Page 1



George Remen has been learning them for nearly 60 years.

ELECTRONIC SECURITY The rise of the super module, and how you can benefit.


Ontario revives towing committee.





Volume 13, Number 1

Kelvin Campbell and Chapman Auto Body~CSN succeeded on hard work and a personal brand.

Brent Jamieson of Axalta on branding and trends, Rick Leos on Predictive Estimating, PPG’s new value colour deck and much, much more! l

February 2014




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 13 Issue 1, February 2014

27 Maritime Pride Kelvin Campbell and his team put Chapman Auto Body~CSN on the path to success.

features 18  facts & figures Our readers on hiring, firing and training budgets across Canada. 32  executive vision Brent Jamieson of Axalta on branding, changes and maintaining a vision. 37 responsible innovation How 3M trains their represenatives, their channel partners and you. 40 Training snapshot What are the most popular courses? Who trains the most? Find out here!


42  electronic super modules Their history, their prevalence and what you and your staff need to know. A new initiatve promises to provide clear guidelines when ti comes to paintless dent repair training.


48  fair value When it comes to appropriate storage fees, not all facilites are created equal.



George Remen of CARSTAR has been in the industry for nearly six decades.



George Remen has been learning them for nearly 60 years.


The Vehicle Security Professional designation is within your grasp.

On the Cover: Kelvin Campbell of Chapman Auto Body~CSN. Photography by: AMacPhotography - Anita MacPherson

The rise of the super module, and how you can benefit.


Ontario revives towing committee.



Kelvin Campbell and Chapman Auto Body~CSN succeeded on hard work and a personal brand.


Brent Jamieson of Axalta on branding and trends, Rick Leos on Predictive Estimating, PPG’s new value colour deck and much, much more!

Volume 13, Number 1


February 2014




Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40841632



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

departments 04 Publisher’s page  by Darryl Simmons Building trust. 20 Point Blank  by Sam Piercey Top ten list. 22 Prairie view  by Tom Bissonnette Open your books. 24 Who’s driving?  by Jay Perry Smooth running. 31 view from the top  by Dick Cross Envelope insights.

86 John Street, Thornhill, ON L3T 1Y2


61  Recycling  by David Gold More options.

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

62 Last word  by Mike Davey Big deals.

Collision Repair magazine. Send your feedback to

february 2014  collision Repair  03

publisher’s page

whototrust? Don’t trust them? Then don’t do business. PUBLISHER DARRYL SIMMONS (905) 370-0101

By Darryl Simmons


very morning you trust the car in front won’t pull over into your lane. You trust your job (or company) will be there when you get to work. You trust your government will act on your behalf. You trust your police department will keep you safe. You trust your family will be there when you come home. The list goes on, but you get the point. The world functions because of all these unseen bonds. Trust means we don’t have to be on constant alert every waking moment. Sometimes life goes off the rails, like it did with the recent power outage and ice storm in Toronto, or with the extreme weather events we’ve seen in other parts of the country. When that

It’s time to trust. You can either build new relationships built on trust, or work on the ones you have. If you’re not interested in pursuing new relationships, maybe it’s time to limit your sphere of business to the people you do trust. After all, when things are smooth in business, they seem to be smooth in other aspects of life as well. One of the best ways to build trust is to meet each of your business partners and staff to work on building a strong relationship. Meet with your employees on a regular basis and let them know you’re there for them. If you find out you can’t trust someone, set them free. If it’s a client, fire them. Yes, you can fire your customers,

we trust on a daily basis. it’s what keeps us sane. happens it’s nice to see humanity, or at least the best side of humanity, prevail. We didn’t see a lot of break-ins, looting or any of the other ways people could have taken advantage of the confusion to better their own situation at the expense of others. What we mostly saw were ordinary people pitching in and helping each other out. That helps us build trust. We trust on a daily basis. It’s what keeps us sane. When we start to make distrust our default, that’s when things go off the rails. Paranoia sets in, and very soon it will seem that the whole world is out to get you. But things are so much easier, life is so much more relaxed, when we surround ourselves with trust. Why is it then that there is so much distrust in the collision repair industry? Insurers are on the watch to make sure shops don’t try to rip them off. Shops don’t trust insurers. Motorists don’t trust repairers or insurers, and the circle just keeps going.

but that’s a topic for a different day. Listen to insurers, vendor partners, staff and customers to see what they value in the relationship and then let them know what you value. Before you know it, you will remove a lot of stress, and increase your focus on building your business. One of the best ways to build some trust with suppliers and insurers is to meet them in person. Networking events are excellent venues and one of the best networking events around promises to be the all-new CCIF, now managed by AIA Canada. Make it a point this year to attend at least one meeting, get involved and build some trust. CRM

04  collision Repair

general manager Ryan Potts EDITOR MIKE DAVEY ART DIRECTOR DANIELA LUBERTO Assistant eDITOR ANDREW ARDIZZI COLUMNISTS TOM BISSONNETTE, Dick cross, DAVID GOLD, JAY PERRY, SAM PIERCEY VP INDUSTRY RELATIONS GLORIA MANN (647) 998-5677 Marketing Assistant WILL JACQUES SUBSCRIPTION One-year $29.95 / Two-year $55.95 Collision Repair™ magazine is published bi-monthly, and is dedicated to serving the business interests of the collision repair industry. It is published by Media Matters Inc. Material in Collision Repair™ magazine may not be reproduced in any form with out written consent from the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertising and disclaims all responsibilities for claims or statements made by its advertisers or independent columnists. All facts, opinions, statements appearing in this publication are those of the writers and editors themselves, and are in no way to be construed as statements, positions or endorsements by the publisher. PRINTED IN CANADA ISSN 1707-6072 CANADA POST CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL SALES PRODUCT AGREEMENT No. 40841632 RETURN POSTAGE GUARANTEED Send change of address notices and undeliverable copies to: 86 John Street Thornhill, ON L3T 1Y2

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

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


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the front end

People on the move Quest Automotive Products (QAP) has appointed Mark Flint as the new VP of Sales and Marketing for the Matrix System and Pro-Spray brands. In this role, Flint will be responsible for harmonizing the Matrix System and Pro-Spray programs, strengthening distributor relationships, and developing a strong and nimble sales team. Flint has been in the refinish industry over 30 years with his most recent appointment as Managing Director for the Pro-Spray business in the U.K. for five years. “Being appointed as VP of Sales and Mark Flint. Marketing for Quest Automotive Products is an honour and a major accomplishment in my professional career,” says Flint. “I have always had a passion for the refinish industry and hope to bring both that passion and my experience to two already extremely successful brands.” Frank Liu, General Manager of Wedge Clamp Systems in China, has just been appointed to the Executive Council of the China Automotive Maintenance and Repair Trade Association (CAMRA). CAMRA is the sponsor of the annual Auto Maintenance and Repair (AMR) show in Beijing. Held annually in Beijing in early March, AMR ranks as one of the top three largest automotive trade shows in the world. CAMRA is part of China’s Ministry of Transportation, and is one of the major sponsors of AMR. AMR 2014 runs from Feb. 26 to Mar. 1, 2014, and will be one of the most interesting stops on the tour. CAMRA is eager to lear n and share knowledge and experience as well as create opportunities to build future business and personal ties. If you have ever Frank Liu. wanted to explore the automotive industry in China, this is a great opportunity to get an inside view of business in China in a package tailored for our industry. As a bonus, you get to experience the highlights of sightseeing in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Xian. Guaranteed to be a once in a lifetime opportunity! Guided tour includes everything from meals to transportation to four star accommodations.

Actively participating in China’s market, Wedge Clamp has been invited by the executive of the CAMRA to join them for this show, and bring fellow professionals in the collision repair and automotive aftermarket industries to participate in a 7 to 10 day business and sightseeing tour of China. There are limited spots left for this tour, but time is running out. Those wishing to attend are urged to contact Desmond Chan of Wedge Clamp at 800615-9949, 604-207-9595 or via email to Mirka Abrasives Canada has announced the addition of Yves Roy to its team in the position of National Sales Director. He brings 25 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket to the role. In this new position, Roy will be responsible for managing the activities of Mirka’s sales team. Yves Roy. He can be reached at 514-618-9379. Carfax has announced that Jon Arnett has joined the company as General Manager/Managing Director, Carfax Canada. Arnett brings over a decade of automotive experience in Canada to Carfax, including time in the vehicle history industry. Arnett will oversee efforts to continue expanding the scope of information reported to Carfax and the availability of Carfax Reports. “The Carfax commitment to providing trusted information that helps Canadians buy and sell used cars with more confidence is what attracted me,” Jon said Arnett. “For more Arnett. than 25 years, Carfax has been innovating new products and expanding the scope of information available about a used car’s past. Carfax helps millions of consumers and thousands of dealers in the United States and Canada and I’m proud to now be part of that effort.” Arnett has worked extensively with dealers as well as senior executives at auto manufacturers in both Canada and the U.S during his time in the auto industry. He also is fluent in French.

06  collision Repair

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global view

Express repair, leadership on the slate for IBIS 2014 Plans for IBIS 2014—the International Bodyshop Industry Symposium—are well underway with a sample of topics now revealed. Collision Repair magazine is the Canadian Publisher Partner for IBIS. Sessions currently under development cover a range of topical issues from around the globe including: from Dubai, “Can you turn a bodyshop into a production line?,” from Holland, “How to turn part of a traditional bodyshop into a modern express repair facility,” and from Canada and Germany, “How to transfer leadership from one generation to the next.” “Planning for IBIS 2014 started just a few days after IBIS 2013 came to an end,” says David Lingham, IBIS Conference Director.

Discrepancies found between U.S.-Based Carfax and Canadabased CarProof vehicle history reports

An investigation by CBC News has revealed that vehicle history reports from Carfax may be missing key information, such as collisions, auction info and damage estimates. The investigation was conducted by running the vehicle identification numbers of various used vehicles currently for sale at Canadian dealers through the Carfax site, and then again through CarProof. Carfax is a U.S. based company that provides reports on used vehicles. CarProof offers a similar service but is based out of Canada. CBC News reports that some vehicles originating in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia showed differences in reports from the two companies. Reports on cars from Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and the U.S. did not show a discrepancy. In at least one case, a vehicle had a clean report from Carfax, but the CarProof report showed that the vehicle had sustained more than $17,000 in damage from previous collisions.

08  collision Repair

“Interest in partnering with IBIS 2014 and the desire to be involved in the seminar programme has been very high. Having been involved with IBIS since 2002, I can genuinely say that IBIS 2014 is attracting more interest than ever from around the world. It is an interesting time for the IBIS brand and one I am delighted to be involved with.” IBIS 2014, supported by 3M, AkzoNobel, Audatex, Automechanika, Axalta, EMM, Enterprise, Innovation and Quindell, returns to the spectacular Hotel Arts Barcelona, Spain on May 19 to 21, 2014. For more information on IBIS 2014 or to book your spot, please contact Nicola Keady at

Toronto-based OMERS Private Equity acquires Caliber Collision Centers OMERS Private Equity (OPE) and the existing management of the company have acquired Caliber Collision Centers from private equity firm ONCAP, Onex Corporation’s mid-market private equity platform. Based in Dallas, Tex., Caliber is a network of 157 collision centres located in California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Oklahoma and Colorado. “We are thrilled to partner with Steve Grimshaw, President and CEO of Caliber, and his management team for the Company’s next phase of growth,” says Tim Patterson, Senior Managing Director at OPE. “We believe that Caliber will continue to distinguish itself as the market leader in the highly fragmented collision repair industry in the years ahead.” Caliber Collision Centers has approximately 3,700 employees and repairs more than 285,000 vehicles annually. All 157 facilities hold the I-CAR Gold Class Professional designation. “We are excited to be part of the OPE portfolio. OPE’s culture, large capital base and long-term investment horizon make them an ideal partner for Caliber as we strive to become the collision repair provider of choice in every community that we serve,” says Steve Grimshaw. “Going forward, our purpose will remain unchanged: restore our customers to the rhythm of their lives.”

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Rick Leos presents on Predictive Collision Estimating Reducing the amount of time needed for estimates or to declare a vehicle a total loss would be a win for all parties. According to Rick Leos, new methods of estimating that leverage advances in software can significantly reduce the time spent. Leos is the developer of Predictive Collision Estimating, an estimating platform that uses OE stanRick Leos. dards as the default. He spoke on the new system during a special presentation at Centennial College in Toronto, Ont. The evening event was presented by Collision Industry Information Assistance (CIIA) and sponsored by Toyota Canada and Centennial College. “The difference in time is incredible,” says John Norris of CIIA. “We’re talking about a correct, OEM-type damage appraisal with all the parts, hardware and labour, and instead of an hour or 45 minutes, it only takes 90 seconds. Just as exciting, Rick says the same thing

The event also included an opportunity to tour Centennial College’s newly renovated collision repair instructional facilities.

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10  collision Repair

will be happening with measuring, that vehicles can be structuremeasured in 30 seconds while sitting in the lot, with no need to put it on the frame rack to analyze collision damage.” Leos began developing the program for Toyota after asking himself, “What is the correst estimate?” Estimators write based on knowledge and experience, but that varies from one person to another, and may not take into account all manufacturer specific information, not to mention updates and technical bulletins. Instead, Leos went to the Toyota manuals, and based everything on engineering solutions. The system was developed for Toyota, but significant buy-in from other m a j o r O E m a n u f a c t u re r s means it can be used for many different vehicles. I n e s s e n c e , P re d i c t i v e Collision Estimating uses software to provide repair estimates in a fraction of the time it currently takes. The estimator selects the make, model and year of the vehicle, plugs in the necessary information regarding the collision, such as direction, location and force, and the system provides an estimate and a list of OEM recomJohn Norris of CIIA and Richard mended procedures. Marsh of Brimell Group Paint & Collision Center~CSN. In traditional estimating, you essentially walk up to the car with a blank sheet in your hand. With Predictive Estimating, you instead walk up with a full sheet, and take things off. This helps to ensure that nothing is missed, including small items such as fasteners, and means the OE procedures are used. The event also featured an update on the CASIS Vehicle Security Professional program, and information on the new $6,800 hiring grant. Attendees were also given a chance to tour Centennial College’s new and improved autobody training labs.

Adam Brown of Fix Auto London North West and Stu Klein of Fix Auto.


desjardins group to acquire state farm canada When two powerful forces combine, it’s going to shake things up, even if long term effects aren’t immediately clear. The announcement that Desjardins Group will purchase State Farm Canada’s businesses in property and casualty and life insurance has lead to speculation regarding the future of the two companies and their respective repair networks. The transaction is expected to close in January 2015, subject to approval from regulators and compliance with customary closing conditions. Following the closing, Desjardins will operate the newly acquired State Farm Canada businesses under the State Farm brand for an agreed license period. Shops that have agreements with either organization may be wondering what the future holds. “The only answer right now is that it’s far too early at this point in time to give definitive answers,” says André Chapleau of Desjardins Group. “The closing of the deal is next January, in 2015. We want to ensure a smooth transition, but it’s too early to say precisely what will happen.” John Bordignon is the spokesperson for State Farm Canada. He confirms that for now, at least, it will be business as usual. “Nothing changes in terms of our relationships with our customers, employees, agents or State Farm Select Service shops,” says Bordignon. “State Farm will run as usual while this transaction is moving through the regulatory process.”

This deal can likely be considered as part of a larger trend of insurance industry consolidation. “Consolidation is happening all around us, and this is another clear signal that it’s a matter of time before the insurance industry consolidates to the point where there are only a few big players,” says Domenic Ieraci of Prochilo Brothers Auto Collision. “Both State Farm and Desjardins are very progressive organizations and will create a unique synergy through the recent acquisition.” As part of the agreement, State Farm will make a $450 million investment in non-voting preferred shares into Desjardins Group’s post-closing property and casualty insurance business, which will include the newly acquired State Farm Canada operations. As a result of the transaction, Desjardins Group will become the second largest P&C insurance provider in Canada with annual gross written premiums of approximately $3.9 billion. Mark Timson is the owner/operator of Ken Timson Auto Body in Caledonia, Ont. He also believes that it’s really too early to tell what effect this will have on Canadian repairers, but says there is at least one aspect that he considers to be positive. “It’s nice to see that it’s a Canadian company buying it,” says Timson, acknowledging Desjardins Group’s “homegrown” status. “It’s not that I have anything against the U.S., but it’s nice to see a Canadian company expanding, instead of a takeover by another American company.”

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february 2014  collision Repair  11


Foose opens up to collision pros at 3M-sponsored event By Andrew Ardizzi

Acclaimed hot rod designer Chip Foose chatted about his career as collision repair professionals looked on during a 3M-organized event at the Toronto Congress Centre. Hosted by 3M’s Automotive Aftermarket Division, Foose—the host of Velocity’s Overhaulin’ reality TV series—recounted his career for over an hour as a collection of his custom hot rods adorned the show floor. Foose recalled his early experiences in his father’s shop, Project Design, located in Santa Barbara, Calif., where he worked from the age of seven. He joked that he probably did more harm than good in those early years, but it wasn’t long before Foose began to truly take car customization seriously, working side-by-side with his dad. “I’ve truly loved working with my dad for the last 40 years,” says Foose, noting his

father was a great teacher who conveyed so much wisdom to him over the years. “My dad is my hero.” He says one of the first cars they worked on together was a ‘48 Ford that had a chop top and was a deep maroon colour, a car that appeared on 16 different magazine covers in 1975. Over his career Foose designed hot rods for ASHA Corp., and later for Boyd Coddington whom he worked full-time with until 1998. Foose left the company and started Foose Design later that year along with his wife, Lynne. Foose’s company now designs cars for the major vehicle manufacturers. While there have been ups and downs for Foose throughout his career, he has few regrets. “It’s been a roller coaster ride that I wouldn’t trade for anything,” he says.

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Chip Foose chatted with collision repair professionals for over an hour during the 3M event.

Once Foose Design had been established and the accoldades started piling up, Discovery HD Theater approached him to do a television series. He knew what he wanted to do and thus “Overhaulin’” was born. “I wanted to go to shops owned by people who couldn’t afford to build their dream cars,” he says. “So I wanted to build it and give it back to them.” The series initially ran from 2004 to 2008. It was resurrected in 2012 for a new season on Velocity. Foose is happy to be back

Car photos: Three of the custom vehicles designed by Foose. All vehicles on display were on loan from their owners.


A capacity crowd of industry stakeholders attended the event.

doing a television series he loved doing the first time around. “Sometimes in life you have a dream that is just a fantasy and sometimes it takes time to make that fantasy a reality,” Foose says. “It’s an absolute dream to build other people’s dream cars.” Once Foose’s presentation concluded he took questions from the audience. One fan asked him what his biggest failure was throughout his career. “Missing five years of my son’s life while he was growing while I worked on the televi-

sion series,” Foose says. “I worked too much and now I take the time to go home, sit and eat dinner every night with my family.” As for what the future holds for Foose, he continues to operate Foose Design out of Huntington Beach, and the latest season of “Overhaulin’” is already in production. In addition to his automotive design work, he’s also worked on the Disney-Pixar film franchise “Cars“ and hinted at a future project. Despite his professional work, what Foose really wants to do is put together another television series targeting kids that will show children how to draw.

The premise for the series would have children pick any object they can think of and have them try to draw it. From there he’ll take them to professional designers to see how they go about drawing the same object, and ultimately how the object is taken from the conceptual stages and is made into reality. His hope is to show kids that if they like to draw, there’s no shortage of career paths to take. “No matter what it is that you like to draw, there are so many opportunities for careers,” he says.

Interested In sellIng Your shop? Kirmac Collision & Autoglass is actively seeking acquisition opportunities in British Columbia. Interested parties should contact

february 2014  collision Repair  13


CARSTAR Oakville East hosts open house Oakville CARSTAR East held an open house recently to celebrate the official opening of its new location at 916 Winston Churchill Blvd. in Oakville, Ont. In attendance were over 100 industry stakeholders, including insurer and vendor partners, as well as representatives from CARSTAR Collision & Glass. Owner Lorenzo Pellicciotta is also the owner of CARSTAR Oakville West. He purchased CARSTAR Oakville East from the network in

2003. Originally located on Trafalgar Rd. in Oakville, the move to the new location was prompted in part because the lease was up. However, Pellicciotta saw the move as an opportunity to reinvest in the business. The building itself required significant work to transform it for production and flow, and new equipment includes a brand-new Blowtherm Blowpower, accompanied by two Blowtherm Double Finish Workstations. All are

David Weblake of Intact and Bill Davidge of CARSTAR Automotive Canada.

equipped with lifts for expedited production. CARSTAR Oakville East has also invested in new racks, a new Multi Bench 12 and Touch measuring system from Spanesi and much more. “If you want to stay competitive, you’ve got to reinvest in your business,” says Pellicciotta. “It’s really that simple.” For more information, please visit

From left:Jeff Moriarty of CARSTAR, Dennis Concordia of CARSTAR Automotive Canada, Lorenzo Pellicciotta of CARSTAR Oakville, and Dale McDonald of IRA McDonald Construction.


New value colour deck from PPG


slowpoke paint booth can bring any collision repair business to its knees. But thanks to its fast-drying, 98% nitrogen spray, NitroHeat is as fast as it gets. Faster flash-off means more cars cycled through your shop. And no need for supplementary air blowers, saving you power and reducing dust. NitroHeat also spurs your profitability with ultra-efficient delivery that cuts paint consumption up to 30%. Find out how easy it is to add NitroHeat to your system by calling 1.800.615.9949 – or going to But don’t delay. Time’s a-wastin.’

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14  collision Repair

PPG’s new value colour deck.

PPG has introduced a dedicated colour tool for the value refinish user. The value colour deck provides a visual alternative for finding the best colour for a refinish repair. Consisting of 1,800 large colour chips, chromatically sorted and sprayed with refinish paint, PPG says the value colour deck provides the necessary colour information required for most cost-effective repairs. The tool will be updated annually. PPG also says the large chip size and continuous colour display makes it easy to plaque the chip to the vehicle.


Prochilo Brothers opens Speed Centre to drive performance World famous management consultant Peter Drucker once said, “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” Prochilo Brothers Auto Collision seems to be following both parts of that maxim with the opening of its new Speed Centre. The Speed Centre is located at the company’s Midwest Rd. store in Scarborough, Ont. Domenic Ieraci oversees sales, marketing and communications for Prochilo Brothers Auto Collision. He gave us a guided tour of the Speed Centre in advance of its opening. “We’re a performance driven organization,” says Ieraci. “We created the Speed Centre to drive performance and client experience that is industry leading.” Ieraci notes that there is a direct correlation between high performance and the metrics used to determine customer satisfaction index (CSI), as well as net promoter score (NPS). In essence, NPS is a measurement of how likely a customer is to recommend the facility to others. “We had seen the correlation previously in our numbers, and the opening of the Speed Centre has confirmed it. It’s been operational for one month, and our KPIs are improving,” he says. “We’ve seen record breaking KPIs in terms of cycle time and cost containment in rental expense for our insurance partners. Our vision is to be the leaders of world-class automotive repair solutions. We are continuously redefining excellence and raising the bar.” The Speed Centre is approximately 6,000 sq. ft. and is attached to the main facility, but separate from it, for a total of 18,000 sq. ft of production space. The main part of the centre handles medium and heavy repairs, while the Speed Centre is dedicated solely to repairing damage that can be turned around quickly. This has allowed Prochilo Brothers Auto Collision to ensure that every aspect of the design and layout

of the Speed Centre help contribute to, well, speed. “We know as soon as we do the estimate if the car can be repaired at the Speed Centre,” says Ieraci. “It all contributes to ensuring vehicles are delivered on-time, every time.” Ieraci says the quick turnaround times made possible by the Speed Centre also contribute to higher retention rates.

“As a business that has always grown organically through expanding our clientele, this is very important to us,” says Ieraci. “Our CSI numbers have always been very good, but our new system has definitely increased them in an upward trajectory. Our CSI is currently hitting 100 percent with some of our insurance partners.” F o r m o re i n f o r m a t i o n , p l e a s e v i s i t

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Budds’ annual Christmas party collects Toys for Tots The Christmas lunch at Budds’ Collision Services in Oakville, Ont., is an annual industry tradition, drawing together stakeholders from all parts of the local auto claims economy. It’s always a good time and a chance to renew contact with peers. This year, though, there was something more to the event than good cheer. Budds Collision Services added a twist that fit in perfectly with the event and with the

Sam Piercey, co-owner of Budds’ Collision Services.

season: collecting toys for children in need. “We asked folks to bring an unwrapped toy with them,” says Sam Piercey, coowner of Budds’ Collision Services. “We collected a van full during the event, so we know we all helped to make sure kids had a Merry Christmas.” All donations were given to the Halton Regional Police Service’s Toys for Tots program.

Family enters new year with refurbished vehicle thanks to Fix Auto BC

Hundreds of industry stakeholders packed the facility for the annual Christmas lunch.

Precision Auto Body provides Christmas surprise

QEW Collision Centre celebrates 30th anniversary

A Saskatoon family in need received a special Christmas surprise after winning C95 FM’s Christmas Wish holiday contest. Jodi, a single mother of two, was woken up just days before Christmas to find herself being handed the keys to a new car by Joe Giocoli, CEO of Precision Auto Body, in addition to being presented with a slew of donated Christmas gifts for her and her children. The gifts were presented to Jodi live on the air during C95’s radio broadcast. From left: Jodi, her two children, and Joe Gioccli of Precision Auto Body. Giocoli says the community has been supporting him and his company for nearly 30 years, and he felt this was his chance to give back to the community in a substantial way,

QEW Collision Centre in Oakville, Ont., recently celebrated its 30th anniversary with champagne, great food and a gathering of friends and long-term clients. The facility was founded by Jameel Ali and is currently managed by his son Omar. The business repairs all makes and models, but has a special focus on luxury vehicles. Attendees included Oakville’s mayor Rob Burton, MP Terence Young, MPP Kevin Flynn and town councilors Ralph Robinson, Dave Gittings and Max Khan. The facility started life as Ali’s Autobody in 1984 at 142 Cross Avenue. The business soon outgrew its original location and relocated to its current facility at 1021 Industry St. in 1987. From left: Jameel Ali and Pamela Ali; Rob Burton, mayor of Oakville; Omar Ali and Salena Ali.

16  collision Repair

Tom Maple of Fix Auto BC presents single mother Melanie with a refurbished vehicle as part of the “Nominate A Family” campaign.

Fix Auto BC is changing the lives of one local family with the presentation of a refurbished vehicle. Single mom Melanie is starting 2014 off on a positive note with her new car, thanks to the Fix Auto BC “Nominate A Family” holiday campaign. M e l a n i e o f Va n c o u v e r a n d h e r family were gifted a refurbished 2009 Nissan Versa SL FE Plus in a special presentation at the Fix Auto Burnaby South location. “We are incredibly happy to have had the opportunity to help Melanie and her family,” said Fix Auto BC s p o k e s p e r s o n To m M a p l e , “ W i t h the community’s participation, we hope to continue the ‘Nominate A Family’ campaign.”

Facts & Figures

Easy Come … Hiring, firing and training budgets across Canada. By Mike Davey


ecruiting and retaining highquality staff is a concern for every collision repair facility. As we approached the end of 2013, we asked our readers to let us know about their HR practices . The first question in this survey asked respondents to indicate how many employees had departed in the last year, including retirees, those who left employment of their own volition and those who were dismissed. As can be seen in the accompanying graph, nearly a quarter of survey respondents did not lose any employees in 2013. However, a healthy percentage (nearly 10 percent) lost eight or more members of their workforce in the past year. We suspect that of those, the majority are large facilities employing many people. There are many facilities across Canada where eight employees would constitute the entirety or majority of their workforce.  Turning to the hiring numbers for 2013, we see that over 80 percent of survey respondents hired at least one person in the last year. The most popular answer was two employees hired in 2013, at about 29 percent. However, we again see approximately 10 percent of collision repair centres hiring eight or more new employees in 2013. This is remarkably similar to the number of facilities who lost eight or more employees in 2013.  An examination of the individual answers reveals what you probably suspected: the facilities who lost the most employees are also, by and large, the ones who hired the most new employees. Also, an employee hired in, for example, January of 2013 and fired in November of the same year would be counted on both lists.  The number of facilities who hired two employees in 2013 is remarkably similar to the number that lost four to five employees in the same time period. Again, an examination of the individual answers shows that very often

How many staff left your business in 2013?

How many staff did your business hire in 2013?



3% 3%
















16% 16%


29% 29%

10% 10% None. We had no turnover in 2013.

None. We had no 1. turnover in 2013. 1. 2.


None. We have not hired anyone this year.

3. 4 to 3. 5. 6 to 7. 4 to 5. 8 or more.

None. We have not 1. hired anyone this year. 1. 2.

6 to 7. 8 or more.

these are the same facilities. This would indicate that, at least for some collision centres, they were forced to let people go but have been unable to replace them since. We also recently asked our readers to let us know what percentage of their Human Resources budget is spent on training and development. Over 35 percent of respondents indicated that the facility had undertaken no training this year. The majority of respondents (nearly 65 percent) indicated that they had arranged for training or staff development in 2013. Of those the most popular answer was “6 to 10 percent,” indicating that the facility had spent approximately that much of its total HR budget on staff development.  In general, our survey respondents indicated that 2013 was an improvement over 2012, with just 36 percent indicating that their business had either declined or stayed steady.   CRM

18  collision Repair



3. 4 to 5. 3. 6 to 7. 4 to 5. 8 or more.

6 to 7. 8 or more.

What new positions do you 24% 24% expect to hire for in 2014?








11% 14% 14%


11% 11%

14% 14%






4% 11%




Journeyperson technicians. 14% Journeyperson technicians. Other production staff Other production staff (preppers, detailers, etc). (preppers, detailers, etc). Managers. Managers. Estimators.

Apprentices. Journeyperson technicians. Estimators. Other production staff Journeyperson technicians. Office staff. (preppers, detailers, etc). Other productionOffice staff staff. We do not plan to hire in 2014. Managers. We do not plan to hire in 2014. (preppers, detailers, etc). Estimators. Managers. Office staff. We do not plan to hire in 2014. Estimators. Office staff. We do not plan to hire in 2014.

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point blank with piercey






Your industrY resource for all things “training”

Topten The silly, the absurd and the just plain dishonest. POWERED BY

By Sam Piercey


’ve got some things to say about adjusters, in particular about the things they tell their clients, who are also our clients. Or at least they would be, if the adjuster hadn’t convinved them bad things would happen if we touched their cars. Before we get into this, I’ll say all the usual stuff I’m required to say to let the good adjusters know that I’m not talking about them, just some of their colleagues who aren’t as good. Not all adjusters are bad, but they’re in a position to say some things that can have negative effects on our businesses. Is it a big surprise that some of them take that opportunity? I’m sure most of them don’t

go there.” So what? We’re the ones doing the work, we guarantee it, and it’s our butts in a sling if we do bad work. #8: “They are not on our list as a ‘repair facility.’” #7: “I never heard of that shop.” And we’ve never heard of you. Here’s the difference, though: we’re telling the truth. #6: “If you choose that shop, then it takes longer to ‘approve the claim’.” Care to go on the record with that one? I’m sure your professional organization would love to hear it. #5: “I am not sure how good that shop is because they are not ‘recommended’ by us.” Look at the equipment investment and look at the training we’ve taken.

it’s still a bad apple, and it still leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

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“steer” the customers this way, but you and I both know that it happens more than it should, which is never. You know the old saying about bad apples? Well, maybe a bad apple doesn’t actually spoil the whole barrel, but it’s still a bad apple, and it still leaves a bad taste in your mouth. If insurance adjusters are professionals, then they need to act and communicate like professionals. I’ve got my own personal Top Ten list that I’ve collected over the years of the most famous sayings of insurance adjusters. All of these are things that I’ve had passed on to me by customers. In some cases, I’ve tacked on a comment of my own outside the quotes. These aren’t in order of how often I’ve heard them, but they are in order of just how badly each one makes my blood boil. It was hard to pick, but here you go: #10: “If you bring it there you will have to pay the repair shop’s bill, and then wait until we pay you, and this takes time.” #9: “We won’t guarantee the repair if you

20  collision Repair

#4: “You can get an estimate at that shop, but we won’t necessarily pay them what they want.” #3: “We would prefer you to go to one of our shops to get an estimate first as the estimate will keep the shop honest.” #2: “We get a lot of complaints about that shop.” Yes, from other adjusters. #1: Last but not least, “You will have to wait for our appraiser to see the car at your house or your work. If you take it to the shop you are using, since they are not a ‘preferred vendor’ it could take 10 days before we authorize repairs.” To those bad apples: knock it off. You’re not helping your company or your customers, and sooner or later, it’s going to bite you.  CRM Sam Piercey is the co-owner of Budds' Collision Services in Oakville, Ont. He is a long-time Coyote member and sits on many boards and committees. Sam can be reached at

prairie view

ShareTheWealth Employee ownership can have positive effects on business. By Tom Bissonnette


here do I start? As I hit the age of 55, all my friends started asking me if I was retired or when I would retire. I thought, “do I look that old?” Next thing I know, a major consolidator in the collision industry contacted me and inquired if my business was for sale. It’s kind of like a pretty girl winking at you. You’re curious. You think, “do I check this out or not?” All of a sudden I see myself lawn bowling and going on bus excursions! I realize that I am not ready to pack it in but I also need to start planning for that eventuality. I started thinking about retirement. I read a number of retirement-planning articles and almost every one of them said that most people start to plan for retirement about five years later than they should! So I got serious. I talked to my accountant and told him what I was thinking about. I did not like the idea of selling out to a consolidator but I did not

“A new generation in collision repair performance.”

want to miss the opportunity to sell my business. He agreed and suggested that I offer to sell shares in our business to some of our key employees. We came up with a plan to sell up to 30 percent of the company shares to key people in our organization. Five people took us up on that offer. In the meantime, I had been busy checking out open book management through a company in the U.S. called the Great Game of Business. I went down to a seminar that they offered and liked what I saw. The ultimate goal is to create a “business of business people” who think, act and feel like owners. The key was to educate our employees with the knowledge and tools to give them a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the financial outcome, good or bad. In September 2013 I hired the GGOB to send a couple of coaches up and get us started. They did a two day in-house seminar and then followed up online and by phone for the next 90 days.


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22  collision Repair

prairie view

It took some time for the employees to get their heads around understanding the financials of the business, but by having weekly huddles to explain the concepts, they soon began to see the big picture. For example, they began to realize that it is not only how much you sell that determines your profits but how much you spend! When we started out I asked the employees this question: “How much profit should a business make?” Some said 30 percent. When I told

So what happened? Well, we nailed our budget. Sales went up 7.6 percent from 2012, gross profit went up 12.8 percent and net profit was up 23.4 percent in 2013. From my perspective, I went back to making a regular wage plus I earned my dividends on the profit of the business. Literally, I made as much money owning 70 percent utilizing the GGOB principles as opposed to owning 100 percent a year earlier! We even paid out $80,000 in employee bonuses.

I have a totally engaged workforce that treat the business like they were owners. them we make less than a dime on every dollar we sell, they began to sit up and take notice. Together we started forecasting what our statement should look like. We did a yearly budget and broke it down into a monthly budget. We met weekly and forecasted how we would do compared to our budget. We updated them and we became totally transparent financially, creating a level of commitment and alignment ordinary businesses just cannot match.

In addition I have a totally engaged workforce that treat the business like they were owners rather than employees! I am having so much fun I am not sure I want to retire now!  CRM Tom Bissonnette is the owner/operator of Parr Auto Body, a collision repair facility located in Saskatoon, Sask. He can be reached at


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february 2014  collision Repair  23

who’s driving?

SmoothRunning Storage and organization create a lean-running shop.

By Jay Perry


n a fast moving industry like ours, it’s imperative that you have strong business partners to help you reduce your shop’s cycle time and your basic inventory costs. Together, parts and relationship-building are essential pieces to running your operations smoothly. Rounding out the previous two techniques for a smooth running shop, dealing with parts is equally critical and is inclusive of having dedicated storage space. Parts carts are a great way to help keep your shop floor organized, leaving ample room to keep reusable parts safe. And if you use small bins for clips and other fasteners, it’s also a great way to keep everything and everybody organized.

exposing it to the dust and fumes of the shop during that time. That is just silly and so very simple to correct. I also still see technicians leave parts inside the vehicle that are either dirty or have sharp edges; on the upholstery. Again, very simple to remedy with carts or protective wrapping. Storage also involves safety and legal issues for the handling of shop materials. To do our work we must have harmful and dangerous products on site. There is no excuse for shortcuts when it comes to safely storing these products, because the potential downside to poor storage is too great a chance to take. Equipment containment, maintenance and proper usage are also key components of ideal

A written maintenance schedule is a cheap and easy way to reduce equipment Repair Costs. Speaking of clips and fasteners, one of the best techniques I have seen to help with reassembly and cycle time is to replenish those small parts immediately during disassembly when they come from your in-house inventory. So for example if you have 11 generic clips retaining a hood insulator and five break during disassembly, the technician should go to the bin and replace the five broken ones out of inventory and put the new ones with the reusable ones. This way the technician doesn’t slow down while they are in the middle of reinstalling the insulator to go over and retrieve the needed clips. Storage also involves safely keeping the customer’s vehicle in an undamaged condition. That might involve indoor storage or covering part or all of a vehicle to protect it from the elements. Products like “Crash Wrap” are very easy to use for this purpose. Another very simple idea, and one that I think has been an issue since I started in the trade, is the period in which the vehicle is in the work environment. Even to this day I still see shops that have technicians lower the window in a vehicle and leave it down during repair, thus 24  collision Repair

storage. A written maintenance schedule is a cheap and easy way to reduce equipment repair costs. You also need one of your personnel to take the lead on this issue of storage and maintenance if you do it in-house. Instruction on proper use should be kept nearby and have the senior technicians formally teach the newer technicians when they bring out a rarely used piece of equipment. I have an axiom that,“if you are doing something without teaching someone, you are wasting an opportunity.” I am sure some of what I have said above seems a little elementary to you. Based upon my observations of the industry I think having this reminder is needed. If you take time to review this article with your staff and observe how they are doing the things mentioned throughout, it will go a long way to help you be the one who’s driving.  CRM Jay Perry is the founder and owner of Automotive Business Consultants (ABC), a performance coaching company specializing in the automotive service industry. He can be reached via e-mail at

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Maritime By Mike Davey

Pride Kelvin Campbell and Chapman Auto Body~CSN succeeded on hard work and a personal brand. For a long time, a university education was promoted as the surefire way to secure a good job and a stable future. There was a time when that was closer to being true than it is today, but there were always people for whom university was a bad fit.

february 2014  collision Repair  27


The team at Chapman Auto Body~CSN has grown considerably since the early days, when staff consisted of one tech and the owner working as a painter.

Kelv in C ampb el l is t he ow ner of Chapman Auto Body~CSN in Halifax, N.S. Born and raised in the small community of Sydney Mines in Cape Breton, Campbell started classes at the University of Toronto following his graduation from high school. Three months after enrollment, though, he had decided it wasn’t for him. “My dad was a single father bringing up five kids,” recalls Campbell. “Money was tight, so I was going to school on a student loan. My dad said to me, ‘don’t come home until you’ve paid off that loan.’ I took a few jobs in Toronto until I got it paid off, and then I headed back to Nova Scotia.” It was an early lesson in personal responsibility and fiscal management that has served Campbell well since. Campbell had made it home, but he knew he didn’t want that to be permanent. He saw an ad for a 20-week auto body course at the College of Cape Breton. His grandfather and uncles had all been body men. Perhaps he could follow in the family tradition? Soon Campbell found himself part of the new 32-person class studying auto body repair techniques. Twelve weeks later, the rest of his class had dropped out. Persistence paid off for Campbell, as he

spent the last eight weeks of the course receiving personal one-on-one instruction. Upon graduation, Campbell found work as a painter at a local shop. Passion for his work and an ability to turn out highquality paint jobs soon drew attention from Bob Chapman at Chapman Volvo in Halifax. Campbell packed up and moved to Halifax to start his new job in 1992. Unfortunately, just two years later, a decision was made to close the in-house collision repair facility at the dealership. Most people faced with an impending closure would probably just try to find another position. Campbell isn’t most people, though. He’s an entrepreneur. He put in an offer for the collision business, then rented the space from the dealership. It seems likely that the collision repair facility at Chapman Volvo was not a profit centre for the dealership, as profitable enterprises are rarely shut down. However, Chapman Auto Body not only survived under Campbell’s leadership, but has grown considerably since 1994. Once a three-bay operation, it now employs a staff of 23 in its own building. The facility is a Porsche Certified Collision Centre and is also the first, and

28  collision Repair

currently only, collision repair centre in Atlantic Canada authorized by BMW Canada to perform structural aluminum r e p a i r s . T h i s y e a r C h ap m a n Au t o Body~CSN celebrates its 20th anniversary under Campbell’s ownership. “We built the brand on high-end cars,” said Campbell. “When I bought it, there were four body techs and one painter, and that painter was me. Everybody left when I took over, except for Scott Hiltz. The two of us worked our butts off in the first year to get work done on time, but we did it. Scott’s still with us today, and he’s still working just as hard.”

Shelly Fifeld, CSR, and Kelly Bryan, Office Manager of Chapman Auto Body~CSN.


The hard work has paid off in a way that’s easy to quantify. For example, Campbell says Chapman Auto Body~CSN equalled its first year’s revenue in the first month of 2013 alone. It’s understandable that after putting so much effort into growing the business, Campbell would be very protective of his identity. That’s part of the reason he chose to join CSN Collision & Glass. “I was part of the Coyote Vision Group, and everybody was thinking of banners and franchises at that time,” says Campbell. “I looked at everything, and with CSN, I didn’t feel like I was giving up my own identity.” “Chapman Auto Body~CSN exemplifies the type of collision repair facility CSN handpicks to represent its network, not only in Atlantic Canada but across the country,” says Larry French, VP of Sales & Marketing at CSN Collision & Glass. “Kelvin and his team have done a tremendous job in providing quality repairs and excellent customer service to the Halifax area for many years and we are excited to continue this journey together in the years to come.” Brand identity can be very important, especially on a local level. Customers know the owner and want to do business with the same people that have given them good service in the past. “In today’s environment, it’s important to be attached to a banner,” says Campbell. “On the other hand, everyone in Halifax knows who we are. I’ve met a lot of my friends just through fixing their cars. They come back 10 years later and they know the Chapman brand.” Maintaining a hard-won reputation is important, but Campbell says that so is adapting to change. “The industry is constantly changing, and that’s something you have to adapt to,” he says. “I’ve always heard the sky was falling since I took over the business in 1994. I heard it at CCIF, I heard it at local associations. When our partners want change, we have to change with them. Remember, they’re trying to do the same thing we are: make a buck. We need to find the ‘happy medium,’ a model that allows sustainable profitability for all of us.” Campbell says that one key is to find better and more efficient ways to repair components rather than simply replace them, without compromising overall

Hard work has paid off in a way that’s easy to quantify. Chapman Auto Body ~CSN equaled its first year’s revenue in the first month of 2013 alone.

Chapman Auto Body~CSN was one of the first BMW Certified Collision Repair Centres in Canada.

quality. Keeping a keen eye out for new and improved equipment and processes can help do that. “Back in October 2012, I went to the U.K. with some other shops like Caliber and Budds’, some of the really big players,” says Campbell. “We asked every shop we toured, and asked them what was the most important tool purchase they had made in the last 10 years. They all said the Miracle System.” The Miracle System is a steel panel repair system produced by Power-Tec and available in Canada through Titanium Tools and Equipment. The main selling point of the system is that it allows technicians to turn borderline write-offs into economical repairs. As a system, it has one big endorsement: it works. “You’re always going to have to adapt to new conditions,” says Campbell. “This system helps us do that, by controlling costs and repair times, and lets us fix more cars. You’ve got to keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities.” Following that philosophy led Campbell to meet Sam Piercey, co-owner of Budds’ Collision Services in Oakville, Ont., about 10 years ago.

“It was my first BWM conference, right after we became one of the first shops in BMW’s Canadian certified network,” says Campbell. “I met Sam, and he kind of took me under his wing. He’s really done a lot for me, including spending hours on the phone. His advice on how to find and maintain DRPs was priceless.” Campbell notes that there is always a new change on the horizon, and those who adapt to deal with it will survive. Ignoring the challenge won’t make it go away. “Collision avoidance systems are going to change the whole direction of the collision repair industry,” says Campbell. “There’s all kinds of new technology coming out. If you’re not up to date, you’re going to be in trouble.” Chapman Auto Body~CSN has overcome numerous challenges over the last 20 years. Which makes Campbell the most proud? “The thing I’m proudest of is that we sur vived. Ever ybody thought we wouldn’t,” says Campbell. “To be honest, there were times I thought we wouldn’t make it. The way I looked at it, I could either quit or just keep forging ahead. I kept going.”  CRM february 2014  collision Repair  29

View From the top

envelopeinsights Reap rewards when you determine what’s really important.

By Dick Cross


f you’ve been at the Atlanta Airport past midnight, waiting for the last plane out, then you know the scene: a reenactment of Hieronymus Bosch’s Renaissance painting of Hades. In the dim light of Gate 33, twisted torsos in sticky blue vinyl seats awaiting the ultimate horror of three hours in a middle seat. But not me. I’m fully caffeinated and wired! Over the next three hours I have to figure out whether the business I’ve visited that week warrants investment. Settling in under the glow of the orange-ish overhead, I started to sketch. What appeared on my yellow pad was the back of a #10 envelope. In the left hand triangle I wrote “Customers.” Not how we usually think about them, by demographics such as how many live within a 12-mile radius, av-

themselves and build their loyalty. Turning them from average customers into zealots. In the triangle at the top, I hurriedly wrote “Positioning.” How would the company need to be seen by its customers and by its greater community to become their unarguable first choice? An adaptation of its current persona that presented the business as something more, and more directly related to what its customers cared about most.

Can You Deliver?

Then in the triangle at the bottom I wrote “Competencies.” Did the business have the resources—and could it mobilize them—to deliver on the idea hatched through the sequence of thinking differently about customers, needs and positioning?

this line of thought led me way beyond the customary boundaries. erage income, kids, vehicle they drive, education, dogs, cats and the like. Rather, I started jotting down what I’d learned about how this business’s customers thought. What was important to them? Beyond what this company sold, what did they care about most and what might make them feel best?

Beyond Boundaries

Across the envelope, in the right hand triangle I wrote “Needs.” Which of the things its customers cared most about could the company do something about? To help their customers over a fear, or make them feel better about themselves? This line of thought led me way beyond the customary boundaries of the products of the business and into things that were only tangential to what it actually sold. And even into others that were entirely unrelated. Except for the opportunity that might exist, by virtue of the touch of the transaction, to do something special for them. At that moment I started to see patterns. For doing things, in addition to what the business always had done for its customers, that might help them with a fear, or make them feel better about

My first trip around the envelope didn’t make sense. Too grandiose a scheme for the “Competencies.” But it was a solid step forward. By the fourth circuit through the logic I had something great. A way of looking at the business that was fresh, optimistic and that no one else had imagined. The investor bought the business, executed the “Back of the Envelope” scheme I’d sketched on the plane and sold it three years later with a gain on sale that was more than expected due to performance improvement. Most rewarding is that the people running the business had turned into zealots too. They looked forward to getting to work. They gave their all, every day. And they felt like their work was more than work. An enriching part of their lives. More of a service and a calling than a job. You can do the same thing, with the same results. Starting on the back of an envelope!  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

february 2014  collision Repair  31



Performance By Mike Davey

Brent Jamieson of Axalta on the keys to top-line growth, technological advances and branding.


Brent Jamieson.

32  collision Repair

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 Brent Jamieson, Canada Country Manager for Axalta Coatings Systems, to discuss his views on the factors affecting the current industry and pathways to sustainable business for the future. Jamieson has extensive experience in the coatings business in both Canada and international markets. His career has spanned sales and marketing, manufacturing, supply chain and research and development.


Collision Repair magazine:  Hello Brent. Thanks for joining us. Which challenge facing the collision repair industry do you see as the most critical? Brent Jamieson: Like business in general, the collision repair industry is extremely competitive. Given all the challenges and priorities shop owners face today, I would say that driving efficiency and productivity are absolutely the most critical challenges shop owners have to face. The cycle time of a repair is the key measurement of success and improving this turnaround is fundamental to a successful operation. From a paint perspective, shop owners should and do demand performance and consistency from the paint products they use. Axalta Coating Systems offers industry leading coatings and supports these with industry leading shop tools to support colour and productivity. In addition, we offer tremendous product and application training through our training facilities across the country. Tools and training really make a difference from a productivity and quality standpoint – and ultimately to the bottom line!

on both today’s challenges and tomorrow’s improvements. CRM:  What do you think will be an area of growth for collision repair facilities? What’s the best way for a shop to tap into that? BJ: Most shops are looking to drive growth. We see opportunities to do this by driving top line revenue and improve fixed costs efficiencies. Top line growth opportunities vary across the country as technology evolves but we consistently see opportunities to upsell. Many insurance claim vehicles provide the opportunity to have additional user pay repairs while

CRM: What are the three most important steps a shop can take to help secure longevity? BJ:  I have spent a lot of time speaking to many long-term successful shop owners, studying their operations, and find there are a number of common themes: • Engagement – Engaged in their business and engaged in the community in which they operate. Successful shop owners know every aspect of their operation and understand clearly what can impact their success. They are very hands-on. They are often passionate advocates within their communities. • Product Knowledge – Owners that have long-term success know the value of product. Like anything, using high quality products provides consistency and stabilizes the paint process. In the long run, shops benefit in throughput and productivity. They listen to their painters and seek their input on product preference. • They think long-term . Successful owners are always thinking ahead of the pack and seeking to constantly improve their business. They educate themselves and are decisive working

What has changed is we now have a singular focus on coatings and on our customers. All we do is coatings. - Brent Jamieson in your shop. As a leader in lean, we see that there is an opportunity for growth by maximizing the efficiency within each shop. We work to apply lean principles in everyday work. Let’s illustrate with an example of a shop that is part of a dealership. The booth utilization could be maximized by using any down-time to do small paint repairs required on vehicles on the used car lot. We’ve seen this improve the bottom line profit of both the used car department as well as the collision centre. CRM:  Thinking solely of how it’s going to change the business, what’s the biggest technological advance we can expect in the next few years? What will shops have to do to adapt? BJ:  Technology continues to advance all around us, and the same applies to the collision industry. Let’s look at the technological advancements which are related to improving shop efficiencies. Robust processes, well trained staff and leading edge tools create great improvements for shops. For example, one of the most critical pro-

cesses in any repair facility is matching colour. The colour simply must match regardless of the wide array of auto finishes being used and the broad array of parts / substrates. Digital colour matching equipment will continue to improve. Axalta offers a clear advantage with the Acquire EFX spectrophotometer, whereby not only can the instrument read Lab Colour Space, it can digitally display the flake at multiple angles. Using this advancement, shop owners and operators can quickly and accurately match colour to streamline the repair process. Other technological advancements will include next generation shop management and estimator tools as well as computer / communication tools. Many of the leading shops use iPads/ laptop computers within the repair process to communicate / manage operational data and support the various repair tools used in today’s shops. Collecting and analyzing data at all steps of the repair process to identify waste and opportunities will improve shop processes. The intentionality and planning is critical for shops now so they have the advantages of the technologies and they are a comfortable part of the daily processes. CRM:  We’ve seen a name change recently to Axalta Coating Systems. We’ve also heard that the lines will remain the same. With that said, what changes go along with the name change? B J : It has been a ver y exciting and rewarding transition for our business l aunching our ne w Axa lt a C o at ing Systems Company. I firmly believe we have the best of all worlds: more than 100 years of coatings history and experience, truly industry leading technologies and we’re built on strong coatings and colour science. What has changed is we now have a singular focus on coatings and on our customers. All we do is coatings, and our customers have already experienced, and told me personally, they have seen a marked difference in our responsiveness and ser vice. We are more adaptable and more focused - and this energy is a common rallying point for all Axalta employees regardless of their role in the company – it’s all about the customer! The most exciting thing is we have just begun our new journey.  CRM february 2014  collision Repair  33


Ageless Wonder

At 75 George Remen has seen and done it all. By Andrew Ardizzi

Right: George Remen. Below: George Remen and Domenic Lucarelli, owner of CARSTAR Stoney Creek.

34  collision Repair


ome people simply have an aptitude for what they do, and for some of us, we find our callings at a very early point in our lives. When the stars align, as they did for George Remen, everything simply comes together piece-by-piece, building a lifelong tapestry of successes. Remen discovered early where his life was headed. Not really possessing a yearning for academics, and combined with his love of cars, the decision was a no-brainer. “I hated school and my dad gave me an option: either get a job or go back to school. And so I found a job,” says the 75-year-old Remen. “A friend of mine told me a shop was looking for someone to clean up the shop area and asked if I would want to sweep and clean. And so I started working in a collision repair shop.” His initial cleaning work didn’t last long though, as a few weeks later he was asked whether or not he would like to try his hand at some other tasks. Once he proved himself capable, there was only one last plunge to take for an 18-year-old working in a collision shop. “Then they asked me if I would be interested in an apprenticeship in repairing cars. Naturally I said yes and continued on from there,” he says. “When I told my boss I was interested he walked me out back and showed me 10 or 12 cars and said, ‘these are going to be our courtesy cars. Pick one and start working on it.’” In those early months he quickly learned the different dynamics of vehicle repair, asking plenty of questions of the more experienced technicians on the floor. They obliged, teaching him the ins and outs, setting him on his career path equipped with the mental tools he would need to be successful. This was merely the beginning, as no sooner did Remen finish his first car—a nocturne blue 1954 Ford—did he begin prepping vehicles for paintwork, giving him a rounded knowledge base to build the rest of his career from. For him, that was simply the way it was done. “It was just the way I learned the business,” he says, recalling his well-rounded training. Remen saw a lot throughout his 56 years in the business, which includes having worked as an appraiser since 1972, running a CARSTAR franchise in Cambridge, Ont., all the while watching vehicles and collision repair as a business


transform into what it is today. But one thing that never changed for Remen was his commitment to his craft and interacting with customers who came into the shop, saw the high-quality work Remen did and left having had a positive experience. “I enjoyed and was pleased when a customer would look at their vehicle and say, ‘nice job,’ and then see them drive away,” he says. “The best part was not seeing the customer again for the same issue, because it meant that I did a good job. I was always disappointed when someone came back because I prided myself on what I did.” Throughout his years Remen also saw quite a few people come up through the business, many of whom he stills calls friends. He says he enjoys seeing faces from the past, adding many of those he knew as he was cementing his place in the industry were just starting out and have now moved on to greater things within the collision business. “A lot of the people I see in the business today were just kids when I started and now many of them are shop owners or run their own businesses,” he says. “It’s really nice to see.” One of those “kids,” Remen notes, is CARSTAR Founder Sam Mercanti, who Remen knew when Mercanti was washing and sanding cars before working at his own parent’s shop. “I’m happy to have been able to see him become the success story that he has,” he says. Mercanti, when recalling his own experiences with Remen, has nothing but glowing praise for the respected and knowledgeable jack-of-all-trades Remen became. “What I remember about George was that he was very knowledgeable about his craft, and that he was a very ethical and upstanding person,” Mercanti recalls. “When he became an appraiser he was respected because he knew first hand how to make every repair.” Mercanti says what made Remen different was his work ethic and the respect his quiet and hard-working demeanour earned from shop owners. He says he was a simply a person who gave everything he had, always kept his word, always worked to improve his own work and helped others coming up in the business. “He is one of the greats in our industry who made it better, and I never had a

reason to second guess his judgements,” Mercanti says. Having already retired twice, at his age one can only wonder how long Remen will continue working in his part time gig at CARSTAR Stoney Creek as an appraiser, but after three years in his most recent role Remen sees no immediate sign of slowing down and plans to work for at least an-

other three years. But that isn’t to say he wouldn’t consider taking on the odd part time job if someone were to need him a day or two here and there. But at 75, what keeps him going? “I don’t want to just sit at home on my fanny. I enjoy doing it and talking to the people working in the shops,” he says. “I enjoy the challenge.”  CRM

february 2014  collision Repair  35

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Responsible Innovation T By Mike Davey

here’s a long, long list of products manufactured by 3M specifically for the collision repair market. Abrasives and masking are probably among the most well-known, but 3M offers numerous other product categories dedicated to the professional collision repairers. Founded over 100 years ago as a mining concern, there’s been a culture of innovation in place at 3M since the company developed its first exclusive product, ThreeM-Ite Cloth, in 1914. Since that time, the development and distribution of new products has been a driving force at 3M. The drive to innovate carries with it a need to provide training. Customers will soon shy away from any product that has no support, no matter how innovative. Bill Suzuki is with the Technical Service department at 3M Canada’s Automotive Aftermarket Division, headquartered in London, Ont. He notes that the more advanced a solution is, the more likely it is to require solid training. “Disruptive technology derived from our company’s innovation tend to require more training than conventional products,” he says. 3M offers training through a number of sources, including an extensive library of how-to articles and videos that help to guide users through the procedures needed to gain the maximum benefit of the prod-

ucts. Many resources are offered onthe U.S. site, but plans are underway to bring the library to the Canadian site as well. However, there is often no substitute for live training from those who know the product best. This is especially true when it comes to truly innovative products, as experience with similar entries may not serve as much of a guide. Much of the training on new products comes directly from 3M’s reps. The end users of 3M’s collision products are often on very tight schedules, so scheduling training at or near their business helps. “It starts at head office, where our sales team receives intensive training,” says Suzuki. “From there, they head out to train both end users and channel partners.” There are other training opportunities with 3M, such as events at head office, but most of the company’s new product training is delivered in this way. “It can be tough for a collision shop owner or tech to get out to London,” says Suzuki, noting that users very often don’t want to take time away from their duties at the shop. “The best methods we’ve found are ‘lunch and learns’ at the customer’s shops, or similar events in the evening after the shop has closed for the day.” It’s a method that combines convenience for the repairer with valuable hands-on instruction from people who really know the product.

3M seeks to make sure customers get the most out of their purchase.

Sue Endle of 3M demonstrates the company’s Paint Restoration System.

Of course, there are many 3M products that do not strictly qualify as “new,” but that are still offered by the company and still widely in use in the collision industry. A wide variety of 3M courses are offered through I-CAR, including classes for estimators, structural technicians working with both steel and aluminum, non-structural technicians, painters and appraisers. “We continue to support our time-tested solutions,” says Suzuki. “As long as the industry is still using them, we’ll continue to offer that training.” For more information, please visit

3M Product Categories Please note that these are the product categories for 3M’s collision division, and does not include the company’s many products sold to other industries and directly to consumers. Abrasives Masking Adhesives Paint Spray Equipment & PPS Plastic Composite

Fiberglass Repair Coatings Sealants Body Filler Glaze Paint Booth Protection

Compound Polishes and Glazes Buffing Pads Detailing Cleaners

Tools & Accessories Sound Deadening Welding Mechanical & Electrical Tapes

february 2014  collision Repair  37

report on training

presented by



A technician with PDR Canada removes a glue tab.

PDR Pathway Charting a course for paintless dent repair training.

By Andrew Shepherd


hatever your thoughts about global warming, there is no doubt that extreme weather events have become much more common in recent years. Environment Canada reports that 2013 was the second highest year on record for hail storms. Western Canada saw 371 severe weather events during the year.  After the storms subside, support personnel see a deluge of a different kind, a massive influx of insurance claims and long wait lines at collision repair facilities. Industry insiders also talk about an influx of “storm chasers,” hail repair companies that are often transitory. This is becoming a serious issue for the collision repair industry as even cosmetic repairs now involve removing bumpers, doors and panels, reconfiguring restraint systems and management of corrosion protection, sensing technologies, etc.  In 2013 Alberta Autobody Trades Officers made a special point of enforcing laws pertaining to

the use of skilled trades for any repair involving the removal or adjustment of panels. In fall 2013, a group of industry stakeholders met to improve the professionalism of PDR. Co-operators Insurance, Shield Autobody and Southgate Volkswagen Collision of Edmonton and PDR Canada, a major hail repair company, met w it h A l b e r t a Tr a d e s and I-CAR  Canada  to Representatives of Canadian Hail Repair during a training session explore the skills rehosted by CARSTAR’s Alberta stores. The training was intended quirements of PDR for insurers and estimators on the basics of estimating for PDR. technicians. I was involved with the group as a representative of I-CAR Canada. complex vehicles. Going forward, much In the end, we focused on 13 courses more industry consultation is going to consisting of approximately 50 hours of happen before anything is finalized. training. This level of training would form This level of training is not intended to the minimum requirement with today’s turn out a master class PDR tech, but to

38  collision Repair

presented by

provide technicians with a solid understanding of the basics. From there, further training can be undertaken to improve the skills they’ve acquired. It’s been said that PDR work is as much art as science. As with any skill, training will get you started, but mastery only comes with significant experience. However, basic training in PDR will help to ensure that technicians do not make costly mistakes. Domenic Serra is the President and CEO of PDR Canada. He is fully supportive of the new training path being proposed. “We operate across Canada, dealing with every weather condition Canada has to offer. We need to ensure our staff is trained as thoroughly as possible,” he says. “And frankly the consumer and the insurer are going to be better protected if there is some sort of skills requirement for PDR companies.”  Serra has already committed his staff to the training path developed by the group. Jeff Hicks, owner of Shield Autobody in Edmonton, has also encouraged all of his staff to participate in I-CAR training. report on training POWERED BY


The team from PDR Canada: Daniel Bahoric, Jacob Serra, Eric Lemke, Brandon Serra, Jesse Cipolla, Daniel Serra, Nicholas Serra and Domenic Serra (centre), with I-CAR Instructor John Carruthers.

“We’re going to advise the other insurers in our area – we all want safe, efficient repairs for our customers and we’re proud that we’ve developed a solution with I-CAR Canada” says Hicks. “This is a great step forward for the industry.” Sam Piercey, Jr., is the President of Canadian Hail Repair. He is also supportive of the new training path, noting that currently there is little in the way of official

training for PDR technicians in Canada. “There are training courses in the U.S., but not much in Canada,” says Piercey. “Frankly, the U.S. is ahead of Canada in PDR work. As we see more hail storms and other extreme weather events, the Canadian industry is going to need more qualified and training PDR technicians. A homegrown training solution will help us to fill that need.”  CRM

february 2014  collision Repair  39

report on training

presented by



Dissecting Training TOP 10 I Top courses, most popular times to train and more.

By Mike Davey

-CAR delivered 6,327 courses last year in venues all across Canada. Looking over the numbers, we see a small increase over the 2012 numbers of 6,040 courses. Advanced materials made the news frequently in 2013, and the courses delivered by I-CAR in the last year confirm that many technicians chose this year to upgrade their skills to deal more effectively with high-strength steel and aluminum. None of these courses made our top ten list, but several missed the top ten by less than two dozen students. These materials are certainly not new, although they are being used more frequently in production automobiles. It’s likely that many technicians have already taken this training and so did not need to refresh their knowledge again this year.

I-CAR Training by Month I-CAR training delivery follows a roughly predictable pattern, with the majority of training taking place in the spring and fall. The accompanying table ranks each month by courses delivered, from highest to lowest. November, 1220 May, 943 March, 721 July, 386 October, 1093 September, 907 February, 556 August, 365 April, 1023 December, 798 January, 486 June, 213

Training by Occupation The following table illustrates I-CAR training undertaken in 2013, sorted by job title. Most I-CAR training is directed to collision repair technicians and helpers. In fact, approximately 25 percent of all training delivered by I-CAR in 2013 was taken by collision techs. However, including them in the stats used to develop the accompanying graph would have made some of the other percentages too small to provide a meaningful picture. Therefore, they were not included. A large percentage of people gave their title as “Other,” “Unknown” or “Staff.” Those students are also not represented in this graph. In the table, “Techs and Helpers” includes all technicians other than collision repair technicians, refinish technicians and their helpers. It includes, but is not limited to, mechanical service and repair, structural repair technicians, PDR techs, glass techs and electrical technicians. The category of “Instructors” includes collision repair instructors, combination/lead instructor, post-secondary instructors and secondary instructors. The category of “Adjusters/Appraisers/ Estimators” includes both independents and those employed by insurance companies. Finally, the category of “Other” is composed of re-inspectors, claims managers, recyclers and porters/lot staff. Techs and Helpers, 2.5%

Estimators/ Salespeople, 8.5%

Apprentices/ Students, 2.5%

Adjusters/Appraisers/ Estimators, 11.5%

Instructors, 2.5%

Staff Insurance Adj/App/Est, 24%

Combination Techs and Helpers, 4.5%

Office Staff, 2%

40  collision Repair

Insurance Managers/ Supervisors, 3%

Production Managers, Foremen, 4%

Managers/ Department Heads, 2%

Refinish Tech, Prepper, Helper, 13.5%

Owners, Managers, 18%

Other, 1.5%

I-CAR Courses of 2013

The accompanying table illustrates the top 10 I-CAR courses in 2013 by courses delivered to students. Topping this year’s list is Electric and Electric Hybrid Vehicles, showing a strong interest in this relatively new field right across the country.


Electric and Electric Hybrid Vehicles, 247


Steel Unitized Structures Technologies and Repair, 234

3 4

Corrosion Protection, 224 Fundamentals of Collision Repair, 214


Hybrid Electric and Alternative Fuel Vehicles, 173


Overview of Cycle Time Improvements for the Collision Repair Process, 170


Collision Repair for Select High Volume Vehicles, 162


Restraints, Interior, Glass, Side and Rear Impact Analysis, 160


Color Theory, Application, Tinting, and Blending, 151

Impact 10 Frontal Analysis, 151

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Super modules may become vehicles’ central nervous system. By Andrew Ardizzi


t’s difficult to really imagine, even from images you can find anywhere online, what it was like to drive a car a little over 100 years ago. If you do look up those early vehicles, or even vehicle collisions, what you’ll find are rather primitive models whose difference to modern vehicles is comparable to the evolution of warfare from sticks and stones to assault rifles and guided missiles. And that’s not even a stretch. When the family-friendly Ford Model T was first mass-produced in 1909, no one could have foreseen that over the next century the vehicle housing a four-cylinder engine with a top speed of 40 to 45 mph would evolve into the modern day technological marvels that drive before us now. Electric fuel injection engines, computer diagnostics, GPS

systems, collision avoidance technology— for that matter, the evolution of braking systems tells a basic story about how automotive production has changed and where automotive production is going. But how did we get here, to the point where comprehensive GPS systems or smartphone apps help us navigate our ways around cities? The evolution of car electronics has dramatically changed the way we drive. Using brakes as an example, as vehicles became faster the need for a way to decelerate and bring cars to a stop became more necessary. Very early in their development, mid-19th century cars used “shoe brakes,” levers that could be pulled to apply a block of wood to a wheel’s rim and was effective for speeds of up to 10-20mph. After a time “shoe brakes” outlived their usefulness, with

42  collision Repair

the industry transitioning to external drum brake copper pads designed by Frederick Lanchester at the turn of the 20th century; these degraded much too quickly, necessitating the next evolution in braking technology with the use of an asbestos-based lining for the copper pads—developed by Herbert Frood—to both add to the pads’ longevity and eliminate the screeching sound they made when in friction with other metal-based rims. These eventually gave way to the easier-to-use internal drum systems, and this trend has continued over the years as the industry has adopted hydraulic brakes, power assisted brakes, disc brakes, and ABS systems. ABS systems were particularly employed to eliminate skidding, and to assist drivers in maintaining control of their vehicle by ensuring the tires


maintained contact with the road’s surface while braking. This was hardly the final evolution in what’s now the brake control module, as ABS braking has since birthed electronic stability control (ESC) and roll stability control (RSC). Expanding on the ABS premise, ESC expands the computerized systems to automatically help drivers control any loss of traction while driving if the ESC detects any loss of steering control. Present day ESC systems apply the brakes to help drivers steer vehicles where they want their car to go. Braking is applied to each wheel individually, shifting between the inner and outer front wheels to counter oversteering and understeering, complemented by the capacity to reduce engine power to minimize control loss. We’re

seeing a similar evolution once again with the advent of roll stability control which are intended to prevent SUVs and other larger vehicles from tipping. These technologies may in the future be used in collision avoidance technology that will alert the driver when vehicles are traveling too closely and work to avoid a collision altogether, ensuring the safety of the driver and all passengers. Sounds neat, no? And while car braking systems, or collision prevention gadgets as a whole have improved and evolved, the stark difference between hand levers and modern braking paints a colourful picture of where car technologies as a whole are moving as systems become integrated and multi-purposed. There’s no denying that automobile infrastructure has become more complex, as it will con-

This doesn’t mean we’ll be seeing Jetsons-styled autonomous flying cars any time soon, but the reality is vehicle systems are becoming more and more integrated.

The ABS system is a component of the brake control module, which additionally includes the Electronic Stability Control, monitoring all braking functions like a larger super module would monitor all electronic functions on a vehicle.

tinue to do so well into the future. This doesn’t mean we’ll be seeing Jetsons-style autonomous flying cars any time soon, but the reality is vehicle systems are becoming more and more integrated. And as these systems become more integrated, their reliance on each other will surely follow suit. Despite the youthfulness of the ESC system, as is the case with most technological innovations, newer is better and we must always adapt, change and grow. As such, we’ve begun to deviate from vehicle microprocessors and more towards centralized electronic modules that are responsible for the totality of a vehicle’s computer systems. The ESC is a prime example, having over the last several years been incorporated into the ABS system while removing some of the ESC-specific functions. Layering like-functioning systems into common modules makes sense, and it seems to be where the industry is heading. We’re even starting to see an emerging central system in the SatNav display. Combined with a SIM card, the independent modules—body control, engine control, powertain control, transmission control and braking among others—can be monitored by the SatNav display where drivers can monitor their car’s total health as well as view the two-way transmission of information. We’re not quite there yet, but over the next few years that may change. We’re already seeing the emergence of the components to create this framework, and while the auto industry needs to standardize the module formats and hardware, the aftermarket will continue to face the bleak prospect of servicing vehicles with specific electronic modules, making it more difficult to run successful businesses. The automotive industry is at a crossroads. The evolution and continued innovation leading to new systems and amalgamations lessens the wiggle room aftermarket and collision repair shops have in working with these systems if they’re not mass marketed across the entire industry. Business health is dictated by the ability to offer a service, and without the ability to give that service it will become more and more difficult for shops and aftermarket businesses to thrive without OE support in the form of parts support and continued access to electronic systems repairs such as the Vehicle Security Professional program.  CRM february 2014  collision Repair  43


VSP Makes Strides Over First Active Year

No shop should ever have to turn work away.

Canadian roll-out of security program allows techs to access sensitive, necessary repair information. By Andrew Ardizzi


here technology is concerned with present day vehicles, two collision repair truisms exist: technologies are always advancing and technicians need access to a vehicle’s security-related information to fully service their customers. That reality is becoming more pronounced, with technicians more than ever needing access to vehicle identification numbers (VIN) in order to properly run vehicle diagnostics; the absence of this access in the past has often led shops to turn business away because they didn’t have VIN access to complete repairs, and were consequently forced to send jobs to OEMs.

Introduced in the United States four years ago, Vehicle Security Professional (VSP) was launched to address concerns from collision repair shops who had long lobbied to gain access to more complete information from VINs to offer customers higher levels of service. VSP is a data exchange system cooperatively designed by OEMs and the independent repair community that allows the auto aftermarket to access security-sensitive information; this includes key codes, immobilizers or vehicle reset information. VSP approval requires a thorough registration process, however, involving a formal application that includes full contact and company information, a criminal record check, insurance infor-

44  collision Repair

mation, copies of a company’s municipal and provincial business licenses, in addition to agreeing to take and successfully complete VSP training program. Upon completion and validation of a technician’s and shop’s identity, a VSP access number will be granted that will further confirm a technician’s identity, which they will need to access the network; the network will additionally log every user login. This helps protect the consumer from loss, maintains the integrity of a vehicle’s security system and ensures shops can complete orders using the information and tools they need, when they need them. VSP made its way to Canada in May 2013, and in that time over 1,200 inqui-


Vehicle Security Professional is proving to be a necessary program for the long-term health of the collision industry.

ries have been made by Canadian collision repair technicians for VINs up to the beginning of December 2013. While its use pales compared to U.S. technicians, VSP has had eight years to grow in the U.S, and CIIA Executive Director John Norris feels much of the slowed Canadian uptake has to do with a simple lack of awareness. “A lot of people just don’t know it’s there, and as cars become more complex shops are going to need VSP in order to operate their business,” Norris says. Despite the slow start, Norris says the feedback he has received from Canadian technicians has been fairly positive, painting a positive picture for the program’s longevity and its future. “It’s been good, we’ve heard back from some of our VSP registered technicians,”

he says. “We’re getting a lot of constructive comments related to very specific things, which we’re working on.” Another issue, stemming from the lack of program awareness, are the frequent phone calls Norris gets from technicians looking for the necessary access codes, not understanding that there’s a vetting process involved before they can be approved to even access an OEM’s VIN codes, combined with the infrequency of security-related repairs. “Another ongoing challenge is that shops don’t normally run into this, so they’re not facing security-related issues on an ongoing basis. So they’ll call and ask for a code right then and there, which isn’t possible,” says Norris. “They have to recognize that they’re likely

going to run into this problem and have to give us a shout in advance in order to be registered properly.” The mission as a whole is to ensure that collision repair businesses can operate their business healthily, but there are still additional obstacles VSP proponents are facing. “I think we need to instill a greater sense of urgency over the next year about the advancing technologies and the importance of VSP moving forward,” he says. “There’s still a lack of support from some OEMs, although 83 percent of all vehicles are covered within VSP. There are only two OEMs that have yet to agree to provide their company’s VINs.” Norris says an another issue they need to work on throughout 2014 is how information is accessed, noting the differences in OEM information frameworks, which are not uniform in their set up. This means there is not a single access template, and Norris wants to address how VSP information is presented to make the interface easier to use. “It’s not always the same process, so it tends to be difficult for some people unless you’re using it frequently,” he says. “But as cars become more complex and the need to access them intensifies, there isn’t going to be an option as to whether or not you want to use VSP.” All of these factors together are necessary for the growth of the VSP program, namely an understanding from the OEMs that shops need VIN access in order to complete repair orders, while collision repair shops, more specifically technicians, need to be cognizant of their role in creating the perfect storm for VSP’s future success. “The reality is that as more and more shops have a problem, then I believe the program will grow,” Norris says. Despite the slow-burning process, Norris remains optimistic about VSP’s future, feeling the need for it will only intensify over the next several years as cars become more complex and have more elaborate security measures. “The mission and enthusiasm is still the same. We want to provide the shop with the opportunity to never have to turn a job away because they don’t have access to VINs, we don’t want that to happen,” Norris says. “We want shops to have the right tools to complete proper repairs. No shop should ever have to turn work away.”  CRM february 2014  collision Repair  45






Brandon tower killed while assisting motorist By Mike Davey

A prominent member of Manitoba’s towing industry has died following a vehicle incident near the community of Sidney. Jason Schaf fer, president of Accel Towing & Transport, died while attempting to assist a stranded motorist. Schaffer and his wife, Angela Thompson, started Accel Towing & Transport and built it into the largest towing operator in Brandon, Man., with approximately 20 staff. A statement from Ron Lamont of Accel Towing & Transport indicates that the accident did not include any other vehicle that was passing the scene. “The employees are in doing their duties as they feel Jason would want, as Accel was

his dream and passion,” says the statement from Lamont. “Things are running as near as possible to normal, but with this situation at hand and us faced with cooler than normal temperatures, the demands on the employees are high. All we can ask is that as the employees are there supporting the community in their duties, that the community supports us in our loss.” A trust fund has been set up for Schaffer’s children with Royal Bank. Contributions can be made at any Royal Bank branch under the name Tyler and Ashley Trust Fund. Right: Accel Towing & Transport has attached special decals to their trucks to honour their fallen founder, Jason Schaffer.

CAA Saskawatchewan honours top towers CAA Saskatchewan has recognized nine contractors from across the province with the CAA Award of Excellence for Roadside Assistance, recognizing contractors who provide consistent, valued and reliable emergency roadside assistance in their region. The CAA Saskatchewan 2012/2013 Award of Excellence recipients are:

Back row, from left: Ryan Williams, Topnotch Towing, Weyburn; Kevin Lane, VP of Automotive Services, CAA Saskatchewan; Scott Brown, Bonick’s Auto Service, Melville; Barry Schlosser, Discovery Towing, Humboldt. Front row, from left: Lewis Parson, Bobcats Towing, Moose Jaw; Karen Tyers, Joe’s Locksmith, Moose Jaw (Best Locksmith); and Shaun Bergsveinson, La Ronge Sales & Service, La Ronge. Not pictured are Ian Morstead, A & B Auto Centre, Shaunavon; Gord Penner, L & G RV Auto Storage, Blaine Lake; and Darren Schlamp, Schlamps Tirecraft, Grenfell.

• • • • •

Discovery Towing, Humboldt Bobcats Towing, Moose Jaw A & B Auto Centre, Shaunavon Topnotch Towing, Weyburn L & G RV Auto Storage, Blaine Lake • La Ronge Sales & Service, La Ronge • Bonick’s Auto Service, Melville • Schlamp’s Tirecraft, Grenfell

“Congratulations to this ye ar’s CAA Award of Excellence recipients,” said Kevin Lane, Vice President of Automotive Services for CAA Saskatchewan. “We recognize and applaud them for the outstanding service they provide year-round. Each award winner partners with CAA to provide an essential service and a vital link to our members. This CAA Award of Excellence for Roadside Assistance demonstrates our appreciation for these partnerships and also recognizes the outstanding value they provide to CAA members in our province.” Roadside assistance is an integral part of the membership benefits and services provided to CAA Members. All roadside assistance calls in Saskatchewan are processed through a central dispatch system based in Regina and sent to the contractor nearest the location of the vehicle breakdown.

For advertising inquiries, please contact Gloria Mann at 647-998-5677 or

february 2014  collision Repair  47

Fair Value Storage Will you help determine “fair value,” or leave it to the government?

By Lawrence S. Gold


nt a r i o d r i v e r s p ay t h e highest insurance rate premiums in Canada. This has been attributed to the fact that the dollar value of insurance claims in Ontario are 10 times higher than elsewhere in Canada. In the most recent Ontario Budget, the premier undertook to reduce insurance premiums by 15 percent over the next two year period. The government’s Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force reported that excessive accident related storage fee demands were identified as

being a primary cause of increased insurance expenses. The Ontario towing and related storage industries are currently the focus of attention of the combined resources of the Ministry of Consumer Services and the Ministry of Finance. All indications suggest that the government is headed in the direction of industry wide regulation of vehicle towing and related storage rates, via provincial or municipal regulation, or a combination of both. Isn’t it better to be part of the solution process, than to be arbitrarily regulated

48  collision Repair

with arbitrary fee for service limitations, being set by government? This is not going away. Among other things, the Final Report of the Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force recommends the government should amend provisions in the Repair and Storage Liens Act to reduce unreasonable storage costs for vehicles damaged in a collision.


The storage fee problem is actually two problems. It does not just impact the consumer in terms of fueling high insurance

premiums, but also drives increased auto lease and finance costs. Vehicle leasing and financing companies are being continuously targeted, in non-accident situations, in which their vehicles end up in the hands of auto body shops or storage facilities. In many of these cases, payment of unreasonable and excessive vehicle storage costs is demanded as a precondition of vehicle release. I’m certainly not saying that all shops or storage facilities are charging unreasonably high amounts. Many of them charge quite reasonable fees. However, there are many who do not. Armed with the Task Force recommendations, the government set out to deal with the various issues that were identified. In a post-budget press release, Finance Minister Sousa announced the government’s consideration of cost reduction efforts, which may include the study and consideration of provincial oversight of the towing and collision repair industries. That is exactly where the government appears to be headed: government oversight and fee regulation at some level. Towing industry leaders have been understandably concerned and vocal as to their concern with the confusion created by the existing lack of consistency in municipal towing and storage regulation, and pricing structures. They caution that additional municipal regulation, will lead to towers “shopping” for the municipalities with the least restrictive storage, and storage fee bylaws and regulations.

Fair Value Committee

In response to the government’s call, industry stakeholders rallied together in order to proactively address the issue of what the industry considers to be fair daily vehicle storage rates. The Fair Value Committee was established, with a selfprescribed mandate to consult with the stakeholders on both sides of the issue, to achieve consensus as to what would be an acceptable “Fair Value” for daily vehicle storage. These rates will obviously depend upon the specific rural, city, commercial or industrial area in which the shop is located, and will also depend upon what bells and whistles the shop offers. For example, there would be a distinction made between a storage facility in a rural area with a gravel lot, surrounded by a chain link fence, as opposed to a facility in a city centre that is staffed 24/7 and has indoor

climate controlled vehicle storage with security monitoring. Obviously, these two locations would have dramatically different costs and would be entitled to a different return on their investment dollars.

Isn’t it better to be part of the solution process, than to be arbitrarily regulated with arbitrary fee for service limitations being set by government?

People Will Listen

It is anticipated that, once the industry wide consultation is completed, and the anticipated rate ranges are established, these industry established storage fee rate ranges wi l l st and as resp e c te d benchmarks that can be relied upon by all industry stakeholders. As an added benefit, these rate ranges will also provide direction to the courts, in terms of what can be considered to be fair value daily storage billing rates, within the meaning of the Repair and Storage Lien Act. This will also minimize and clarify fee disputes, and eliminate the need to be

faced with aggravating and unnecessary payments into court. Once the industry has spoken, people will listen. All industry stakeholders, including the towers, storers, repairers and the vehicle financing sector, are best off to be part of the solution. It’s much better to do so now than to wait and to try and raise concerns and issues after the fact. Then it will be too late. It is anticipated that the Fair Value Committee public consultation will be set for a date in the beginning of 2014. These arrangements are currently being made by the Fair Value Committee’s Steering Committee, which includes representatives from all industry sectors including financial institutions and lenders, towing, vehicle repair and the Insurance Bureau of Canada. The Ontario government has also been formally invited to participate in this industry driven proactive undertaking, in an observer capacity. Thus far, the response from the parties has been overwhelmingly positive. This proactive undertaking has been referenced as positive and long overdue. The fact remains that the government has made it clear that much needed changes are in the air and will occur. Based upon recent government activity and the rash of media attention that is being paid to towing nightmares, these changes are, most likely, right around the corner. All interested industry stakeholders are invited to either submit a written statement, or to request an opportunity to present a short deputation at the upcoming consulting event. Written statements and requests for deputation status should be directed to The actual time and place of the formal consultation event will appear in newspaper advertisements and will be published in an upcoming issue of this magazine. It’s your time to stand up and be heard. CRM february 2014  collision Repair  49

Contents Recycling News.....................51- 60 The ARA Convention, recyclers in the news and much, much more. Recycler’s View...........................61 by David Gold

Ed MacDonald takes the gavel at ARA By Mike Davey

Alberta’s recyclers review 2013 and look forward to 2014 By Steven Cox

Michael E. Wilson (right), offically hands over the gavel to Ed MacDonald of Maritime Auto Parts. MacDonald is the first Canadian to hold the presidency of the ARA in nearly 40 years.

The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) met in Phoenix, Ariz. for its 70th Annual Convention and Expo. The program of educational and training sessions was focused in five core areas critical to professional automotive recyclers: executive leadership, parts management and sales, market outreach, safety and environmental compliance, and facility management and performance. The annual event took place at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel and the Phoenix Convention Center. Issues covered in the over 50 sessions included the latest on recycled OEM parts sales and how best to position inventory to insurance estimators, how to improve quality parts data, and how to identify innovative ways to reach more consumers with recycled OEM parts options. In addition, there were opportunities for training on the new Global Hazard Communication Standard requirements, sessions on the ARADirect

online auction platform, and a segment with representatives from PartsTrader. The meeting featured three keynote speakers: Garry Ridge, CEO and President of WD-40, former Congressman J.D. Hayworth of Arizona, and Scott Blanchard, accomplished author and business consultant. In addition to the keynotes, Ed MacDonald of Maritime Auto Parts in Truro, Nova Scotia, gave his inaugural speech as the President of the ARA. His tenure on the Executive Committee of the Association, where he has served as Secretary, Second Vice President, and First Vice President, continues in a leading role to help shape and guide the Association’s initiatives and directives as determined by the Board of Directors and membership of the ARA. MacDonald is among a select few Canadians to serve as ARA President. “I have been fortunate enough to be involved with the ARA Board of Directors for

For the most part, 2013 was a pretty good year for Alberta’s automotive recycling industry. Looking back on this past year, I wanted to reflect on some our most recent progress, while also looking ahead at some of the developments that are possible for us in 2014. During 2012 we had achieved the milestone of having all our recycler members make the grade in terms of their Canadian Auto Recyclers’ Environmental Code (CAREC) scores and we were able to give a very positive report to the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC). ARC had decided a while back that the CAREC inspections would have to occur every two years other than for those recyclers whose scores had exceeded 85 percent. In those cases, recyclers could have an additional year between re-inspections or audits. To support our recycler members, our Board made a decision to pay the CAREC auditor’s fee for the first re-inspection carried out at each member’s location. As a result, members were only to be asked to pay the auditor’s travel expenses. The rate for this was set at $225 so members who were more Continued on page 54.

Continued on page 52.

february 2014  collision Repair  51

Ed MacDonald ... continued from page 51.

The ARA Convention is a good time to renew international connections. David Gold of Standard Auto Wreckers, with locations in Toronto, Ottawa and Niagara Falls, with Gary Lindros of Ace Pick A Part in Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

12 years, and the Executive Committee for the last three, as well as the Automotive Recyclers of Canada as a long-term founding

member, helping it grow from baby steps to the quantum leap as a truly national association with worldwide recognition. I believe that the effective model of auto recycling in North America, which is based on free enterprise, is the way auto recycling should continue to grow here, and beyond,” said MacDonald. In his speech, MacDonald said, “I am deeply honoured and humbled to stand before you this evening to accept the ARA Presidential Gavel, to pay tribute to all who have come before me and help pave the way for those who will follow. And for the many hands that hold the keys to the kingdom, I hope during my tenure as ARA President to establish in the ARA individual recycler the collective mindset of these two enduring principles: strength through partnerships, and growth through succession. “Changes in the marketplace are deluging us on a daily basis and to ensure that ARA is a major player in this economically driven

arena, I intend to continue what others before me have begun – the pursuit of long term relationships/partnerships with major stakeholders in our industry. Furthermore, we are principally made up of family-owned businesses. We rightly take great pride in the business model that is based on family involvement. I know firsthand the pride of passing on a successful business to my son, Andrew, who has now taken over the keys of Maritime. He and others like him are now the stewards of and rightful owners of the keys to the kingdom and it is through this succession of experience, wisdom, fresh new creative and dynamic hands that the professional automotive recycling industry will trump all others,” MacDonald said. In addition to the meeting itself, the ARA welcomed delegates and professional automotive recyclers to the 7th Annual International Roundtable on Automotive Recycling, in downtown Phoenix, Ariz. The International


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1-800-263-8104 1557 Bowen Rd, Fort Erie, ON 52  collision Repair

Roundtable (IRT) is the global forum to discuss auto recycling, and issues such as global salvage acquisition, backyard competition, government interaction, OEM data, industry consolidation and parts procurement. The IRT was formed out of the desire for the premier national auto recycling associations to get together and share knowledge, resources, challenges, and successes. Initially, the associations gathered on a more informal level to present what they were working on and to learn from one another. Gradually over time, it became apparent that there were reoccurring challenges within the industry, yet many different approaches to addressing these problems. The IRT was established to address this in a more formal setting, and has been hosted in different countries each year. This year, ARA was proud to host the IRT in the United States directly following the association’s 70th Annual Convention and Exposition.

A large trade show is a vital component of the ARA Convention. The Car-Part. com booth saw plenty of traffic during the event.

“Our key stakeholders—manufacturers, insurers, shredders, and increasingly repairers—are all operating on a global stage. Even governments look around the world to see how other governments are approaching problems,” said MacDonald. “Vehicles, technology, metal markets are all global. It is becoming increasingly important that auto

recyclers, too, participate in the global exchange of ideas, knowledge, expertise, and develop a blueprint for the best interests of auto recyclers worldwide.” The event included country reports, global presentations, and facilitated roundtable discussions, as well as networking and social events.

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february 2014  collision Repair  53

Alberta’s recyclers ... continued from page 51.

remotely located than others (for example, compared to yards in major cities) were not disadvantaged. Colin McKean was out to see roughly 35 percent of our member yards this past fall to begin this process of re-audit or re-inspection, and these audits will continue in 2014 until all members have been revisited by the CAREC auditor for the next round. During 2013 we continued to be quite active in our charitable programs as well, giving out just over $14,000 to charities in Alberta that were selected and nominated by individual AARDA yards. The list of worthy causes that received our charity funds ranged from animal shelters to children’s hospitals and cancer research and many other very worthwhile community causes. The idea was to involve our yards not only in the selection of grant recipients but also in presenting those gifts directly to the charity officials. It turned out to be a great way to spread some goodwill and positive publicity at the local level. There remains about $14,000 to be disbursed in terms of the grant money AARDA earned from the Ford and GM end-of-vehicle life programs and the Board has decided that the association should repeat what we did last year by giving seven Alberta colleges $2,000 each for student scholarships.

54  collision Repair

Another significant development in 2013 was the celebration of AARDA’s 25 year anniversary which was held in Sylvan Lake in conjunction with a fun golf tournament. By all accounts it was well attended and a complete success. Speaking of conferences, planning has begun in earnest for the 2014 conference and you can expect to hear some of the details on that in the early part of this year. I won’t say much in this mesSteven Cox, President of AARDA sage about it, except to indicate and General Manager of Allwest Auto Parts in Edmonton. He is encouraging that one of our objectives in all of AARDA’s members to give planning the coming event is to thought to stepping up and and helping to fill board positions that locate our conference venue in may be vacant in the coming year. close proximity to a great automotive event to increase member interest and also so that they can get extra value out of attending the 2014 AGM and Conference. You’ll be hearing more about the planned conference date and location in the weeks ahead. Another significant event for AARDA in 2013 was our participation in the Canadian Collision Industry Forum held in Edmonton in September. Our presentation made the case for increased use of green recycled parts to collision repair shops and insurance representatives present. From all accounts the presentation was well received and our messages came through loud and clear. These efforts are a clear case of how we can achieve far more impact by working together as an industry association than we could ever hope to as individual businesses. In line with this we also introduced our new website mid-year which follows the same functions and design as ARC’s new site while also emphasizing the new green recycled parts branding that has been adopted across the country. The coming year will be an important juncture in the life of our association and a year when we will be looking to existing Board Members to re-commit to their role serving our association while also looking for new Board Members to step up and fill any positions that may be vacated at the time of our next Annual General Meeting. I encourage all of our members to start giving this thought right now. If you would like further information about the various Board Member roles, I encourage you to contact Ian Hope or any of our Board Members through In closing I would like to wish all of the members of Canada’s automotive aftermarket the very best as we move forward into a new year and express how much the Board of Directors and I are looking forward to working with you in future as we build a better industry that will benefit us all.

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Our Members A&L Auto Recyclers (519) 687-2438 Windsor, ON Arnprior/Ottawa Auto (613) 623-7361 Ottawa, ON Bickell Auto Parts (705) 779-2621 Sault St. Marie, ON Carcone’s Auto Recycling (905) 881-8353 Aurora, ON Corey Auto Wreckers (519) 455-9040 London, ON Dave’s Truck and Auto Parts (613) 839-8733 Ottawa, ON Dom’s Auto Parts (905) 434-4566 Courtice, ON

CAR Management Solutions QRP is a premiere network of professional automotive recyclers dedicated to providing quality recycled OEM parts and salvage solutions.

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Mickey Vetere: September 28, 1938 – December 22, 2013 It is with great regret that we must report the passing of Mickey Vetere, co-owner of Dom’s Auto Parts in Courtice, Ont. He passed away peacefully on December 22, 2013 at Toronto East General at the age of 75. Mickey was the beloved husband of Nancy (Bellisario) for 51 years. Loving father of Dominic (Paula), Andrea (Dave), Tia (David) and Nicole. Proud grandfather of Dustin, Carly, Christian, Chloe, Quinn and Michael. Dear brother of Betty (Gino). Mickey was a true pioneer and innovator of the automotive recycling industry. He and his father, Dominic Vetere Sr., opened Dom’s Auto Parts in March 1964. They started with just six employees in a small west end yard in Toronto on McCormack St. Over the years, Mickey saw the business expand, soon opening up a much larger facility in

Courtice, Ont. The current facility employs approximately 30 people and processes 1,400 vehicles annually. He was one of a small handful of visionaries who looked at the auto recycling industry and thought that it could be better than it was. Not just for his own business, but for every facility that wanted to progress and provide superior service for their customers. Mickey, along with like-minded individuals such as Cuppy Katz of Dominion Auto Recycling, Fair Saddy from Corey’s Auto Wreckers, Henry Aumont from Arnprior and Ottawa Auto Parts and others, helped to found CAR, Canada’s first automotive recycling association. This organization served as a predecessor to other associations, such as Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association (OARA).

56  collision Repair

Mickey Vetere was a pioneer of innovation in the auto recycling industry.

The visitation was held at Marshall’s Funeral Home in Richmond Hill on Friday, December 27. The funeral service was held at St. Davids Parish in Maple on Saturday, December 28. Donations in Mickey’s honour may be made to the Sunshine Foundation (sunshine. ca) or Grandview Kids (

Serving the Automotive Industry for Over 45 Years

Next generation steps up at ARAAC meeting The Automotive Recyclers Association of Atlantic Canada (ARAAC) is more full of youthful vigor than ever at the conclusion of the association’s annual meeting. The meeting took place at Four Points Hotel in Halifax, N.S. ARAAC has elected Dalbert Livingstone from Island Auto Supply in Charlottetown, P.E.I., as the association’s new President. Andrew MacDonald of Maritime Auto Parts in Truro, Nova Scotia, will fill the role of Vice President. Steve Fletcher is the Managing Director of Auto Recyclers of Canada (ARC), the national association of which ARAAC forms a part. He also works with the ARAAC board in an administrative capacity. “Both of these guys are under 30, and they’re enthusiastic and passionate about both recycling and the association,” he says. “It’s very exciting to have new blood in the association, and it’s something we’ve been building towards for the last few years. Last year, we had a sort of ‘changing of the guard,’ where members like Harvey Livingstone and Sheldon Blenkhorn, guys who were in association from its beginning, had recruited enough of the next generation that they felt confident in taking a step back.” Ed MacDonald, former owner of Maritime Auto Parts, and past President of ARAAC is a long-time member of the association and the father of Andrew MacDonald, recently elected to the position of VP with

Harvey Livingstone of Island Auto Supply (left) and Sheldon Blenkhorn of Blenkhorn Auto Recyclers were long serving members of the ARAAC board who stepped down last year. Harvey is the father of the newly elected President of ARAAC.

ARAAC. Ed is currently serving a term as the President of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA). “I think there’s a certain degree of youthful energy that these two persons bring to the industry,” says Ed. “There’s a lot of outward thinking in the next generation that I know will help the industry grow.” Rob Rainwater of Bishop’s Auto Parts in

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Dalbert Livingstone, newly elected President of ARAAC, with his wife Tabitha. The two are co-owners of Island Auto Supply.

New York served as the keynote speaker, with “14 Golden Rules to Selling Recycled Auto Parts.” Rainwater discussed key sales strategies that broadly apply to any industry and what modifications are demanded by a focus on auto parts sales. Fletcher notes that the presentation was well-received by the attending members, as Rainwater focuses on practical, hands-on tips that can be put into place right away. “He provides a lot of tools for auto recyclers who want to increase their sales,” says Fletcher. “Even the tiniest tips are things that make you say, ‘Yes, I should do that.’” The next event for ARAAC will take place in June 2014 in Charlottetown, P.E.I. The host facility will be Island Auto Supply. We’ll make sure to keep you informed as more details become available. For more information on ARAAC, please visit

Quality • Service • Selection

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february 2014  collision Repair  57

New App unlocks mobile access to Car-Part’s database By Andrew Ardizzi says their search engine is the easiest and fastest way to search the green parts market. The online parts marketplace is now looking to further add weight to its claim of being the simplest and most functional way to look for recycled parts with the release of its Car-Part Pro App for Apple’s lines of iPads and iPhones. I spent some time using the App and found the interface to be extremely user-friendly. Once you load up the App on your device, you’ll see that you have the option to search Car-Part’s extensive Car-Part’s new app gives you easy database by either a VIN number mobile access to the company’s comprenhensive parts database. or by year, model and make. The two options can be selected on the main page of the App by simply touching either tab, allowing you to switch back and forth between either search function with ease. Both options work quite well, but if you have your VIN number handy you can quickly enter it into the provided text box inside the App, or alternatively you can scan your vehicle’s VIN barcode using the App’s built-in scanning function. A informational help bubble is provided to guide you through the process, making VIN barcode scanning a snap. The App’s other search option allows you to isolate the specifics of a vehicle, allowing you to really open up the breadth of Car-Part’s database and choose what year, model and make of car you want to look up parts for. All three options are easily selectable using one of three dropdown tabs. Scrolling through each, you can choose to search for any vehicle made between 2000 and 2014, and from seemingly endless lists of car manufacturers and models. All that’s left at this point is to choose the exact parts you’re looking for. So what do you say we test this out a little? Let’s say we wanted to look up parts for a 2010 Ford Focus. After entering the VIN number

or car’s year, model and make, touch the “Select Parts” tab and a long list of possible car parts will appear. I chose to only look up alternators for the 2010 Focus, but the App offers the ability for users to look up multiple parts. When you’re ready, all you need to do is hit search and you’ll be taken directly from the App to’s database of alternators for the 2010 Focus. There I found a lengthy list of potential options, in addition to parts gradings, whether the recycler was offering a warranty, and in many In addition to a basic search by year, cases what the cost would be. model or make, the App’s users can also search for parts using VIN numbers. Most importantly, there’s an additional listing that displays your approximate distance from a recycler, an estimation based on your postal code that you would have already entered while registering; registration, much like the App’s fluid functionality, is fairly painless. says their App will give users access to its database of 4,900 suppliers and over 1,000 certified recyclers who have their inventory listed. The website also says users will have access to realtime delivery and inventory information on over 150 million recycled, aftermarket and OE surplus parts. Car-Part Pro, released in the Apple Store on Dec. 16, 2013, is a quick and easy App to use when you’re away from the computer. It brings the breadth of the website’s comprehensive database to the palms of your hands and makes finding whatever part you’re looking for a breeze. To download the Car-Part Pro App for your Apple device, you can visit its product page on the Apple store at For more information on Car-Part’s online marketplace, please visit

Web upgrades offers VIN locator, multiple lookups Recent upgrades should make it easier than ever to source green recycled parts. A sophisticated parts locator network already connects the inventory of hundreds of auto recyclers across the country, but new upgrades should make it easier than ever. The latest upgrades allow customers to locate parts based on Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), as well as allowing for multiple part lookups. The site still allows users to look up parts based on year and the make/model of the vehicle, but VIN lookups provide greater accuracy. Users simply plug in the VIN along with the parts they’re seeking.

58  collision Repair

The websites for ARC, the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association (OARA) and the Automotive Recyclers Association of Atlantic Canada (ARAAC) have all received the new upgrades. Users can experience the upgrades themselves at the links below. ARC: OARA: ARAAC:

Standard Auto Wreckers featured on CityTV, CTV Standard Auto Wreckers has shown up on television not once but twice in recent weeks. First, co-owner David Gold dropped by CityTV’s Breakfast Television to discuss the use of recycled parts in repair and service, and how they can help hold down costs for consumers. You can see the clip at

David Gold (right) discusses used auto parts with Frank Ferragine of Breakfast Television.

In addition, CTV ran a segment on buying used winter tires. CTV’s Pat Foran visited Standard Auto Wreckers facility in Scarborough to discuss the subject with staff. The segment focuses on what to look for when making a used tire purchase. “Some tire shops may say you should never buy used CTV’s Pat Foran at Standard tires,” said Foran during the Auto Wreckers discussing the segment. “But once you put pros and cons of used tires. new tires on a car and drive it around the block, they’re used tires. So it does make sense that some used tires out there have plenty of life left in them.” You can view the CTV segment at the Standard Auto Wreckers channel on



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‘Closing the recycling loop’ on the slate for IARC 2014 New cars and new recycling technologies and an examination of how car manufacturers and auto recyclers can close the recycling loop are two of the topics slated for discussion at the upcoming International Automobile Re-

cycling Congress (IARC). IARC 2014 takes place March 19 to 24 at Hotel Dolce la Hulpe Brussels in Brussels, Belgium. Representatives from industry and the academic world will present various views on

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the latest developments relating to end-oflife vehicles and the challenges associated with processing them. IARC 2014 promises to bring together the links of the recycling chain, including the OEM, scrap metal and plastic concerns, auto recyclers, shredder operators and members of government. A large exhibition area is integrated into the conference facilities, where vendors can meet with their clients. Cocktail receptions and a dinner add networking opportunities to an already robust conference schedule. Sessions will focus on: • How do car manufacturers and the industry close the recycling loop? • New cars and new recycling technologies • Best available recycling technologies • European ELV Directive towards 2015 • E-mobility – Influence on car recycling and dismantling • Reports about illegal export of wrecks • Rare earth recycling – what does it mean for the car industry • Sustainability benefits of car recycling • Effect of durable raw materials low prices on ELV recycling • Tire recycling • Economic impact of the reduced availability of car bodies for shredder companies • Implementing new laws and regulations

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60  collision Repair

For more information on IARC 2014, please visit Bookings at the host hotel can be arranged through

recycling  i

productoffering A vast supply of mechanical parts are readily available. By David Gold


e have seen many different kinds of weather extremes this winter season, from cold to ext reme cold, f rom snow to freezing rain and back to snow again. All of this has meant that auto recyclers and our collision repair customers have been busy and this has been a boom for our collective industry. Nearly every insider I speak to exclaims how important it is that we had this boost in business; there’s also a sense of relief that winter is back in Canada! Auto recyclers have seen an influx of vehicles coming into our facilities and with these vehicles come many harvestable

Because so many of these mechanical parts are very expensive due to the complexity of the parts themselves and therefore lack of aftermarket availability, we have been stocking these parts in greater quantities more than we have ever done before. With collision parts being extremely hyper competitive, due to the scrutiny of every file and dealer price matching programs, it is clear that for auto recyclers to remain profitable and gain any type of competitive edge we need to offer our customers more options in the repair process. These alternative part options have many benefits, not the least of which is that they always offer significant savings to the purchaser which will create a

make sure that we all realize the added value from these efforts. Decisions are made daily at each respective auto recycler to identify parts components that are worthwhile from a cost-benefit standpoint to make available to your industry and we conduct our business practices accordingly. While not every windshield washer bottle is worth handling and stocking, others are. It is those ones that we pay attention to. The same holds true for other components that we have always received calls on like air cleaner assemblies. What I am trying to get across in this article is that there is a method to our parts stocking decisions. Many auto recyclers work in a cradle

We need to offer our customers more options in the repair process. parts in the form of body and mechanical components. It seems that many collision repairers we speak with are either unaware of the multitude of recycled OEM parts we carry or are simply pre-programmed to purchase these perfectly acceptable recycled parts from dealers. It is safe to say that the vast majority of the late model insurance vehicles that auto recyclers receive are badly damaged in one way or the other. While most vehicles we receive are hit in the front end somewhere, others are hit on the sides, rear and more recently due to the great ice storm in Toronto on Dec. 21, 2013, many vehicles we are receiving have roof damage from falling trees landing on them. What is important to note however is that regardless of where the vehicles we receive are damaged, there are always many quality lower mileage mechanical parts that can complement the repair process for collision repairers.

win for everyone and hopefully will aid in more vehicles being repaired with recycled OEM parts. Also, it is important to note that auto recyclers have these parts in stock on our shelves and are often ready to go. As the cost of certain parts have risen, take intake manifolds for example, we have been keeping these and removing them from the engines we stock so they’re available when you need them. As recyclers see trends where even some relatively lighter front end accidents damage weaker and exposed mechanical parts, such as intake manifolds and even alternators as an example, we take note and fill our shelves accordingly. Let it be known to everyone that while auto recyclers are often forced to fill our shelves with these parts well in advance of selling them, we are going through this costly exercise for your benefit. It is incumbent upon our industry to tell you what we are doing behind the scenes to

to grave format meaning that we are full dismantlers and don’t necessarily always keep the shell of the vehicle in our yards. By taking the position that the vehicles we receive are merely the box that the parts came in, we are tasked with stocking the parts we believe are most beneficial for your industry. There are pros and cons for us with this business philosophy and while we don’t pretend to be able to provide all parts at all times for your industry we certainly want to make sure that we highlight the mechanical parts segment of our business model which makes up over half of our sales totals. And the good news for our customers on these parts types is that there are never any backorders!  CRM David Gold is the co-owner of Standard Auto Wreckers, an auto recycler with locations in Toronto, Ottawa and Niagara Falls, NY. He can be contacted at 416-286-8686 or

february 2014  collision Repair  61

last word

Bigdeals The insurance industry is consolidating ... again. By Mike Davey


he new year barely has the shine worn off, and we’ve already seen big news come down the pike. It was announced recently that Desjardins General Insurance Group (DGIG) is set to acquire State Farm Canada. It’s a move that will turn DGIG into Canada’s second largest property and casualty insurer, just behind Intact. From the perspective of premium income, the deal almost doubles the company. DGIG’s income from premiums will go from about $2 billion to around $3.9 billion, or about nine percent of Canada’s property and casualty insurance market.

process. One example was the acquisition of Unifund Johnson by RSA. In this case, Unifund Johnson is essentially still run independently. Unifund Johnson maintains its own lists of preferred shops that are separate from the RSA lists of preferred shops. On the other hand, we also have the example of Intact Financial Corporation and AXA Insurance from September 2011. In this case, certain AXA shops were brought into the Intact fold. While I can’t say for sure, it seems likely that management realized that such a large book of business would require a larger network than it had previously, so there was room

what does this mean for canada’s collision repairers? What does this mean for Canada’s collision repairers, especially those who have existing agreements with either DGIG or State Farm Canada? The official word from both companies essentially boils down to “Nothing. Yet.” The deal isn’t expected to close until January 2015, so it’s not surprising that neither company knows exactly what will happen to either repair network. No doubt they’re discussing it at the very highest level, but I don’t think of any us expect them to share the discussions with us. However, there are a number of different scenarios that could play out. Please note that, as I said, neither company has given any indication that what I’m outlining is what will come to pass, or even that it might come to pass. I’m simply speculating. Consolidation has happened in the insurance industry before, so we can look to previous acquisitions by other companies to see how they dealt with the

for shops from both networks. There may be more work coming into your shop if you’ve got a DRP with either State Farm or DGIG. There may be less. Personally, I suspect that what will happen will be what some people consider the most startling possibility of all: nothing. There may be no real impetus for sudden changes, because there may be no critical weaknesses that need to be addressed. This isn’t a case of a successful company buying a failing competitor. It’s one massively successful company buying another massively successful company. Consolidation has been the name of the game in insurance for some time now, and both of those companies want to ensure that they’re still playing with the big kids.  CRM

62  collision Repair

Mike Davey is the editor of Collision Repair magazine. He can be reached at 905-3700101 or via email at editor@

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Collision Repair/13#1/February 2014  

Kelvin Campbell of Chapman Auto Body~CSN, Brent Jamieson of Axalta, Training and more!

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