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PERFECT PRECISION: MEASURING SYSTEMS 2012 SHOWCASE Serving the Business of the Industry


Aware Bruce Hemstreet and Trevor Jones of Carstar Lethbridge are set to grow.

Enter the dragon A look inside China’s collision repair industry.

Why Lean Fails Avoid the pitfalls before implementation.


Tested recruiting strategies, history in photos, new shops and much, much more!!!

Volume 11  Number 1   l   $4.95   l   Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40841632   l  86 John Street, Thornhill  ON L3T 1Y2

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On The cover 23  BRAND AWARE Bruce Hemstreet and Trevor Jones of Carstar Lethbridge have had a multistore operation in mind from day one.

Volume 11 Issue 1, March 2012

features 20 Enter the dragon China’s collision repair market differs greatly from Canada’s.

27  measurement showcase The most up-to-date tools in measuring systems.

31 balancing the books Linda Procunier has the solutions for your accounting system.

32 Hire and retain An outline of how to find and keep the right employees.


35 History in pictures The first installment reviewing Collision Repair’s first ten years.

38  Why Lean fails


Tony Passwater provides a roadmap for avoiding the pitfalls at NACE.

departments 10



ver nni

PERFECT PRECISION: MEASURING SYSTEMS 2012 SHOWCASE Serving the Business of the Industry


AwAre Bruce Hemstreet and Trevor Jones of Carstar Lethbridge are set to grow.

EntEr thE drAgON A look inside China’s collision repair industry.

Why LEan FAiLS Avoid the pitfalls before implementation.

Plus Tested recruiting strategies, history in photos, new shops and much, much more!!!

sa r y

35 On the Cover: Trevor Jones and Bruce Hemstreet have built the business from the ground up. Photography by: Randy Neufeld


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

04 Publisher’s page  by Darryl Simmons Measured, calibrated.

40 Point Blank  by Sam Piercey Diminished value.

42 Social Matters  by Jonathan Barrick Time to connect.

44 Prairie View  by Tom Bissonnette Looking past the ideology.

52  Recycling  by David Gold It’s a win-win.

54  Who’s driving?  by Jay Perry Recognition is key.

march 2012  collision Repair  03

publisher’s page

knowmeasure If it’s out of whack, how will we know? PUBLISHER DARRYL SIMMONS (905) 370-0101

By Darryl Simmons


’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If you can’t measure, then you don’t really know. Usually when I say this, I’m talking about key performance indicators, cycle time, productivity and so forth. This time, around, however, I’m talking about literal measuring. This issue has a product showcase focused on the latest and greatest in measuring systems for vehicle repair. The article features entries from every category. Mechanical and electronic measuring systems are both represented. I’m not here to lecture you on which kind of measuring system to use in your collision repair facility. I have no doubt

“I could give you a small stick of wood, with some marks on it, and I can tell you it’s a yard, but unless I’ve calibrated that stick against something, then you may or may not get accurate measurements,” Watts said. “It’s amazing that this industry has gone for as long as it has with no verification system for how we measure cars. You can’t buy a litre of gasoline or a pound of hamburger without it going across a scale that’s been verified as accurate. Why aren’t the same standards applied to systems used to repair a $30,000 Lexus?” He makes a good point. Even if we ignore the benefits to repair quality, there’s one big reason I can think of to make sure

We need to depend on the system giving us the right info. that they all have merit. Some may be better in certain situations than others, but they all have a place. What I will say, though, is that you had better be sure that whatever system you’re using is properly calibrated. The tolerances are very exact. If it’s off by as much as a few millimetres, it can throw the entire repair out of whack. You won’t necessarily know about it, either. It might not be visible to the naked eye, so we need to depend on the measuring system giving us the right information. Measuring systems are calibrated at the factory, of course, but there is always the possibility that they will drift out of calibration over time. I don’t know how likely that is to happen, but if there’s any possibility at all, we should take steps to make sure the systems we’re using are properly calibrated. Robert Watts is the CEO of Advanced Measurement Systems. In a recent conversation with our editor, Mike Davey, he outlined why he believes that some sort of calibration standard is needed.

your system is calibrated: liability mitigation. One big, successful lawsuit can put a shop right out of business. Do you think a calibration system is something we need? Feel free to email or call me and let me know, or give me your opinion when you run into me at an industry event. In other news, I’m happy to say that we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary this year. It’s been a long, strange trip, but it’s been well worth it. Starting in this issue, we’ll have special anniversary content for the whole year. We kick off this issue with a look back at our earlier years with a series of photos. Don’t think that celebrating an anniversary means we’re resting on our laurels. Stay tuned for some special stuff as we move into 2012.  CRM

04  collision Repair

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

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

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the front end

People on the move Audatex Canada appoints Anthony Giagnocovo as Managing Director Audatex has announced that Anthony Giagnacovo has been named Managing Director for Audatex Canada. In this role, Giagnacovo will be responsible for leading Audatex Canada’s expansion efforts. Giagnacovo oversees the company’s national operations a n d i s re s p o n sible for building in-country business divisions and expanding Audatex Canad a ’s c u s t o m e r base. Giagnacovo brings more Anthony than 20 years Giagnacovo. of international technology experience to Audatex Canada, following senior executive positions at Adobe Systems, PeopleSoft and IBM. He can be reached via email to Anthony. Audatex has also announced that Jason Moseley will act in the capacity of senior international advisor for Audatex Canada. His mission is to help drive the next phase of evolution in the Canadian business by providing support for the organization overseas and providing support to the Audatex Canada team. Moseley joined Solera in 2010 and has lead several teams in the Solera Global

Information Services Group, where he was responsible for the core development organisation, research and development and product management. Moseley has a strong technology and operational background. His recent achievements include the launch of the new 3D graphical interface for Audatex, and the development of a wave of new innovations that will be deployed globally through 2012 and 2013. Prior to working for Solera, Moseley was the Chief Operating Officer at Thatcham, the U.K. based firm that provides research services and products to reduce the cost of automotive claims. One of Moseley´s most notable achievements was to be the driving force behind the Thatcham BSI Kite Mark PAS125 body shop program, culminating in him receiving an outstanding achievement award in 2007. P r ior to j o i n i n g Th a t c h a m , M o s e l e y held a number of senior posts in international supplier businesses to the major vehicle manufacturers, developing multimillion dollar projects for new vehicle launches. In 2009, Moseley also held a Jason post as Non-ExMoseley. ecutive Director

of the Institute of the Motor Industry. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Coventry University. He can be reached at jason.

strange but true Small World A group of businessmen in the U.K. have resurrected the Peel brand, consisting of two models, the P50 and the Trident. The maximum speed of both models is about 28 mph. A 4-hp engine is also available, boosting the three-wheeled runabout’s speed to a nerve wracking 50 mph. These vehicles may do well navigating the narrow streets in Europe’s biggest cities, but we can’t see them finding a lot of buyers in, for example, Saskatchewan.

No Signs of the Times The town of Makkinga in Holland has done away with traffic signs. There are no stop signs, no direction signs and no speed limit signs. There are no parking restrictions or even lines on the road. How’s it working out? Well, let’s put it like this: a number of other towns are considering it, because it seems to have reduced the number of accidents.

Carstar appoints b.c. regional manager Carstar Automotive Canada has announced the appointment of Gerry Hughes as the new Regional Manager in British Columbia. Responsible for heading up Carstar’s store sales efforts in the province, Hughes will also work to build and maintain strong relationships with Carstar’s existing partners. “This appointment is very important for our B.C. market,” said Larry Jefferies, Executive Vice President at Carstar. “Gerry’s experience and expertise will be invaluable to our current and future partners in the B.C. area.” Hughes joins Carstar with over 25 years of proven success in Sales and Account Management in the B.C. collision marketplace. Having worked for companies such as

AkzoNobel, LorGerry doco and BASF, Hughes. Hughes is well connected to collision repair in the province and has an in-depth understanding of the nuances of the industry in B.C. He will work closely w i t h C a r s t a r ’s Regional Director for Western Canada, Lloyd Wheeler, to help satisfy the needs of Carstar’s franchise partners and continue to build the brand throughout the province.

06  collision Repair

Get that Checked! A man in Massuchusetts tried to claim that the reason he almost hit a pedestrian was that his vehicle’s alignment was off. He was driving at roughly twice the posted speed limit, and witnesses say he deliberately swerved in an attempt to strike a man walking his dogs. The pedestrian grabbed his dogs and leapt out of the way, but apparently the vehicle’s alignment was so bad that it caused the driver to pull a U-turn and race back towards the intended target after missing him the first time. The driver was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon.

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©2011 PPG Industries All rights reserved.


Envirobase HP is approved by Chrysler for worldwide use in warranty refinish repairs.


Fix Auto Adds five locations Five new locations have joined the Fix Auto network: Fix Auto Okotoks, Fix Auto Medicine Hat, Fix Auto Thunder Bay South, Fix Auto Ottawa Innes and Fix Auto Port Perry. The first of the two new locations in Alberta is Fix Auto Okotoks, located at 144 South Railway St., a ten-minute drive south of Calgary. Fix Auto Okotoks is owned and operated by Morley Barnaby, a long-standing member of the collision community of Southern Alberta. “I am very excited to be part of the Fix Auto brand network,” said Morley Barnaby, owner of Fix Auto Okotoks. “Fix Auto is excellent support for any independent shop looking to succeed in the new generation of collision repair.” Fix Auto Medicine Hat is the most recent Fix Auto location in Alberta to open this year. Owned and operated by the Lant family for over 27 years, the shop moved into a brand new facility in March to serve its expanding business at 1788 Saamis Dr. NW. “We are very excited about the Medicine Hat market,” said Peter Polito, General Manager, Fix Auto Alberta. “Fix Auto Medicine Hat was built on a solid reputation, ready to take their collision repair facility to another level.” The third generation of the Pelletier family is proud to announce the opening of Fix Auto Thunder Bay South. Located at 950 Chippewa Rd. for over 35 years, the location has long been known for innovation and exceptional customer service. “Our reputation is built on quality. This has been the case since the very beginning, and will always remain our top priority,” said Roy Pelletier, Fix Auto Thunder Bay South business development manager. “I’m proud to serve the second and third generations of my grandfather’s customers.”

Jerry Raposo, owner of Fix Auto Medicine Hat, one of five new shops to join the Fix Auto network recently.

Located at 1599 Startop Rd., Fix Auto Ottawa Innes is the third Fix Auto location to serve the city of Ottawa. This location has been part of the collision industry since 1989. The facility owners are Brent McKinlay, Paul Giacomin and location manager Scott Noseworthy. “There are many benefits of being a member of the Fix Auto network - professional best practices, well placed processes and focus on technology just to name a few,” said Scott Noseworthy, Fix Auto Ottawa location manager and both an I-CAR Platinum certified and I-CAR instructor. “We have worked with three DRP partners for the last 12 years, and are happy to be able to offer their customer’s Fix Auto’s National Lifetime Warranty. We are pleased about this move and excited about being part of the Fix Auto network.” Owner William Halteh’s mission to further grow his shop became the central focus for Fix Auto Port Perry located at 14100 Hwy 12. The operator of the shop, Ron Klett, is passionate about his work, focusing on quality and detail of repairs. Klett is also passionate about interacting with his customers and giving his clients peace of mind. “High quality skill and customer commitment is the standard at Fix Auto,” said Mike Kaplaniak, Director of Operations, Fix Auto Ontario, Alberta and Atlantic Canada. “This is what makes Fix Auto Port Perry a good fit within the Fix Auto network.”

Boyd Group expands in Manitoba, Florida and Washington The Boyd Group has announced the opening of a new Regent Avenue West location in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This location will operate as a full service autoglass repair and replacement facility, as well as a customer service centre for collision repair. The Boyd Group now owns and operates 11 locations in the Winnipeg market and 14 total in Manitoba. The new facility will operate under the Boyd Autobody & Glass trade name and is approximately 3,600 sq. ft. in size. Boyd Group has also completed the acquisition of Master Collision Repair’s eight shops in Florida, and another facility in Kent, Washington. The new repair centre will operate under the Gerber Collision & Glass trade name and is approximately 12,200 sq. ft. in size, with 10,200 sq. ft. of production space. The Boyd Group is continuously looking to add new collision repair locations to its existing network in Canada and the U.S. Interested owners are asked to contact Eric Danberg at 204-488-4215 or via email to for more information.

08  collision Repair



network ?

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

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

6 points — good

2 points — weak

8 points — very good

4 points — average

10 points — excellent

Networks > 1



Network image


Customer service


Freedom of action


Member selection




Training and support


Relations with insurers




10 Innovation and technology

total per Network / 100

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






Some of the team at Carstar Kanata (Allard’s). From left: Ted Mills, Jeff Dunlay, Yvon Allard, Irini Narooz, Marlene Bedborough, Charlene Gardner and Scott Trowbridge.

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Carstar expands in Eastern Ontario with Carstar Kanata Carstar Automotive Canada has expanded again with the addition of Carstar Kanata (Allard’s). This is the fourth Carstar location in the Ottawa market. Carstar Kanata (Allard’s), with over 22,000 square feet of production space, is one of the largest Carstar collision centres in the network. Located at 33 Edgewater Street in Kanata, this location is fully equipped to meet the needs of customers and insurance partners in Eastern Ontario. The building also boasts approximately 2,000 sq. ft. of office space for its 44 employees. Carstar says its stores in Eastern Ontario have built a strong reputation among their insurance partners and customers, and with the addition of this location, it will help strengthen Carstar’s market share and presence in this region. Carstar Kanata (Allard’s) is owned and operated by Yvon Allard. Allard has over 35 years of experience and is a well-respected member of the industry, and appeared on the cover of Collision Repair magazine during our first year of publication. he is very excited to become part of the Carstar network. Allards’s key staff members include Controller and Human Resource Manager Irini Narooz, General Manager Ted Mills and Store Manager Jeff Dunlay.

“We are impressed by Carstar’s extensive guidance and impeccable training programs,” says Allard. “Our ultimate goal has always been to provide an unsurpassed customer service experience and we will continue to do that as part of the Carstar network.” This location employs an impressive array of equipment to make it a one-stop centre for customers, including computer controlled wheel balancing and digital wheel alignments. Carstar Kanata (Allard’s) also recently installed two brand new spray booths to keep up with the high demands of the store. Fully trained staff members are also very important at Carstar Kanata (Allard’s). Allard has an I-CAR instructor on staff as well as a health and safety committee with two CPR certified staff members. “We want every one of our customers to remain a lifetime customer,” says Allard. “I know how frustrating it can be after being involved in an accident, I’ve seen it in the faces of my customers for over 35 years. We try to alleviate that frustration as much as possible by getting their vehicles back on the road safely and efficiently.” Allard is confident that by becoming a Carstar Franchise Partner, he can better service his strong customer base and streamline insurance and operations systems. For more information on Carstar, please visit

Government of Quebec supports I-CAR translations

10  collision Repair

The Government of Quebec and CSMO-Auto recently made the agreement to undertake the translation of 10 I-CAR courses. The agreement was signed in mid-November of 2011, between CSMO-Auto, AIA Canada and I-CAR International. Translation of the courses will continue in 2012 and 2013, with the objective of implementing a strategy to translate additional new courses after 2013. I-CAR reaches over half of the collision facilities in Quebec, with almost 800 training seats per year.


Craftsman Collision expanding into China Craftsman Collision is expanding again, this time into a totally new market: China. Craftsman Collision has over 30 locations in B.C. and Alberta. Bill Hatswell is the President and founder of Craftsman Collision. He first got the idea to expand into the Chinese market during a trip last February. “We were at a trade show in Beijing, and we took the opportunity to travel around China, visiting dealerships and looking at their operations. Des Chan (President of Wedge Clamp Systems – Ed.) was with me on this trip, and he has a distribution centre in the city of Suzhou, just west of Shanghai. He showed me a building that he thought would be perfect for Craftsman.” There’s more to opening a new store than just finding a building. More research was needed before the project could go ahead. “We met with the fourth-largest insurance company in China, and they explained to me how their system works,” says Hatswell. “They said, ‘We believe your model and your timing are perfect.’” Collision repair facilities are assigned classifications based on the sorts of work they perform. A 4S (denotes Sales, Service, Spares and Survey) store is a car dealership, and primarily does repairs to its own brands. The new Craftsman Collision location will likely be a 2S, an independent collision repair business that also offers a certain percentage of mechanical services. “Des and I have been friends for many years, and we’ve worked closely together on several projects,” says Hatswell. “All o f m y 3 3 l o c a t i o n s a re We d g e C l a m p equipped, because I believe in the efficiencies and compactness of Wedge Clamp. Their equipment has a small footprint, and if space in the location is tight, you can use every square foot in the building.” Wedge Clamp already operates its main branch out of Suzhou, and leasing space in the same building as Craftsman Collision seems a natural fit. “We’ll be moving our operation into the second floor of the building,” says Des Chan. “It will have our offices, distribution and we’ll conduct classroom and hands-on training.” Craftsman Collision will also include one Wedge Clamp fully equipped stall on the production floor of the facility, to be used for product demonstration and training.

2012 Lifting points guide now available The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) has announced the availability of the 2012 edition of its publication, “Vehicle Lifting Points for Frame Engaging Lifts.” This updated guide is a quick-reference manual for lifting point information as recommended by the vehicle manufacturers. The Lifting Point Guide uses over 200 undercarriage images to cover the most recent 20 model years. The updated guide can be ordered through

march 2012  collision Repair  11


Assured automotive recognizes staff at 2012 winter blast The annual Winter Blast is a chance for Assured Automotive to give recognition to those within the organization who have made a difference in the past year. Impeccably dressed Assured employees and their guests filled the room, clinking glasses of sparkling wine and exchanging stories of the past year with the company.

From left: Des D’Silva, CEO of Assured Automotive, Gillian D’Siilva, Vanda Malatesta and Sam Malatesta from ClaimsCorp.

Following the cocktail reception, guests took their seats and enjoyed a warm meal and wine in anticipation of the awards ceremony. The evening’s host, President Tony Canade, opened-up the floor to Des D’Silva, Assured Automotive’s CEO. The entire room fell silent as D’Silva addressed staff with words of encouragement and praise: “Ladies and gentleman, the greatest technicians in the world!” – followed by applause and cheers all around. “Passion leads to greatness,” was the theme of D’Silva’s speech as he announced accomplishments of the past year. He noted that Assured Automotive repaired 27,000 vehicles in 2011, which is 15 percent of the GTA market share, a statement which garnered more applause from the room. D’Silva closed with projections for 2012: “Assured is going to get bigger, better and faster.” Assured Automotive would like to congratulate the following members of the organization who received awards for their work in 2011:

From left: Tony Canade (standing), visiting with some of the contingent from Assured Automotive’s Hamilton location: Manager Lori Kwapich, and Manuella and Marv Schaeffer. Marv is a body tech at the Hamilton facility.

The Decade of Excellence Award: • Eva Libner • Derek Florczyck • Lynette De Souza • Nigel Peters • Dennis Martin Customer Service Excellence Award: • Assured Oakville Sales Excellence Award: • Assured Leaside Operational Excellence Award: • Assured Downtown Store of the Year Excellence Award: • Assured Toronto West (Keele St.) Attilio Giancola Lifetime Achievement Award: • Roman Rentel (accepted on his behalf by Harry Schupham) Assured Automotive is among the largest corporately owned chains of collision repair centres operating in the private insurance provinces, with 32 locations across the GTA and southern Ontario. For more information on Assured Automotive, please visit

Management and owners of Assured Automotive with the recipients of the Decade of Excellence Award. From left: President Tony Canade, Dennis Martin, CEO Desmond D’Silva, Nigel Peters, Derek Florczyk, Rodney D’Silva, Lynette De Souza, Eva Libner, Keith D’Silva and Tony Raposo.

12  collision Repair


Spaces for IBIS 2012 filling fast IBIS 2012 – the accident repair industry’s premiere global event – is now at 80 percent capacity and demand for the event continues to surpass all expectation. Collision Repair magazine is the official IBIS Publisher Partner for Canada. IBIS 2012 takes place at Hotel Arts Barcelona, Spain on 21-23 May 2012. Spaces are filling fast for this event. For more information on IBIS, please visit

Silver Sails low VOC coatings are now available in Canada.

Silver Sails launches in Canada Silver Sails Chemistry launched its Silver Sails brand of automotive finishes at the most recent Canadian Collision Industry Forum meeting in Toronto. The company is based in China as Yin Fan Chemistry, and has been exporting products to the US for over three years. According to Silver Sails, its long history as a pioneer of auto paint production in China has contributed to a reputation of reliability. The company supplies paints to 30 automotive and truck manufacturers, and 400 jobber outlets in China. Silver Sails was chosen as coatings supplier to Da Changjiang, a large motorcycle manufacturer in China. In 2006, Silver Sails established the Nano Coatings Technology Centre, in conjunction with Shanghai University. Silver Sails LV4033 HS, 10 minute bake, 2.1 VOC Nano Clearcoat, is a result of this partnership with the Nano Coatings Technology Centre. Silver Sails has received several international standards certifications including: ISO 9001-2000; ISO / TS16940- 2002; and SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance) International’s testing certificate for 2.1 low VOC compliant clearcoat. Silver Sails 3.5 Low VOC solvent basecoats are ready for shipment to North America. The Silver Sails High Solids mixing system includes 72 toners with liquid pearls and Xirallic pearls. Silver Sails Paints is currently seeking quality distributors. For more information, please contact Larry Wagreich, Sales Director for the Americas, by e-mail at or phone at 201-873-9395. For more information, please visit

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march 2012  collision Repair  13


Customer appreciation day at budds’ collision services The Customer Appreciation Event is an annual hoiday tradition at Budds’ Collision Services in Oakville, Ontario. It’s a chance for the collision repair facility to acknowledge the contributions of supplier and insurer partners, all while having fun. The event annually draws stakeholders from all aspects of the industry, and 2012 was no exception. Nearly 200 people attended the day long event that took place in late December. For more information on Budds’ Collision Services, please visit

Harry Dhanjal of BASF; Sam Piercey, co-owner of Budds’ Collision Services; and Zubair Siddiqui of Crescent Industries at Budds’ Customer Appreciation Event.

Don Teevens of Co-Auto CoOperative and Gloria Mann of Collision Repair magazine take a few minutes to visit with a mysterious stranger.

Craig Jalbert of 3M and Darryl Simmons, publisher of Collision Repair magazine.

Car-O-Liner receives OEM approval for Porsche Approved Collision Center Program Car-O-Liner has announced participation in the Porsche Approved Collision Center Program as an official approved supplier of collision repair products. The Porsche Approved Collision Center Program provides a network of factory-authorized collision repair facilities; each trained and equipped to provide collision services that match the quality of Porsche automobiles. Assuring high standards of performance and quality requires skilled and trained professionals who adhere strictly to Porsche restoration procedures. Porsche Approved Collision Centers commit to these procedures, and to the use of genuine Porsche parts, materials, tools and equipment. Porsche Approved Collision Centers are also continuously supported and monitored by factory technical personnel. “Car-O-Liner is pleased to be a part of the Porsche Approved Collision Center Program,” said Shawn Hart, Director of Technical Services for Car-O-Liner Company. “Adding Car-O-Liner to their approved equipment offering means greater flexibility without compromising accuracy. With our EVO system, technicians will be able to hold new components in place while making repairs, as well as measure the vehicle to find any hidden damage.” As an OEM approved supplier, Car-O-Liner will offer quality products to meet the needs of over 60 collision centres across the U.S. and Canada.

14  collision Repair


Audatex showcases innovation, investment in human capital at Customer Summit Audatex Canada is making a major investment in human capital and driving innovations that will increase profit and efficiencies in collision repair centres. Those were the key points of the message delivered to collision repairers, prominent insurance partners and other stakeholders at the Audatex Canada Customer Summit at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel on Friday, January 27. The purpose was to demonstrate the new products and services that Audatex has scheduled for release in Canada. Anthony Giagnacovo is the Managing Director of Audatex Canada. He says that the company has made a commitment to delivering high-quality and superior support to customers throughout Canada. “We’re investing heavily in our Canadian support team,” says Giagnacovo. “When you call our support line, you’re talking to a Canadian, someone who understands the Canadian market and its unique issues. We’ve got support people lined up from Vancouver to Halifax. We’re covering the entire country.” Audatex also announced several new and updated products at the Customer Summit. Giagnacovo says one of the strengths of the Audatex offering is the company’s global reach. “We process over 30 million claims per year world wide for over 75,000 customers,” says Giagnacovo. “We operate in 60plus countries, and that allows us to draw best practices from all over the world. We can talk to France, UK , Belgium, China, Japan, the Americans, the Italians and so on. It allows us to aggregate the very best solutions for our customers.” Although innovation may be on the Audatex mandate, Giagnocovo makes it clear that the company is not innovating simply for the sake of change. “We’re innovating for the sake of our customers’ profits,” says Giagnacovo. “Our commitment is to provide our customers with a return on investment between 4-to-1 and 8-to-1. It’s not just about software. It’s about understanding the market, and that’s what we deliver.” Audatex Highlights: • APU is now fully integrated into Audatex Estimating, offering realtime parts availability, quality rating, pricing and procurement. • iAutoFocus is Audatex Canada’s new and robust collision repair centre management software. • Repair Status allows for the monitoring of vehicle repair status throughout the process. This is a new Audatex offering currently in pilot with a major U.S. carrier. It will be available in early 2012. Audatex has also announced that the company plans to roll out a new replacement vehicle locator service in early 2012. For more information on Audatex, please visit

sherwin-williams adds social media services for a-plus members Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes A-Plus Network has announced a new affiliation with Admin Concepts to offer social media management services to its collision repair facility members. Admin Concepts works with businesses, particularly collision repair shops, to create and maintain their social media marketing on websites and forums such as Facebook and Twitter. “We are excited to team with Admin Concepts to provide turnkey digital services to help our A-Plus Network members better market their services in their respective communities,” says Troy Neuerburg, manager of marketing business services at Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. “This new social media package offered to our network of leading repairers includes regular posting of relevant consumer information, updated business promotions and further integrates the shop’s other marketing and brand-building materials.” For those repairers looking for more than the social media “basics” Admin Concepts also offers more extensive Facebook marketing services, such as campaign creation, specialized page design services and customer e-newsletters.

At the Audatex Customer Summit: Michel Caron and Jason Moseley of Audatex, Tony Mammone, John Harvey and Miranda Lopiccolo of RBC, Anthony Giagnacovo of Audatex and Sukhi Natt and Sheldon Almeida of RBC.

march 2012  collision Repair  15



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16  collision Repair

Carstar launches innovation through cultivation program Back row, from left: Mike Davey, Michael Macaluso, Dennis Concordia, David Monteiro, John Mills, Bill Davidge, Mike Beier, Jeff Arbour, Shawn Leslie, Matt Bell, Javier Torres and Ron Franklin. Front row, from left: Wayne Loker, Tony Koebel, Frank Abate, Remo Mercanti, Wayne Minogue, Scott Fraser and Norm Byk.

Carstar Automotive Canada has launched a new program designed to foster innovation and build on best practices already in place at Carstar stores. The “Innovation Through Cultivation” program held its first session today at Carstar Vision Park in Hamilton. The program works by drawing together select franchise partners to join together and share best practices and procedures. These are captured, tested and the strategies that prove the most effective will be included in Carstar’s proprietary Quality Systems Program, CQS. The first session of Innovation through Cultivation focused on best practices for quality control. Michael Macaluso, Director Quality Systems for Carstar, summed up the main idea behind the new program during introductory remarks at the beginning of the workshop. “We see so many great things at our stores,” said Macaluso. “Everyone in this room is doing great things, and we want to take it right across the country. We are happy that we now have the opportunity to host and

present these initiatives and programs in our new Tech Centre and Carstar University.” The new Tech Centre and Carstar University are part of the company’s new headquarters, Carstar Vision Park, which opened its doors in November. Macaluso then introduced special guest Wayne Loker of Aviva Canada. Loker gave a brief outline of some of the good – and not so good – practices that he has seen. Bill Davidge, Technical Manager for Carstar, served as facilitator for the remainder of the morning session, with franchise partners sharing their methods for achieving high levels of quality control. If there was a common overriding theme, it was that all work was being inspected, in some cases by several people. Carstar plans to run more of these sessions, each with a different focus. In each case, franchise partners will be selected from across the country, based on high performance in that particular area. For more info, please visit

Fire at Etobicoke collision repair facility destroys shop area Fire crews responded to a 2-alarm fire at T & D Auto Collision, a collision repair facility located at 32 Taber Road in Etobicoke, very early on the morning of February 1. Video footage of the fire shows crews battling the flames at 1:50 am. Reports describe a number of small explosions from the interior of the facility, likely as a result of propane tanks overheating and exploding. Toronto fire platoon chief, Len Stadler, reports the fire was “through the roof” when fire crews arrived. Though the garage portion of the facility was “completely destroyed” by the fire, Stadler reports that he and his fire crew were able to save the office portion of T & D Auto Collision. This area of Etobicoke is close to Pearson International Airport, and is home to a number of industrial parks and plazas, with numerous collision repair facilities. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. Staff at T & D Auto Collision could not be reached for comment at time of publication.




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ibis report

A look inside China’s collision repair market. By W. Mike Dineen

A toll gate on the Jingshi Expressway in Beijing. Nearly all expressways in China charge tolls.

By estimates in the IBIS report, China’s roads will be flooded by 450 million personal vehicles by the year 2040. Researcher Karen Fierst of KerenOr Consultants attributes the shift in the Chinese automotive industry to new government policies. “The government wanted to oil its economic gears and build an automotive industry,” Fierst explains, “so approximately 15 years ago they started to allow multinationals into the country to facilitate technology transfer.” So overwhelming has the boom in auto sales been that the city of Beijing has recently imposed a cap on car sales. Up until 2010, Beijing car sales topped 80,000 each month—but the new cap limits those sales to 20,000 monthly. “When you’re in a city in China today, it’s hard to believe that it’s a communist country. In the densely populated urban areas, there is a growing and thriving middle class,” Fierst says in regard to the intense boom in personal vehicle ownership.

20  collision Repair

The IBIS report cites the inexperience of Chinese drivers who are newly licensed as a significant factor contributing to more vehicles accidents. President of Wedge Clamp, Desmond Chan, who has dealings in the Chinese industry, notes that “the majority of the population has not driven before and drivers treat the rules of the road as if they are walking or cycling.” According to sources in the IBIS report, between 60 percent and 90 percent of Chinese vehicles are involved in collisions on an annual basis. To further the problem, the majority of vehicles are four years old or less and still under warranty. As such, it is a requirement that they be repaired in 4S facilities. Of China’s approximately 100,000 repair facilities, only 15,000 are 4S (in China car dealerships are called 4S) and thus qualified to make repairs on under warranty vehicles like Mercedes-Benz, Acura and Honda. The other 85,000 collision repair facilities were originally used to repair the country’s taxi fleet and buses. As the

Illustration by Matthew so.


t may surprise you to know that the evolution of the Chinese collision repair industr y is much different than that of the Canadian. Compared to the well-established systems of regulation, training and recycling of the Canadian industry, China is still in its infancy. But perhaps evolution isn’t the best word to describe the Chinese auto industry, since evolution is a slow process that occurs over a generally lengthy period of time. The IBIS (International Bodyshop Industry Symposium) Global Focus Report on China 2011 provides an interesting look into the problematic Chinese collision repair industry. Up until 1990, the majority of vehicles on Chinese roads were taxis, buses, trucks and coaches. A decade later, at the beginning of the new millennium, there were approximately one million personal passenger vehicles using Chinese roads. According to the Xinhau News Agency, that number has skyrocketed exponentially to 85 million at present.

ibis report

auto industry exploded over the past two decades, these facilities were left behind with outdated equipment and little to no training. Counterfeit OEM parts have become rampant in China as a result of the lack of access to 4S facilities. Along with the inexperience of China’s new fleet of drivers, trends demonstrate that most Chinese drivers choose vehicles based on aesthetic rather than safety. At the most recent IBIS (International Bodyshop Industry Symposium), Karen Fierst reported having difficulty explaining the importance to Chinese engineers of crash testing after repair vehicles. “In China, there isn’t attention paid to the safety ramifications associated with a post-collision repaired vehicle,” explains Fierst, “almost every vehicle is repaired.” Obtaining accurate, reliable information on the Chinese collision repair industry has posed its own set of problems. Since the vast majority of facilities do not have computers, insurance companies are the only ones generating estimates in the industry. However, many of those companies are

“A new generation in collision repair performance.”

under-trained and have no access to repair data. The only source of repair data remains with the manufacturers, the 4S facilities being the only recipients of that data. “Even the 4S facilities aren’t using software that is as sophisticated as ours in the West,” says Desmond. As a result of the lack of information within China, foreign information providers have attempted to gain access to the market. As of 2010, a new company has emerged whose focus will remain entirely on training the country’s estimators. According to the IBIS report, the future of the Chinese collision repair industry has a lot of unknowns. As vehicle warranties begin to expire, not a lot is known about how these vehicles will receive the maintenance they require. The used car market is virtually non-existent at present in China, and there is little information about its future development. As it stands at present, the majority of China’s facilities are outdated and lacking training, while the small amount of 4S shops are top of the line. Questions about the emergence of “middle of the road” collision repair fa-

There are between 85 million and 100 million cars on China’s roads, many driven by first-time motorists. This is a recipe for a robust collision repair industry.

cilities also weighs on the minds of those invested in the industry. Where customer service is very important in the competitive Canadian collision repair market, it would seem that in China it has very low priority. Vehicle repair wait times are indefinite, and neither the facilities nor insurance companies provide courtesy vehicles. Customers remain waiting at the mercy of already overworked facilities.  CRM


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Profiles of Success


Aware By Mike Davey

Trevor Jones and Bruce Hemstreet of Carstar Lethbridge are ready to grow to another location.

March 2012  collision Repair  23

Profiles of Success

Centre: Trevor Jones, Co-Owner. Front, from left: Terry Gaebel, Detailer; Saverio Nigro, Collision Tech; Rob Still, Production Manager; Cary Mitchell, Office Manager; Kevin Helfrich, Appraiser. Back row, from left: Russ Traber, Estimator; Antonio Mena, Collision Tech; Brendan Watt, Collision Tech; James Jones, Prepper/Apprentince; Kyle Gomke, Refinisher; Darrell Sparks, Collision Tech.


ruce Hemstreet and Trevor Jones took different paths into the collision repair business, but the destination turned out to be the same. Hemstreet and Jones are the co-owners of Carstar Lethbridge.

For Hemstreet, it was the example of two older brothers who had gone into the business after high school. He got interested in cars, and has been working in the collision repair business in one capacity or another ever since. Jones got interested in the ins-and-outs of auto body while in high school, and then progressed from there. The pair went into business together about seven years ago. Hemstreet’s experience with Carstar goes back almost to the very beginning of the network’s operations in Alberta. A shop owner since 1989, he first became interested in Carstar after visiting the network’s booth at NACE. “My brother Brent and I were walking the trade show floor, and he knew that my business partner and I weren’t seeing eye to eye,” says Hemstreet. “He saw the Carstar booth, and Brent said, ‘Maybe you should talk to these guys, if you’re going to buy out your partner.’ I was pretty sure that I was going to

get bought at the time. Brent and I met Larry Jefferies (Executive VP at Carstar Automotive Canada), and Brent was blown away by what he heard. I figured I was probably leaving the business soon, so I just walked away.”

the first few years were a sort of trial by fire. As it turned out, though, Brent did end up signing and his collision repair facility became Carstar Red Deer, the first franchise Carstar operation west of Winnipeg. Bruce worked

24  collision Repair

at the operation for about two years, and then joined the Carstar corporate team as Market Development Manager for Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. “Carstar Red Deer was the first, but it was up to me to get the others on board,” says Hemstreet. It was a task he succeeded in, with Carstar adding a number of franchisees in the region during his seven years in the position. Larry Jefferies is the Executive VP for Carstar Automotive Canada. He recalls the day Bruce Hemstreet made the move from Carstar corporate to franchisee. “He said ‘Boss, here’s the deal: I quit. But I want to become a franchisee.’ Looking back, it was one of those great moments. Bruce was instrumental in our growth in the Alberta market, and he helped with insurance relations. He’s gone out to become a poster child for what a great franchise partner is. He and Trevor took an existing business, and made it number one in their market.

Profiles of Success

They’re top performers by how we measure it, and they’re on a mission to expand.” At that time, Trevor Jones was running a collision repair facility in Lethbridge under the name Quality Autobody. Jones met Hemstreet through the latter’s corporate position at Carstar. “I liked the job, but there was no other position to move up to,” says Jones. As fate would have it, Hemstreet was looking to return to actively running a shop. “I had just turned 40, and I said to myself ‘Is this what I want, or do I want to do what I love?’,” says Hemstreet. “I enjoyed working for Carstar, and I don’t think we would be where we are today if it wasn’t for that experience. It was like going to autobody university for seven straight years.” The two took over ownership of Quality Autobody. Technically a brownfield site, Hemstreet says it was almost black. “The business wasn’t in the best of shape,” says Hemstreet. “The day we opened it was Trevor, myself, two body techs and it really needed a lot of work. Months of 16 hour days, 6 or 7 days a week of renovations and expansion saw us exceed the $1 million per year mark by the second year. Continued hard work and lots of re-investment paid off with sales now in excess of $2.5 million/year.” Jones says those first few years were a sort of trial by fire, one that left them ready to cope with anything the business throws at them. “The first year or two in business, as a whole, was the biggest challenge I’ve ever gone through,” says Jones. “It just takes a whole lot of effort to get that up and going.” Today, Hemstreet and Jones are still investing in the business, and still working towards the same goals. “Trevor and I have had a multi-store plan from the get-go,” says Hemstreet. “We’re looking to buy an existing facility, but we haven’t found the right store yet. Lately, in Alberta, there have not been a lot of significant acquisitions. Instead, there are guys building and opening brand new facilities. Obviously, there are still high levels of optimism in Alberta.” Even thinking of expanding means you have a lot of trust in your current staff. For Jones, there’s at least one clear indicator that the needed trust is in place. “They’re the key to keeping the business going,” says Jones. “The fact that Bruce and I can both be away from the business at the same time speaks volumes.” Although there is a shortage of qualified technicians everywhere, Hemstreet and

Above: Kyle Gomke painting a car. Left: The production floor at Carstar Lethbridge. Below: Kyle Gomke mixes paint prior to a refinish job.

Jones have certain techniques that they’ve developed to hire and retain the best staff. “We grow some of our own,” says Jones. “We’ve always used apprentices, with three on staff right now. We also hire from outside of the collision repair industry. One of our appraisers and our production manager came to us from a national tire and mechanical chain.” Good staff members are certainly a key component, but they are only one factor in success for a modern, progressive collision repair facility. “One of the keys to the vault is getting your head around some version of lean,” says Hemstreet. You have to apply some of the principles of lean if you’re going to survive. It think it’s going to be a bigger measurement with the insurance companies than most people imagine. Franchises and branding are also a piece of the puzzle. I think it’s inevitable that big names will be doing 90 percent of the business.”  CRM

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A technician using the Touch system from Spanesi. The Touch system is distributed in Canada by Collision Equipment Group.

Essential Measurement Profiling the latest and greatest in measuring systems. By W. Mike Dineen


o help get your customers back into their driver’s seat, Collision Repair magazine’s guide to measuring systems is intended to put you back into your driver’s seat—the one you make decisions from. Unlike much of the equipment in your facility, variations in measuring system design are, so to speak, immeasurable. Regardless of design, the ultimate objective of each system remains the same: accurate, reliable measurements. Variations in measuring systems designed to detect unibody inaccuracies come in all shapes, sizes and prices, with varying combinations of accessories and add-ons. They have differing mechanisms of actions designed to pick up the imperfections—some are manually operated, others use remotes, and still others use lasers to detect even the tiniest variables. The goal of collision repair is to return a damaged vehicle as close as possible to its original specifications. Unlike the painter who signs the bottom of a painting, collision repair technicians aim to leave no trace of their presence. As

experts, you know the safe and sound engineering of a vehicle that moves at high speeds comes down to each and every millimetre. The difference between a successful repair and an ineffective one may come down to the thickness of a dime. When deciding which system will suit the needs of your customers, be mindful of your preferences—you are the one who will be using the device, after all. Some technicians prefer to feel the measurements out manually, while others are comfortable with the convenience of a computer. Perhaps a system that combines manual and automatic measures up to your needs. The long and short of measuring systems is that there is no shortage in the length of variety. All products are presented in alphabetical order by manufacturer. The information presented comes from the individual companies concerned. The appearance of products here does not constitute an endorsement from Collision Repair magazine or its staff. As always when making purchases, please do your research thoroughly. march 2012  collision Repair  27


Advanced Measurement Systems


The Eclipse Evolution offers 3D graphics that rotate, pan, tilt and zoom on true to scale frame models. The scanner has a 32-foot range, can be relocated during the measuring process and offers integrated level compensation and self-calibrates on every startup. Force vectors display the direction of damage in setting up the corrective pull. Frame damage is displayed in yellow, red and green depending on thresholds. Additionally, the active targets have LEDs built into the bottom of the target that glow in colours corresponding to the degree of damage at each measured point. Targets are interchangeable and can be used at any position. All target attachment stems are colour coded. The software recommends a specific colour for the stem to be used on a selected measuring point. If a stem other than the one recommended is used, the Eclipse Evolution software will alert the technician. If the technician chooses to proceed with the non-recommended stem, the software will automatically compensate for this change. It has a fully customizable reporting system using email, photos, screen shots and comments. It is available in standard size and as a toolbox unit.

The Car-O-Tronic Vision X3 measuring system offers a number features designed for convenience, like the measuring slide with “bumper-zoned” remote control. The Vision X3 is adaptable for almost any alignment bench. The device’s high measuring point adapter is intended to make upper body measuring easier. Measuring can be conducted before the vehicle has been raised which can save time and bench space. The photo-based measuring system is backed by Car-O-Liner’s vehicle database, which the company considers to be the world’s most comprehensive. The database, Car-O-Data, contains over 13,000 models, covering nearly all new vehicles. The measuring system’s software provides current news, support and interactive training and allows for quick uploading of photos and documents. A new mobile device application, called handEye, can be used in conjunction with the Vision X3. The app displays data normally displayed on the measuring system console monitor. Included with the Vision X3 is one year of access to Vision Data.




Chief Automotive Technologies

The Naja measuring system uses wireless bluetooth technology to send information to the computer from its sliding head. The system comes optional with a fixed computer trolley or one that accommodates a laptop, depending on your preference. The computer’s software is designed to be user-friendly. The measuring system’s indicator lights are intended to take the guess work out of collision repair. The suitable “green for good” and “red for faulty” remind the technician that there is no room for variables when repairing a damaged vehicle. That’s why there is no amber coloured light. It comes complete, supplied with vehicle specifications for both comparative and point-to-point data. For customer convenience, the measuring report can be recorded and printed. A calibration check bar is included with the system as a maintenance component, intended to facilitate greater accuracy of measuring. Other options available for the Naja are a supporting device for the diagnostic operation, lower support stand, magnetic socket, holding device for pulling operation and a lateral probe.

Chief Automotive Technologies says it offers good, better, best with regard to measuring with the Vector, Velocity, and Velocity Max systems. The Velocity Max system is pictured here. Chief’s measuring systems work by measuring the entire car every three to five seconds. All three of the systems are compatible with all pulling equipment, and two post and four post lifts. Vector is the basic system, offering features such as E-Access Technical Support and new vehicle specs are downloaded automotically to the system every week. Chief says the Vector is very easy to learn and use, with set up taking as little as 10 minutes. Velocity offers the same features, and adds an upper body bar, magnetic attachments and 45 targets. Velocity Max goes even further, offering Intelli-Tape, a wireless measuring tool that measures and documents upper body damage before, during and after the repair, a target extension package that Chief says allows for even faster repairs and a rear wheel tracking package to measure toe, offset and tracking of the rear suspension. Velocity Max also includes Chief’s AutoScan and Estimator Pro-V software.



Eclipse evolution


28  collision Repair

VIsion X3

Velocity max


Collision Equipment Group


According to the company, Touch offers more features with fewer parts than competing systems. It sets up fast, measures in minutes and lets technicians monitor pulls while repairing vehicles. There are only six accessory pieces to deal with. The system diagnoses damage, writes estimates and prints reports. The system is portable and can be used in one stall and then rolled to another for diagnosis. Parts can be measured both on and off the vehicle, saving time when confirming that parts fit properly. CEG says that air currents and noise do not affect the operation of the Touch system. It also allows you to create your own measurements. It is full-frame friendly, the company says it can

The 3D Laser Measuring System has the ability to measure a vehicle on a two post lift or on jack stands on the floor, as well as on a frame rack or bench, due to tilt sensors in the scanner and intelligent and active targets that give the system the ability to compensate for pitch and roll. The company says this makes the system very useful for estimating, blueprinting and analyzing damage. The system provides 3D and colour coded graphical representations of the vehicle for location, extent of damage and corrective action required at each measuring point in height, width and length. LEDs on targets allow visualization of damage to reference points without the need to check the monitor on the console, allowing real time monitoring during the structural realignment process. The system uses the Mitchell International database for structural vehicle repair. The company

be used to measure anything you can touch. The Touch system provides alignment diagnosis, checks parts prior to installation, and can be used on the floor, under a lift, on a frame rack or holding devise. It does underbody and upper body measuring and prints before and after repair reports, offering accuracy to within 1 mm. There are no cables, mirrors, LEDs, cameras, infrared or sonic beams to be interrupted. The system has three pointers and three adapters.

says a typical vehicle can be measured on a two post lift in around 15 minutes. It also has the ability to generate and email a variety of different damage reports from the console itself.





Mo-Clamp offers measuring instruments for determining collision damage to unibody cars and for checking critical measurements during repair. The tram gauge is used to check dimensions between control points on suspension and mechanical components. This instrument easily establishes dimensions around components and checks contours by comparing measurements from one side of the vehicle to the other. The Mo-Clamp tram gauge has a builtin level bubble in the sliding head for accuracy in measurement. It comes in two sizes, one measuring up to 7 feet, the other, used for wheel base measurements, measures up to 11 feet. The instruments are made from anodized aluminium. Mo-Clamp also offers centreline gauges and strut tower alignment gauges, which when used with the tram gauges, provides a complete package of mechanical measuring devices to assure that frame repairs are made within manufacturer specifications. Mo-Clamp says its gauge system provides a basic, low-cost alternative to expensive laser, computer measuring systems, when quick and simple measurements are needed.

The Shark collision frame measuring system uses ultrasound technology to track inconsistencies in damaged vehicles. The system’s lightweight, aluminium measuring beam is equipped with highfrequency microphones designed to collect ultrasonic signals. These signals are emitted from devices attached to the vehicle at specific points by the technician. As the technician pulls the vehicle frame, the system continues to measure the vehicle to monitor the pull. The measuring system’s software is intended to be convenient and flexible for technicians by including three separate display style options. Reports can be customized to the needs of insurance companies and differing facilities, while a quick print comparison is useful for damage versus repair information to be used in making quotes. The vehicle dimension data source (EDATA) helps maintain consistency of OEM specifications and provides access to service bulletins and vehicle repair information. A magnifying glass function is included in the Shark system to allow techs to get a closer look at attachment points. A VIN code reader is available as an option.




Mo-Clamp Gauge system

3D Laser measuing

Shark electronic

march 2012  collision Repair  29


Wedge Clamp

Pivot measuring system

The Pivot Measuring System from Wedge Clamp is a mechanical system that can be used independently as a damage appraisal system or together with your straightening equipment during a repair. Wedge Clamp says that the system is so simple and so affordable that you can equip every technician in your shop with one. The measuring system uses a rotating telescoping action to access the entire vehicle from a single mounting point. The pointers mount on a cross-scale, which can reach any part of the vehicle from multiple angles. According to Wedge Clamp, the system can be used alone or in repairs by adding the Length and Height accessory. The Length and Height accessory allows for making three dimensional spec book measurements anywhere on the vehicle. The system remains mounted to the vehicle throughout the repair process in order to maintain accuracy. Wedge Clamp says the system self-confirms that its calibration is correct and automatically eliminates factory build-tolerance in the vehicle. The system comes complete with versatile mounting brackets for damage assessments.


WHERE TO BUY 1 Advanced

British Columbia Mike Chornoby, 250-388-4523

Measurement Systems #170-21320 Gordon Way Richmond, B.C. 604-207-9595

Ontario Jerry Snyder, 905-945-2878

2 Car-O-Liner

29900 Anthony Drive Wixom, Michigan 800-521-9696

6 Infinity 5251 West 74th Street Edina, Minnesota 952-392-6090

3 Celette 1142 N Main St. Lombard, Illinois 630-396-6100

7 Mo-Clamp 6920 SW 111th Ave. Beaverton, Orego 800-678-5548

4 Chief

996 Industrial Dr. Madison, Indiana 800-445-9262

8 Wedge Clamp

5 CEG Alta., Sask, Man. Stan Barlow, 403-680-5140

#170-21320 Gordon Way Richmond, B.C. 604-207-9595

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.

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.”

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?”

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

30  collision Repair

Balancing L the


Linda Procunier is helping industry professionals lead a more balanced life. By Amanda Skopec

Linda Procunier of Heartland B&B Collision Centre ~ CSN.

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

women of the industry

inda Procunier is a Quickbooks specialist. She is also a Summit Software specialist. And she can help you set up and integrate both programs and you will love her for it. Procunier has been a professional bookkeeper for 30 years, and has been part owner of Heartland B&B Collision Centre ~ CSN for the last three. The shop is located in the Heartland Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. The 18,000 square foot facility is BMW certified and so clean you can “eat off the floors,” says Procunier. While Procunier is at Heartland B&B, she is tending to the accounting, making sure the bills are paid and the books are balanced. When she is not at the shop, she is attending every Collision Solutions Network conference, from Toronto to Montreal, to help spread the word to the industry that accounting doesn’t have to be a chore any longer and that she can help. “Some shop owners don’t understand how important it is to keep the books up-to-date,” Procunier says. She knows how to integrate Quickbooks with Summit Software and she wants to make the business better. “Everybody uses Quickbooks. It is easy to use, but they don’t know where to begin,” she says. This is where Procunier comes in. She knows Quickbooks and Summit inside and out. For the last three years, she has been helping companies across the U.S. and Canada to integrate Quickbooks with the Summit management system. Clients fly her in to install, train and set up processes for daily and monthly accounting. She is also bilingual and so can provide her services to francophone companies. “At the end of the day, they feel comfortable when I leave because their books are balanced,” she says of helping her clients. Procunier is in huge demand now that people are catching on that this integration is a valuable and efficient system to have set up. Procunier has been getting all of her clients through referrals. “People are amazed at how accurate their books are and they are grateful for it,” she says. According to Procunier, it can take as little as three hours to set up the system, depending on the shop’s background, training level with Quickbooks and how accurate its books are to begin with. “In the long run, a shop’s bookkeeping costs will be significantly lowered after the system is set up because you don’t have an accountant manually inputting everything,” she says. Procunier also ensures full satisfaction by providing on-going support to her customers. In addition to being an active member of Collision Solutions Network, Procunier is also a member of the Women’s Industry Network and the Company of Women, where she attends monthly meetings. “It’s women helping women. Follow your dreams and be positive,” she says. One thing Procunier is positive about is that she knows the solutions she has for integrating these two software systems will only help you get to that dream quicker. For more information on Linda Procunier, please visit  CRM march 2012  collision Repair  31


Higher hiring

A how to guide for finding employees … and keeping them.


n today’s collision repair industry, finding employees is no cakewalk. Statistics show that the industry faces particular challenges that other industries may not. In a 2009 labour report from the CARS Council, statistical analysis revealed that close to 60 percent of labour demand is the result of workers leaving the sector. The report discussed image challenges facing the industry, such that collision repair employees are reluctant to recommend their occupation to others. Only 20 percent of employers felt they were prepared to refill vacancies due to retirement. But as difficult as it may be to find effective employees, there is yet another hurdle to consider: employee retention. In the same way a new piece of equipment or tool is an investment in your collision repair facility, so too is an employee. However, unlike equipment, employees come

in all shapes and sizes. They have different personalities and often times require more creative methods of maintenance. Hiring and training a new employee is an expensive investment. As facility owners, the thought of spending time and money training an employee and having that employee leave for another job might contribute to a few sleepless nights here and there. But what may seem a tricky obstacle course at first glance is in fact much simpler. After all, the needs of employees are not mysterious, unobtainable things; they are plain and simple human needs.

Basic Strategy

But before we delve into keeping an employee, let’s go over some strategies for finding one. The Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) recommends creating a “talent profile” before you begin your help wanted advertising. Your talent

32  collision Repair

profile is essentially a wish list of things you want and need from an employee. Eventually, your talent profile can be used to help you create a job description for an ad—but before you write the description, consider some of the following: 9 9 Is the position necessary or could you delegate the responsibilities to a combination of other employees? 99 Chat with your current employees. Ask them why they like their job, what they look for in an employer. Involving your employees in the decision making process will help to ensure the success of your new employee. 99 What “type” of person would best suit the position? How well does she get along with others, or work as an individual? A successful talent profile is one that answers a very important question: is a new employee critical to the success of my business? If you cannot answer this question

Illustration by Matthew so.

By W. Mike Dineen


with confidence, it may simply be that your business doesn’t need another employee. Don’t be afraid to consult your current employees—they are part of your team and will feel proud that you trust their opinions. Once you develop a successful profile write a rough draft of the job description. Clearly define the responsibilities, education requirements and previous experience. Reread the profile and ask others’ opinions on its wording before finalizing it. Make certain there are no discriminatory descriptions within your finalized draft (i.e. age, gender, ethnic background, etc.).

Multiple Methods

The CHRC report recommends using at least two, but ideally three, recruiting methods. Consider searching within your professional network. Make use of college and university recruitment services, employment agencies, online recruiting and print ads. Consider who you want to attract by asking yourself and your team what it is about your work environment that positively affects employees and encourages them to stay. One particular untapped resource in the industry is the apprentice, according to the 2009 CARS report. In spite of tax incentives and government programs for employers with apprentices, plus a proven return on investment, approximately one-third of collision repair facilities do not employ apprentices. Of those who hire them, 23 percent of facility owners report having difficulty retaining apprentices—due largely to unrealistic expectations and unchallenging work conditions. With the average age of technicians at 48, the Canadian Collision Industry Forum September report says that apprenticeships in the collision repair industry must increase by 60 percent to replace the aging population. The CHRC suggests using telephone interviews as a first step when screening for potential candidates. Calling candidates will save you time and money, and will help with the first set of eliminations. Eliminate those you can’t reach or don’t return your calls, and those with whom you feel no rapport. Ask each candidate the same set of questions to make comparing and contrasting easier. Select the best candidates from the telephone interviews and schedule a face-to-face meeting. Welcome the candidates warmly, review the job description openly, and leave

time for open-ended questions. Be chatty and welcoming, but probe for relevant information. Allow the candidate time to ask you any questions he may have. If others will be sitting in on the interview process, designate their roles prior to the interview.

Choose an Approach

There are two approaches to consider when interviewing: the traditional interview or the behaviour-based interview. The traditional interview asks open-ended questions that require more than a yes or no answer, while the behavioural asks questions like, “in such and such a circumstance, how did you react?” Both approaches can be mixed and mingled depending on the interview approach you like best. Use follow-up interviews to introduce potential candidates to your current team members. As well, remember to check references—the CHRC report considers this an integral step. Some of the top factors affecting employee retention are appreciation, liking co-workers, loyalty, communication, pride, responsibility, safety, financial support, access to training and work/life balance. An Alberta Human Resources and Employment publication lists other factors affecting retention. It recommends learning why your employees came to work for you, and why they stay. Anticipate turnovers— some employees might leave because of a single event, while others leave because of a build up of small events over a period of time. Provide orientation; let your employees know from the beginning that you have policies to protect them from injury and harassment. Be creative, host staff functions like barbecues and offer incentives and rewards for jobs well done. Recognize that your staff needs to balance their work with their life. Manage performance by communicating to your staff that they are part of a team. Check-in with your staff: even the equipment you use in your facility requires maintenance and check-ups from time to time. Perhaps the most important piece of equipment you have at your disposal is one that hasn’t been mentioned up to this point: you. In your search for staff and your goal to retain them, remember to check-in with yourself. As much as your staff requires the freedom to create balance between their personal and professional lives, so do you.  CRM

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By Mike Davey

History in I t r a P , s e r Pictu half of A look back at the first

our first ten years.


mpleted 10 Repair magazine has co ion llis Co at th ve lie be t’s hard to word can ’t seem that long. If one esn do y all re It n. tio ca years of publi ge. When that word would be chan , de ca de t las e th e ur pt accurately ca dustry was already begun, but the in d ha n tio da oli ns co d, we first starte owth for the day. We’ve seen a lot of gr to is it an th ted en gm fra much more s converted y shop in the country ha er Ev s. ar ye ten t las e th ent in place major networks over me form of lean managem so t pu ve ha s tie ili fac y process. We to waterborne, man aterials change the repair m w ne d an gy olo hn tec but it looks and we’ve seen new our pool had increased, lab e th at th t or rep d ul sincerely wish we co er. techs are just as rare as ev cular aspect like highly-skilled body ecial look back at a parti sp a re tu fea ll wi ar ye n of some Ever y issue this ’re bringing you a selectio we nd ou ar e tim is Th s. for a look of our first 10 year to 2006. Watch next issue 02 20 m fro os ot ph g tin of the most interes 2007 to 2011. back at the photos from

The Canadian contingent was very strong at IBIS in 2006, with a record number of Canadians (including some adopted Canadians) in attendance. The D’Alessandro’s from 427 Auto Collision ~ CSN, from left: Lorenzo, John, Ralph and Frank. Lorenzo D’Alessandro was on Collision Repair magazine’s first cover. At the time, there were exactly four CSN facilities. Today, there are over 90 across Canada.

Carstar first came to Canada in 1994, when Sam Mercanti and his team secured the Canadian rights to the network. This photo dates from 2002. Back row from left: Larry Jefferies, Exec. VP, Carstar; Craig Dowhaniuk, Exec. Dir. The Morgan Firestone Foundation; Stan Keyes, MP Hamilton West. Front: Sam Mercanti and Sam Malatesta.

Mitchell International’s Mike Jerry and Gino Mascarin of Mascarin Collision Centre at the CCIF AIA show in 2002.

march 2012  collision Repair  35




ve i n

r rsa


From top to bottom, left to right: Speaking of anniversaries, Regina Auto Body was celebrating its 80th year in business in 2004 when this photo was taken. Gracing one of the covers that year were, from left: Greg, Chris and Mike Mario. Their father, George, is seated in front. George passed away shortly after this photo was taken. We’ve been covering the people and events of NACE since our very first issue. From left: Bob Leibel, Director of Sales and Operations, Sherwin Williams Canada; Wayne Johnson and Serge LeBlanc. Chuck Sulkala, owner of Boston, Massachusetts based Acme Body and Paint at I-CAR in late 2002. Silvio Mascarin, aboard his very first tow truck, in 1962. Mascarin founded Mascarin’s Collision Centre in 1961, and was profiled in our Legends of the Industry section in 2006. Hans Teutsch of BMW, centre, conducting training at Budds’ Collision Centre in Oakville, Ontario in 2004. The facility hosted techs from across the continent and overseas for the training on repairs to the then brand-new aluminum frame BMWs. Teutsch traveled from Germany to conduct the training. Industry stakeholders pack Carmen’s Banquet Centre in Hamilton to help Carstar raise money to fight CF in 2004. Carstar has been supporting the fight against cystic fibrosis for almost as long as there has been a Carstar. This photo shows the BASF team at Carstar’s Banquet Night for CF in 2002. From left: Harry Dhanjal, Tony Ionno, Matt Kunkel and Mike Picanco. Looking over all of the photos we’ve taken over the years, one thing quickly becomes apparent: you people play a lot of golf. Needless to say, it’s always from the highest of motives and to help the tournament’s charity of choice, rather than a desire to hang around a golf course all day with your friends. This shot is from the Discount Car & Truck Rental Golf Tournament in 2006. From left: Mark DeLorenzo of Ryding Auto Body, Susan Ball of Discount, Rod Black of CTV Sports and TSN, Jay Singer of Discount, and Gloria Mann of Collision Repair magazine. Larry Jefferies of Carstar Automotive Canada appeared on our cover in 2004 after he became chair of AIA Canada.

36  collision Repair

10 th




From top to bottom, left to right: Martin Van Holst of Streamline Collision Centres stopped by our booth during NACE 2006. Carstar’s Team of Champions at the network’s eighth annual conference in 2005. The network honored over 40 facilities at the event. The inaguaral IBIS event in Montreux, Switzerland. Collision Repair magazine has been the exclusive Canadian Publishing Partner for IBIS since 2003, allowing us to bring you the latest news from key international thought leaders. Collision repairers gather at a restaurant at their annual snowmobile trip near Haliburton, Ontario. The annual event is organized by Bob Porter of Ploder’s Collision and Town Auto Body, and still takes place every year. CSN leapt beyond Ontario’s borders when the entire membership of Atlantic-based Collision Associates signed with the network in 2006. Back row, from left: Larry French, Terry Barkhouse, Terry Hill, Nick DiLuca, Gordon Reid, Lianne Perissonitti and Bev Groves. Seated: Dana Alexander and Lorenzo D’Alessandro. Members of Brampton, Ontario’s business community came out in 2006 to honour one of their own, Bill Strachan of Collex Collision Experts. The city’s Board of Trade awarded Strachan the distinction of 2005 Business Person of the Year. Shown here are Strachan and his family on the big night. Front row: Bill Strachan, Judy Strachan and their grandson Bradley Taber. Middle row: Karl Strachan, Kathy Strachan and Corey Taber. Back row: Jackie Strachan, Ken Strachan, Brigitte Strachan, Jeff Taber, Kelly Taber and Justin Taber. Doug Bychyk, owner of Doug’s Place and Doug’s Place Too in Edmonton. We profiled Bychyk in 2004. One of the most interesting things about Bychyk’s business model was that he spurned DRPs, but still managed to do over $1 million in business per year. His website is worth a visit for anyone who wants to see how this shop connects with customers. 3M’s Rick Berg and PPG’s Bill Stanzeleit at NACE. Berg passed away in 2010. The CSN team, celebrating the network’s first anniversary in 2003. The network will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2012.

march 2012  collision Repair  37



Lean Fails Tony Passwater of AEII outlines why there is no “magic button.”

By Ashleigh Johnston


ne of the greatest strengths of NACE lies in the seminars and education offered. Over the next year, we’ll be bringing some of the key elements of these presentations in every issue. This issue, we decided to drill down a little deeper into Tony Passwater’s presentation, titled “Why Lean Fails.” The lean method lends itself well in the manufacturing industry, and a version of the process has been applied effectively in the automotive collision industry. Make no mistake, though, there are challenges to putting lean production into place in the collision repair environment. At NACE 2011, Tony Passwater of AEII, presented his ideas on “Why Lean Fails” and pointed out the common mistakes people make which prevents successful lean implementations, and how we can recognize and avoid them. Passwater has been in-

volved in the automotive collision industry since 1972, and a student of Kaizen/lean since 1999. He’s worked as a technician, a lead painter, metal technician, structural technician, and has designed and managed collision repair facilities and all facets of the operation. He currently works with shops

38  collision Repair

worldwide on business improvements, including lean/Kaizen implementation. “Don’t ever implement without the understanding, preparation, commitment, measurement, and strategy involved in how to do it. If you begin to try and go down that path of lean, without a good strategy and Hundreds of professional collision repairers attend informative seminars at NACE every year.


those other factors in place, you’re pretty much going to fail at some point in time, it’s going to probably fail, and that’s one thing we want to avoid,” cautioned Passwater. There are eight key elements to implementing lean successfully, but if you fail to execute these elements properly in one or more areas, you will have limited to no success. The very first commitment that will define your success or failure is taking a major leap of faith. According to Passwater, “If you’re not willing to make that leap of faith, don’t even try.” Eliminating waste will be the second obstacle you face, primarily because one of the greatest obstacles managers face is in understanding the difference between eliminating and only minimizing. Passwater spoke about our great quest for the magic button, that a new tool will make all of our problems disappear, and our misconception that lean is going to be like

that magic button. Passwater assured us that, that are involved in your staff and your or“Yes, Kaizen/lean has lots of tools, they have ganization in regards to it.” many options to be used, but kaizen and lean Over and over again, people fall back into is much more than that. There are no magic old habits shortly after they implement a few buttons, and if you continually go to look for quick improvements. Passwater explained that those magic buttons you are going to be very success is often missed due to poor timing. inefficient and disappointed. You’re going to “You will make the most progress simply try one thing, and then you’re going to try by starting with small steps and by continuing another, and then another without actually to build on them. It’s also important to keep successfully implementing the process.” track of your progress Leadership, commitment, under- b ecaus e “without standing, timing, preparation, strategy, measurement evmeasurement and communication with erything’s debatable. the combination of teamwork are the eight You need the data,” key factors to achieving success in lean. As said Passwater. a leader you have to support the changes The last topics 100 percent. If you have any doubt in the to b e touche d process with regard to your commitment, on we re c om Tony Passwater is the you have a very slim chance of success and munication and President of AEII, and improvement. More importantly, it is your teamwork. Both works with shops around the world to improve their responsibility to lead the change and in- elements are vital businesses, including clude your employees in the entire process. to maintaining a lean implementation. The biggest untapped resources you have well oiled mafor improvement are your employees. chine. Passwater “Some of the best ideas come from the said that communication is “… very often people that are doing the work. They are one way, very often a situation in which the ones that do it everyday, and they are we think we are communicating well, we the ones that are going to provide you with think we are getting that information out, your best suggestions,” said Passwater. but there is no communication unless both “You can know a lot about something but parties understand it.” not really understand it,” said Passwater. “One Many things can go wrong in this step of the biggest mistakes about trying to im- so it is important to communicate often, prove quality is trying to improve quality in and communicate effectively. Ask questions, the product itself. That’s the wrong approach. make sure everyone is on the same page You don’t ever try to fix quality by analyzing and working together as a team. Passwater the product only. You have to go and fix the stressed that, “… the approach of teamwork process you use to make the product or com- is the key difference between failure and sucplete the service, and as you improve that cess. Without teamwork, you will fail at lean. process your quality improves.” Teamwork allows you to achieve results you Passwater explained that “Without proper would never be able to achieve individually.” preparation it leads to failure, without If you are able to recognize and avoid commitment it leads to failure, without these common mistakes Passwater touched an understanding of what it’s supposed to on when implementing lean in your shop, accomplish it leads to failure, and without you will find more success in eliminating the leadership it’s going to lead to failure.” waste and improving your productivity.  CRM Not allowing a suitable amount of time for preparation is a common mistake. “If you rush into 5S, you’re just doing a spring cleaning,” warned Passwater. “You have to not only For Spraybake OEM parts learn as the leader, service and technical support, but you’re going Call 1-866-325-2886 to have to learn to teach the people march 2012  collision Repair  39

point blank with piercey

Diminishedvalue What it is, and how to avoid it. By Sam Piercey


iminished value is the reduction in a vehicle’s market value that occurs after a vehicle is wrecked and repaired, also called accelerated depreciation. A reasonable person will not pay the same price for a wrecked, then repaired, vehicle, as they would for a vehicle with no prior accident history. Even if the repairs are properly done, the vehicle will still lose value. To collect diminished value after a car accident, insurance companies usually ask for a “diminished value report.” These reports are usually generated after an unbiased third

rienced techs and trying to save money! What don’t these guys understand about the repair process? When we are faced with a major decision on the Blue Print (i.e., estimate) that will save us money, we need to educate the customer on the concept of diminished value, and what they are headed for.

Your Reputation

We need to realize that this becomes your reputation on the repair when the customer says, “I had it fixed at ‘Heckyl and Jeckyl’ repair shop.” You’re held responsible for the back talk around town,

It can’t always be the cheap way out. party appraiser inspects and appraises the vehicle and establishes the loss value.

Why now?

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

Why do I choose this time to talk about diminished value? Because it burns my ass. We’re instructed to fix cars with mud repairs to vehicles that are worth good money, but now become your nightmare because the first repair shop was told to butcher the car and our customer takes the hit. People need to understand what level of investments are made in purchasing new and high end vehicles. A high end and/or high performance car involved in a collsion is now worth a lot less than if it wasn’t involved in a collision. As collision repairers, we need to consider this when repairing those vehicles, and show some simple, human respect for the customer’s car. It can’t always be the cheap way out for the customer who gets it in the ying-yang because there is no respect for the now worth-a-lot-less vehicle. As repairers, we need to understand this: no short cuts, no butchery, no unexpe-

40  collision Repair

because you “ruined” the vehicle and you become the loser. If you do the repair right, and use the proper bits to put it back to pre-accident condition you have a lot less chance of contributing to the vehicle’s diminshed value. In a lot of repairs, I’m sure if you explain to the customer the way you are going to repair the vehicle and what it is you’re doing, and see that your people follow through and keep the “shoemaker tech” off that repair, you will get a lot more respect from the customer and the insurance company. It will also leave a lot less likely to diminsh the vehicle in repair. Take a look at what your techs are doing. Provding good education to the customer and the insurance company will make a difference in some of the “Diminshed Value.”  CRM Sam Piercey is the co-owner of Budds' Collision Services in Oakville, ON. Sam is a long-time Coyote member and sits on many boards and committees. He can be reached at

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social media

socialmatters The first step is understanding why social media is so important.

By Jonathan Barrick


elcome to the first in a series of quick tips designed to help you understand social communications, get started on the right foot and build a thriving online presence. It’s not as daunting as it may seem at first. If you haven’t made your way in to the social arena yet, fear not. It’s never too late to do things right. Customers are flocking in mind-boggling numbers to social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. They’re tuning out of traditional media and tuning in to these new media channels where they are in charge. Some are tired of being shouted at by traditional advertising, some are looking to heap praise and compliments on their favourite brands, some are looking for discounts or exclusive offers and some

your market more intimately than you could ever have done previously and to build a lasting and valuable relationship with your customers and your community. Do it right and stick with it, and the benefits will be huge. The implications for collision repair shops are significant. The inherent nature of the industry is that customers don’t tend to do a great deal of research or looking around until they are already in a bad situation. Providing useful, helpful information and advice through your social media efforts builds a solid online reputation of trust and legitimacy. When customers start hunting for a repair service, how valuable would it be for their search results to be peppered with links to your website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed or YouTube channel? Real-time communications with your customers

“Social” is important because it offers you opportunities to be better than ever before. are looking to sound their complaints and have their voices heard. But if we take a step back and look at the real motivator, we can see that people really want one thing above all else: to be valued. They want to be appreciated, above and beyond a simple “thanks for your money.” In a small, very personal way, they want to become a part of the brands they do business with. When a customer “Likes” your page on Facebook, or “Follows” you on Twitter, they’re giving you a public thumbs-up and approval to talk to them directly. They’re giving you the opportunity to prove that they really matter. In return, they essentially become a part of your team. When someone interacts with you in the public forums of social media, they are now one of your brand reps, one of your market research sources and one of your media contacts. They are your most valuable business partners because they are your customers. Nobody understands what it’s like to do business with you better than they do. “Social” is important because it offers you opportunities to be better than ever before; to understand the real motivators that drive your customers; to understand 42  collision Repair

means you will be able to achieve higher customer retention, better understanding of your markets and greater reach of your messages. You will become more “findable” through improved search engine rankings and a greater presence across some of the most popular web properties. Your business will become more authentic, and the brand image of your business will be strengthened by real-time public testimony of your customers. The benefits of social communications are real, and they are powerful. Social communications are exciting, and you should be getting excited for the opportunities they present for your business! In coming articles, we’ll get into more hands-on tips to ensure your company is setup properly in social media, starts sharing the kinds of content that will resonate with your fans, and really makes a positive effort to connect with your customers.  CRM Jonathan Barrick is the Marketing Manager for Global Finishing Solutions, and a strong proponet of social media for business. He can be reached at 705-719-4014 or via email to jbarrick@

prairie view

Customerservice Ideology makes a poor substitute for dedication. By Tom Bissonnette


ou can feel the momentum in Saskatchewan, the past five or six years have been like no others in our history …” So say the advertisements from the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce with their On Track Saskatchewan campaign. Indeed, things are popping in our province, everyone in business seems to be busy. With all this economic good news we still have challenges. It used to take me six minutes to get to my office, now it takes about 12! There are way more cars on the road here than ever before! In the past five years we have had three “cities” develop within our city limits – two of them in neighboruhoods adjacent to our shop. Our work backlog is running four to six weeks all year around. Life is good. Or is it? We had a great summer, lots of hot weather – and with it comes hail storms, at least four major ones that have contributed to the workflow at our shop. Currently we have two PDR technicians, and we are

booking jobs into the spring of next year. Lots of this damage is not able to be fixed by PDR alone, so a job that comes in for two or three days turns into a five or six day job. Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is the lone insurance provider in our province for damage over $700. All claims, with the exception of glass, must be brought to a claims centre for a repair estimate. The appraisers have just 20 minutes to complete an estimate, and they are run off their feet.


In fact, SGI has these guys, some recently recalled retired appraisers, and a crew from Manitoba working evenings and weekends to help with the estimate backlog! They rented space at one of the local soccer facilities and set up a temporary estimating centre.What a tremendous expense! Can you think of any other options? How about getting the local shops to do the estimates? Isn’t this


IBIS is the global forum for collision repair. More than 300 senior managers and executives annually attend from over 30 different countries to discuss issues, exchange ideas and share information. Be a part of this unique event and bring the industry together. For more details or to book your place, contact the IBIS Team on: +44 (0)1296 642826 or email:


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44  collision Repair

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prairie view

what is done pretty much clear across Canada except in government insurance provinces? Heck, even government insurance in British Columbia has Valet Shops doing estimates on smaller jobs. With digital photos and internet connections you would think this would be a no-brainer, but our short-sighted government bureaucrats cannot seem to see past their ideology of, “I’m from the government and I am here to help you.”

Friday off and a lucrative pension adds up to more than most shops can afford at our door rates. If SGI feels the need to take the technicians from our industry, why don’t they look at the guys in their 50s? They’ve got the experience and, physically, it would give them a break to do estimates. Rather than hire our young up-and-coming technicians, why don’t they look at something like ICBC’s

IF SGI feels the need to take techs, why don’t they look at the guys in their 50s? We also have a lot of union mentality that just cannot stand to see the private sector do any of “their” work. On the other hand, SGI continues to hire more technicians from the industry. Recently, a young man under thirty was hired from a local Dodge dealer. The shop spends all the time and money to train the guy, just getting him to the stage where he is a productive journeyman, and SGI scoops him up with no thought about how that shop will fill his shoes. Once these guys get these jobs they seldom come back to the industry. Good union wages with every second

Valet Service, and consider letting qualified collision repair facilities do appraisals? It is time for SGI management to wake up and look at the situation from the eyes of the collision shops. 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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march 2012  collision Repair  45

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Contents Recycling News......................47-51 Association conferences, the DreamLift and much more.


Recyclers team with Sunshine to help kids By Mike Davey

The Sunshine Foundation is the only national Canadian charity to provide individual dreams to children with severe physical disabilities (such as spina bifida or cerebral palsy) as well as life-threatening illnesses. For the last few years, they’ve had a very special partner in this mission: Canada’s automotive recyclers. One of the Sunshine Foundation’s most prominent events is the DreamLift, a one-day whirlwind adventure that transports approximately 80 children and their health care providers to an exciting destination such as a Disney theme park. For 2012, the DreamLift is being sponsored by the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association (OARA) in partnership with the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC). Funds from OARA and ARC are raised through the vehicle retirement programs they operate such as Car Heaven and Retire Your Ride. There’s no question that the Sunshine Foundation’s DreamLift program makes a difference in the lives of the children they serve. As just one example, we’d like to introduce you to Emily: “Emily is a bubbly 8-year-old who adores Mickey, Minnie, and all the Disney characters,” according to a statement from the Sunshine Foundation. “Emily lives with cerebral palsy and her body can’t always keep up with her enthusiasm to go everywhere and try everything. But according to her mom, she is incredibly tough and works hard at physiotherapy to stay mobile. She used every ounce of her energy to get around the Magic Kingdom when her Sunshine Dream came true and she got to visit Walt Disney World

Emily with a new friend that she met during the 2011 DreamLift trip to Walt Disney World.

with her Mom and Dad this fall. Although she loved the rides and the fireworks, meeting Goofy, Donald and all the others was absolutely Emily’s favourite part of the trip!” OARA also raises funds for the Sunshine Foundation through its Tire Take Back Days, in conjunction with Ontario Tire Stewardship. The event will take place the week of May 28 to June 2. For more information on the Sunshine Foundation, please visit More information on OARA and ARC can be found at and

Recycling column..................52-53 Green Parts by David Gold

Location set for next ARAAC meeting The Automotive Recyclers Association of Atlantic Canada (ARAAC) has announced the location for its biggest event yet. ARAAC’s next meeting will take place May 25 to 26 at Hotel Casino New Brunswick, Moncton’s only 4.5 star resort. As with previous meetings, ARAAC Direct Members receive two complimentary event registrations plus two complimentary room nights at the hotel. Official registration forms will be available soon. Associate Members receive one complimentary event registration, and can make their room reservations directly with the hotel by calling 1-877-859-7775 or 1-506-861-4661 and mentioning the “ARAAC Room Block” to receive the discounted rate of $159 per night. Rian Garner of Counts Consulting will be the special industry speaker for the event. Garner will also headline the OARA convention in March. For more on what he has planned, please see the story on page 49. For more information on ARAAC, please visit

The ARAAC meeting will take place at Hotel Casino New Brunswick.

march 2012  collision Repair  47

recycling news i

news resource

AARDA conference to focus on recognition and training The Alberta Automotive Recycling & Dismantlers Association (AARDA) has released the official details of its upcoming 2012 annual general meeting and conference. It will take place April 27 and 28 at Chateau Louis Hotel and Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. Themes for this year’s conference include employee recognition and training. “We’ll be making a real effort to get as many of our members and their staff out as possible,” says Ian Hope, Executive Director of AARDA. “We’ve been able to accumulate some new funding from the Ford and GM End-of-Life vehicle programs, so AARDA will be providing reduced registration fees, based on the number of delegates each yard sends to the conference.” The 2012 AARDA Conference will provide recyclers and dismantlers with provocative and informative education sessions, as well as the opportunity to network with peers. “Training sessions are being planned that will provide folks working in the auto recycling industry with sharpened skills on a number of areas including positive customer relations, communicating professionally, selling skills, and environmental best practices,” says Hope. One education highlight from the upcoming conference is Communications Bull’s Eye!, presented by Tom Bradshaw. Bradshaw is an executive trainer and corporate speaker in voice, speech and presentation skills. He is on the faculty at York University, teaching acting, voice and public speaking, and his insights come from 25 years as an actor, director and speech educator. In addition, Hope says the

two day event will be filled with the same great fun and networking opportunities as always. Spouses are being encouraged to attend as well, and special guest rates are provided. The entertainment for the evening dinner event will feature Robert Manolson, of Powerful Play Experiences. “Robert will lead us in an entertaining activity right after dinner that demonstrates the Robert Manolson of Powerful Play magic and benefits of having Experiences will provide after dinner entertainment, and provide valuable fun,” says Hope. “The acinsights about having fun at work. tivity is designed to provide new insights about how that concept can also be applied at work, making for stronger teams and results. We haven’t done this before at a conference and Robert’s activity is sure to leave you with something valuable to take away.” For room reservations, please call Chateau Louis Hotel at 780452-7770 or 800-661-9843 and ask for the AARDA rate. The Ramada Hotel just across the street from the Conference will be handling overflow bookings, and can be reached at 780-454-5454.

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48  collision Repair

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garner’s goal is to inspire at ARAAC and OARA Conferences By Amanda Skopec

Rian Garner has held almost every position in the auto recycling business and wants to share his experiences. He’ll get the chance at the ARAAC meeting in May and the OARA conference in March. “These events are important for the industry so managers and owners can get rejuvenated and inspired so they can go back, improve operations and increase sales,” Garner says. He is part of the Counts Consulting Group and has a wealth of over 10 years experience in both full service and self-service auto recycling. He will have two main topics for discussion at both events. One topic will be sales management made easy; specifically, how to get the most from your sales staff. Garner has a proven sales management structure that focuses on the key aspects of sales management. He will cover activity as well as measurement points in his presentation. Garner says, “It’s about how to motivate your staff. As well, providing a proven set of metrics that myself and other industry professionals rely on.” His second topic will be the important points of vehicle purchasing. Garner says this is one aspect of your business that requires special attention. He will help you understand the best approach to this department and will cover some key metrics to track. Garner says, “You can make or break your business through purchasing. If you don’t have it, you can’t sell it.”

Garner started his career in the pricing and procurement department with LKQ, and his responsibilities included calculating bids, pricing parts, and coordinating auctions for the west region. In addition to pricing and procurement, he also held the position of Regional Sales Manager. Rian Garner. He was promoted to Plant Manager-intraining and within six months became the Plant Manager. He held the position of Site Manager with Greenleaf Auto Recyclers, and specialized in growing sales and increasing production efficiency. Garner was then promoted to the position of Regional Director with Pick N Pull, and was responsible for the operations of three self-service yards. The ARAAC meeting and the OARA Convention will be some of Garner’s inaugural speaking engagements. “I have a more grassroots and fresh approach to the business, ” Garner says. His education consists of an undergraduate degree in accounting and an MBA from Kent University. “I have held almost every position in the business and I have a real passion for it, ” says Garner. For more information about attending these events, please visit and

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march 2012  collision Repair  49

recycling news i

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CAREC is the new “Gold Standard” for auto recyclers The new Canadian Auto Recyclers’ Environmental Code (CAREC) is another step along the road to distinguish legitimate auto recyclers from the junkyards in the eyes of the public. Recyclers adhering to this code identify themselves as some of the “good guys.” Steve Fletcher, Managing Director of the Auto Recyclers of Canada (ARC), explains the evolution of the program. “This came out of Environment Canada’s National Code of Practice for Automotive Recyclers, developed to support the Retire Your Ride scrappage program. It laid out some pretty stringent compliance requirements for a recycling operation to properly process a vehicle. CAREC goes beyond the structure of the original program and has become an invaluable resource for automotive recyclers in the environmentally sound management of end-of-life vehicles.” There are three goals for the new program, and each is laudable

by itself. First, CAREC will convey the legal and mandatory requirements before, during and after the recycling process and promote best management practices within the industry. The second goal is to help to promote pollution prevention and promote the vehicle recovery industry, in turn helping to reduce the ecological impact of the automotive sector. Third, to ensure that there is a consistent set of practices that are aligned with federal, provincial, and municipal regulations, as well as with product and industry stewardship programs. ARC has made it a condition of membership that all Direct Members must maintain their certification. The certification itself requires that the facility pass an independent audit. The audit uses a standardized protocol to measure the facility itself and the processes used. For more information on CAREC, please visit

Japan to launch automotive recycling innovation program For more than 12 years, Lecavalier Auto Parts has run an industrial visit program for motorized equipment students in Québec. This program enables several groups of bodywork, mechanics, parts and accessory sales and technical advisor students to learn about the automotive recycling industry. Lecavalier also offers programs on the recycling of parts for motorized equipment teachers to help demystify this often misunderstood branch of the automotive world. These two programs were nominated as best practice in sustainable development during the World Forum Lille in France in 2010, and they are now available in the directory of environmentally responsible companies. Other Canadian companies can be found here too, such as Mountain Equipment CO-OP and McCain Foods factory. For more information on the recognition of Lecavalier for sustainable development practices, please visit More information on Lecavalier Auto Parts’ programs can be found at



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ARA urges changes to parts compensation models The U.S. based Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) is calling on the collision repair industry to use a system where all part choices are provided with equal consideration. The levels of compensation are a major factor in parts choice. The ARA believes that the current system is biased, as the largest financial rewards go to shops that choose the most expensive option for replacement parts. ARA’s board of directors has issued a statement saying that collision repair professionals can only make the best repair decisions if insurers promote a system of compensation that takes all parts options into account.

i  recycling news

Serving the Automotive Industry for Over 45 Years

fire at abe’s auto recycling A serious fire at Abe’s Auto Recycling left one staff member with injuries and caused more than $500,000 in damage. Located east of Toronto in the community of Bowmanville, Abe’s Auto Recycling sits on 18 acres of land. Renovations in recent years have seen improvements made to the physical plant, and a night shift was added in 2011 to help process vehicles more efficiently. The fire broke out on January 17 at about 8:30 a.m., in one of the buildings used for vehicle disassembly. Emergency vehicles from the communities of Bowmanville, Courtice, Orono and Newcastle attended the scene, and the fire was brought under control within two hours. The injured staff member was taken to Lakeridge Health Bowmanville, where he was treated for minor burns and released. The building where the fire started was burned to the ground. Staff members at the facility have confirmed that plans are underway to rebuild. Fire Chief Gord Weir confirmed that the cause of the fire was not suspicious. “We’re treating the fire as accidental,” said Weir.

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march 2012  collision Repair  51

recycling i

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Greenparts Consumers want it. You can give it to them. By David Gold


uto recyclers have been collaborating and working together more diligently in recent years in an effort to highlight and promote the reasons why “green recycled parts” should be a sought after option for a vehicle’s repair. We spread that message in trade publications and in industry forums and conventions. Going forward, auto recyclers are taking our message to the next level. We will work with our key customers to help promote our products and services, and create a win-win for our customers and yours. Riding the green wave makes sense from environmental and business perspectives. There is a certain group of customers that actively seek out and demand greener choices when they look for products and services. By offering these consumers an environmentally conscious, less expensive alternative to new OEM parts, you will be opening up new market opportunities. What auto recyclers have set in motion for our trade customers is something akin to a point of sale

52  collision Repair

promotion. Taking the lead from our provincial association, OARA, and under the guidance of John Couper of Couper Marketing Solutions, we have designed and created materials for you to show consumers that your shop promotes greener choices. We will show consumers this attractive option from both environmental and cost saving perspectives. Consumers who establish a level of trust with a business are far more likely to buy from that business. A recent study by a national repair chain showed that trust and price are key factors driving business with auto repairers. Some shocking statistics: • 45 percent of customers are motivated by fear (not understanding what they’re buying, being overcharged or sold something they don’t really need). • Another 15 percent were strictly price shoppers. • Only 40 percent said they were just looking for a quality job done right. As John Couper says, “Those figures weigh heavily in favour of at least offering their customers the option

news resource

of having their vehicle repaired using green recycled parts. What better way to build a relationship of trust and loyalty than to offer people the choice of a more economical way to repair their vehicle?” This culminates in greater business volume, in that these options are more economically feasible for many customers. Couper says, “Green parts will help assist shops in closing more deals and repair more vehicles, whereas new OEM parts may either be un-

i  recycling

The concept is to make it easy for consumers to be able to purchase green parts through their chosen repair facility, and shops can boast about the access of parts that they have available to them at discount prices. Repair facilities that can promote themselves effectively as being a one-stop shop for quality replacement parts, in addition to the quality repair will be the real winners. Auto recyclers have recognized that we need to

45 percent of customers are motivated by Fear. Another 15 percent are price shoppers. affordable or just don’t make sense given the age or condition of a particular vehicle. At roughly half the cost of OEM parts, recycled parts can suddenly turn a no-go into a viable repair. Again, it’s a win-win situation for the consumer and the repairer.” Auto recyclers have embraced these strategies and are investing significantly to increase awareness and demand for green recycled parts. Each repair facility can be provided with display materials, including point of purchase posters, and countertop brochure holders with our consumer-oriented brochures.

work more closely with our customers so we can both realize an increase in our products and services. It’s a team effort, and we appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate how, with the proper marketing tools, your shop can attract new customers seamlessly!  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

What does this polar bear have in common with the Switch Out program? Since the program began in 2001, Switch Out has recovered and properly managed over half a million mercury switches. That’s equivalent to 425 kilograms of mercury, or the weight of an adult male polar bear!

Be sure to do your part to collect even more mercury switches in 2012. In addition to meeting the requirements of the Zero Mercury scrap purchasing policy, you’ll be helping keep the environment mercury-free. The April collection sweep is fast approaching so please remember to return your collection container even if you have just one switch.

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march 2012  collision Repair  53

who’s driving?

buildLoyalty You can find the key to every member of your staff. By Jay Perry


he 9th Annual MetLife’s Study of Employee Benefits Trends offers a warning and clear message to employers: “Reprioritize employee loyalty and satisfaction, or economic recovery may arrive with unanticipated setbacks for retention and productivity.” In other words, happy employees now may mean less turnover later. The MetLife study revealed a startling statistic: “One in three employees hopes to be working elsewhere in the next 12 months.” This is a high level of dissatisfaction and implicit disloyalty. But the study also revealed a dis-

to them. I really mean engaging, where they’’re truly and fully engaged. It could be hang-gliding, paintball, gocarting, painting houses, building bird cages, anything. The point is that if you do not know what it is and somehow figure out how to acknowledge it, thus validating that person, you are not building a satisfied employee. I will give you an example. Yesterday a client was showing me how he did this by simply watching his employees’ eating habits. He saw one tech that was very conscientious in eating fresh fruit. On occasion my client brought him some

Employers perceive employees to be more loyal than they are. connect. Employers perceive employees to be more loyal than they are, and are oblivious to the looming retention challenge. Here are the key numbers from the MetLife study: • Just 44 percent of small business employees felt loyal to their company in 2010. • By comparison, 62 percent of the same categor y of employees felt loyal in 2008. • Meanwhile, 54 percent of employers believe their employees feel a strong sense of loyalty to their firm. Do you see a problem with perception and the reality? I do! So how do you go about fixing this situation? You start building relationships with your staff. Does that mean they are all coming over for Sunday dinner? No. It means they should be known at an individual level. That will take an investment of your time, getting to know what turns them on. I like to call it the “Key,” and everyone has one. All of the people in your company has something that is uniquely exciting

oranges, pears or some fruit saying, “I just bought a case of these and my family cannot eat all of them before they go bad, so please take these off my hands and enjoy. They are really good.” In doing so, he communicated so much to the employee about his recognized individuality because he was the one that received the item that he valued more than others. So look for something your individual employees hold as unique and recognize that. B e conscious of outstanding behavior that supports the company’s goals and recognize them in front of the others with a “Tim’s” card or some token of your appreciation. Do you have an Employee of the Month? Why not? It doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be. It’s the recognition, not the size of the prize, that will keep you the one who is driving.  CRM

54  collision Repair

Jay Perry is the founder of Automotive Business Consultants, a performance coaching company. He can be reached via e-mail at

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