her job for her. The human component is the real limit of how far safety devices can go. That’s not to say that we should start campaigning against safety devices or crash mitigation technology. These devices unquestionably save lives. What they do not do, though, is prevent bad driving. In fact, there’s every reason to believe they increase it.  CRM

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Mike Davey is the editor of Collision Repair magazine. He can be reached at 519582-2960 or via email at

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