Page 1



Accessing OEM data and codes.



Draft compensation plans that motivate.



Budds’ Collision Services has a first in North America.

The owners of CARSTAR Rawdon approach body repair as an investment.


Shop owner invents metal mixing cup, Carles Navarro of BASF on true sustainable value, students show off their skills across the country, and much, much more!!!



Volume 12, Number 3


June 2013




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 Volume 12 Issue 3, June 2013

31 Best of both worlds The team at CARSTAR Rawdon has business and technical expertise.

features 36  executive vision Carles Navarro of BASF on true sustainability and shop challenges. 39  the bonus benefit The right incentives can take your techs to the next level. 45 refinish spotlight Produc Some of the best options in SPOTLIG t HT! booths, spray guns and more. 49 Security first The VSP program will give techs the ability to access OEM information.



Above: Continuing an enduring legacy at the newest Martino Bros~CSN location: Vince Martino, Toronto’s mayor Rob Ford, Vince Martino Sr., Emilia Martino, Marie Martino and Jack Martino.


06 COLLISION REPAIR 55 Towing & Recovery 57  RECYCLING



Mitchell’s Greg Horn answers readers’ questions.

04 Publisher’s page  by Darryl Simmons Open door policy. Budds’ Collision Services in Oakville is still the Taj Mahal of collision facilities.

23  Who’s driving?  by Jay Perry Think and grow rich. 24 Prairie View  by Tom Bissonnette Still waiting.

On the Cover: Patrick Duplessis, Claude St-Onge and Claude Taylor of CARSTAR Rawdon.



Photography by: Peter Ford

Accessing OEM data and codes.



Draft compensation plans that motivate.



Budds’ Collision Services has a first in North America.

The owners of CARSTAR Rawdon approach body repair as an investment.


Shop owner invents metal mixing cup, Carles Navarro of BASF on true sustainable value, students show off their skills across the country, and much, much more!!!



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

26 Point Blank  by Sam Piercey Accreditation. 28  social media  by Jonathan Barrick SEO demystified. 34  View from the Top  by Dick Cross Down with pyramids!


64  Recycling  by David Gold Sustainable recycling.

HAVE YOUR SAY. We welcome your comments on anything you see in

66 Last word  by Mike Davey Global impact.


Volume 12, Number 3


June 2013




Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40841632


86 John Street, Thornhill, ON L3T 1Y2

Collision Repair magazine. Send your feedback to editor@collisionrepairmag.com.

june 2013  collision Repair  03

publisher’s page

opendoor Immigration policy should place value on skills. By Darryl Simmons


think there is a need to relax or at least change our immigration rules. Currently, the total number of immigrants we’ll take per year is set at 250,000 with various acceptance requirements. I think this number should be increased overall, placing people by geography where possible. This isn’t just about getting skilled workers, although that’s a big part of the reason I think it’s a good idea. We’ll also get more drivers and more cars on the road. Starting this year, the Federal government rolled out a new program intended to speed the arrival to Canada of for-

PUBLISHER DARRYL SIMMONS (905) 370-0101 publisher@collisionrepairmag.com general manager Ryan Potts ryan@mediamatters.ca

devalue some of the skills most essential to a modern society. I’m sure you’ve heard of the recent flap about temporary foreign workers hired by the Royal Bank of Canada. It shows the IT sector has enough people to do the work, so this move is clearly more about controlling wages on RBC’s part than it is finding people with the right skills. Ideally, skilled workers coming into the Canadian collision business are not going to compete on wage, but on filling the needs of collision repair facilities in smaller communities. Toronto, Vancouver

EDITOR MIKE DAVEY editor@collisionrepairmag.com ART DIRECTOR DANIELA LUBERTO daniela@collisionrepairmag.com Assistant eDITOR ANDREW ARDIZZI andrew@mediamatters.ca Interns abby cohoe, hayden kenez COLUMNISTS DAVID GOLD, Dick Cross, JAY PERRY, jonathan barrick, SAM PIERCEY, TOM BISSONNETTE VP INDUSTRY RELATIONS GLORIA MANN (647) 998-5677 advertising@collisionrepairmag.com

this isn’t just about getting skilled workers. eign tradespeople whose skills are in demand, but collision repairers are not on the list. The Department of Immigration is only taking 3,000 applicants for the first year in any case. It’s more of a trickle than a flood. The program might help if they could expand to target more trades, including collision repair. One of the great things about it is that immigrants don’t have to meet the criteria of the points system used for the rest of the federal skilled worker category. It tends to evaluate university education, and especially advanced degrees, much more highly than skilled trades training. A post-doctorate degree in, for example, art history, would probably net you a lot more points than 20 years experience as a welder. I’ve got no doubt that this system was drafted with the best of intentions, probably with the idea of netting top-flight scientists, engineers, doctors and yes, even artists. But its effect has been to

and Montreal all have fairly robust populations of techs. You might still have trouble finding good people in those places, but your brothers and sisters in Medicine Hat and Wawa have it worse. Why not institute a system that lets skilled tradespeople immigrate more easily if they’re willing to move to an underserved location for a set number of years? There are some details to iron out, but it could be a boon for shop owners. Connect with other shop owners on a local level, and then later on a national level. Letting the government know is one of the first steps in getting anything done along these lines, and setting up a lobby group with other shop owners might be part of the answer. CRM

04  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

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

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

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

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



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the front end

People on the move Fix Auto Canada has announced that Laura Pennings has joined the team as Senior Business Development Manager. Pennings brings a decade of experience that began as an associate insurance agent specializing in professional sales and Laura customer service. Pennings. Soon after, her career in the industry advanced into the collision sector where her skills and knowledge expanded into account and relationship building with focus on fleet, brokers and insurance partnerships. Pennings will work with the insurance sales department as Fix Auto continues to expand with existing and prospective partnerships. David Brunori has been promoted to Division President of Quest Automotive Products (QAP), a division of Quest Speciality Chemicals. A statement David Brunori. from the company says the promotion is reflective of the overall responsibility and success that Brunori has shown in providing leadership to his business unit which includes Matrix System Automotive Finishes. Marcel Dionne has been announced as the recipient of this year’s prestigious AIA Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award was presented at the AIA Aftermarket Conference for Executives held at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, Que., on April 12. With over 37 years of industry involvement,

Dionne is well known in the aftermarket industry as one of its most influential leaders. Dionne ended his career serving as Vice President of the UAP Auto Parts Division from 1992 to 2000. Serving his company while always respecting his competitors, Dionne sat on various committees responsible for promoting the industry’s interests. He was also a member Marcel of AIA’s National Dionne. Board of Directors for two years. Mike Kaplaniak has been appointed to the position of Director of Operations and Development for Ontario by UNIPARTS OEM. As an operations and sales professional in the automotive and collision industry, Kaplaniak brings to his new position a solid understanding of the industry with over 25 years of experience, with past positions as Business Development Specialist, Product Manager and most recently as Director of Operations at Fix Auto. Managing the Ontario sales team, Kaplaniak will focus on developing the Ontario market by building a strong genuine OEM parts Mike network. UNIPARTS Kaplaniak. OEM of Canada is a well-established genuine automotive part brokerage company specialized in the sale of OEM parts to collision centres. Serving both dealerships and shops across the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, the company’s goal is to facilitate accessibility and management of genuine automotive OEM parts. UNIPARTS OEM of Canada represents all major brands from Acura to Volvo, with services provided to benefit Or frames, or door posts. Wedge Clamp’s both the dealEZE Roller is a tower of strength for any shop. ership and the Distributed in Ontario by AutoQuip Canada. collision centre. UNIPARTS OEMNitroHeat wishes Kaplaniak 1-866-325-2886 success in his www.autoquip.ca new role.

Straighten out some hoods.

06  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

Uh, Boss? I don’t think the new robot is working out so great. That’s impossible!

I programmed the robot with all of the latest technical information and the fundamentals of lean management, so it seeks out and eliminates waste!

Yeah...I think that might be the problem.

Bzzt...all waste is inefficient. Bzzt.


Follow Collision Repair magazine at... facebook.com/collisionrepairmag



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.






Ayce class of 2013: hungry for change by Andrew Ardizzi

A new class of students is primed and ready to dive into the collision repair industry with AYCE’s 2013 launch of its auto body pre-apprenticeship program. “You’re here because you are career minded and you want to be here,” Marc Tremblay, coordinator of AYCE’s Autobody and Collision Damage Repairer pre-apprenticeship program, told a room full of eager young students. AYCE’s programs specifically target youth who have faced considerable personal and academic challenges in their lives, giving them the chance to better themselves and build a future they can be happy in. The program is six weeks long and exposes each of them to parts of the collision repair industry, ending with 12weeks of classes at Centennial College. Wayne James, Director of Operations at Maaco Systems Canada, is a veteran of the business with over 30 years of experience. He too started out as an apprentice and finds the value in giving the young men and women in the pre-apprenticeship program a chance to learn, grow and apply themselves within a trade. “I started in the same position that you guys are in today,” said James during his chat with the students. “We get into a trade because we want to build something. This is an opportunity of a lifetime for you.” Tremblay says each of the students enrolled in the auto body pre-apprenticeship program were rigourously interviewed by himself, James and former graduates. The 2013 program originally had over 150 applicants, making the few in attendance truly lucky. Lance Jasperson, a student in the program, is ready to take the opportunity before him and make the best of it in hopes of building a new life for himself. “It means an opportunity to find myself a career,” he said. “I’m looking for something stable and something that I can be proud of at the end of it.” Jasperson notes that before entering the program he worked in construction and

Wayne James, Director of Operations at Maaco Systems Canada, Achim Krull, academic instructor fo the AYCE program, AYCE’s 2013 pre-apprenticeship auto body class and Marc Tremblay of AYCE.

found himself unfulfilled with his seasonal, sporadic work. “It allows me to finally be an adult, finally be a man, get a car, get a house. Those kinds of things,” he said. Usman Baruwa, whose brother Mohammed is a graduate of the program and on the verge of getting his level 3 certification, wants to use this opportunity to springboard himself towards achieving his dream of designing race cars to make them safer for drivers. “I currently work at a restaurant and I don’t see myself there for the long term,” he said, having never grown accustomed to living from pay cheque to pay cheque. “I’m very grateful for this chance and I don’t want to mess this up.” The younger Baruwa says his older brother was an inspiration for him, and that reassures him that he too can thrive in the program. “By him succeeding, to see that he can overcome his obstacles, shows me that we both have a chance to do well,” he said. He is poised to tackle the challenges before him, welcoming them with open arms. “For anyone who wants to do hands-on work, they should look for a career in the trades,” he said. “More people should look to see what’s out there.” Tremblay finds the work he does in organizing the program rewarding, and that the success

students find make his efforts worthwhile. “The greatest reward I get is from seeing them moving forward,” Tremblay said. “It is the knowledge that we are making a change in their lives. The youth that are here believe in their hearts that this is a chance to change their lives.” Tremblay does his best to stay in touch with his former students, noting his 2010 class specifically which routinely updates him as their careers progress. “One of the greatest things is when someone from my 2010 class calls me up and says they’ve moved up a level or are going back to school,” he said. James is equally excited that a new group of faces is entering the trade. “It’s nice to see all of these kids who had no idea what they wanted to do in their lives take a step in the right direction,” said James. “I see hope in the trade again. I see hope in the collision repair industry to have some new people. It’s a beautiful day to see this at a grassroots level.” Tremblay is especially excited about this group of students, feeling they have a tremendous chance to succeed in the program and beyond. “They’re hungry, they want that change. They need that change,” Tremblay said. “In their hearts we could tell they wanted it.”

joint effort stops alldata software pirate ALLDATA has just announced the successful arrest and prosecution of a software counterfeiting operation. William Edwin White, III, was arrested following a five-month investigation by law enforcement agencies and the ALLDATA Antipiracy team into the illegally copied products that White had advertised for sale. “We aggressively pursue software piracy,” said ALLDATA

08  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

President Jeff Lagges. “It’s theft, and it hurts our customers by driving up costs. But it’s not the same as downloading a pirated song–it’s potentially a consumer safety issue because counterfeiters don’t care if the information is correct.” Following the investigation and arrest, White was found guilty, sentenced and ordered to pay restitution to ALLDATA.

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*Actual January, 2013 Ford Parts Conquest Program pricing comparison. Ford Parts Conquest Program and Ford Genuine Parts are registered trademarks of the Ford Motor Company. OEConnection and CollisionLink are registered trademarks of OEConnection.


Nissan to use AHSS up to 25 per cent of new model parts Nissan has announced its plan to expand the use of Advanced High Tensile Strength Steel (AHSS) in up to 25 per cent of the vehicle parts installed in its new production models. Nissan will make use of advanced high tensile strength steel starting in 2017 as one of its initiatives to help reduce vehicle weight. Nissan has developed 1.2 gigapascal (GPa) Ultra High Tensile Strength Steel with High Formability and has employed it in the new Infiniti Q50, which goes on sale in North America in 2013. Prior to the development of 1.2 GPa ultra high strength steel it had been difficult to use high tensile steels for vehicle parts with highly-complex shapes. Nissan says it is the only auto manufacturer using 1.2 GPa Ultra High Tensile Strength Steel with High Formability.

Da-Les Auto Body’s proactive approacH to Yelp reviews by Andrew Ardizzi

Da-Les Auto Body has added a video tutorial to its website in an effort to guide its customers through the process of posting a review on Yelp. “We’re concentrating on Yelp because it’s the most important review site online and it seems to be the one people have the most trouble with,” says Matt Maglodi, SEO Director at Da-Les Auto Body. Maglodi says the company has been engaging their customers more online, but that they may not be familiar with systems like Facebook or Yelp and how to use them to communicate their satisfaction. The intent of Da-Les’ five minute video is to engage those users who would like to offer their feedback, but aren’t familiar with the reviewing methods available to them. “The video shows you how to set up a Yelp account and how to make your posts,” he says, noting that after you’ve made your first post the rest is very simple and can be a lot of fun to do. Maglodi says having good products and services is critical to the success of a business, and is a necessity to creating a customer service experience that’s top notch. “We just want to make sure that customers are really happy with our service and can let the world know what they experienced,” he says. He also says that after 35 years in business, the Da-Les team is aware of what customers have come to expect and they look forward to creating new content that helps the company engage its clients, which includes additional videos in the future that will delve deeper into Yelp. Maglodi adds that the company isn’t just looking for positive reviews, and readily welcomes negative reviews so they can act on a customer’s concerns and improve their customer service experience as a whole. “It’s great to have good reviews, and the bad reviews hurt but it helps you know what you need to improve on,” he says. For more information on Da-Les’ Yelp review tutorial, the video is available online at da-lesautobody.com/how-to-leave-ayelp-review. 10  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com


The single source dealership connection for OEM collision parts. Now expanding into Ontario and across Canada.

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For more information please contact Mike Kaplaniak at mikekaplaniak@unipartsoem.com.


Four Way Auto Body helps a son reunite his father with lost love by Mike Davey

Restoring a classic vehicle to its former glory is rewarding in its own right, but sometimes it touches on something deeper. That was the case with a recent restoration of a 1965 Acadian Beaumont Sport Deluxe convertible at Four Way Auto Body in Toronto. The client, David, is a licensed mechanic who wanted to do something special for his father, who had owned an identical car before he sold it to help provide for his growing family. “I remember growing up talking to my father and hearing his stories about his first car, the car he scrapped two weeks before I, the youngest of three boys, was born,” said David. “Taking on this project was important to me because I wanted to give my father back that little bit of his youth he gave up for us.” It took nine years of searching, but David finally found the perfect vehicle for sale in Abbotsford, B.C. The artesian turquoise Acadian had only 42,000 miles, all original body panels, minimal surface rust and only one previous owner. Stripped down to the shell by David, and his friends Steve and Chris, the shell and frame were sent to be sandblasted so the body work could begin. The engine and transmission were sent to be rebuilt as per factory specifications. The new all black interior and roof was ordered from Legendary Auto Interiors. “It was a 100 per cent period restoration job,” said Bill Stavroulakis of Four Way Auto Body. “Nothing has been changed. The restored car is exactly the way that GM advertised it in 1965.” Every piece of the car was restored or replaced with original parts.

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12  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

Those that could not be found, such as the missing letters from the trunk script, were hand made in chrome, thanks to John at The Plating House. After nine long months, endless hours of body work and assembly, the crocus yellow Acadian was finally complete. David surprised his parents with a fully restored crocus yellow 1965 Acadian Beaumont Sport Deluxe convertible at the Megaspeed Car Show in Mississauga, Ont. In addition to giving his parents the surprise of a lifetime, the vehicle also took home the 1st runner up award in its class.

PH Vitres d’Autos named to Canada’s Best Managed Companies

Attn: PDR Now you


The fully restored 1965 Acadian at the Megaspeed show in Mississauga. Bill Stavroulakis of Four Way Auto Body describes it as “... a 100 per cent period restoration job.”

PH Vitres d’Autos has been named to the prestigious list of Canada’s Best Managed Companies. The company is owned by Mario Jutras Stephen Bray and Stephen Bray and and Mario specializes in the sale, Jutras, codistribution and instalowners of PH Vitres d’Autos. lation of auto glass. The registration process was initiated last fall. It’s a rigorous process where all aspects of business management are taken in consideration, including provisioning, operations, sales, financial management, marketing, planning. PH Vitres d’Autos successes also relies on its nearly 300 employees in Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Nominated as one of the winners because of its exceptional management performance, a statement from the company says its staff, “… always took pride in keeping the main focus on client services. Each member of the team contributes to the improvement of service quality, the source of the company’s pride and success. Canada’s Best Managed Companies program brings a recognition that strongly motivates the troops to keep up the good work.” For more information on PH Vitres d’Autos, please visit ph.ca.


Shop owner invents reusable metal mixing cup by Mike Davey

One restoration shop owner aims to reduce the amount of money shops pay for consumables, by moving one product out of the consumables category altogether. Ronnie Espig has invented a reusable paint cup that he believes could save shops a lot of money and reduce the need to recycle plastics. Called the Green Cup, he says it’s the only paint mixing cup on the market that is 100 per cent reusable. Espig runs a one-man restoration shop in Hebron, Ill., with a sideline of painting helmets and other items. He invented the Green Cup after he noticed that one of his biggest expenses was mixing cups. “When I was growing up, we just used any uncontaminated quart container, and just stuck in the measuring stick. Basically, I turned the old idea of aluminum mixing sticks into a cup,” says Espig. The aluminum 32-ounce cup has the same measurements as a standard cup, but on the inside of the cup instead of the outside. The cups have pour spouts and can be stacked. Espig says all that’s needed to clean the cup out between jobs is a little thinner and a quick wipe. “The bigger shops often have gun wash machines, so they

don’t even need to mess with thinner. Just throw the cup in there when you wash the gun,” says Espig. Espig isn’t the first inThe 32-ounce aluminum cup uses the ventor in his family. His same measurement markings grandfather turned out as a plastic cup, but on the inside a number of inventions of the cup instead of the outside. early in the 20th century, such as a stainless steel coffee filter and a pull-behind golf cart. “Anything that reduces a shop’s expenses is going to do them good, and anything we can do to reduce the need to recycle plastics is going to help the environment,” Espig says. “This does both.” For more information on the Green Cup contact Ronnie Espig at 815-307-3618 or or via email to rmepab@yahoo.com.

claims innovation at 2013 Mitchell P&C Conference Thought leaders from many of North America’s top auto and workers’ compensation insurance companies came together recently for Mitchell’s annual Property & Casualty Conference at Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The conference featured sessions covering critical topics affecting the industry. The exclusive, invitation only event is geared towards for P&C claims executives who want to connect with some of the most knowledgeable insurance, business, and technology experts presenting on today’s critical claims issues. According to Mitchell, the annual Property & Casualty Conference provides a comprehensive view and an extraordinary opportunity to gain insights, ideas, and perspectives on innovative approaches, technologies, and methodologies used by leaders in business today.

Highlights from the auto claims side included Alex Sun, CEO of the unveiling of some of Mitchell, presented Mitchell’s newest product opening remarks at Mitchell’s 2013 innovations, a breakout Property & Casualty session focusing on adConference. vancements on vehicle technology such as accident avoidance tools and telematics, and another session on claims fast-tracking, explaining how data-driven technology combined with consumer self-reporting tools can speed workflow decisions—leading to claims being settled more quickly and efficiently.

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june 2013  collision Repair  13




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


Students fix a car and give it away in just one day Nick Penner likes to put smiles on people’s faces, give back to his community and provide his students with challenges. The instructor for University of Fraser Valley’s Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing program was able to do all three recently with a car giveaway that came together very quickly thanks to some community partners. “When I was working in the industry locally we always used to fix up a car to give away around Christmas-time, and with UFV’s Trades and Technology Centre hosting an open house in March, I thought that refinishing a car and

Left: UFV students work quickly to get the work done within the ten hour time limit. Right: UFV Instructor Nick Penner lined up donations from a number of local merchants to make the project possible.

giving it away in one day would be a good way to highlight our program. It would also help out a recipient who could use some reliable transportation,” says Penner. So Penner went to work procuring donations. Mertin GM came through with a Chevy Cavalier and Fortin’s Supply provided paint and other supplies. Tom Thompson donated a new windshield, and Ken’s Tire and Wheel provided new tires and rims. Penner and eight of his students then committed to a 10-hourmakeover, doing in one work day what usually takes many hours over several days. Through teamwork and other efficiencies, they were able to compress the process of taking apart the vehicle, sanding it down, completing bodywork, and painting it in during the UFV Trades and Technology open house at the Canada Education Park in Chilliwack on March 14. The students involved in the project are from Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and Mission. “It was a nice little project for the students,” Penner said. “For one day of concentrated effort, they get some nice results, and the satisfaction of seeing someone benefit from their labour.”

Shannon Babb and her son pose for a photo in the vehicle she received. Babb had no idea she would receive the car until the moment she was handed the keys.

When preschool teacher and single parent Shannon Babb was asked to stop by the UFV Trades and Technology Centre by her boss, she had no idea what the reason behind the visit was. “It was a complete surprise,” she said. “I had no idea what I was going in for.” Jeff Fortin and Rick Opheim from Fortin’s and Jeff Boylan from Mertin’s were on hand for the presentation of the car to Babb. Mertin’s also provided a $1,500 cash donation to be presented to an Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing student or students. For more information on the UFV program, please visit ufv.ca/automotive_ collision_repair.

students go for gold at toronto skills competition

WCABA to represent Alberta, B.C. automotive aftermarket

by Andrew Ardizzi

by Andrew Ardizzi

High school students across Toronto gathered recently to show off their abilities at the the city’s skills competition. The competition took place at Danforth Collegiate and Te c h n i c a l I n s t i t u t e , o n e of only three high schools in Toronto offering auto body repair. Metal winners from the Toronto skills competition, from left: Students from across David Dyson Tam, Tong Teng, Christian Veilleux, Catherine Mathewson, Sebria Soursour and Aomid Nawabi. the city competed against one another in a series of trade-specific competitions, including Auto Collision and Car Painting categories. Tony Teng took home gold for South West Toronto in the Auto Collision category, while Christien Vellieux placed second. Aomin Nawabi also took home a gold medal for South East Toronto. Catherine Mathewson scored the highest ratings in car painting, winning her gold medal over second place David Dyson in the South West district. Sebria Sourer won gold for South East Toronto. The competition was presided over by a number of local members in the Toronto collision repair community, including Peter Wrong of 3M Canada, Stu Klein of Fix Auto, Domenic Prochilo of Prochilo Brothers Auto Collision, Garry Thoms from Sir Robert L. Borden High School and Tom Loth of Craig Kielburger High School.

The Western Canadian Automotive Business Association (WCABA) has been established to represent the interests of collision repair and towing industries in British Columbia and Alberta. The association aims to place its emphasis on small business, fighting to ensure the sustainability of independent operations while hoping they get their fair shake in the open, competitive market. The WCABA includes collision and towing services in Alberta, towing in B.C. and the mechanical, power sport and specialty industries. Dale Finch, the CEO and president of WCABA, was instrumental in establishing the culture of the not-for-profit association. Finch was also a key player in designing CASIS, an agreement which assures collision repairers are able to get the information they need to complete their repair orders. “CASIS was something we were trying to get together for some time,” he says. “It’s a tremendous asset for the independent business community.” For more information on the WCABA, please visit wcaba.ca.

16  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

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online labour rate surveys coming to canada The new website variableratesystem.com promises to change the way rate surveys are conducted in the collision repair industry, according to its developers. After starting an online survey in 2012, International Research says it was overwhelmed with positive feedback from the industry. “We knew we were on to something,” said Devon Roemer, co-creator of this new survey concept. “After shop owners from all over the (U.S.) told us what features were needed to make this a useful tool for the industry, we developed this user-friendly, accurate, inexpensive tool. Shop rates can be adjusted in the database at any time for free. The more shops that participate, the more valuable the surveys!” International Research is not associated with or funded by any in-

surance company, trade association or special interest group. Funding is provided by sponsors on the company’s web pages and the fee subscribers pay to use the “Quote” and “Survey The Market” tools available on the site. At this time, the surveys are only available to operators in the U.S., but the company plans to expand the service to Canada in the future. “We are planning a version for shops in Canada. We would appreciate any suggestions members of Canada’s collision repair industry might have about how their surveys should work. They can email us at info@variableratesystem.com.” For more information, please visit variableratesystem.com.

Shops can post jobs free at TopTech Finder for a limited time TopTech Finder is offering its Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) technician job board to repair shops for free through the end of 2013. TopTech Finder Job Board connects PDR technicians and repair shops looking for seasonal and permanent help. TopTech Finder has always been free for PDR techs to search for and apply for jobs, but it previously charged a fee for repair shops to post jobs on the board. “In 2013, we aim to save repairers and PDR techs money by connecting them without excessive fees,” remarked Jeff Herman, CEO of TopTech Finder. “Many shops use hail companies as an intermediary to find PDR techs. This works well if the hail company brings additional operational value though services like estimating vehicles and

quality control. But if the hail company is simply connecting a tech to a shop, why should repairers pay the full 20 per cent fee?” TopTech Finder now offers a free alternative to connect shops with experienced PDR techs. Since launching the job board in 2012, TopTech Finder has reached over 1000 PDR techs globally and over 300 repair shops. 2013 is off to an even faster start as shops prepare for hail season while trying to reduce costs. “TopTech Finder aims to help repair shops find PDR techs and help PDRs techs find seasonal contracts and/or full-time employment. This at a cost that everyone can appreciate: free,” said Herman. For more information, please visit toptechfinder.com.

Pro-Spray launches YouTube channel Pro-Spray Automotive Finishes has launched a special YouTube channel to help Pro-Spray users improve the quality and efficiency of their jobs. You can visit the new channel at youtube.com/prosprayautofinishes. Visitors to the site can view a library of resourceful, high-quality videos featuring veteran Pro-Spray Technical Trainer and Instructor Bill Warner. The channel’s current playlist includes: • Pro-Spray in Action: Awesome rides with Pro-Spray paint • Basecoat Tips and How To’s: Best practices to improve your paint job and bottom line • Bumper Repair and Refinishing: Review of the six simple steps • Spray Gun Essentials and Tips: Simplifying the process • Tech Tips and How To’s: Application tips from the pros Future plans for the Pro-Spray channel include regularly delivered original content focused on tech tips, how-to’s and FAQs, introductions to new Pro-Spray products and discussions of industry events and trends. To stay abreast of all the latest news and content, viewers can become a youtube.com/prosprayautofinishes subscriber.

18  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com


Mitchell’s RepairCenter Connect lets insurers send assignments to any shop Mitchell has announced the release of RepairCenter Connect, a new solution that the company says streamlines communications between insurance companies and collision repair shops by allowing any shop, even those outside Direct Repair Program (DRP) networks, to receive an appraisal assignment from an insurance company. By simplifying assignment retrieval and automatically consolidating the important artifacts into Mitchell WorkCenter, RepairCenter Connect contains all the functionality necessary for insurers to expand their body shop network to include non-DRP shops. As a result, Mitchell says work can be shifted to more cost-effective channels, without the manual communications that often increase chances for error and create more inefficiencies. “Two important industry drivers – efficiency and cost – played a major role as Mitchell sought to improve the often slow, manual

communications required when insurers work with out-of-network shops on a claim,” said Jesse Herrera, Senior Vice President, Product Management and Customer Experience. “With RepairCenter Connect, the same tools work for any shop, allowing even low-volume and out-of-network shops to receive assignments and upload artifacts. It is part of Mitchell’s ongoing commitment to increase efficiency within the claim and repair process.” A statement from Mitchell says the experience will be seamless for shops already using Mitchell software for communication with insurance companies. They can receive assignments and upload estimates and supporting documents in their current platform. Shops not using Mitchell software are directed to an intuitive, web-based portal for assignment needs, allowing for a simple transition. For more information, please visit mitchell.com.

New Sherwin-Williams Manual features painted chips The new 2013 Global Color Manual from Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes is now available featuring larger chips - actual painted chips, not ink - and larger view holes to provide easy reference for colour identification. The manual, designed for 2013 North American, European, and Asian automotive manufacturers’ colour programs, also offers detailed colour compatibility guides. The new layout includes larger and bolder fonts on thicker and more durable pages, and displays actual paint chips that are twice as large as those in previous manuals. Presenting information on more OE manufacturers than previously published manuals, the comprehensive new manual is also priced at less than two-thirds the cost of last year’s edition. It can be ordered using the following part number: AS3182. For more information about the new Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes 2013 Global Color Manual, visit sherwin-automotive. com or call 1-800-SWULTRA (1-800-798-5872).

or call

unforgettable AT CARSTAR, we are proud to requalify as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies. Together, with the support of our customers, employees, franchise, insurance and vendor partners, CARSTAR has earned an unrivalled reputation in the collision & glass industry and are proud to serve communities across Canada, both today and well into the future. If you are interested in a franchise opportunity or in selling your business to a current CARSTAR franchise owner please call 1-800-701-9452 ext 289 or email franchising@carstar.ca. Over 170 locations in 10 provinces | www.carstar.ca

june 2013  collision Repair  19


treschak shows new 3m products at special event by Mike Davey

Treschak Enterprises held a special evening event recently, dedicated to showcasing new and innovative products from 3M. Taking place at Performance Collision in Grimsby, Ont., it was a rare opportunity to see the latest 3M products in action, including new adhesives, fillers, flexible abrasives, the 3M Paint Preparation System, belt sanders, and more.

Kelly Pickard is the Collision Centre Manager of Performance Collisions. She was particularly impressed by Hookit, new flexible abrasive hand sheets. “It works with the different contours of the car, which helps to get into hard to reach areas. You should be able to use a lot less material and a lot quicker,” says Pickard.

Hookit is available in different grades for primer sanding, blending and paint finishing. One highlight of the evening was the introduction of the 3M File Belt Sander, an airpowered sander featuring an ergonomic design that allows the operator to rotate a full 360degrees and get into hard to reach areas. Two different categories of belts are offered. The Scotch-Brite Durable Flex belt comes in coarse, medium and fine grades and is designed for general surface prep for both welding and adhesive bonding.

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Don Treschak and John Scetta, Manager of Performance Collision St. Catharines.

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20  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com


The Green Corps belts are designed to provide an alternative to spot weld drilling and metal grinding applications. “The belt itself is very long lasting. It grinds off spot welds faster than drill bits and works on all types of steel,” said Jamie Treschak of Treschak Enterprises. Perhaps the biggest highlight of the evening was the 3M Dynamic Mixing System. Powered by a pneumatic air system, the tool dispenses fillers, glazes, adhesives sealers and plastic repair products. The system eliminates messy hand mixing by placing both components into a single cartridge. The tech attaches a mixing nozzle that precisely mixes and dispenses the product in a perfect ratio. There’s no air in the cartridge or in the mixing nozzle, preventing over-catalyzation and pinholes. “You end up with a lot less waste,” says Treschak. “Because it mixes the produce in a short distance, the new system means you only mix what you’re actively using at the time. You also get the product on the part much faster than with a manual applicator.” For more on Treschak Enterprises, please visit treschak. biz. More information on 3M products can also be found at 3Mcollision. com.


Ontario College of Trades: Benefit or Tax? by Mike Davey

Changes to the annual fees paid by tradespeople in Ontario came into effect recently. These changes are a result of the formation of the Ontario College of Trades (OCT), as indicated in the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009. Under the legislation, the College has the mandate and powers to regulate all approved trades in Ontario. There are widely differing viewpoints on the Ontario College of Trades (OCT). Representatives of the College itself have stated that they believe it benefits the skilled trades and consumers. Others, such as the members of the Stop The Trades Tax Campaign, as the name suggests, believe that it’s essentially a “fee grab,” designed to put money into provincial coffers while providing little if any benefit to working tradespeople or the public. “It’s outrageous to force hardworking tradespeople to pay millions in a new trades tax to support big salaries and a new bureaucracy that provides no value to tradespeople or consumers,” said Sean Reid, Chair of the Stop the Trades Tax campaign. “The government has spent years encouraging people to enter the trades and now they are handing them a bill as a thanks.” Fees for the Ontario College of Trades will cost individual tradespeople between $60 and $120 per year, depending on the trade. There are two main categories of skilled trades used by the OCT. The first category are voluntary trades. A tradesperson practicing a voluntary trade in Ontario can join the College, but it is not required. Those in mandatory trades must join. Automotive Glass Technician and Automotive Painter are officially voluntary trades. Auto Body and Collision Damage Repairer and Auto Body Repair are mandatory. The OCT is managed and administered by the Board of Governors. The board has 21 members, appointed by the College of Trades Appointments Council. Members of the Appointments Council were recruited through the Public Appointments Secretariat. “If I’m a paying member, I want to elect who is representing me,” says Timothy Ridley, an automotive service technician who has worked in Stoney Creek for two years. “If they’re representing our trade, we should have the power to vote them out.” For more on this issue, please visit collisionrepairmag.com and click on “OCT: Discussion and Debate“ under Features. june 2013  collision Repair  21

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who’s driving?

ThinkANdgrowrich Passion and good customer service are truly timeless.

By Jay Perry


timeless best seller becomes one because of many factors. It does not have to be true (witness fiction like Gone with the Wind). In the business world, though, most books have been proven beyond theory to endure. One such book is Napolean Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. Even though the title contains the word “rich,” which often suggests financial wealth, it’s not about money. Like so many other truly great writings, it’s about how to enrich lives. In business it’s important for us to keep that perspective as there is so much more in the balance than just money. I have often said that if you want money, open a coffee shop. Why is it that everyone is not opening

meaningless because they fail to create a fantastic customer experience. I think few customers want to see the kitchen prep the meal, or the repair shop fix the car, the shoes, the furnace or what have you. What the customer wants is a feeling. They want to know that someone truly cares about what is going on at their table, on their vacation with their transportation, etc. So how do you help your staff create that kind of experience? My passion is spreading good business practices to other passionate people. In ordinary businesses I hear the same old refrains when customers come in and give the same old responses. When you examine customers’ responses to Customer Service Indexing questions, the ones that standout are the

Hill’s book is about basic things that can be done every time a customer needs you. coffee shops? Simple, they follow their passions. Hoteliers and restauranteurs, when truly great in that business, are passionate about hosting others. These passionate people seem to go further to make sure that their customers are comfortable and satisfied. I like bed and breakfast places for that reason. The owners are personable, enjoy learning about others, desire to make your stay as comfortable as possible and truly want to be helpful to you. I stay in many hotels due to my business and although they try to formulate warmth and care most hotels fail (at a higher price per night) to impress with the warmth that a B&B can create. Restaurants, which I also frequent due to business travels, are the usual perfunctory places with a manager running around making sure the SOPs are being followed. You have seen these SOPs: writing down the time of arrival, so many minutes before the first appearance of the server, the drink order is taken, drinks arrive, food order taken, etc. Don’t think I am against SOPs. My clients will tell you I am a stickler for them. The truth is that if SOPs are not based on sound reasoning and presented in a customer-centric fashion, they become robotic and

ones saying the CSR has created a personable experience for the customer. It’s never the quality of a repair, it’s the experience! Do your people create that for your customers? How do you know? Are you satisfied with anything less than 100 per cent in support from your customers as promoters of your business? Hill’s book is about basic things that can be done every time a customer needs you. Do you and your people really listen to the customer for what pains them? Do you offer solutions or do we tell the customer “how we do business?” Do we go beyond our own view to accommodate the viewpoint of others? Are we ALWAYS respectful of the customer and their property? Do our people know where we are leading them? Do they support that kind of positive thinking when your back is turned? “Most of the time” is not the answer of the one who’s driving.  CRM Jay Perry is the founder and owner of Automotive Business Consultants (ABC), a performance coaching company specializing in the automotive service industry. He can be reached via e-mail at jayperry@a-b-c-inc.com.

june 2013  collision Repair  23

prairie view

Stillwaiting Lower wages makes it harder to keep young technicians. By Tom Bissonnette


was hoping to have an update on the labour rate discussion the Saskatchewan Association of Automotive Repairers (SAAR) is having with Saskatchewan General Insurance (SGI) but unfortunately, like the winter we are having that just won’t let go, we are still waiting for a reply to our request for a reasonable door rate increase much like we were waiting for the warm days of spring to melt away the snow. In the last couple of months shop owners in Saskatchewan have been meeting with our elected MLA’s because we recognize that they are the only people that can help us to get the unelected bureaucrats at the crown run insurance company to understand that the collision industry is in trouble due to low door rates. While we await an answer, the crazy thing is that SGI is evidently aware that there is a problem because they have quietly gone ahead and introduced a new $5000 retention bonus for all of their

appraisers. This bonus was introduced due to a concern that their wages are so far below the average industrial wage that they are afraid they will lose these guys! The average industrial wage for all fouryear trades in our city is $35.40 per hour, according to a recent study by the City of Saskatoon. When we discuss remuneration we cannot simply look at the highest paid technicians or appraisers – we have to look at what the average guy makes. It is the same thing with ADP or Mitchell, they do not come up with their database times based on the top skilled technicians, they base their times on the average guy. With this in mind here are the facts in our province: • The average SGI appraiser makes $55,000/yr. They get every second Friday off, meaning that appraiser gets paid 152 hours per month, multipled by 12, which comes out to 1824 hours per year. • If you divide $55,000 by 1824 you’ll find that the average appraiser makes $30.15 per hour. In

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24  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

prairie view

addition, 5.5 per cent of their wages are placed into a government pension which amounts to $3025 annually. They also get a generous health plan with all premiums paid by their employer. • The average appraiser also gets a flexible spending account of $1425 a year. When they work overtime they are paid at double time and they are entitled

pay half of their employee health plan costs, do not have a flexible spending account, must work for 10 years to receive 4 weeks holidays, overtime is paid at time and a half and the employee pays for half of his coveralls and all of his tools! The average appraiser at SGI makes $4 to $6 more per hour than the average body tech and he

The average industrial wage earner makes $7 to $8 more per hour than the average Saskatchewan body repairer. to four weeks holidays after seven years. Their uniforms are also supplied at no cost to them, so when you add it all up their wage comes out to about $32.89 per hour for the average appraiser. • According to the MNP Industry study the average body repairer wage in 2011 was $26.63 per hour. The City of Saskatoon conducted a study of its own in 2012 and found the average auto body repairer to make $28.63 per hour. • Most shops do not get every second Friday off and they don’t have a company pension. They must

is getting a $5000 retention bonus. The average industrial wage earner makes $7 to $8 more per hour. Meanwhile, SGI is offering Saskatchewan shops an increase of $1.39 per hour. How are we going to keep our young technicians?  CRM Tom Bissonnette is the owner/operator of Parr Auto Body, a collision repair facility located in Saskatoon, SK. He can be reached at tom@parrautobody.com.

june 2013  collision Repair  25

point blank with piercey

CertifiedTechs Servair

FilterS our Focus is spray booth Filters!

Accreditation ensures techs are well-trained and prepared. By Sam Piercey


ccreditation. This is a new word that we all must learn and understand so that we can completely grasp what it means. Accreditation is defined as the act of granting credit or recognition, especially with respect to educational institutions, based on meeting fundamental standards of practice in a given field. But let’s cut to the chase. Accreditation is a way to tell the difference between who’s capable of doing a job and who isn’t. That’s why it’s important.

the collision industry helps to get all of the strong players on the same page. This helps to show us how the shop should be paid based on what shop owners have invested or what they will invest into their business given the proper labour and material rates. These rates, by the way, are about 15 years behind the times.

Who’s responsible for it?

Who should be responsible for accreditation? You should be. Yes, you! Why should you, you ask? Because you need to sell your soul to make these people understand. In-

you owe it to yourself to be prepared. ˚ Pit Filters ˚ Ceiling Filters ˚ Door Filters

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Understanding what it means

When it is used as a noun it also means a certification of competence in a specified subject or area of expertise. “Accreditation” is a strong word that all of you shop owners out there should start to preach to your employees. It is also one that insurance partners should work to better understand too.

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It’s a new way to speed up the repair process while restoring cars to their preaccident conditions at its real market value by today’s standards. This helps to bring the repairer up to date with all of their necessary employee training to ensure all repairs are safe. This is also a way to help shops purchase new equipment, measuring systems or getting technicians trained on I-CAR.

Investing in the future

Having the money to make upgrades to your repair facility, putting in management systems, recruiting and paying more to apprentices to encourage them to come into

26  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

surers, customers, employees suppliers and even your mom and dad, they need to understand that it takes money to survive and move forward in today’s world. Some insurers simply don’t get it and they are starving us out of our businesses. I might mention that not all of them are out of touch, because some do get it!

Spreading the word

With all of this said, I strongly urge you all to start looking at your investments and start educating the ones who can’t get it and adjust your rates accordingly. Once again, say “no” when you’re in doubt. For all the time, money, effort and self-worth you attach to your businesses, you owe it to yourself to be prepared. That way, if all else fails, you can go back and re-learn that invaluable word: accreditation. From there, you can start moving forward. CRM Sam Piercey is the co-owner of Budds' Collision Services in Oakville, ON.Samisalong-timeCoyotemember and sits on many boards and committees. He can be reached at sam@buddscollision.com.

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social media

SEODemystified How you say it is just as important as what you say.

By Jonathan Barrick


act: Page one of Google is where you need to be. But how do you get there, and how do you stay there? Quick, ask the first ten people you see today where they look first when hunting for information, and I’d be shocked if they don’t all say the name of a search engine. The phrase “just Google it” has become completely ingrained in our culture. It’s the default way we all look for information now, so it’s no secret that appearing on page one has become highly coveted by businesses looking to make a powerful first impression on potential customers. But how do Google’s search rankings work? It’s actually much simpler than you’d think and the answer lies in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

keywords is a big red flag for search engines and they’ll punish sites who try to game the system. In addition to keyword density, search engines also look at user behaviour to measure content quality. Things like the amount of time spent on the page and the number of pages visited on a site affect a website’s rankings. Are visitors to your site leaving right away because they aren’t finding what they’re looking for? Then expect your rankings to drop. Social media is huge. Not only is it a powerful tool for connecting with customers, it’s also a major indicator of the quality and relevance of a website. If links to your website appear a lot on social sites, with positive comments, shares or retweets, search engines will look at that as a sign of quality and rel-

The phrase “Just Google it” has become completely ingrained in our culture. SEO is the production and management of online content to maximize the “findability” of that content in search engines for specific combinations of search terms. In simple terms, it is a set of rules to follow to make sure people find your business when they search for your products or services. These rules are set by the search engine in order to provide the most relevant results, while filtering out unrelated sites and spam. The algorithms that search engines use to index available content online work by continually scanning sites for the most relevant search terms. For example, a body shop would likely be indexed for their business brand name, and also for terms like “body shop,” “collision repair” and “car accident.” These terms are pulled from the text, images and video content found on a website. The more content that is found with these terms, the more likely a site is to be found in the search results. “Well if keywords are the answer, I’ll just fill my pages with them, right?” Not so fast. You see, search engine algorithms also look at the quality of the content on the pages. Repetition (or spamming) of 28  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

evance. Social signals are relatively new additions to the search engine algorithms, but they are only going to become more crucial as businesses and customers interact over social media more frequently. Search engines don’t just look at the activity of visitors to your website, but also the activity that occurs under the hood of the website itself. Has it been five years since your site was updated with new content? That might hurt you. It’s important for search engines to know that your site is well tended, and this means adding new content on a regular basis. This could be something as simple as updating images with more modern vehicles or photos of your current staff. It could be updates on regulations or insurance info. It could be anything, as long as it’s new and relevant. All other things being equal, new trumps old when it comes to web content. Digging deeper into search behaviours shows us that many times we don’t just type in simple keywords. We type in long phrases or full questions to help narrow down what we are looking for. These types of searches are called “long tail” searches. For example, a search on Google for “body shop”

social media

yields 779 MILLION results. However, a search for “best body shop in dallas” yields only 36 million. That’s still a ton of results, but keep in mind it filtered out over 700 million options that aren’t relevant to what the searcher was looking for. In addition, these long-tail searches tend to be from more qualified customers who are much more likely to do business with you. By appearing at the top of search results for a very specific question, it adds a great deal of legitimacy to your business as an expert. Understanding the long-tail questions that your customers are using to hunt for answers can give you a major leg up on the competition. Helping customers get the answers they need makes them WANT to do business with you.

Where do you start?

Well, start by acting like a customer! Go to Google, Bing or Yahoo and start hunting for your business. Start with your brand name, but then branch out and search for actual questions that customers ask. Add local terms like your city, state or county to narrow down the results, and see how you fare. If you’re not appearing, start creating content that answers the questions your customers are asking. Ultimately, the goal of SEO is to ensure that your website appears at the top of the search results, but

“A new generation in collision repair performance.”

not just because you learned how to play the search engine game. You want your site to appear at the top because you are the BEST answer to the question being asked. You do this by creating fresh, quality, relevant content. If you do this, the search engines will take care of the rest! Be aware, however, that the changes don’t happen overnight. There are millions of pieces of content being uploaded to the web every day, so expect it to take a little time for your fresh, relevant content to impact your rankings. Investing in SEO is not a short-term solution. It’s not going to give you a massive amount of sales next week, but what it will do is set the stage for long-term success by making your business the best source for customers to find answers and solutions to their problems. Search engines don’t exist for the benefit of businesses. They exist to help users sort through piles of junk to uncover the hidden gems. By tending a website full of quality content, and optimized to be easy to find, your business will be one of those gems.  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@ globalfinishing.com.


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


Outperform with Assured! June 2013  collision Repair  29

Profiles of Success

Best of Both Worlds

The team at CARSTAR Rawdon approaches collision repair from technical and business perspectives.

By Mike Davey

The owners of CARSTAR Rawdon. From left, Patrick Duplessis, Claude St-Onge and Claude Taylor. june 2013  collision Repair  31

fprofiles of success

Taylor and Duplessis both work at the facility on a dayto-day basis, with Taylor handling the items such as estimates and customer care, while Duplessis runs the production arm. Stephanie Corbeil painting at CARSTAR Rawdon.


e’re seeing more and more of a new breed of shop owner these days. They didn’t grow up in the collision repair business, nor are they necessarily body techs working their way up. Instead, they’re purchasing collision repair facilities as investments. This may seem strange at a time when collision repair facilities are disappearing by the hundreds if not thousands, but they’re not purchasing marginal facilities that are barely staying afloat. They’re looking for solid investments that are relatively recession proof, and some of them are finding that a modern, progressive collision repair facility fits the bill. If the facility isn’t progressive enough, they’ll crunch the numbers and decide if it’s worth investing. That was part of the reasoning that led Claude Taylor, Patrick Duplessis and Claude St-Onge to purchase a collision repair facility in the community of Rawdon, Quebec, located about an hour outside of Montreal. The facility became CARSTAR Rawdon at the beginning of 2013. Duplessis’ story is one familiar to many in the business. He is an experienced collision repair technician, with a history in the business going back nearly 20 years. In fact, he started his career as a tech working at the same facility where he is now a co-owner. “I started here back in 1991, working for the three brothers who owned the

shop then,” says Duplessis. “They took me onboard and taught me the tools of the trade. They were, and still are, very passionate about this industry. Two of the prior owners still work at the facility.” Duplessis worked at another shop for a few years before coming back to the location where he started his career. “Being one of the owners of the business, I can ensure that we continue to deliver top quality work and that all of the work that is performed meets and exceeds industry standards,” says Duplessis. “Each vehicle that leaves the shop must meets our standards, meaning that,

32  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

if I was the customer, would I be very satisfied of the work that has been accomplished? If then answer is yes, then we deliver the vehicle. If not, the vehicle will continue the processes until we are satisfied.   We want our customers to come back only if a new incident has occurred, not because of something that has not met his or her standards!” After many years working for other people, Duplessis knew that his future lay in going into business for himself. At this point, his co-owners entered the picture. Claude St-Onge handles long-range accounting and financials for the business,

Profiles of Success

but has another job. Of the three owners, he’s the least “hands-on” on a daily basis, but that’s not because he’s afraid to get his hands dirty. He’s a licensed electrician and was responsible for electrical upgrading performed during recent renovations to the facility. Claude Taylor, on the other hand, spends his working days at the shop. While Duplessis runs the production area, Taylor specializes in estimates, customer care and the day-to-day accounting. His former life provided some of the skills he’s needed in his current role. “I worked as a manager for Bell Canada, handling the collections portfolio,” says Taylor. “Then I worked for an agency for about five years, and ran the company’s IT department for the last two.” Taylor wasn’t expecting to switch careers, but life events forced a move to another track. One day the owner of the company took him aside and told him that restructuring had essentially eliminated Taylor’s position. The sudden loss of a job usually has one of two results. The person either gives up or digs in their heels and starts fighting. Taylor’s a fighter. “Patrick had worked at this shop before, and he knew the owners were interested in selling. He had approached me before, but I didn’t have much interest at the time. Suddenly, I had a new interest,” jokes Taylor. Taylor and Duplessis met with the facility’s then-owners and discussed the possibility of buying the facility. St-Onge soon came onboard, and the three haven’t looked back since. As the old saying goes, a window opens for every door that closes. “In retrospect, I’m glad it happened,” says Taylor. “I used to commute to downtown Montreal. Now I’m five minutes from work.” The facility was under the Autopro banner when Taylor, Duplessis and StOnge purchased it, but they have since joined the CARSTAR team. “I believe they were solicited by a numb er of dif ferent networks, and they made their choice to become a CARSTAR at the end of 2012,” says Yves Robichaud, Regional Director – Quebec for CARSTAR Automotive C anada. “They’ve invested a lot in new equipment renovations in the last two years. I would have to say that the team at CARSTAR Rawdon are precisely the sort of operators we seek to partner with.”

Patrick Cloutier sands a car wing.

Some of the team at CARSTAR Rawdon: Claude Taylor, Rejean Tremblay, Stephanie Corbeil, Patrick Cloutier and Patrick Duplessis.

CARSTAR Rawdon added 1,800 sq. ft. to the facility last fall. The facility needed extra space to make sure production was kept up to speed. The paint shop has been expanded, and an air make-up system has been added. The facility has also added more customer cars, bringing the facility to a total of nine. Taylor confirms that he and the other owners met with a number of networks before joining CARSTAR. “We found that they have great flexibility on how you want to run the shop and who you want to deal with, as long as you’re following the processes CARSTAR has defined and you’re hitting those objectives,” says Taylor. “They’ve got great support.” Taylor and Duplessis both work at the facility on a day-to-day basis, with Taylor handling the items such as estimates and customer care, while Duplessis runs the production arm of the business. Taylor was relatively new to the business and experienced the sort of learning curve you would expect. “The difficulty I had at first was evaluating just how long it takes to repair

Patrick Duplessis works in the production facility, as well as being a co-owner.

certain damage, but the main challenge was in simply learning all of the different systems we have to use,” says Taylor. “Because they all work differently, learning all of the rules was extremely important. One of the solutions I used was to automate as much as possible, so we know we’re getting it right the first time. I think of it as part of customer relations and serving the customer properly. Anything that helps us to do that is good for the business.” This is perspective with which Duplessis would likely agree. He brings the same passion to repairing the vehicles that Taylor does to customer service. “Each and every claim is different, therefore each new claim brings on new challenges and the end results are gratifying,” says Duplessis. “Of course, this takes out any kind of daily routine so that each and every day has different objectives and challenges. We may deal with new technology and new materials, but the fundamental reason for the collision repair business has not changed: to satisfy our customers.”  CRM june 2013  collision Repair  33

View From the top

IHatepyramids Team input is key in forging a thriving business.

By Dick Cross


hate them. They’re egotistical and they cap, rather than inspire, motivation. The rant this time? It’s organizational charts! Specifically I hate the ones with the owner at the top and everything else fanned out below. The most effective owners these days – the ones beating the pants off everyone else – see it just the other way. They still occupy the point of the triangle, but at the bottom! A weird idea, but keep reading. These revolutionists embrace a higher understanding of how organizations work best and how to get the best out of those populating them. And the reality is the number of top-down businesses delivering truly exceptional results is declining. Coupled with flipping the pyramid, the term “reporting to” is past its useful life. Yet we still see the chain of command as a law of nature, an entrenched, connective tissue for organizational design. It isn’t. It rose from military discipline, where individual troops aren’t expected to be smart enough to autonmously figure out how to contribute to victory, nor expected to be reliable enough to put himself at mortal risk when the cause warrants a sacrifice. Hence, “reporting to,” with grave consequences for disobedience. Henry Ford reflected this idea when he asked, “why is it every time I ask for a pair of hands they come with a brain attached?” Ford had many great ideas, but that wasn’t one of them. It was understandable, given the thinking of the times, when people were largely substitutes for machines and deviations from established procedures meant inefficiency. What’s less understandable is why the idea persists today, where thinking and creativity provides greater substance of nearly all work. Maybe it’s because it feels good to be at the top of the food chain and have others “report to” us. Or maybe it’s because some of us still think we’re smarter than anyone else. Or maybe, simply, because that’s the model we’ve inherited, the one everyone else uses, and the only one we’ve ever seen demonstrated. To be truthful, I think all of us are susceptible to all of those influences. Take just a moment and think about yourself? How susceptible are you? If you admit you are, what can you do about it? And what might you expect as a result? Here’s what I do. And what I’ve experienced. Every time. I start by drawing my organizational chart upside down. With me at the bottom, and with sales across the top. Because I see my job as helping everyone else to make their highest contribution. The proof

34  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

of my success is in high profit sales. Furthermore, if I truly understand my job as such, and understand sales, I’ve got the best chance of seeing the relevance of everything else that lies in between. From the point of the pyramid, up! Then I spend most of my time thinking about how to catalyze others to achieve higher productivity, on their own. This can be done by experimenting and setting up circumstances that encourage them to achieve their highest potentials. This structure also usually means discarding our legacy structures for job descriptions. Situations that motivate smart people don’t put them in boxes, or categorize them in spreadsheets. Nor do they limit individuals to “reporting” to someone else. Smart people at the very least want a partially open runway with latitude and resources to develop on their own. This places a greater burden on me to make sure that everyone understands the fundamentals of my entire business model: the roles of the parts, points of advantage for our market and competitive positioning. Concurrently, I need to trade in my bullhorn for a giant catcher’s mitt. To trade my instinct for enforcement for a passion to receive well intended inputs. To incorporate them into my own relentless search for new pathways to a better business without losing track of my duty to keep my business performing optimally along the way. And what to expect? It’ll take a while for you to shift into this mode of push from the bottom. So start with a small project. Set the expectations. Provide the resources. Let your team figure out how to make it happen. Provide help when asked. When that’s successful go a little bigger. Until the news of how you’re operating touches your entire company. Then you’ll see a spike of enthusiasm. A culture emerging that seeks, rather than avoids, change. And that works together in a way that puts a new multiplier on the old idea of the whole being greater than the sums of the parts. CRM Dick Cross is an eight-time turnaround CEO, private equity partner, consultant, the originator of The Mid Tier Presidents Course for Executives at Harvard, frequent speaker, chairman and member of numerous boards, and author of the book “Just Run It!” He can be reached at dick@dickcross.com.


Special Service The Brimell Group offers its collision partners more than just quality parts. They say there’s nothing more important in business than strong, reliable relationships. Waging the daily battle is a lot easier when you have people you trust at your back. “The Brimell Group has been setting the standard since 1969. Integrity and honesty are a part of our makeup. We go the extra mile for our business partners and create lasting relationships,” says Richard Marsh, Manager of Brimell Group Paint and Collision Centre~CSN. In addition to operating an all-makesand-models collision centre at its location in Toronto, Ont., the Brimell Group also operates Toyota and Scion dealerships and is certified by Toyota for repairs to those vehicles, giving the facility access to Toyota Canada’s database for recommended manufacturer repair procedures. This can be a boon to collision facilities that partner with Brimell. “We’ve been working very hard over the last year and a half, positioning ourselves for the future and making sure all the pieces are in place to allow us to go above and beyond in serving our partners and customers,” says Mark Bozian, CEO of The Brimell Group. “We’ve got the technical skills, but we go even further. For example, between our staff members, we’re fluent in over 20 different languages.” Expertise at the Brimell Group goes far beyond simply servicing Toyota vehicles. Technicians are trained on all makes and

Mark Bozian and Richard Marsh of the Brimell Group, always ready to go the extra mile for their customers.

models of vehicles, and all repairs carry a national lifetime warranty. What the Brimell Group offers partners doesn’t stop at standard mechanical and collision work. That’s barely the start. “We have all the latest diagnostic equipment and access to the latest data from the manufacturer,” says Marsh. This is an investment that not many collision repair facilities can afford to make. “We can aid any collision facility with mechanical needs, from alignments to diagnosing and repairing mechanical issues.” Electrical problems can be a nightmare for techs to diagnose and repair. Unfortunately, it’s also a frequent occurrence. The Brimell Group has trained auto electricians that can diagnose and fix these problems quickly and effectively, helping collision facilities maintain cycle times. “Any collision facility that partners with Brimell gains access to our vast knowledge base,” says Marsh. “Whether the vehicle is diagnosed in our facility, or it’s simply a phone call for advice, we have a technical help line with experts available to help our partners deal with even the most demanding challenges.” The Brimell Group offers numerous other services, including sales of both OEM and aftermarket glass at very competitive prices, and a full-time glass tech on staff for the shop that requires full glass service, either in house or on site. It’s the little details that keep customers

coming back, and the Brimell Group can help here too, offering a full detailing service. “Why employ a full-time person and spend thousands a month on cleaning products when you can let the experts at our detailing division do a bang up job at competitive prices?” asks Marsh. “Your customers will be amazed.” Services are only part of what Brimell offers. The facility carries a large inventory of crash parts and can usually deliver within four hours. The Brimell Group’s parts advisors have over 100 years of combined experience, and all are Toyota platinum certified. Parts delivery is offered twice a day, with full access to Toyota Canada inventory, helping ensure there are no delays. Top notch services, professional advice, high-quality OEM parts and speedy delivery all sound great, but what about the cost? “We understand most facilities are working with insurance partners and they need to control costs. We always work with our partners to ensure cost effective billing. We’re also very excited to hear about the introduction of Toyota Smart Parts. It’s a program designed to give all our collision partners the opportunity to use genuine OEM parts in place of aftermarket. The program will be available in Ontario later this year, and we will work closely with collision facilities to implement it when it becomes available. For more information on the Brimell Group, please visit thebrimellgroup.com.



Viewpoint By Mike Davey

Carles Navarro of BASF brings an international perspective to the Canadian market.


xecutive Vision focuses on discussions with key players in the auto claims economy, their views on the present industry and their vision for the future. In this issue, Collision Repair magazine’s editor Mike Davey speaks with Carles Navarro, President of BASF Canada, to discuss his views on the Canadian collision repair industry and how it compares to other markets. Navarro was appointed President of BASF Canada on February 1, 2013. Prior to moving to Canada, Navarro was Vice President, Sales and Regional Market Development for BASF in Spain and Portugal. He has also held various positions within BASF Group, including business management for engineering plastics and business management for polyurethane specialties in Spain; and general management of the BASF Polyurethanes subsidiary in Turkey.

Carles Navarro, President of BASF Canada.

36  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com


Collision Repair magazine: There are Lastly, I would encourage shop owners to leadership; there is a true sense of collabcertainly issues and challenges in the invest in their businesses and empower oration that exists between all segments collision repair industry. Which do you employees in order to embrace change and of the collision repair industry and along view as the most critical? What would you make these new possibilities reality. the value chain – from shop owners to say to a shop owner who is trying to deal distributors, manufacturers, insurers and with that? CRM: What do you think will be an area of rental agencies. Carles Navarro: The collision repair in- growth for collision repair facilities? What’s dustry is undoubtedly experiencing some the best way for a shop to tap into that? CRM: Thinking solely of how it’s going to hardships, but with this comes change the business, what’s the great opportunities for growth biggest and development. BASF views technological advance we can the following as some of the more expect in the next few years? critical areas: What will shops have to do to Canada is one of the 1. Inconsistent and unpredictadapt? able repair volume at the CN: In an industry that is as ever most mature markets in shop level. changing as the collision repair the world. The rate of 2. Increasing pressure from industry, we can’t speculate on external stakeholders i.e., inwhat “the biggest” technological consolidation that has surance companies, OEMs. advancement in the next few 3. Succession planning for a years will be. Two areas that we at occurred within this mature workforce nearing BASF believe are important are: country is quite amazing retirement. 1. Increased adoption and pro4. And excess repair capacity in duction of electric vehicles will given its sheer size. the marketplace. require the proper training and vehicle reparability. – Carles Navarro Often when businesses 2. The amount of electronics are faced with these types of incorporated into vehicles today challenges, they consider comwill contribute to the increasing promising on true sustainable value and CN: Although new to Canada, I’ve had a costs of vehicle repairs, which could quality products/services in exchange for number of discussions with some of my potentially impact the amount of vehia reduction in cost. Given this, I would colleagues at BASF who have in-depth cles getting repaired and the amount of encourage shop owners to strategically knowledge of the collision repair industry. vehicles that will ultimately become ecoalign themselves with key business part- They believe that predictable volume is nomically impractical to repair. ners who are committed and capable of a significant contributor to the overall supporting the overall success of their profitability of a facility. Given this, they CRM: How are you planning to connect business and the industry. believe there is potential for growth via with the end-users of BASF’s auto refinish As the industry transforms, there will participation in the insurance companies’ products? What do you especially like be some unique opportunities that shop direct repair programs. about the Canadian market? owners can leverage. They should be alert CN: Working closely with my colleagues to these opportunities and ensure strategic CRM: You have a lot of international expe- in the business division, I plan to conpartners have the same long term vision rience, most recently in Spain. In your view, nect with customers as much as I can. The as they do. how does the collision industry in Canada Canadian market provides many unique stack up against that of other countries? opportunities and with the value chain CRM: What are the three most important Are there areas where other countries are working collaboratively we believe it fossteps a shop can take to help secure ahead? If so, in what area and how can we ters an environment that drives sustainable longevity? can learn from their experiences? profitability and value. CN: First and foremost, I believe a shop CN: From what I have seen, the collision Driving sustainable solutions and inshould align its strategic initiatives with repair industry in Canada is one of the novating to make our customers more those of its customers and its supply or most mature markets in the world. The successful are key elements of BASF’s “We value chain. Secondly, since change is the rate of consolidation that has occurred create chemistry” strategy. Through science ever constant, particularly in the collision within this country is quite amazing given and innovation BASF is addressing the currepair industry, I think businesses should its sheer size. With that in mind, each rent and future needs of society, including embrace this and be open-minded to new country is unique and there are demo- those of the automotive industry and mopossibilities. This often includes looking graphics and variables that shape each bility in general. Through our distribution beyond the collision industry and under- country’s industries. platform, we aim to engage with our cusstanding implications of business events Collaboration is one area in which I tomers to better understand their needs outside of a business’s normal scope. believe Canada demonstrates particular and help enhance performance.  CRM

june 2013  collision Repair  37

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Bonus Benefit Shop owners at NACE on what’s working in the U.S. and how you can you apply it in your shop. By Andrew Ardizzi

F ©iStockphoto.com/Jacob Wackerhausen

inding a great technician is never an easy task. Whether you’re looking for that perfect blend of knowledge and skill or that diamond in the rough technician capable of absorbing every facet of the business, when you find them, you want to keep them. As collision repair shops evolve, structuring the business in a way that rewards employees for hard, efficient work is key to ensuring they stay with you over the long haul; it’s an imperative condition to creating a positive work atmosphere Bonus pay and benefit plans are a way in which collision repair shops can work to give their technicians incentives, various types of health coverage and compensation that extends well beyond their regular wages. Rick Miller, director of operations at CARSTAR U.S., says the objective of pay plans is to help employees earn a sustainable living while buying into the repair shop’s corporate culture. This ultimately comes down to promoting quality repairs, positive internal growth and acknowledging outstanding in-shop performances. Miller suggests it’s beneficial to work apprenticeships into the business’ pay structure, functioning as a means to

Goals of Incentive Programs

The purpose of incentive programs are to help encourage and motivate shop technicians, and with it collision repair shops hope to strengthen their shop atmosphere. ‰‰ Improve the ability to achieve financial aid and operational targets ‰‰ Motivate and align leaders to achieve a balanced approach to the business ‰‰ Reward employees who perform above expectations ‰‰ Attract and retain quality leaders

june 2013  collision Repair  39

management Team Pay Plan example Team play plans work to maximize shop efficiency by allotting the tech best equipped with the necessary skills to certain tasks on a repair order. When a vehicle arrives at a shop, it is determined how many hours should be flagged for a job. The job is then worked on equally by technicians according to their skills, with the more experienced technicians bringing home the higher wage due to their role and seniority with the shop. Team Hours =


Team Efficiency=



Clocked Hours

Employee Share

Hours Paid

Flat Rate

Total Pay

Tech 1






Tech 2






Tech 3






Tech 4






Tech 5






Tech 6






Tech 7






Tech 8












demonstrate how a shop technician can evolve their careers. There are opportunities readily available to increase base pay, such as bonuses associated with additional certifications such as I-CAR platinum, Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), or structural and non-structural education. And if workers are clear on how continued education and certifications can increase their base pay by a dollar at a time, it only serves to help them and the repair shop itself expand its functionality and efficiency. “For an apprentice, if you go through all of these and say ‘this is what you could gain,’ that’s a motivation for them. ‘I need to become platinum because if I do that I’m going to get XYZ.’ Plus their training and their skill level is going to be there in the shop as well in the store,” he says. Miller believes this helps promote training and continuous improvement as

a technician, and altogether improves a technician’s employability. That isn’t to say a shop owner should be okay with allowing an apprentice, much more a technician, to walk away to find work elsewhere. “Retention is a huge piece (of the puzzle),” he says. “If you can bring in the right apprentice and bring them up from the apprentice level all the way through, or if you say to your detailers, ‘If you get to this, this is what’s possible,’ you would be surprised by what you can accomplish.” It’s the maintenance of that motivation that Geralynn Kottschade, VP of Jerry’s Body Shop in Mankato, Minn., says is the key to improving employee performance. She says Jerry’s shop has put a different spin on keeping their technicians motivated. “People don’t always want to have pay, they want to have a say to be secure within their job,” she says. “We came across the

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question of how we’re going to keep our team motivated. How are we going to keep them producing?” Kottschade says they found their answer through establishing committees whereby employees could participate and voice their concerns about the business. After a year, she says shop technicians responded well to the inclusiveness of the gatherings. “They really enjoyed being part of the team and in the decision making,” she says, noting they eventually put the team together on the shop floor, which created a sense of shop ownership for the employees. “That to me is a very big incentive. That as we hire new people and change new things, they’re part of the decision.” In addition, Jerry’s Body Shop presently covers 50 per cent of technicians’ total health insurance premium, while also offering multiple health insurance policy options so that they may choose


what type of insurance they want, based on what works best for them. “We go out and shop for the health insurance and we’ll give them two or three options and they’re involved in the decision making for that,” she says. Kottschade says they cover accidental death insurance in full for their technicians, as well as disability insurance. Yet it’s accidental death insurance she feels particularly strongly about. “We lost a couple of employees very young in life so we discovered the importance of life insurance to family members,” she says. Tony Giannola, VP Finance and Procurement for All-State Sterling Auto Body, says culture is a key component of designing a team-based benefits system. “What we’re doing is building a culture at the store level and moving that

Advantages & Disadvantages of Team Pay Plans Team pay plans are payment systems designed to encourage effective team performance and skill development. In applying the team pay plan to your collision repair business positive results can be achieved a greater mutual understanding of business processes, melding the goals, values and priorities of management to each shop technician. It is fundamentally founded on the understanding that in order to complete repair orders, various skills and competencies are needed from the technicians. In this framework each team member is assigned a flat rate that is dependent on their skill level, experience and their position, multiplied by total hours clocked and flagged on a given order. Here are some advantages and disadvantages to team pay plans.

“You apply your values to the team by how you pay them each and every day.” – Tony Giannola

Advantages ‰‰ Encourages team to work together effectively, where work is structured to ensure each team member is able to use their skills and abilities effectively. ‰‰ Increases the willingness of team members to put greater effort into their tasks, feeling obligated to not let their teammates down. ‰‰ Employee turnover will be reduced because technicians will be satisfied with their pay and work conditions and will be less likely to be lured away by competitors. ‰‰ Allows for flexibility to structure the team and individual flat rates.

culture throughout the organization and throughout the network,” says Giannola. He believes how you pay your employees reflects how you want them to work each and every day they’re in the shop. As long as these plans coincide with the financial realities of the business model, can be controlled rather than be a product of a fixed percentage, is connected to shop key performance indicators such as efficiency and is clearly defined, there’s no reason technicians shouldn’t be assured incentives for doing their jobs above expectations. “This is a cultural conversation,” says Giannola, adding that the dialogue between owners and technicians is key to understanding employees’ needs while working together to grow the business. “You apply your values to the team by how you pay them each and every day.”  CRM

‰‰ Puts the customer first. Disadvantages ‰‰ Can encourage “free riding,” which is where an individual takes advantage of the work of others where the work order creates benefits shared by the entire group. ‰‰ May necessitate additional management to safeguard against technicians clocking in additional hours to net a larger share. ‰‰ Requires team acceptance, which is not an industry standard.

june 2013  collision Repair  41


All in the

J Martino ack and Vince Martino Brothers Toronto Collision in B founded lo , over h alf a ce or West Villag ntury a e, go.

FA M I LY The Martino Brothers’ family legacy was shaped by an unyielding desire to make customers happy. By Hayden Kenez


artino Brothers Collision~CSN’s flagship store has resided in the West-End Toronto neighbourhood of Bloor West Village for over half a century. Now in its second generation of family ownership, the collision repair centre has been a staple within the community for nearly as long. It has been the longstanding commitment to customer service and transparency that has sustained the business through economic and industry turbulence. “Keeping good relationships with employees, customers, and all the people you interact with on a day-to-day basis is incredibly important,” says Vince Martino Sr., one of the original Martino brothers who built their brand along with brother Jack Sr. “That’s something we’ve been set on since day one, and something the shop is still focused on today.” In 1955, Jack Martino Sr. and Vince Martino Sr. opened the doors of their new venture with open arms, intent on providing the best possible customer experience. Their intrepid and fresh attitudes helped to hasten the business’s permanence in the community. Of course, boasting backgrounds in mechanical work - both brothers were certified

as licensed mechanics – didn’t hurt either. With a knowledgeable and keen sense of the problems facing the industry, they helped to shape some of groups now perceived as the leading authorities on collision repair. Initially intent on pursuing the mechanical side of the business, the brothers decided the increasing demand of body shops warranted more focus. However, their true passion lay in a more transferrable prerogative: ensuring customers have the best possible experience, no matter the cost to the shop. “We’ve always told our employees, ‘put yourself in the customer’s shoes’,” says Vince

42  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

Martino Sr. “They’re your bread and butter so you have to look after them properly. The shop began with a focus on the mechanical aspects of the business, but Jack and Vince Sr. soon recognized a component of automotive repair that was being neglected, and decided to capitalize on it – body repair. “There was more demand for body repair,” explains Vince Sr. “We wanted to get into something that was both new and exciting.” The brothers inaugurated their new body shop in 1963, purchasing a parcel of land near the original mechanical shop to house

Cutting the ribbon on the newest Martino Bros~CSN location: Vince Martino, Toronto’s mayor Rob Ford, Vince Martino Sr., Emilia Martino, Marie Martino and Jack Martino.


their new venture. Although the skill set they employed was entirely different from that of body repair, the overarching focus on customer service prevailed. They also grew and adapted as a business to the perpetual technological changes of the industry, always ensuring their staff was up-to-date with automotive makers’ latest offerings. “Keeping up with technological advances was, and still is, incredibly important to any collision repair shop,” stresses Vince Martino Sr. “We’ve always stressed to our employees the importance of restoring vehicles to manufacturer specifications.” Jack Sr. and Vince Sr.’s sons, Vince Jr. and Jack Jr. respectively, have been involved in the shop since their childhood. Beginning with menial chores such as sweeping the floors and cleaning the shop, they soon progressed through the ranks under the guidance of the shop’s technicians, ultimately garnering a wide breadth of knowledge of all facets of the industry. “We were mentored by who I believe to be the best technicians in Canada,” says Jack Martino Jr. “The Martino name is one that people in the industry associate with honesty, scrupulousness and efficiency. We’re quite proud of these standards, and we try to live up to them everyday.” Jack Sr. and Vince Sr. were pleased with the progress their sons had made, and handed over control of the business, confident in their capabilities. “The boys are always improving the shop,” beams Vince Martino Sr. “We always thought we were on top of our game, but I tip my hat to the new generation for continuing our success.” The traits they instilled in the new generation continue to resonate in the shop. Both junior Martino partners agree that they’ve continued to enforce in their staff customer service as the shop’s highest priority. “It’s very gratifying to see another generation sustaining our original goals,” says Vince Martino Sr. Sustaining the original goals of the business, and continuing their fathers’ legacy are only part of the balance Jack and Vince Jr. contend with. They’ve recently opened a second location, near Toronto’s international airport and on the outskirts of the city. The new location is yet another challenge the Martinos have undertaken in a bid to expand the original shop’s legacy. It’s an especially important

venture to the Martino family – Jack Sr. passed away this February. While he lived long enough to witness the expansion, it’s now even more important to the Martinos to bring their fathers’ original ideals to a new location. The zeal that Vince and Jack Sr. began their original venture with has not been diminished over the years. The new gen-

eration of Martinos is equally enthusiastic about their business, and continue to pursue customer satisfaction and quality mechanical work with the same fervor as their fathers once did. “ I don’t believe there’s a better industry out there,” says Vince Martino Jr. “I’m truly thankful to be in this business. We’re looking forward to meeting challenges ahead.”  CRM

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Learn more about Elektron at chiefautomotive.com/demo/cr or call 800-445-9262 to request a no-obligation live demo. Chief is your one-stop source for state-of-the-art pulling, measuring and welding equipment, plus hands-on training.

june 2013  collision Repair  43

st of o c e th ff o % 4 2 t u c e v I’ “ car r e p r u o h lf a h a d n a t, pain ?” e n o y n a , lf o G . e m ti le c off cy “After our first year with the NitroHeat system, we’ve saved 24% on the cost of paint because of the reduced overspray. Our cycle time in the booth is also shorter by about half an hour per car. Our painters love it, and their only adjustment was to lower the pressure in the gun. Hey, who couldn’t use the extra revenue?” – Tom Cantafio, Manager Craftsman Collision, Delta, BC

Territories available for Distributor opportunities – contact 1.800.615.9949 (toll-free) or 604.207.9595 or Email: nitroheat@wedgeclamp.com ©2013 Wedge Clamp Systems Inc. All rights reserved. Patents pending.


refinishing zone These entries are designed to save time, material or both. It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of the paint shop. Sloppiness costs in every part of the collision repair facility, but nowhere else are its effects so immediately noticeable. Paint materials have risen in cost recently, so anything that can help to ensure that all material used actually ends up on the car will end up saving you money in the long run. Over the following pages we’ve compiled some of the leading-edge systems on the market today. Spray booths and spray guns are both represented, but we’ve also got one entry that is neither a booth nor a gun, but promises to make the functioning of both items more cost-effective and more efficient. As always, please research any purchases thoroughly before you sign on the dotted line. Inclusion of a product in this section is not intended as an endorsement of these systems by Collision Repair magazine or its staff.



The 3000 Series Spray Booth is Garmat’s top of the line downdraft spray booth. It has superior airflow and the most effective lighting in any booth available in the market today. We have made standard all of the features that our valued customers have been requesting throughout the years. Ten foot wide vehicle entrance doors, interior accessible 4-tube light fixtures and a 27-foot cabin are just a few of the many features of the 3000 Series. The cabin is constructed of durable powder coated, fully insulated, double skin interlocking wall panels designed to prevent heat loss. Both the walls and roof panels are insulated for quieter operation, always a concern in a busy shop. The 3000 Series come standard with three-stage filtration, and the ceiling filter racks are designed to allow for ease of replacement. Garmat uses custom designed hinges on all of its booths. According to the company, the horizontal and vertical adjustment enables proper door alignment, while the nylon filler grommets minimize daily wear. Each booth comes standard with 4-tube interior accessible lighting fixtures. Lights are placed above and below the beltine for optimum illumination.

More than 50 years have passed since Blowtherm took its first steps into the world of refinishing plants, but the company continues to innovate. The new spray booth, Extra, is intended for refinishing work on passenger vehicles. Blowtherm says this latest development aimed at the most demanding spray booth operator has been developed to provide exceptional results along with higher productivity. Features include hinged filter and lights for easy replacement. All Blowtherm booths, including the new Extra, can be equipped with the optional Blowpower system. Blowtherm says the Blow power system provides exceptional performance in terms of energy saving, increased productivity, and environmental impact. According to the company, the Blowpower provides shorter flash-off times between coats, shorter curing time and faster removal of volatile compounds before the start of the reticulation process. The integral heating recuperator offers considerable energy savings, especially in the winter season. As the cycle is shorter, Blowpower also m a k e s s u re t h a t e l e c t r i c a l a n d f u e l c o n s u m p t i o n a re lowered, saving money on operation. The shortened cycle time also helps the paint shop to increase productivity.

3000 series

>  www.autoquip.ca


>  www.flatlinessi.com june 2013  collision Repair  45


Global Finish Solutions


According to Global Finishing Solutions, the Performer spray booth was designed and built with the value-minded shop owner in mind. Although it is an economically priced spray booth, it includes all of the key features that you expect to see in a top-ofthe-line paint booth. The company says this 27-foot long, dual-skin insulated booth is the perfect solution for small- to medium-sized collision repair facilities. Features include dual-skin insulated panel construction, a 3-wing entry door, 4-tube hip-style light fixtures, four 4-tube sidewall light fixtures, high-performance airflow ceiling (HPAC), one personnel access door with observation window, an AXIOM control panel and a 1200 BTU high-efficiency direct-fired heater. The booth also has a number of option features, including drive-thru configurations, booth basement for installations where pit extraction isn’t possible, 6-tube light fixtures and a SpaceSaver heater, among others. The Performer is also available with the AdvanceCure accelerated airflow system, which introduces controlled turbulence into the booth during flashoff and cure cycles for rapid drying.

SATA says the new SATAjet 4000 B has been optimised as well as undergoing intensive practical tests. The company says the result is a soft spray pattern, perfect ergonomics and outstanding atomisation for excellent finishes. Lighter, improved handling and higher precision are all benefits of the ergonomic design. SATA has reduced its weight by 15 per cent compared to the previous model. In addition, the gun’s centre of gravity is significantly lower. SATA also points to improvements in controls. With just a quarter turn of the innovative round/flat spray control, the spray fan can be precisely adapted to the shape of the object, for safer and even more comfortable paint application. The new nozzle concept of the SATAjet 4000 B has been enhanced to meet the requirements of modern paint systems. Providing a uniform and spray fan, the material lays down softly and evenly. The noise level has been reduced by up to 50 per cent. Highest colour match precision, high gloss and uniform paint distribution ensure brilliant finishes at rapid application speed.


SATAjet 4000 b

>  www. globalfinishing.com

>  www.sata.com

Anest Iwata


There are already two high volume, low pressure (HVLP) versions of the Supernova available from Anest Iwata, one for clear coat and the other for basecoat. Both guns are available with either a 1.3mm or a 1.4mm nozzle size, depending on what paint b r a n d y o u a re s p r a y i n g . T h e basecoat version is designated by a gold coloured air-cap. However, Anest Iwata has recently gone beyond the LS400 with the introduction of it’s new Hybrid technology to create the LS400H Supernova Hybrid, According to the company, the new Supernova Hybrid utilizes superior atomizing technology, incorporating the best of HVLP technology with the speed of Anest Iwata’s compliant guns. The LS400H Supernova Hybrid is compliant with HVLP legislation, since it can maintain 10 psi dynamic pressure at the aircap, while increasing speed and productivity. The company says the LS400H is also available in two configurations, with a gold aircap for coarse atomization and a platinum aircap for fine atomization.

NitroHeat is a stand-alone system that filters compressed air to provide up to 98 per cent pure nitrogen, which the company says is ideal for most painting applications. The nitrogen is heated up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit to complete the heated nitrogen process – ready to spray paint. Air from a compressor usually carries some moisture, even after being dried. Nitrogen, however, is both inert and moisture-free. Due to nitrogen being moisture free, the company says this makes the paint application process more consistent when compared to the same set-up using compressed air. NitroHeat says the result is a superior paint transfer and a higher quality finish, using less material while providing better coverage. In addition, the company says that using the NitroHeat system aids in overall drying time and reduces baking time. NitroHeat provides a number of financing options for the system, and says that financing is priced to demonstrate a monthly return on investment.

>  www.anestiwata.com

>  www.wedgeclamp.com

LS400H Supernova hybrid

46  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

Nitroheat system







Refinish Bottleneck

Greg Horn is the Vice President of Industry Relations for Mitchell International and the Editor-in-Chief of the Mitchell Industry Trends Report.

Stats show the paint booth is often where production slows down. Future trends and upcoming vehicle designs can have a major impact on your business. Having the right information is the best way to protect yourself and plan for the future. That’s why Collision Repair magazine is pleased to bring readers the insight of Greg Horn, Editorin-Chief of Mitchell’s Industry Trends Report, to answer your questions on trends in the collision industry, parts use trends, new vehicle designs and much more. 


The new Q1 2013 Industry Trends Report offers American data and information on various aspects of rental length, including the top five best and worst states with rental lengthto-labour ratios, average rental lengths and whether refinishing, repairing or replacing labour makes up the greatest influence on rental length. Is this data also available for Canada? Dana Alexander, Dana’s Collision Centre ~ CSN, Fredericton, New Brunswick


Although this data is not currently available for the Canadian market, bringing it to Canada is in the works. We’ll make it available as soon as possible. However, data for the American market can also prove insightful: Refinishing, repairing or replacing labour. Which has the greatest influence on rental length?

We found that although refinish labour makes up the smallest portion of the estimate, it was the greatest influence on rental length. The paint booth has always been a traditional bottleneck in the shop and this simply serves to prove that point. Top five states with the best and worst rental length-to-labour ratios? TOP 5 State

Avg Rental Length

Avg. Labour Hours























Avg Rental Length

Avg. Labour Hours


N. Carolina





















Average rental length for repairable vehicles in your state? My state of Missouri was at 9.7 days in the Q3 2012 data, but saw a high of 10.3 days in Q4 due to the frequent holidays during that season.


Will the Nissan “three-wet” paint be making appearances in body shops soon? If so, will this new application change the labour times in the estimating systems?

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Jack Bongard

Nissan’s three-wet paint plant in Tennessee. There’s no question it’s fast, but can it be adapted to the collision repair setting?


“Three-wet” finish was originally developed by BASF in 2004 and put into production testing with Ford in 2006. Given that it has been in use with Ford since 2009 and hasn’t made its way into the aftermarket production facilities, I can’t comment as to when - if ever - it will make its way into the shop environment. Also, since these finishes are typically baked at temperatures that would melt most interiors and fry most vehicle electronics it’s not likely that we’ll see something in the near future.  It is important to note that Mitchell is committed to evaluating new technology whenever it makes its way into the marketplace.  Should this process ever make its way into the shop environment we will certainly be on the forefront of its analysis and any impact that it may have regarding efficiencies.  CRM Have any questions about the industry that you’d like answered by Greg Horn? Send us an email at editor@collisionrepairmag.com. We’ll be featuring more of your questions in our next issue.

tech talk

Diagnostic tools have become essential for shop techs as vehicle systems become more advanced.

Secure Standard Access to OEM security information breathes life into the collision repair industry. By Andrew Ardizzi


hen completing repair orders, technicians need three things: information, software patches and special tools. Most shops are going to have both ready and on hand to be used to complete any tasks needing completion, while the core information itself helps techs understand how specific systems work and what tools or methods correspond with each job. But what if knowledge was the tool needed to perform at peak efficiency, and what if your shop lacked it? When CASIS was first introduced in September 2009 it was intended to afford collision repairers the ability to access key vehicle spec information from the original

equipment manufacturer (OEM) to complete repair orders. CASIS helped open up the pathways to the flow of information for collision repairers, something one of its proponents, Western Canadian Automotive Business Association CEO and president Dale Finch, is grateful to have obtained for the industry. “CASIS was something we were trying to get together for some time,” recalls Finch. “We were able to get everyone together and have an agreement in place that everyone is happy with.” In the time since CASIS became an active piece of the aftermarket landscape the auto aftermarket has greatly benefitted from the ability to have increased access to the information dealerships have june 2013  collision Repair  49

tech talk

to complete repair orders. However, because Canada lacked a framework for releasing manufacturer security-related information, the parameters for releasing security-related information was delayedfrom the 2009 agreement between the aftermarket and car manufacturers. Finch understood the gravity of releasing that information then and the steps that needed to be taken with it to ensure vital security information wouldn’t be compromised. “That’s why we said this phase would take some time to complete,” says Finch. Jason Kerr, AIA Canada’s manager of Policy and Communications, agreed concerning the need to ensure that proper steps were taken to protect the sensitive information that security key codes provide access to. “It was not something that was just able to be rolled out right away because there was no central database to register authorized users,” says Kerr. “There was no way to validate whether a locksmith or automotive service professional should be permitted to access this secure information for the right reason.” Enter Vehicle Security Professional (VSP), a security information framework that assures auto aftermarket professionals have access to all of the security-related information a car dealership network has. The VSP is a data exchange system designed collaboratively by automakers, and the independent auto repair community in cooperation with insurance companies and law enforcement organizations. The result is a program that allows access to a given car’s security-related information while protecting the safety and security of consumers and the integrity of automobile security systems. John Norris, CIIA’s executive director, was a key player in developing VSP and feels having full access to this information assuredly benefits the aftermarket. “Across the repair sector there were problems. If you had a security issue whereby you needed security keys, mobilizer codes, air bag codes, radio resets, even some of the new collision avoidance technology, you could not get them,” says Norris of the former troubles facing collision repairers. Norris says in the past that repair shops were only able to fix vehicles up to a point because their jobs were hindered by the lack of system access. From there shops were forced to transport the vehicle to a dealership to complete an order. However,

with VSP’s launch in October 2012, that’s no longer the case. “Now they don’t have to, they can do it themselves. That’s the beauty of it,” he says. Norris feels this is going to be especially critical as vehicles become more advanced, or for example, if a shop would need to repair new collision avoidance systems as they develop and evolve in the future. Kerr concurs, noting that an increasing number

“VSP is not widely known to collision repairers and that’s where it’s important to get the word out there.” – Dale Finch

of technicians are finding that some repair orders are connected to the security systems, a reality whose roadblocks have since been removed with the advent of VSP. “The more and more complicated vehicles get with computers and other onboard technology, the more aftermarket technicians and collision repairers are finding they need access to security-related information,” says Kerr. “Some processes require security access codes even though the particular task is not necessarily related to security. VSP allows technicians to service their clients on a level equivalent to dealer networks, ensuring business stays in the collision repair industry.” All of the players involved – OEMs, the aftermarket, law enforcement and insurance companies – wanted to ensure all security information was safe and have made the application for becoming a registered Vehicle Security Professional very thorough. In order to gain the necessary qualifications, a locksmith, mechanical repair or collision

50  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

repair technician must submit the fully completed application form, all relevant insurance policies and licenses, business references, trades standard data and they must agree to take a VSP training program if one is provided. That still doesn’t guarantee certification, as the entire process is pending a full criminal background check. The thoroughness of the registration process helps protect against illegal activity, aided by a unique I.D. code each professional is assigned. “If a vehicle was stolen and it was serviced in the previous 48 hours, law enforcement or insurance companies can actually check the registry for the user I.D. that accessed a vehicle’s information,” says Kerr. “Your I.D. number is unique to you so if and when it is ever used, it is recorded in the system and then if there’s fraudulent activity of any sort it can be traced back to the I.D.” Kerr says this aspect of being able to trace who gained access to security sensitive information was critical in gaining full support of the program from all stakeholders involved. Norris says the extensive security measures were necessary to assure OEMs their security information was being handled appropriately. All parties understood that security information couldn’t just be handed to everyone claiming to work in the aftermarket, but with the VSP now in place, the aftermarket has an equal opportunity to compete against dealer networks. He says this has resulted in an increase in completed aftermarket work orders with VSP styled programs now running in both the United States and Canada. “Between Canada and the U.S. we had 374,000 inquiries in 2012 from the aftermarket for data. That’s 374,000 new invoices that wouldn’t have been generated otherwise,” he says. “It’s a significant opportunity to work on more cars.” Finch says this allows more shops to take on more jobs, which was not a business reality prior to VSP. “As a repair shop, or in the locksmith business, now when you go to a vehicle with a security problem you can get the codes that are required if the system is locked,” he says. “You can now complete the job, because there were a lot of shops and locksmiths who were having to turn away work because they said, ‘you were better off sending it to a dealership.’”

tech talk

Technicians need greater access to information to cope with emerging technologies.

Finch ultimately credits Norris for his work in developing VSP, believing he has doen a phenomenal job. “There is now a choice. Prior to the agreement, there wasn’t,” he says. “We were headed toward the reality that pretty soon everything was going to have to go to a dealership.” Norris believes VSP is essential for that very reason, especially as car technologies continue to evolve and become increasingly advanced. “With less and less cars coming to our shops, fewer claims and shop activity and with more and more of the vehicles that are arriving in the shop having specialized equipment and technologies onboard, shops can no longer afford to send these cars away. The VSP program gives them the ability to now work on vehicles that in the past they could not,” Norris says. Considering that reality, Kerr feels VSP couldn’t have come at a better time and ushers in an era of greater aftermarket competition which provides the consumer with more options when their vehicle needs to be repaired.

“ Wi t h o u t that information businesses in our industry can’t compete with the vehicle manufacturer and their dealer network because they had information, even just things like repair codes and the tools to scan and look at repair codes and know what it means,” says Kerr. “Prior to CASIS it might have taken a non-dealer service shop hours to manually troubleshoot something because they couldn’t have access to the same diagnostic tools or access to information.” As crucial as the VSP is to the aftermarket, not enough of shops within the business seem to be aware of its existence. “Shops are just now hearing the message as this is a relatively new process in Canada. If a shop intends to flourish into the future, they need to recognize that having access to this specialized repair data to repair equipment and technolo-

gies is important,” Norris says. “More and more damaged cars will be arriving at their shops’ doorstep with specialized repair needs, so accessing and using VSP repair data will soon be critical to their business.” While prior to VSP a primar y concern was turning business away for not having the necessary information to complete repair orders, Finch says the lack of awareness is potentially just as crippling. “There are so many body shops that still get so far on an order and they’ll say, ‘well, let’s take this off to the dealership to get this done,’ and I think that’s missing an opportunity, because anytime you take it out of your own business and send it somewhere else it slows down the process especially if the vehicle is not assembled completely,” he says. Finch believes remaining unaware of the system and emerging technologies is detrimental, especially in understanding where the auto industry is headed technologically as it becomes more electronics-based. “I think the biggest issue to me is getting owners of body shops to understand the electronics,” he says. “Electronics are really thought of as being on the mechanical side, and a lot of owners came up through the body shop industry as a body man or as a painter. The demographics have never really exposed them to the electronics. That’s not where they feel comfortable and it is a big issue.” Between becoming familiar with the VSP and how it will connect collision repair shops and the auto aftermarket as a whole to more advanced vehicles, it’s becoming imperative to be familiar with all aspects of the business and not simply rest on the laurels and methods of the business’ yesteryears. “VSP is not widely known to collision repairers and that’s where it’s important to get the word out there,” says Finch. “A lot of dealerships and a lot of body shops don’t tackle the electronic stuff as it is and they’re really leaving an opportunity not only from a profit standpoint, but they need to take advantage of it because they can lower their cycle time and be a lot more in control of the job.”  For more information please visit vehiclesecurityprofessional.ca.  CRM june 2013  collision Repair  51


Raising the Bar Budds’ Collision Services and RS Finishing partner to bring a new vision to North America. By Mike Davey


udds’ Collision Services in Oakville, Ont., is likely one of the best known and most well-equipped collision repair facilities in Canada. When the facility and its co-owner, Sam Piercey, were featured on the cover of Collision Repair magazine in 2002, publisher Darryl Simmons wrote: “Budds’ Collision Services isn’t listed on any tourist guides, but maybe it should be. Affectionately dubbed the Taj Mahal, the state-of-the-art facility in Oakville, Ontario has played host to a revolving door of visitors since Sam Piercey, along with co-owners Darryl, Terry and Chris Budd first opened less than a year ago.” “From as far as Japan, Europe and all across North America, those interested

A crew member from RS Finishing works near the top of the booth’s frame. Once complete, the top of the booth will include a mezzanine and walkway.

in seeing what lies ahead of the curve in collision repair have made the trek. And a welcoming Sam Piercey has made their journey worthwhile.” The collision repair industry as a whole has come a long way in the last 10 years. New automotive technology has led to a necessity for new equipment if a shop wants to remain competitive. Pressures on margins from several directions have driven progressive collision repair facilities to find new efficiencies. The bar has been raised for the entire industry. Under these conditions, can Budds’ Collision Services still be considered exceptional? Sam Piercey recently invited me to visit his facility, and I can say without hesitation that it can. A new installation is currently ongoing at the shop, one

52  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

that not only will help the staff increase throughput and efficiency, but marks a first for all of North America. A crew from RS Finishing, headed up by Ron Findlay, is hard at work building a new spray booth in the facility’s production area. The Taifuno Vision by German manufacturer Wolf, has a number of features that qualify it as advanced technology. “Sam has been buying booths from us for 15, 20 years or so now,” says Dick Bannister of RS Finishing. “He said, ‘I want new booths and I want the best you can find out there.’ I had already been doing some research on the Wolf booths, and I thought they might provide Sam with what he was looking for.” The initial research eventually led Piercey, Bannister and a few others to a trip


The bar has been raised … can Budds’ Collision Services still be considered exceptional?

The construction has a bigger footprint than the average paint booth. It’s actually two booths, flanking dual bake ovens. This will help to increase throughput for the busy facility.

A completed Wolf booth in Germany. The one at Budds’ will include two booths similar to this one.

to Germany to see the booths in action and witness the installation process first hand. Soon, the plans were being drawn up to install the new technology at Budds’. The Wolf booths have a number of advanced technological features. Here’s just one: Dynamic Heat Recovery. Classically, heat recovery systems only work during spraying. During the drying cycle, warm exhaust air is blown out of the booth without being recaptured. The Taifuno recovers heat during all modes of operation. Wolf calls this “Dynamic Heat Recovery,” and it functions year round. Often heat exchangers have to be removed or disabled during the summer months to avoid high booth temperatures. Dynamic Heat Recovery allows the heat exchanger to remain in the booth, and the air flow

is only fed through the heat exchange when the booth control signals that heat is needed. This allows for energy savings, even in summer, around the clock. Dick Bannister, President of RS Finishing, points out that these energy savings are part of what makes the Wolf booths unique and a good investment. “It has the most incredible energy management system I’ve ever seen,” he says. “It runs at about 50 per cent of a normal booth, and it will provide such high performance at that level that you don’t even need settings for higher levels. Most of the equipment sold is still very basic when it comes to energy conservation. In Europe, everything that’s sold over there is built to deal with energy conservation. We should be introducing more of that technology here. Once you

Ron Findlay of RS Finishing and Sam Piercey of Budds’ Collision Services examine the blueprints for the installation of the new Wolf Taifuno.

add in the energy savings, it pays for itself in three to four years. After that, energy savings are pure profit.” It wasn’t only energy savings that convinced Piercey to install the new booth. He says it’s a matter of needing more throughput for the busy collision facility. “Once it’s up and going, we’ll have two booths on each side of a dual bake oven,” says Piercey. “Each booth is equipped with hoists that move the vehicle into the oven once the paint job is complete, so we’re saving time there as well.” Even low end spray booths cost thousands. The addition of the Wolf Taifuno Vision is literally a million dollar project. It’s a high price tag, but Bannister says the initial cost is deceptive. “You will make the investment back in three to four years, just from energy savings,” he says. “The average lifetime of a booth is more than 10 years, but the quality of the build on the Wolf booths is incredible, so they’re likely to last much longer. After you’ve paid back the investment, the energy savings for the rest of lifetime of the booth is gravy. It’s money right in your pocket.” The problem with getting people to adopt a new technology is getting them to change their mindset. Those who see the benefits of a new technology are usually the ones who reap the most rewards. With another first in North America, Budds’ Collision Services is still the Taj Mahal. Wolf spray booths are distributed exclusively in North America by RS Finishing. For more information on RS Finishing, please visit rsfinishing.com. For more information on Budds’ Collision Services, please visit buddscollision.com. CRM june 2013  collision Repair  53






One tow truck operator in Hamilton, Ont., believes the licensing fees imposed by the city in 2012 aren’t needed to protect motorists from chasers. Brad Park of Park Towing believes Hamilton’s city councillors need to reconsider the licensing fee system currently in use. Hamilton passed a bylaw in 2012 imposing towing operation fees of $491 per vehicle and $118 per driver. The idea behind the bylaw was to prevent chasers, operators who arrive at collision scenes and solicit for towing or repair services, sometimes charging exorbitant prices for towing and storage. Hamilton Police Services partner with a number of local towers, including Park Towing, to offer tows that cost a maximum of $160. As Park notes, Hamilton already has a bylaw to prevent chasers. The city has asked Park to sit on a four-person city subcommittee looking at the bylaw.



Owner of park towing to sit on Hamilton bylaw subcommittee

Winnipeg tow truck driver returns to work after being struck by car By Hayden Kenez

A year after sustaining life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a car while sitting inside his idling truck, a Manitoba tow truck driver is making the difficult transition back to work. Adam Graver, of Crane Towing, had just climbed back inside the cab of his truck and was preparing to pull a car from a ditch, when a motorist veered off the road and slammed into him. He spent a year recovering from serious injuries. Although the mental and physical scars have not yet fully healed, Graver has returned to work and is adjusting to the job that nearly cost him his life. “The first few days were nerve-wracking for him,” says Jen Tennant, office manager at Crane Towing. “But he seems to be doing okay.” Tennant says that Graver has been following their return to work program, which allows him to ease back into work at the pace his recovery permits. “We monitor him on a daily basis,” says Tennant. “We want him to come back to work safely.” While motorists typically adhere to the

One of Crane Towing’s trucks sustained severe damage when it was struck a speeding car. The driver, Adam Graver, has recently returned to work after more than a year off.

rules that take effect when an emergency vehicle is pulled over on a road, Tennant says tow-truck drivers aren’t afforded the same courtesy. “Tow truck drivers deser ve the same standards as emergency vehicles,” says Tennant. “We have the same rules, but they’re not enforced as much.” Graver’s recovery comes at a time when tow truck safety is gaining prominence in Manitoba. This spring the Manitoba Legislature will be implementing mandatory speed limits when passing emergency vehicles and tow trucks.

City Council approves commercial rezoning for Steinbach Towing The City Council of Steinbach, Man., has approved a plan to rezone an area of land behind Steinbach Towing after passing its third reading. The land, which was formerly designated as residential, will become commercial property with the decision. The motion passed its second reading in December 2012 without opposition from the community, but because changes to Manitoba’s Official Community Plan need provincial approval, its third reading was delayed. With the rezoning now approved, Steinbach Towing owner Marty Rempel is free to expand his operations. “It went good, it all went smoothly,” Rempel says of the decision. “I expanded my shop last year and now I’m planning to expand my compound.”

For advertising inquiries, please contact Ryan Potts at 905-370-0101 or ryan@mediamatters.ca.

55  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

INTELLIGENCE, CONTACTS AND CONTEXT The industry’s global leaders from 39+ markets will meet this May in Switzerland. 2013 is the year of future business models, strategies for success. Book your place now. For info and places, contact Nicki Keady on 00 44 1296 642826 or email nicola@ibisworldwide.com


20-22 MAY 2013





Contents Recycling News......................57-63 OARA convention, a new era in cat alytic recycling and much more. Recycler’s View...........................64 by David Gold

Energetic presentations highlight of OARA Convention By Mike Davey

The members of the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association (OARA) play a vital role in the province’s green and sustainable economy, according to Phil McNeely, MPP for Ottawa-Orléans and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment. McNeely spoke at the OARA Convention & Trade Show, taking place March 22 to 23 at the Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel. Steve Fletcher, Executive Director of OARA, opened the day’s events with a brief recap of events in 2012 and a rundown of the upcoming seminars and presentations before giving the floor to Caroline Sturk of Summerhill Impact. Among other initatives, Summerhill Impact manages the very successful Switch Out program, which relies on automotive recyclers to remove and return toxic mercury switches from older vehicles. Sturk thanked recyclers for their help in removing more than half a million mercury switches so far. She also noted that the number of switches returned is down slightly from the previous year. This is to be expected, as later model vehicles that do not use mercury switches enter the endof-life vehicle stream, but Sturk reminded attendees that it is still vitally important to remove each and every switch. Sturk was followed by Andrew Horsman of Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS), a not for profit corporation created to manage Ontario’s scrap tire recycling. According to Horsman, OTS has served as steward for 50 million tires since the organization was given its mandate. “We’re getting 100 per cent of the endof-life tires in Ontario. In fact, we’re received more than 100 per cent in some years,” said Horsman, explaining that the excess comes

Phoenix to host next international roundtable on auto recycling By Hayden Kenez

Caroline Sturk of Summerhill Impact (left) and Wendy Hillier of Intact Insurance both presented at the OARA Convention.

from the removal of standing tire piles and scrap tires coming in from other jurisdictions. Horsman was followed by MPP McNeely, who discussed Ontario’s waste management strategy in addition to acknowleding the contributions made by Ontario’s auto recycling industry. Presentations resumed after a brief coffee break with a high-energy seminar on sales tactics by Roger Counts of Counts Business Consulting. In addition to discussing various techniques sales professionals could use to improve their own performance, Counts stressed the importance of building relationships. “I can’t remember the last time I heard a salesman ask the customer their name,” said Counts. “You’ve got two minutes to build a relationship. What kind of relationship is it where you don’t know the person’s name?” Jeff Schroder of Car-Part.com spoke next, discussing some of the challenges recyclers experience in trying to increase the market share of recycled parts. “If you look at the information buyers are typically looking for ... those things are

The Automotive Recyclers’ Association (ARA) has announced that its annual convention and exposition will be held in conjunction with the International Roundtable of Auto Recyclers (IRT) in Phoenix, Ariz. this November. The two groups have announced locations and dates for their respective annual meetings. Both will take place in Phoenix and will be held over the course of a week, from Nov. 6 to 12. The ARA’s convention and exposition has bolstered its offerings for this year, including more education sessions and new exhibitors, along with more established events such as the annual awards ceremony and dinner, as well as popular social events like golf, tours and various networking opportunities. Past chair of the ARA’s Canadian affiliate - the Automotive Recyclers of Canada - Ed McDonald, who is marked to become President of the ARA around the same time, will be present for the convention. Following the ARA’s meeting and convention, the IRT on Auto Recycling will commence to discuss the state of the global recycling industry, its inherent struggles and subsequent prospective solutions. Past meetings have seen global players in the recycling industry convene in Tokyo, Quebec City and Las Vegas for seminars, presentations and interactive social events. The roundtable was created to enhance communication among the industry’s key players.

Continued on page 58.

june 2013  collision Repair  57

Energetic presentations ... continued from page 57.

typically not in your management system,” said Schroder. “Our approach was to get that information, combine it with the information that is in your management system, and get the buyers the information they need to find the best part.” Schroder was followed by Dwight Howard of APU Solutions, who delivered a presentation entitled, “Expanding opportunities for Canadian recyclers.” Jim Counts of Counts Consulting finished off the morning session with a look at selling used auto parts in today’s marketplace, including a discussion of State Farm’s U.S. testing of the PartsTrader system, and the different ways a similar system works in Australia. The meeting then broke for lunch on the trade show floor. This marked OARA’s most sucGloria Mann of Collision Repair magazine and cessful trade show yet, with Benjy Katz of Pic N Save booth space selling out comin Hamilton, Ont. pletely near the beginning of

The 2013 OARA convention included a charity casino night in support of the OARA scholarship foundation.

2013. The trade show remained open to 8 p.m. The first full day of the OARA Convention concluded with a reception and charity casino at the Toronto Airport Marriott. Events resume the following morning at 7:30 a.m. with a special breakfast presentation by Wendy Hillier of Intact Insurance. Hillier spoke on the AOS Vision program and how it is being used by Intact, shops and parts suppliers. “When electronic estimating were mandated by insurers over 25 years ago, people sort of thought the world was coming to an end,” said Hillier. “The AOS system is no different. We got started on this because multiple calls had to be placed for the repair order, time was being wasted and communication errors occurred. A new process was needed.” Hillier also stated that Intact Insurance is essentially looking for three things on a repair: quality, on-time completion and the right price. Next up was Michael Angeli of Hollander, who led attendees through some of the new features available in Hollander products, and a presentation by Richard Counts titled “The Fast and The Furious,” serving as a guide to high production. The morning presentations were followed by the OARA Recognition Luncheon, where the association recognized some of the outstanding contributions made by its members in the last year. The Cat Drive generated a contribution of $13,640 for the Employee Scholarship Program. Top yard for donations by dollar amount was Andy’s Auto Wreckers; top yard for donations by units was A&L Auto Recyclers. OARA would like to

Steve Fletcher accepts a donation to the OARA Scholarship Program on behalf of OARA from Glen Ferguson of Veolia Environmental Services.

58  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

extend thanks to Coreline Auto Parts, AADCO Auto Parts, and Cardinal Couriers. Veolia ES Industrial Services made a donation of $5,189. Throughout the year a portion of the revenue from the used oil collected from OARA members in 2012 goes to the Employee Scholarship Program. This year, members recycled 259,498 litres. The Charity Casino on Friday night generated The silent a donation of $13,636. In total, auction featured a the various fundraisers generwide ated a total of $35,522 for the variety of items. scholarship program. After the Recognition Luncheon, OARA members attended the organization’s annual meeting, including elections. OARA would like to welcome new OARA Board Member Corey Earl from Hotch’s Auto Parts. Lisa Sticca from Thunder Bay Auto Parts and Don Fraser from AADCO Auto Parts were

Sean De Muynck, Glen Robertson and Jeff Lanoue of A&L Auto Recyclers during one of the coffee breaks.

also re-elected to the Board for another two year term. OARA would like to extend thanks to outgoing OARA Board Member Denis Desjardins from Sonshine Auto Parts. The new Board of Directors re-elected Wally Dingman from Caughill Auto Wreckers as Chairman; Mary Poirier from Valley Automotive as Treasurer; and Lisa Sticca from Thunder Bay Auto Parts as Secretary. For more on OARA please visit oara.com.

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june 2013  collision Repair  59

Canadian Embassy hosts auto recyclers By Mike Davey

The Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. has seen more than its fair share of dignitaries and VIPs over the years, but recently it played host to a new group: representatives of Canada’s automotive recycling industry. Every year, the Automotive Recycler’s Ed MacDonald, incoming ARA President, spoke at Association (ARA) holds its Mid-Year the Canadian Embassy. Board Conference, Hill Day and Legislative Summit. It’s a chance for automotive recyclers to network with their peers and meet with legislators and government officials to discuss their concerns. The Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) is an affiliate chapter of ARA, but more and more each association sees the other as a peer with much to offer. This year, ARC coordinated one of its bi-annual Board Meetings in Washington, and for the first time ever, the two association Boards met as one. “It was an extension of the strategic planning workshops that took place earlier this year in Florida,” says Steve Fletcher, Managing Director of ARC. “We looked at a number of issues, such as how do you

develop volunteers, how do you develop your board, how do you work more closely with your association and so forth.” A combined ARC/ARA board meeting followed, with representatives of the two organizations discussing the various programs they’re currently working on cooperatively, such as Gold Seal certification, CAREC/CAR certification, Green Recycled Parts branding and the next iteration of the International Roundtable on Auto Recycling (IRT). That evening saw 80 auto recyclers attend a special reception at the Canadian Embassy. Steve Fletcher of ARC welcomed attendees, highlighting the international cooperation between the two organizations. Chris Wright, President of ARA, also spoke, before giving the floor to Ed MacDonald, from Maritime Auto Salvage and the past ARC Chair and incoming ARA President in November. The ARA Mid-Year meeting continued the next day with an all-day board meeting for ARC, while ARA met with legislators on Capitol Hill. “This is the first time ever there’s been this level of joint effort,” says Fletcher. “Both organizations got a lot of value out of it. We found out how they’re using some of our programs and what’s coming up for them in the near future.”

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ARPAC delegation to visit Belgian auto recycling facilities By Mike Davey

The parts recycling industry currently employs close to 3,300 workers in Quebec and over 1,000 jobs will need to be filled in the next five years. This makes knowing precisely what that occupation entails and what competencies are needed a critical matter. There is now a guide, as the official presentation of the occupational analysis and competency profile for the vehicle dismantler trade took place at the Hotel Montagne in Boucherville, Que., in the presence of key automobile services industry partners. The work done by CSMO-Auto and human resources consultant Jean-Pierre Charest was made possible by the financial contribution of the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail (CPMT) and the collaboration of the Association des recycleurs de pièces d’autos et camions du Québec (ARPAC), AutoPrévention and many industry workers. I n o t h e r n e w s , A R PA C a n d B R U X E LL E S F R O M AT I O N have joined forces for the development of auto parts ecodismantling training through the Quebec/Wallonie-Bruxelles cooperation program. The purpose of this association is to exchange best practices

and jointly develop specific courses in auto parts recycling to train skilled workers for businesses in the Brussels region and in Quebec. The next and third of the four planned missions will take place in May 2013 and will focus on metal and residual material recycling. A delegation of three ARPAC and ARPAC COOP representatives will travel to Belgium in May 2013 to visit metal and plastic recycling plants and auto recycling centres. Belgium presently has a motor vehicle recycling rate of 95 per cent. During these visits, ARPAC will study the practices used in that country with the aim of optimizing our practices in Quebec. ARPAC’s goal is to achieve a motor vehicle recycling rate of 100 per cent. At present, the rate in Quebec is close to 70 per cent. ARPAC is considering different approaches for this mission in Belgium, including technology transfer, business partnership, bilateral exchange of knowledge and best practices, labour force training, eco-dismantling and management of residual materials from motor vehicles. For more information on ARPAC, please visit arpac.org.

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june 2013  collision Repair  61

Legend announces “new era” in cat recycling Legend Smelting and Recycling in Newark, Oh., has been acquiring as well as processing catalytic converters for the last 30 years. However, the company has recently announced a “new era” pertaining to its catalytic converter purchasing strategies. “As stated by Darwin, ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change,’” says Mark Sasko, co-owner of Legend Smelting and Recycling. “In relation, change is an inevitable attribute that is applicable to the maintenance of a successful business.” Sasko explains that this new strategy replaces old practices that no longer suit the current industry. “Thirty years ago, the industry used a compressed pricing structure in order to entice wrecking yards to save all of their catalytic converters for recycling. While certain converters commanded prices higher than their

net value, others were lower than their total value,” says Sasko. “The tactic was utilized to discourage recyclers from strictly assembling valuable converters. In the early days, the shipments of the precious metals were financially lower in cost and the infrastructures of the low-grade substrate collections were new in development, as well as refiners necessitating the need for stock.” In essence, Legend Smelting and Recycling calls for a revolution in the world of catalytic converters. Starting this year, Legend Smelting and Recycling has used its knowledge of converter values to establish, to expand and to restructure converter categories along with pricing on the basis of individual values. The company uses converter part numbers, extensive current, as well as ongoing assaying in its lab facility to establish pricing. Selected converters will possibly be paired with converters that were purchased in sepa-

62  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

rate categories prior to the 2013 alterations. Sakso says the new categories will shrink the disparity in values between individual converters in their assigned categories and will close the ability for “cherry-picking.” “Elimination of the ‘shell game’ on the street will generate further balance as well as equality within the industry. With this understanding, if a seller is quoted a price that is too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true. We believe that individuals that continue to attempt beating the system will plausibly emerge holding an assortment of converters that they may only be able to sell at a loss. We believe this change will be for the betterment of the industry, and we are ready to help in any way to facilitate this change and transition into the new era with our customers,” says Sasko. For more information on Legends Smelting and Recycling, please visit legendsmeltingrecycling.com.

Your Attitude; Propeller or Anchor?

Serving the Automotive Industry for Over 45 Years

By Ian Hope Welcome to the “Investing in Staff Skills” a new regular feature in Canadian Auto Recycler. The author, Ian Hope, is the Executive Director of the Alberta Automotive Recyclers and Dismantlers Association and in addition maintains a professional practice training others on highly valued people skills. He provides articles on topics that will help collision repair shops and auto recycling yards, among other businesses, to raise individual and team performance. You can see more of his articles at collisionrepairmag.com. To enquire about Ian speaking or training at your event, send an e-mail to ianhope@albertacom. com or go to his website at ianhope.com.

I went into a retail store on the weekend and in my usual way, offered an upbeat greeting to the young fellow at the cash register. “How are you today?” I cheerfully asked. His answer was anything but what I might have expected though… “I feel stuck” he gloomily responded, saying this with the plainest of faces, eyes cast down towards the floor. I see way too much of this lately and I am particularly concerned when I see it with young people who have got so much life ahead of them, so much to look forward to, and so much that they can hope and work to achieve in their lives. A lot of this boils down to attitude, and I wish that they could simply see how they have formed or adopted an attitude that really does serve to simply weigh them down. Attitude is more important than any appearance, any talent or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home, a marriage, friendship or any relationship. What is your attitude about what you

do at work? How do you feel about your job and what you are achieving in life by doing it? How you feel and see yourself in your work is terribly important in so many ways. It’s important in terms of giving you a sense of satisfaction. Your positive attitude also allows you true enjoyment. Sometimes people just don’t see how what they do makes a positive difference. Let me illustrate with an example. There was a clever hospital administrator who had to meet with the janitorial staff for their quarterly meeting and wanted to raise their motivation. The administrator went through the usual information about the cleaning schedule, how well it was being handled and how the hospital simply sparkled. But then she thanked them for the contribution their work was making towards the survival of patients. She shared her vision about the hospital’s role in the community, its health goals and then tied their results in with the very low incidence in the hospital of staph and other communicable infections. The cleaning staff went away from the meeting with a whole new sense of importance and pride in what they do, not to mention increased morale and commitment. All jobs are important. The ways that your job counts are as numerous as your customers. I encourage every employee to find that meaning in your job and also every team leader to help in that process. Your attitude is what you choose it to be. Be good to yourself and make the right choice. Happy thoughts to you!

Tire recycling: Private enterprise, public benefit Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) has worked tirelessly to ensure that scrap tires are not simply cast off as garbage, but recognized as the valuable raw material they are. What is common knowledge in the automotive recycling industry is still filtering out to the public. A recent segment on the Discovery Channel program is helping to change that. The segment features interviews with a number of industry stakeholders, including Andrew Horsman of OTS and Don Fraser of AADCO Auto Parts. An entire industry has emerged to serve this burgeoning market. Tire recyclers, such as Liberty Tire Recycling, have made heavy investments into intricate equipment to best isolate the raw materials that comprise tires – namely steel and rubber. The Ontario Tire Stewardship works in conjunction with suppliers, buyers, haulers and others involved in the industry to ensure no tires go to waste.

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june 2013  collision Repair  63

recycling i


It’s got to include all the overhead, or it can’t last. By David Gold


uto recyclers have historically lagged behind other industries when it comes to savvy sales techniques and upselling opportunities. This deficiency has led to the demise or eventual demise for many of us. The reasons for this are many. Auto recycling is complex and to make matters even more confusing, our primary product is used and may come with some imperfections. I have often been asked why our industry doesn’t have a “list” price for our products. I can only answer that we are in the used parts business. There cannot be a list price established as we are selling varying degrees of assemblies with different mileages on them and with up to 10 or more individual OEM part numbers making up that assembly. For most of our parts sales, it is the “price” of the product in its current condition that drives buying behaviour. Due to this hyper-competitive sales situation, recyclers will not be profitable unless they can incorporate the most appropriate selling techniques and additional line item charges based on their true overhead.

Auto recyclers need to constantly enhance and update their old ways of doing business, along with managing every aspect of the sales process closely. Much like in the collision repair industry, top level management needs to know all of the key profit and loss numbers in the business so they can understand what it costs them to make those sales. A few years ago it wasn’t as crucial for auto recyclers to conduct internal audits of this nature but in today’s environment, it often means the difference between making some money or no money at all. It is necessary for auto recyclers to increase their invoice and be compensated for the costs associated with getting our products to our customers. Some of the insurance companies have even started to acknowledge the importance of this. The costs of delivering parts is staggering and when you divide your overhead to deliver the parts by the number of parts delivered, it will not be uncommon to have these costs be in the $25 to $30 range. Cores are also becoming more important, as much of what we are selling is essentially a commodity, and

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64  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

recycling i

we will often need an exchange of your old parts. We can harvest some of the components off the cores and put them back into stock for everyone’s benefit. Increasingly we are harvesting certain intake manifolds that get broken in front end collisions and we are able to sell these back to collision repairers as necessary. We may also send cores for recycling as that is a key component of our business model.

money for our products and services. We need to expand our invoices to increase the revenue and to cover our expenses. Collision repairers seem to be much more dialed into their costs and we applaud your lean initiatives. Recyclers are typically very fat, this is partly due to our individual set-ups and labor intensive business structures. To overcome these hurdles has been a challenge for us.

Collision repairers seem to be much more dialed into their costs. Environmental fees are now necessary to help offset the cost of legally disposing of the fluids and these charges are simply a factor of doing business these days. Like collision repairers, auto recyclers are paying these types of fees to various vendors that we are dealing with daily and if there is ever an industry that needed to extract some extra revenues for this fluid management it is us. Both collision repairers and auto recyclers need to support each other on these survival initiatives and not be fooled into believing that we are not deserving of charging the appropriate amount of

Knowing what the cost is for us to perform key business processes is essential, so we can make sure that the end user pays the right price and we can stay in business and continue to serve them. Collision repairers need healthy auto recyclers as much as the auto recyclers need healthy collision repairers!  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 david@standardautowreckers.com.

june 2013  collision Repair  65

last word

Steelking We’ll see more aluminum, but AHSS will take the day. By Mike Davey


luminum producer Alcoa has stated that it expects to more than triple its sales of aluminium sheet to automakers by 2015. Aluminum is moving from a material used only in high-end vehicles to the mass market. According to Randell Scheps, Alcoa’s global Automotive Marketing Director, the use of aluminum in car bodies in North America is expected to quadruple by 2015. Alcoa also expects the use of aluminum elsewhere in the vehicle to grow in the same period. Scheps has also said that these projections are as close to reality

Quadrupling the amount of aluminum used still leaves it a tiny fraction of all car bodies on the road. Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) is likely going to continue to dominate in the future. Aluminum costs are dropping, but the weight of AHSS structures is also dropping, and it’s not just difficulties with fasteners or forming that elevate aluminum prices. Aluminum ore is simply rarer than iron ore, and it’s usually harder to tease out the stuff we want from the stuff we don’t. The initial FutureSteelVehicle (FSV) design in 2011 achieved a weight reduc-

aHSS has one advantage that almost no one ever mentions. as a projection can be, as the vehicles are already designed. For quite a few car manufacturers, aluminum is where it’s at. Don’t count steel out just yet, though. WorldAutoSteel has released studies that suggest that steel auto body structures in the near future can be as lightweight as today’s aluminum bodies, while still meeting all crash standards and at a cost comparable to that of current steel structures. Cost has always been one of the big downsides of aluminum. Part of that high cost, at least as it applies to car bodies, is due to labour-intensive mechanical fasteners and welds used in parts production. To circumvent this, Alcoa has developed its “951” technology. It’s a pre-treatment that the company says will allow parts manufacturers to use adhesives instead. This helps to explain why Alcoa is confident in predicting a rise in the amount of aluminum coming in future cars. Steel isn’t exactly on the ropes, though. While we’re going to see an increase in the number of aluminum bodied cars in the near future, it’s worth remembering that there are hardly any of them to begin with.

tion of 35 per cent, compared to a baseline vehicle using an internal combustion engine. Since then, they’ve already managed to get that to 39 per cent. The optimized FSV body weighs just 176.8 kg. This puts the FSV on par with a lot of aluminum designs. The FSV structure doesn’t “cheat” either. It’s designed to carry heavier electrified powertrains, fall in line with the lightest internal combustion engine aluminum vehicles, and are on par with other concepts featuring alternative materials. AHSS has one advantage over many “alternative” materials that almost no one ever mentions. Automakers are pursuing these new materials largely to meet tightening emissions standards. The production of AHSS has relatively low emssions Shouldn’t we also be concerned about emissions from the production process, not just the vehicles themselves? CRM

66  collision Repair  collisionrepairmag.com

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

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Profile for Media Matters

Collision Repair magazine 12#3  

Collision Repair magazine 12#3, June 2013

Collision Repair magazine 12#3  

Collision Repair magazine 12#3, June 2013