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WRAP UP! Profiting from wraps and body decals.


FUTURE MATERIALS A look into what’s coming next.


What you need to know to keep your data safe and sound.


New and advanced technology frees painters from paperwork.


Loc Ngo operates Cosmos Collision with an open-door attitude. PLUS

Our exclusive NACE preview, Bob Liebel of Sherwin-Williams on industry challenges, the latest in training and much, much more!!! Volume 15, Number 3

l June 2016




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




Volume 15 Issue 3, June 2016

37  INTEGRATED APPROACH Loc Ngo and Cosmos Collision have “right-sized” the operation with help from their vendors.

FEATURES 40  EXECUTIVE VISION Sherwin-William’s Bob Leibel on the issues facing the industry. 46 PRODUCTION MEETINGS A quick guide to getting the most out of your meetings. 48 CYBERSECURITY Locks, stout walls and security cameras won’t keep out digital thieves.


53  AUTONOMOUS UPDATE On the ground reporting from Canada’s first-ever conference on autonomous vehicles. Wraps can be lucrative and eye-catching. Is this an area of business you should consider?


DEPARTMENTS 06  PUBLISHER’S PAGE  by Darryl Simmons Two trends.


Training news from across Canada.


A new invention based around the Raspberry Pi (above) saves painters from paperwork.

ON THE COVER: Loc Ngo of Cosmos Collision in Calgary, Alberta. PHOTOGRAPHY BY COSMOS COLLISION.


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

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

30  WHO’S DRIVING?  by Jay Perry Ask your staff. 31  POINT BLANK  by Sam Piercey Action with class. 32  PRAIRIE VIEW  by Chelsea Stebner Show up! 34 TRAINING  by Andrew Shepherd The next step. 84 RECYCLING  by David Gold Road trip. 86  FINANCIAL INSIGHT by Jeff Sanford The era of autonomy.



TWOTRENDS Certification & consolidation will shape our world. By Darryl Simmons


e’ve seen an increasing push towards OEM c e r t i f i c at i on . T he s e certifications are growing in popularity and I can see at least two reasons for this. First, having the certification from a particular OEM means that company has said your facility has the tools and training needed to repair their vehicles. The trend towards certification started with the high-end manufacturers, but it’s quickly caught on with the other OEMs. The high-end manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz have always invested significantly in research and development so they could bring high-tech vehicles to

that you are investing in the business and your people. That means you’ve got an eye on the future. Look at this through the eyes of your insurance partners. Who would you rather send work: a facility known to invest in equipment and training or an unknown quantity? Insurers don’t like risk. Anything you can do to show that you’re lowering risk will raise you in their eyes. OEM certification is one of the major trends that will shape the industry. Another is consolidation. Consolidation has been going on since we launched Collision Repair magazine over 15 years ago. The difference is that the trend has gone global, and Canadians are leading the way.

CANADIANS ARE LEADING THE WAY. market. Those top-of-the-line cars needed different repair processes, performed by technicians who had received thorough training in the right techniques. Now middle-of-the-road vehicles are using advanced construction techniques as well. We’ve seen a proliferation of highstrength steel, we’ve seen more aluminum and I would bet my bottom dollar that we’re going to see more carbon fibre. Every OEM wants proper repairs and they’re setting up these certification programs to make sure that happens. I said there were at least two reasons. Advancing technology and the need for safe, high-quality repairs is the first. The second is that having even one of these certifications shows that your facility invests in tools and training. It doesn’t necessarily show that you’re the highest producing facility. It doesn’t mean you can handle literally any car that comes through the door. But it does show

The B oyd Group is gigantic, and they’re headquartered in Winnipeg. Assured Automotive offers complete regional coverage. Craftsman Collision, headquartered in British Columbia, has made inroads into China. Steve Leal and his team at Fix Auto Canada have brought their entire organization together across numerous countries, and have recently started holding information sessions in Australia. Most recently, Michael Macaluso has been appointed President of the new CARSTAR North America, combining the Canadian and US arms of the organization under one leader. It looks like it’s Canada’s time to shine. It’s up to you whether or not you’ll take part. CRM


PUBLISHER DARRYL SIMMONS (905) 370-0101 EDITORIAL DIRECTOR MIKE DAVEY (905) 549-0454 CREATIVE DEPARTMENT KAYLEE MCLEAN (905) 370-0101 MICHELLE MILLER (905) 370-0101 ASSISTANT EDITOR ANNA DAVEY STAFF WRITER JEFF SANFORD VP INDUSTRY RELATIONS & ADVERTISING GLORIA MANN (647) 998-5677 DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING ELLEN SMITH (416) 312-7446 PUBLISHER’S ASSISTANT AMANDA BELANGER COLUMNISTS & CONTRIBUTORS CHRIS GERICS, DAVID GOLD, DYLAN O’HAGAN, JAY PERRY, SAM PIERCEY, ANDREW SHEPHERD, CHELSEA STEBNER SUBSCRIPTION One-year $39.95 / Two-year $64.99 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: 455 Gilmour St Peterborough, ON K9H 2J8

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:







PEOPLE ON THE MOVE Mitchell International has announced Debbie Day has joined the company’s Auto Physical Damage (APD) business unit as its General Manager. Day joins the company Debbie Day. with over 19 years of technology strategy and operations experience, most recently as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President at ClosingCorp, in addition to holding executive positions at ACTIVE Network and CCC Information Services. Day will spearhead Mitchell’s APD initiatives. In her previous roles, Day is credited with driving multimillion dollar revenue growth, leading successful product launches and maximizing business value. At Mitchell, Day will tap into this experience to lead the company’s APD business. In her role she will oversee an organization dedicated to bringing expansive solution and service offerings to customers. “It’s a very exciting time at Mitchell and full of immense possibilities. I couldn’t be more thrilled to join an industry-leading organization that’s so committed to one shared vision – empowering better outcomes,” said Day. “I look forward to leading the APD team as well as partnering with the executive leadership team to achieve operational, financial and strategic goals.” CSN Collision Centres has announced that Kari Barton has joined the organization as CSN’s Alberta Regional Manager, adding further experience and expertise to its Western region. Barton has been working in the collision industry for the last three years in a business development role. She also has 20 years of insurance claims experience with major Canadian insurance carriers. A statement from CSN says her wealth of knowledge in customer service and insurance processes will enable her to support and grow CSN’s presence in the Alberta marketplace. As Alberta Regional Manager, Barton will report to Larry French, CSN’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “Kari will continue to support CSN’s vision of best-in-class collision repair centres and bring an abundance of knowledge and experience that will only make CSN better,” says French. Barton will focus on strengthening CSN’s insurance relationships, network compliance, performance, profitability,

and training throughout Alberta as well as provide local support to CSN’s marketing and business development initiatives. She can be reached at Also at CSN Collision Centres, Trista A n g e r- M i k l u s e k h a s been named as National Insurance Director for the company. Previously, s h e f i l l e d t h e ro l e o f Regional Manager Kari Barton. Western Canada. In her new role, A n g e r- M i k l u s e k w i l l be responsible for the management and growth of CSN’s insurance partnerships. Working closely with CSN’s operations and marketing teams, she will report to CSN’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Larry French. “Trista will be a tremendous asset for CSN Collision Centres across Canada as she further develops and expands upon her existing Insurance relationships. With over a decade of experience in the collision repair industry, including the past four years as CSN’s Western Regional Manager, Trista brings a level of passion and commitment that is matched by her ability to execute in all aspects of her new role with CSN,” says French. Recently selected as a member of the CCIF Steering Committee, a statement from CSN Collision Centres says Trista AngerMiklusek. Anger-Miklusek will bring a f re s h a n d n a t i o n a l perspective on industry trends and developments in the collision repair industry. “I am extremely excited about the opportunity to represent CSN Collision Centres on a national basis,” she says. “Having the opportunity to work within CSN and with Michelle Sullivan. our CSN Collision Centres, I have firsthand knowledge of how best to integrate collision repairer and insurer perspectives and look forward to the future with much optimism.”





The Boyd Autobody Father’s Day Car Show in 2015. Proceeds from this year’s show will go to support Angel Award, a talent show supporting the Arthritis Society of Canada.

You might guess that the team at Boyd Autobody and Glass in Kelowna have a soft spot for kids. Every year they donate money towards a children’s charity. This year the beneficiary is the Angel Award, a talent show that supports the Arthritis Society of Canada. The story of Elise Boisvert, a local 14-year-old girl suffering from a rare form of arthritis, helped spur the decision, according to Krista Mattar, Marketing Manager for Boyd Autobody and Glass Kelowna. Elise was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis when she was just two years old. It’s a little understood disease that affects children and causes joint pain, swelling, stiffness and can hinder the ability to walk. Elise’s mother Louise originally contacted Boyd Autobody and Glass. She shared her daughter’s story and courage with the people at Boyd Autobody. After learning about the disease and meeting Elise firsthand, Mattar says Boyd Autobody knew exactly what charity to donate to this year. “It’s an amazing story and I actually got a 10  COLLISION REPAIR  COLLISIONREPAIRMAG.COM

chance to meet her daughter Elise and she is such an amazing girl,” she said. “You could never tell through her spirit that she was going through hardship. Having her there and getting to meet her really brought it home for us as well.” All the proceeds from the 18th annual Boyd Autobody Father’s Day Car Show will go towards this year’s Angel Award. For the past three years the event has been in held at the Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna. However, this year it’s taking place in Lake Country, where the Boisverts live. The goal is to raise $10,000 for the Angel Award and help generate more research into juvenile idiopathic arthritis. “It struck a chord with us,” says Mattar. “It was a good fit and they told us a lot of stories about people who use the Arthritis Society’s services and it melted our hearts. We want to help them out so they can complete their dreams and live their lives to the fullest.” For more information, please visit For more information on the Angel Award, please visit




The interior of one of the new locations in Alberta.

Weather is always a big factor in the collision repair industry, especially in regard to hail. That’s why Canadian Hail Repair has opened two new paintless dent repair (PDR) stores in Alberta, a province known for vicious hail storms. Canadian Hail Repair will often send a group of technicians to an area after a hail storm, but the new stores aren’t pop-up locations or temporary repair centres. They’re dedicated locations to offer PDR services full-time, year round. Bing Wong, Managing Director of Canadian Hail Repair, says the opening of these stores is a result of the need for more specialized dent repair stores, especially in Alberta. “Our stores are located in Ottawa, Calgary, Red Deer and we have a sublet shop in Edmonton. We have between two and five full-time employees at each location,

not including our PDR technicians,” says Wong. “CHR provides appraisal and repair capacity in key markets that is focused solely on automotive hail damage claims. Many insurers in Canada and the US are more often looking for PDR companies to work with directly. CHR operates in the US as United Hail Repair and is currently exploring opportunities to open dedicated locations in some of the more hail-prone states.” The shops themselves are not designed solely as production facilities, but more like retail oriented appraisal centres, where staff assess the damage and advise on the next step. When a major storm hits, Canadian Hail Repair obtains additional temporary production space to accommodate insurance and collision partners. For more information on Canadian Hail Repair, please visit


Calgary Flames Defenceman TJ Brodie and Mike Piper, CARSTAR Canada Western Region Director.

Some partnerships are just a natural fit. TJ Brodie, star defenceman for the Calgary Flames, has a close family member who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. CARSTAR has been raising funds for Cystic Fibrosis Canada for years. It only seems natural that they would come together for the TJ Brodie Skate in Strides Program. The partnership came to fruition recently when two CARSTAR MSO groups, CMD and Kharfan, along with Calgary Flames representatives,

presented a cheque for over $90,000 to Cystic Fibrosis Canada. The program was conceived by CARSTAR’s Western Canada Director Mike Piper and CARSTAR’s partners at the Calgary Flames Hockey Club. Together, CARSTAR, TJ Brodie and the Calgary Flames have made a significant impact towards finding a cure for CF and have shown that, as Mike Piper commented, “It’s amazing what we can achieve when people work together.” JUNE 2016  COLLISION REPAIR  11



Putting the focus on road safety for vulnerable users Vulnerable road users, which includes pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists, were the traffic safety spotlight for the month of April in Saskatchewan. Police paid particular attention to vehicles not yielding to pedestrians, making unsafe lane changes around motorcycles, and driving without due care and attention around bicycles and motorcycles. Police were also watching for motorcyclists not wearing the proper gear, bicyclists not following the rules of the road and jaywalking pedestrians. “Now that spring is here, please be on the lookout for pedestrians,

bicyclists and motorcyclists and be cautious and courteous as you share the road,” said Earl Cameron, Vice President of the Auto Fund. “For those vulnerable road users, remember that your smaller size makes you harder for vehicles to see, so walk and ride with care.” Vulnerable road users, including motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians, are typically at a much higher risk of injury in a collision than people in passenger vehicles (due to the lack of occupant protection). In 2014, 18 pedestrians, two bicyclists and three motorcyclists were killed in collisions in Saskatchewan, and 593 more were injured. For more information, please visit

Tareski, Westermann take home Gold medals Results are in from the Saskatchewan Skills Competition. The annual event typically hosts 30 secondary and 28 post-secondary competitions each year, including Autobody Repair and Car Painting. Ryley Tareski of Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Saskatoon campus took the Gold medal in Autobody Repair, Post-Secondary. He was followed by Hta Htoo (Silver), also of Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Saskatoon campus, and Dylan Stark (Bronze) of Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Regina campus. In the Secondary division, Dalton Christiansen of Swift Current Comprehensive went home with the Gold medal, while Austin Smith of Weyburn Comprehensive and Andrew Abbott of A.E. Peacock Collegiate took the Silver and Bronze, respectively. Turning to Car Painting, Post-Secondary, the Gold medal went to Cody Westermann of Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Regina campus, with two other students from the same school, Dilan Innes and Dalyn Taylor, taking home the Silver and Bronze. Malisa Collier of Swift Current Comprehensive took the Gold medal in Car Painting at the Secondary level, with James Statler of A.E. Peacock Collegiate winning the Bronze. In addition to the competitions themselves, the Skills Saskatchewan Provincial Skills Competition also featured the Try-a-Trade Expo, held at Campus Regina Public. The idea behind the Expo is to provide youth with an opportunity to try out a small part of numerous trades. Approximately 20 different trades were represented. Typically, a student would spend about five to 15 minutes at a particular booth learning something about that trade. Ryley Tareski, Dalton Christiansen, Cody Westermann and Malisa Collier will go on to the national competition taking place June 5 to 8 in Moncton, New Brunswick. The overall winner of the Canada-wide competition will join Team Canada at the 2017 WorldSkills Competition. The WorldSkills event will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in Abu Dhabi. For more information on Skills Saskatchewan, please visit 12  COLLISION REPAIR  COLLISIONREPAIRMAG.COM




Manitoba’s Autobody Repair Post-Secondary medalists, from left: Harlan Perchotte, Gage Gale and Johan Wiebe.

Provincial skill competitions are heating up across the country and the Gold medal winners will now go on to the national competition. The Skills Canada national competition will take place June 5 to 8 in Moncton, New Brunswick. Looking at the Manitoba competition, Johan Wiebe captured Gold, Harlan Perchotte won Silver and Gage Gale took home the Bronze medal in Autobody Repair at the Post-Secondary level. All three are students at Red River College in Winnipeg. In the Car Painting competition, Ashley Weber will move on to the national round with a Gold medal win, Jessica Tomchuck captured Silver and Nicola Gosselin won Bronze. Wiebe and Weber will go on to compete at the upcoming national competition in Moncton. The overall winners of the Canada-wide competition will join Team Canada and represent our country at the 2017 WorldSkills Competition. The WorldSkills event will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in Abu Dhabi. For more information on Skills Canada competitions, please visit:

Manitoba medalists in the Car Painting competition. From left: Jessica Tomchuck, Ashley Weber and Nicola Gosselin.





The PBE Distributors show offers jobbers a chance to preview the latest tools and techniques.

This year’s annual PBE Distributors Spring Trade Show shook things up a bit. Usually held in London, Ontario, the 2016 event was held in the Greater Toronto Area for the first time. Held at the Hilton Mississauga/ Meadowvale in Mississauga, Ontario, the PBE Distributors Spring Trade Show offered a wide variety of products and information focused on efficient collision repair. There was a wide range of welding equipment, spray guns, abrasives and other

products on display. The PBE Distributors Spring Trade Show is geared towards jobbers, but this year marked something of a change. For the first time, jobbers were told they could invite some of their key collision repair accounts to the show. It was an incredible opportunity for some repairers to get an early look at equipment and products that will be making their way into body shops over the coming year. For more information visit

ONTARIO DEALER DAY New car dealers across Canada were invited to be a part of the 2016 Ontario Dealer Day. The annual event featured representation from numerous organizations that came together to network and create new business opportunities. This year’s event took place at the Paramount Conference & Event Venue in Vaughan, Ontario. The event was hosted by the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) and Co-Auto Co-Operative. The theme of this year’s event was ‘spring training,’ according to Trevor Dawson, Co-Auto CoOperative Vice President of Marketing. “We invited the exhibitors to offer training related info at the show. Dealers and their staff could see anything from new equipment demos from Hunter Engineering to a state-of-the-art desking tool from DealerTrack,” said Dawson. “The theme has a dual meaning because of the opening of baseball season. Exhibitors built promotions around the idea of, ‘see the demo, get Blue Jays tickets.’” There was also a strong collision component to the show, as BASF, Pro Spot, Norton and 3M were all present. Dawson


Peter Woo of Excellence Auto Body and Tom Langton, President of Co-Auto Co-Operative.

said the idea behind the day is to help dealerships become more aware of what’s new and to bring all industry stakeholders together under one roof. Every vendor had something of interest for new car dealers; dealer staff were encouraged to visit as many exhibitors as possible and collect business cards. Ten business cards could be redeemed at the Co-Auto or TADA booths for a free limited edition Bautista or Donaldson Blue Jays print, which added to the fun. For more information on Co-Auto Co-Operative, please visit For more information on TADA, please visit





he next meeting of the Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF) takes place in Montreal, Quebec on May 27, 2016. Registration is now open for the event taking place at Hotel Omni Mont-Royal. CCIF has been hosting forum events since 1999 and the forum meetings draw collision repair industry professionals from across North America, providing them with a platform to network, stay informed and share ideas. The event covers a wide array of topics and information that is useful from the front to the back of any facility. The knowledge extends past the shop too. Representatives of insurers, suppliers, service providers and trade associations attend the forums to contribute to the discussions and gain insight on the industry. Through guest speakers, presentations, panel discussions and exposure to industry experts, CCIF provides valuable insight into profitability, vehicle repair complexity and people. Presentations at the Montreal meeting will be in both English and French and will have simultaneous translations on dual screens. Only a few presentations were set at time of publication, but we can already tell that this meeting will have a lot to offer. First up is David Adams, President of Global Automakers of Canada, who will look at the upcoming arrival of automated vehicles. Adams will also dig into just how much this new technology may disrupt existing industries. His presentation will look at what are realistic timeframes for fully automated vehicles and the challenges facing not only the fully automated vehicle of the future but the partially automated vehicles on our roads today. Further, the challenges and disruptions arising from the more widespread automation of the personal vehicle will be considered. Patrice Marcil, Learning & Development

Director for Axalta Coating Systems, will also present at CCIF Montreal. Marcil will explore what is being taught in collision repair programs across the country, and how it stacks up against what is required and expected by the industry. The central questions addressed will be if the schools have kept up with technological changes, and if they are able to provide the industry with the skilled workforce needed. Leanne Jefferies is the primary organizer of CCIF Montreal on behalf of AIA Canada. In an interview with Collision Repair magazine, she outlined some of the highlights of the coming meeting. One panel discussion “Scanning vehicles: A reality check” is of particular note. “Scanning is a big issue right now and we’ve found that there’s a significant disconnect between what was heard at CCIF January from Mike Anderson, OEM recommendations and what’s actually happening in the market,” says Jefferies. “The panel discussion will be moderated by Joe Carvalho, CCIF Chairman, and will focus on the issues surrounding this, and how we need to make sure we are doing the right thing as an industry.” Martin Samson is the Senior Analyst, Automobile Appraisal and Insurance Plan Division for Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA). Samson will present on a successful model for industry collaboration and examine the methodology for determing shop materials and paint materials costs. He’ll also look into whether standardization of estimating guidelines help to improve industry efficiency. France Daviault, Senior Director of Industry Relations for AIA Canada, will speak on the status of women in collision repair and the automotive industry. In her position with AIA Canada, Daviault was instrumental in obtaining federal

funding from Status of Women Canada. She will present on the development of a comprehensive framework to address the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in the automotive industry. The content for the second panel discussion has also been revealed. “Minimum Requirements to Complete Structural Repairs” will be moderated by Larry Jefferies, President of Jefferies Consulting. “There’s a growing awareness regarding the challenges with ensuring structural repairs are conducted following OEM specifications,” says Leanne Jefferies. “The panel will look at developing a definition of the minimum requirements for equipment and training that all stakeholders can use.” Repairers would benefit from an accessible, generic list to use as a reference to ensure their facilities are properly equipped and staff are adequately trained. Insurers would also benefit, as they could use such a list to validate repairers’ training and equipment needs. “Focus groups of insurers, repairers and other stakeholders have informed us that this would be a definite benefit,” says Jefferies. “This session will provide insight into the information gathered to date, share the draft version of the minimum requirements for equipment and training, and gain feedback on this important opportunity.” In addition, I-CAR will offer the recently translated course, Aluminum Exterior Panel Repair and Replacement (APR01). To register, please visit For more information on the upcoming CCIF Montreal meeting or to register, please visit




Brandon Drover takes the Gold at Newfoundland skills competition

Brandon Drover (centre) was the Gold medal winner. Jonathan Payne (left) took the Silver, and Robert Hulan was awarded the Bronze.

The results are in from the 19th Annual Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Skills Competition. Over 250 competitors came together for the event held at College of the North Atlantic’s Prince Philip Drive campus. Brandon Drover took the Gold in PostSecondary Autobody Repair and will go on to represent Newfoundland and Labrador at the 22nd Annual Skills Canada National Competition, taking place this June in Moncton, New Brunswick. Jonathan Payne and Robert Hulan won the Silver and Bronze medals respectively. All three are currently enrolled at College of the North Atlantic.

CSN-Dana’s Collision Center qualifies on welding certification BY CHRIS GERICS

CSN-Dana’s Collision Center has announced that two of its techs have successfully completed I-CAR’s Structural Parts Steel Welding Series certification. Adam Robinson and Troy Copeland are now I-CAR qualified in Steel, Structural Steel and Aluminum welding. The Structural Parts Steel Welding Series (SPS05) covers the basic principles and techniques of structural steel sectioning. Building off the Steel GMA Welding Series, it includes a review of equipment setup and preparation. Other techniques and principles that are included in the program are measuring, cutting, and part alignment before any actual hands-on testing occurs. Dana Alexander, owner/operator of CSNDana’s Collision Center in Fredericton, New Brunswick, gave Collision Repair  magazine a rundown of what’s involved in the certification. “It’s a whole day course, half of it is orientation and practice, and the second half is physically doing the welding which is followed by a destructive test,” he says. The course instructs technicians to weld in three different positions (flat, vertical and overhead), as well as measure, cut and weld to include plug, offset fillet and butt joints with backing welds. This is followed by a strict overview from the instructor to ensure quality and proper application of technique. The certification was held at the New Brunswick Community College in Saint John, New Brunswick. Alexander says the certification is an important step in ensuring the safety of vehicle repair. “If you have a vehicle tearing down the highway at 100 kilometres an hour, you want to make sure that the repair welds are as strong as the original welds, and the structural integrity of the vehicle reacts the same as it was designed to do in the event of another accident,” says Alexander. 18  COLLISION REPAIR  COLLISIONREPAIRMAG.COM


Fix Auto to acquire Prime CarCare Group Fix Auto Canada has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Prime CarCare Group, Canadian owner of automotive brands Speedy Auto Service, 5 Gears Auto Care, Minute Muffler and Brake, and the Canadian master franchisor for Novus Glass. The official announcement was made by Steve Leal, President and CEO of Fix Auto Canada. “This acquisition will create a unique opportunity for horizontal integration in the automotive repair sector,” said Leal. “Fix Auto became the number one consumer brand in collision repair through customer-driven focus, and we see great opportunity to further improve the customer experience by bringing together these leading automotive brands. This acquisition reinforces our commitment and support to the Canadian automotive aftermarket, and will benefit and expand offerings to support our existing partnerships.” While the terms of the deal are private, it is being partially funded by minority equity partner La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

“By reinvesting in Fix Auto, La Caisse will enable the company to diversify its activities and pursue its Canada-wide growth strategy,” said Christian Dubé, Executive Vice-President, Québec of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. Prime CarCare Group currently operates 142 franchise locations in Canada under different brands, including Speedy Auto Service, an iconic Canadian brand with a rich history that spans over 50 years. “We see a great cultural and strategic fit with Fix Auto,” said David Lush, President and CEO of Prime CarCare Group. “Our vision of building a full product offering around the customer’s needs is now complete with the addition of collision repair, and we are thrilled to be joining Fix Auto’s extended family.” The planned acquisition was expected to close within 30 days of May 6, 2016. “Fix Auto franchisees are among the most innovative and entrepreneurial in the business, and a significant portion of our glass and mechanical work is currently being sublet to third parties,” said Leal. “This will create growth opportunities for

all the franchisees in the system, and help deliver a more complete and consistent service offering to all our stakeholders.” For more information, please visit




Consolidation in the finishing business took a big step forward as news broke that Sherwin-Williams will acquire Valspar Corporation for $113 per share or about $11.3 billion cash. The deal has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors at both companies. Both Sherwin-Williams and Valspar are major suppliers of automotive refinish coatings, supplying products to numerous body shops and collision centres throughout the world. The transaction is expected to close at the end of the first quarter of 2017. That is assuming Valspar shareholders vote in favour of the deal. A press release from Sherwin-Williams quoted John G. Morikis, President and Chief Executive Officer of The SherwinWilliams Company, as saying that, “Valspar is an excellent strategic fit with Sherwin-Williams. The combination expands our brand portfolio and customer relationships in North America, significantly strengthens our global finishes business, and extends our capabilities into new geographies and applications, including a scale platform to grow in Asia-Pacific and EMEA [Europe].” “Customers of both companies will benefit from our increased product range, enhanced technology and innovation capabilities, and the transaction’s clearly defined cost synergies. We have tremendous respect for the expertise and dedication of the Valspar team and we are excited about the opportunities that this combination will provide to both companies’ employees,” said Morikis.


He also noted that Sherwin-Williams will continue to be headquartered in Cleveland and that the company intends to maintain a “significant” presence in Minneapolis where Valspar headquarters are located. Gary E. Hendrickson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Valspar, was quoted as saying that, “We believe that SherwinWilliams is the right partner to utilize our array of brands and create a premier global coatings company.” The new company will certainly be large, with approximately 58,000 employees around the world. The deal is all-cash and is valued at about $9.3 billion, or $11.3 billion including debt. Not surprisingly, shares in Valspar took off, rising to $104.50 per share by midday, a mighty 24 percent advance over the closing price on the previous day. Shareholders of Valspar still have to vote in favour of the deal if it’s going to go through, but considering the remarkable premium the deal offers over the current share price, that seems likely. Even with the 24 percent advance in the share price since then, current price of $104 per share is still far below the $113 per share being offered by Sherwin-Williams. Nevertheless, as is always the case with these deals there are debates about whether it’s a deal or a steal. Commentators on one site were typically split. One commenter, pointing to the “30x earnings” being spent by Sherwin-Williams makes this a “brilliant” deal for Valspar shareholders. Another commentator took the opposing view, suggesting “the price is low ... It should have been at least $130 ... This is a steal for Sherwin.” An analyst that follows the industry noted that the share of business that Sherwin-Williams derives from the US and Canada represents 82 percent of the company’s sales. The addition of Valspar, with significant operations in Asia and Europe, will see the “footprint” of North American business drop to about 76 percent. “[The deal] gives us the scale and platform” to expand in Europe and Asia,” said Morikis. Dmitry Silversteyn of Longbow Research was quoted in a report as saying that “the plan is very attractive for Valspar shareholders, and should be good for Sherwin in the long run. Valspar is lean, but the combined company should save on corporate overhead, distribution and raw materials. Valspar’s No. 1 position in coatings for packaging is a big attraction, as is the company’s foothold in China.” The deal appears to put Sherwin-Williams on a similar financial footing to rivals AkzoNobel and PPG. The Wall Street Journal noted that the merged company would have had revenues in 2015 of $15.6 billion. In 2015 AkzoNobel had sales of about $16.7 billion, while PPG posted 2015 sales of $15.3 billion.


IBIS PREVIEW: TONY AQUILA OF SOLERA HOLDINGS TO SPEAK AT IBIS 2016 Tony Aquila of Solera Holdings has been confirmed as a speaker at IBIS 2016

IBIS has revealed the final session for the upcoming IBIS Global Summit, taking place May 23 to 25 at Hilton Diagonal Mar in Barcelona, Spain. Tony Aquila, founder and CEO of Solera Holdings, will serve as one of the presenters. Collision Repair magazine is the exclusive Canadian Media Partner for IBIS. Aquila’s story is truly inspirational. Like many in the collision repair field, he started out sweeping the floor in a body shop. He later went on to found Solera Holdings, a multibillion dollar software company. Solera Holdings includes Audatex, Hollander, HPI and CAP among many others. In March the company completed an agreement to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners for approximately $6.5 billion. The IBIS Global Summit provides attendees a unique opportunity to learn from and share knowledge with the collision repair industry’s elite. This is only possible with the support of forward-thinking IBIS partners including 3M, AkzoNobel, Al Futtaim, Audatex, Belron, EMM, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Fix Auto World. This year’s conference is almost at capacity but the remaining IBIS Global Summit tickets are available for just £1,795 (about $3,259 CAD) and include full access to the conference, networking opportunities, all meals and two nights accommodation at the conference venue, the Hilton Diagonal Mar. To confirm your place, please email Nicola Keady at or visit



John Mancuso of Toyota Canada is featured in the first video. Other videos in the series showcase representatives from Honda, BMW, Audi, Ford and Porsche.

The most recent meeting of the Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF) was like no other meeting before. The attendance was higher than any other CCIF meeting since the organization’s inception, with over 600 stakeholders crowded into the Universal Event Space in Vaughan. In addition to the extremely high attendance numbers, the January meeting made history with the Cars & Technology Showcase, featuring vehicles from manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda, Porsche and Toyota. OEMs not only displayed their vehicles, but brought technical experts and engineers to the event to speak with CCIF attendees. CCIF has posted these videos online at JUNE 2016  COLLISION REPAIR  21



Des D’Silva, CEO of Assured Automotive, addresses the gathered staff during the awards presentation.

Jacqueline Piet comes to the front to accept her “Employee of Excellence” award.

Tony Canade, President of Assured Automotive.

Numerous members of the Assured Automotive family came together recently at the Mississauga Convention Centre. It was a chance to get together, say thank you and award the hard work of Assured Automotive employees. The Assured Employee Appreciation Banquet drew about 750 people, the most of any Assured employee appreciation event to date. Assured Automotive President Tony Canade was on hand with other members of the team to hand out awards to staff and stores that went above and beyond in the last year. Assured Automotive has put on this event for the last several years as a way to say thank you to each and every one of the employees, said Canade. “It’s our way of saying thank you for all the hard work and dedication of our excellent employees,” he said.

Decade of Excellence Award

Customer Service Excellence Award

• Khalid Abdi, Mississauga North • Richard Bourdeau, Mississauga East • Chrishtian Crete, Allards • Ronald Mackay, Brantford • Kimberly Fraser, Burlington • Reza Youssefzadeh, Richmond Hill • Damien Blake, Concordia East • Jacob Mathews, Corporate • Fred Tajik, Brampton

• Assured Ajax

Operational Excellence Award

• Assured Scarborough Centre

Touch Time Excellence Award

• Assured Frank & Guy Bank

Sales Excellence Award

• Assured Toronto King West Net Profit Excellence Award

• Assured Brampton Employee of Excellence

• Jacqueline Piet Store of the year Excellence Award

• Assured Frank & Guy Orleans For more info visit

COLLISION 360 TO DISTRIBUTE SPANESI Collision 360 has recently signed a distribution deal with Spanesi Americas, making them the exclusive distributor for the Greater Toronto Area. Owner Anthony Iaboni says it was a natural fit. Spanesi Americas carries a range of body shop equipment including frame equipment, measurement systems and welders.

With the addition of Spanesi equipment, Iaboni says Collision 360 is closer to being a complete solution for the collision industry. “Spanesi makes a great product and our reputation is based on the products we sell in a lot of cases. Instead of going for something cheaper, we’re focusing on quality over price,” he says. Iaboni says he was already recommending

Spanesi. “I get asked all the time when they buy equipment what I would recommend just because I do my research. It doesn’t matter whether or not I sell something, I like to know what my clients are going through and stay up to date with as much as I can,” he says. For more information, please visit JUNE 2016 COLLISION REPAIR  23



VeriFacts Automotive runs the monthly Guild 21 conference call, but the biggest event in the company’s schedule is the VeriFacts Symposium, which brings together the brightest lights in the industry to discuss the latest trends and ideas. The latest version of this event took place in Newport Beach, California. The co-founder and CEO of Verifacts, Farzam Afshar, took some time out to talk to Collision Repair magazine about this year’s event. Titled, “All for One - - The Consumer!” this year’s event was bigger and better than ever. One of the early sessions, “Industry Ecosystem & Sustainability,” talked about how the modern consumer economy is changing in terms of the need to create a sustainable economic system. Summing up the discussion, Afshar explained that, “Henry Ford was one of the pioneers of consumerism. By paying employees at Ford a higher than average wage, workers were able to buy the products they were building.” Ford famously increased salaries with the intention of this allowing employees

Some members of the VeriFacts Symposium panel discussion on autonomous vehicles: Erick Bickett, Founder & CEO, Fix Auto USA; Mike Anderson, President of Collision Advice; Mark Olson, COO, VeriFacts Automotive and George Avery of State Farm.

to buy cars. “He thought the American people should go out and buy products,” says Afshar. “That consumerism started with Ford. And that’s a good thing. People bought things. The economic activity got America pumping. People couldn’t buy fast enough. But that was decades ago. Today, that’s not sustainable.” Today, according to Afshar, “We cannot afford to get rid of every part,” and


continually make and buy new ones. The idea that this culture can continue to throw out partially damaged cars is not sustainable. “We can’t keep throwing out cars. They have to be designed with repairability in mind,” says Afshar. Another session included a conversation about diminished value (DV). The concept was broken down into three types of diminished value. There is the diminished


value assigned to a car that has been in an accident and then repaired (inherent DV). There is also another type of diminished value that comes if a collision repair centre does a job that isn’t up to OEM quality. But Afshar also pointed out that another type of diminished valued can occur if insurance companies make an error in their vehicle assessment. “If a customer ends up with an incomplete damage assessment as a final repair. That’s another type of diminished value,” said Afshar. The next session was the keynote address, delivered by Dr. Michael C. Jensen, the Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and the author of a recent publication, New Model of Integrity: A Life-Changing Model. “He talked about the importance of integrity being the foundation of any business. If you don’t have the integrity you are not able to perform to maximum capacity,” says Afshar, summing up the keynote idea of the conference. “For example, if the spoke of your bicycle wheel is loose (not whole and complete), your performance is diminished because your wheel is out of integrity.” Another panel discussion delved into the need to balance the desires of insurers and OEMs. “Talking about what it takes to understand what insurers want in terms of DRP programs, but also what manufactures want in terms of certification was a really interesting conversation. We compared those two differing sets of KPIs and found out that the collision repair shops are caught in the middle,” says Afshar. “Shops have to deal with the requirements of the insurer and then balance those against the requirements of the OEMs. How can the shop align these two differing needs? This was a more of an eye opener for all the constituents of RIOO (Repair, Insurance, OEM and Others) that they have to work together if they want to create a safe repair for consumer that is also efficient and cost effective.”

Next up was another special guest, Dr. Francisco Palao, an artificial intelligence PhD, and COO of Exponential Organization University and the translator of Exponential Organization. “We asked, ‘Is your business one that is open and willing to reinvest in itself, and are you okay to do what needs to be done, and not be weighed down by bureaucracy?’,” according to Afshar. This is a key idea in the new world dawning in the collision repair industry, a sector now beginning to deal with the advent of autonomous vehicles. The final session of the symposium, “What keeps you up at night?,” dealt head on with this question. This was the point when the conversation became a bit unsettling for some attendees. The session was moderated by Kristen Felder, CEO of Collision Hub. She was joined by Mike Anderson, President of Collision Advice; Erick Bickett, CEO, Fix Auto USA; George Avery of State Farm; Doug Craig of Lord Corporation; Rick Leos of Toyota Motor Sales USA and Mark Olson, COO, VeriFacts Automotive. “I think the people who took this session in were sort of left with this uncomfortable feeling. People were saying the issues today are so overwhelming. They were left with the idea that they either need to get out of the business, or go to the next level,” says Afshar. There are some deep and unsettling questions facing the owners of collision repair centres. These were questions Afshar does not shy away from. “This was a unique Symposium. You didn’t get everything wrapped up with a nice bow. It was a bit unsettling. But we also have the power to do something about it. That’s what we wanted to make sure of,” he said. The final message was that with “RIOO” united, every sector of the auto claims economy can thrive. Closing out the conference, Afshar challenged everyone to commit to one thing that they will do to make this industry better. For more information, please visit




Repairs that measure up to the standards set by the OEM are vital to maintaining a vehicle’s safety after an accident. Training is important, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. The equipment used also plays a major role. Fronius Canada recently held a demonstration of its welding technology at the company’s headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario. The demo was conducted by Andrew Newman, Welding Applications Technician. During the demonstration, Newman showed off the capabilities of the company’s TPS 270i and 320i C Pulse welding rigs. “It’s a multi-process system, so it basically does everything,” said Newman, noting that both units offer MIG/MAG, TIG DC and Stick welding capabilities. “We’re using the same technology in these units that we use in our robotic systems.” The system is capable of pulse welding steel, stainless steel, aluminum and CuSi wires most commonly used in the automotive industry. As a company, Fronius has a lot of experience in automotive welding. The robotic systems referenced by Newman are used widely by OEMs in the manufacturing process. Newman says the rigs intended for use in the body shop offer many parallel capabilities, but in a much more compact design. The TPS 270i and 320i C Pulse units can be outfitted with a number of options, including a TIG installation kit and a polarity reverser for welding special flux core wires. A special viewing window allows the technician to see precisely how much wire is left, and the units feature a graphical user interface that can even be operated while still wearing work gloves. Matthew Bolger is an Area Sales Manager with Fronius Canada.


Andrew Newman of Fronius Canada performs a weld during the equipment demonstration.

He points to the company’s history with robotics welding for OEMs and also notes that Fronius welders are a requirement for some OEM certified collision programs. “There’s quite a few of the high-end manufacturers that require it, such as Tesla, Volkswagen/Audi and Lamborghini,” he says. “It’s a requirement for Honda’s program in Japan and for BWM’s program in Europe.” For more information, please visit



There aren’t many unique driving experiences left for a man like Dale Earnhardt Jr. Thanks to CARSTAR and Axalta, he’s managed to cross another off his bucket list. For the first time, Earnhardt drove his No. 88 on city streets, specifically the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina. The drive was part of the unveiling of a new sponsor partnership with Axalta Coating Systems and CARSTAR North America. “Since we got to unveil the car with CARSTAR and Axalta, they also put together an opportunity to take it around the city blocks of Charlotte, where I grew up,” said Earnhardt. “I was grateful to take it up and down the road in downtown Charlotte.” The sponsored vehicle will make its debut at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kansas Speedway this May. The sponsorship was announced during a teleconference on April 14, with Jose R. Costa of Driven Brands, Jim Muse of Axalta, Michael Macaluso of CARSTAR and Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the line. Costa led off by thanking Axalta and Earnhardt for their partnership. The sentiments were echoed by Muse, who also noted that Earnhardt’s No. 88 is one of the few NASCAR vehicles that’s actually painted. “Dale’s car is one of the few cars on the track that are painted. Most are wrapped,” said Muse. “There’s a distinct difference between real automotive coatings and a wrap, and when you look at Dale’s car you can see the difference.” CARSTAR North America is part of Driven Brands. The company owns a number of automotive franchises, with the majority of them being retail operations. However, CARSTAR is primarily seen as a business-to-business operation, as it does most of its transactions with insurers. Axalta’s main customers are collision facilities. In other words, Axalta is also primarily business-to-business. During the teleconference, Costa noted the sponsorship is certain to put the CARSTAR brand in front of millions of consumers. For more information on Driven Brands, please visit

Unveiling the new No. 88. The official ceremony took place in Charlotte, North Carolina in April.

A view of the new No. 88. JUNE 2016  COLLISION REPAIR  27




he pace of consolidation in the North American collision repair space moved ahead at a rapid pace in the first quarter of 2016, with Winnipeg outfit Boyd Group adding as many companies to its chain in Q1 as it added all of last year. “The consolidation activity has been increasing, that’s for sure,” says Brad Mewes, an industry consultant. His firm, Supplement!, recently released a report on Q1 consolidation rates. The Newport Beach-based consultancy finds the first quarter of 2016 was busy with deals happening at a very healthy clip. The report notes that three other companies appear to be growing at a similar pace to previous years and that in the first three months of 2016 the four largest consolidators added 92 locations. This is as many locations acquired in total in all of 2012, says Mewes. “Consolidation in the collision industry continues to march forward at an astounding pace. The largest companies in the industry continue to aggressively grow through acquisitions, or by buying existing collision repair operators. And as these companies continue to aggressively expand we see continued consolidation in adjacent segments that sell into the industry, especially in paint distribution and parts distribution,” reads the report. In the first quarter of 2016 all four consolidators continued to “grow aggressively ... In the first quarter of 2016 the Boyd Group has already added more locations than they added in all of 2015,” according to the data. The strong growth is just another bit of good news for Boyd Group. The company has been basking in the glow surrounding a string of solid positive developments. This winter the company was added to the TSX S&P 50 as a component company, giving Boyd instant new vision and clarity among big institutional investors like pension and mutual funds. Boyd also recently announced that it had generated more than $1 billion in revenue. Mewes notes in his report that the company’s CEO, Brock Bulbuck, believes his company is well positioned to grow “at an average rate of 15 percent a year, or doubling in size again within five years,” or possibly sooner if the company completes any number of large acquisitions. 28  COLLISION REPAIR  COLLISIONREPAIRMAG.COM

North American collision industry consolidation continues at a rapid pace. “Whereas 2013, 2014 and 2015 could be described as raucous a very notable shift has taken place in 2016. While the overall pace of acquisitions has not slowed, the clamour surrounding them certainly has,” says Mewes. “Each of the four largest companies in the industry have realized a five year compound annual growth rate in excess of twenty percent. In other words, each has more than doubled in size over the past five years.” Mewes says the North American industry is now a $36 billion one. “The industry, while consolidating, still remains highly fragmented. But while the industry is fragmented, it is increasingly bifurcated into very large and very small,” says Mewes. He expects consolidation to continue. “It is a near certainty that consolidation will continue in collision repair, as well as the sectors surrounding collision repair. Growth by acquisition will continue to make sense for a number of reasons,” says Mewes. “Organic growth is tepid, and claims frequency is generally flat to declining. Acquiring growth is often faster and more cost effective than growing internally ... although both are important ... Industries also naturally consolidate over time.” The automotive aftermarket, including collision repair, paint and parts, is still highly fragmented. The fragmented nature of the market creates inefficiencies in the supply chain. At the same time a growing group of small business owners are approaching retirement. Wellcapitalized and sophisticated buyers are eager to acquire these businesses. Says Mewes, “Many smaller MSOs and single or dual location businesses find it challenging at best to expand same store sales by any amount in the current economic environment. While 2015 was generally an up year for many in the collision industry, many companies, public and private, are hard pressed to consistently achieve a 5 to 7 percent top line growth rate when excluding acquisitions. This is an ongoing testament to the attractiveness of the multi-store business model, even more so when taking into consideration that Boyd has doubled in size in a few short years.”



The Carrossier ProColor network has announced it will donate $10,000 to the Canadian Red Cross to help citizens affected by the forest fire that ravaged the city of Fort McMurray in Alberta. For some, the violent forest fire in Fort McMurray evokes not so distant memories of the 2013 events in Lac Mégantic. The pain, anguish and uncertainty of those affected by such tragedy are immeasurable, but the same is also true for the spirit of cooperation and compassion demonstrated by the people of Canada in times like these. “When Quebec experienced its own disasters, including the fire in Lac Mégantic and the ice storm, the entire country rallied to help the Quebec population. Now it is our turn to do our duty as a Canadian corporate citizen by providing our support to Albertans to help them through these difficult times,” said Michel Charbonneau, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, PBE division of Uni-Select. He is responsible for the Carrossier ProColor business unit. Carrossier ProColor invites the collision repair industry to rally and pay it forward by making a donation to the Canadian Red Cross who will provide the necessary support to the citizens of Fort McMurray. For more information, please visit

NACE EXPO EXPANDS TO MEET DEMAND NACE is already the largest collision repair event in the world but recent news indicates that it’s going to be even bigger than usual in 2016. According to show management, significant exhibit space has been added to the NACE | CARS 2016 Expo floor plan to meet demand. NACE | CARS meetings, co-located events, and conference sessions will take place August 9 to 14 in Anaheim, California at the Anaheim Convention Center. Since booking opened for NACE, exhibit space sales have been significantly ahead of last year’s pace. To accommodate current exhibit demand, 20,000 additional sq. ft. were recently added to the expo floor. A statement from NACE show management says much of this space has already been reserved, including an outside demo for the 2017 Ford Super Duty Drive Tour. NACE 2016 features record involvement from OEMs through exhibit space, sponsorships and education sessions that will be offered at no charge with the purchase of an expo or conference pass. Audi, BMW, Fiat Chrysler Automobile, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, and more will provide information on their latest vehicles, materials and technology and how to address specific repairs. Industry week co-located events are in town, as well, bringing in automotive professionals for meetings such as 1Collision Network, AMI, APN, ASCCA, CAA, CIC, CIECA, CREF, I-CAR, NABC, OEM Collision Repair Roundtable, SCRS, WIN and more. For more information, please visit JUNE 2016  COLLISION REPAIR  29


STAFFINPUT Your employees know what works ... and what doesn’t.

By Jay Perry


n my leadership development work, I employ several different methodologies based upon objectives for the client company. Recently I was involved in what is commonly called a 360, where employee opinions are solicited regarding a particular executive or manager. I like the exercise for several reasons, one of which is that I also ask about how things are going in general, how the employee thinks the company is doing and what opportunities it could capitalize on. It might be a good idea to call on a third-party or let employees answer anonymously. You want honest answers and this is probably the best way to

My work has constantly reinforced the belief that employees do want to see the company succeed. Yes, on occasion there is a bad apple among the group. You already know who they are and you should be designing an exit strategy for them but that is another conversation. Take the opinions of the average worker that understands their personal success is tied to the company’s success and they will deliver the news. Remember that everyone wants to be on the winning team. Name one person that wouldn’t. Can you? I hope not! Why these opinions are not sought by owners and managers is twofold. First, they are usually

WHO BETTER THAN THE PEOPLE AT THE FRONT LINE TO KNOW IF THOSE PLANS ARE PRACTICAL? make sure you get them. Even if a third-party is asking, you might be better off not knowing exactly which member of your team is leveling a criticism. That way you can consider the criticism on its own merits and not have your judgment clouded by your own opinion of a particular employee. No matter how it’s asked or who asks it, this open-ended question invariably reaps nuggets of informational gold on how things can be improved. Strategy and plans are usually devised in the proverbial ivory tower by the leadership of the organization. Who better than the people at the front line to really know if those plans are practical and producing results? They are the ones charged with implementing the great and wonderful plans, and they’ll know how they’re working out before anyone else in the organization. As Steve Miller, former Chairman, President and CEO of Shell Oil Company stated, “The actual solutions about how best to meet the challenges of the moment have to be made by the people closest to the action.” When these people are given the opportunity to speak their minds, knowing there will be no negative repercussions, they will gladly let you know what’s going on with the business. 30  COLLISION REPAIR  COLLISIONREPAIRMAG.COM

afraid that criticism will be harsh and hard to take. Second, they have had an experience that was negative. As to the first item, my experience is that the criticism is harsh only because the employee may lack the communication skills to say the truth in a diplomatic way. Get over the diplomacy issue and the truth is still there. As to the second item, what I have seen is owners and managers start to defend the status quo and come up with excuses in that conversation as to why they cannot do what the employee is saying. This shuts down the employee and they slowly go quiet and stop offering advice. The answer to solving these challenges can be simply getting someone neutral to administer the exercise. Obviously that is what my company can do but if you have a trusted advisor such as an accountant or supplier account rep perhaps they could do it for you. The important thing is to get the info that will make you better. That is how you get to stay the one who’s driving. CRM Jay Perry is the founder and owner of Automotive Business Consultants (ABC), a performance coaching company specializing in the automotive service industry. He can be reached via e-mail at


CLASSACTION Courts or cooperation? We need to decide By Sam Piercey


t o d a y ’s m a r k e t , w i t h m o r e consumers demanding top-notch service and complaining all over social media if they don’t get it, it’s more important than ever before that every repair is done according to the OEM guidelines. That’s why I really don’t understand why some insurers would still try to get customers to go to the lower-performing shops. I’ve had some

have them, but this goes way beyond that. Insurers need to stop telling their customers to take their cars to shops that don’t or can’t do the right repairs. I know most insurers don’t do this. I’ll say that again: most of them don’t. Some do, though. That’s the problem, right there. Most guys you meet walking down the street late at night won’t bust your head and take your wallet, either.


of our customers tell us that their insurer told them that “they don’t use that shop” and “if you take it to that shop we won’t warranty the repair.” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: so what? You don’t need to provide a warranty. We do that! We stand by our work and always have. It’s a common practice for good shops. You may have heard that some shops in the US got together and sued a bunch of insurance companies over stuff like this. So far they haven’t had much success in convincing the judges that have heard those cases, but I can tell you this much. They’re getting those issues out into the public eye. I think that might be more effective in the end. T he publ ic do e s n’t re a l ly k now anything about this. They don’t know that there are adjusters out there who will bully customers into going to “Fred in the shed” instead of a quality body shop. If they did, and understood why their favourite car company insists on having things done properly, they’d scream until they were blue in the face. This isn’t just about money. It isn’t just about fairness. Both of those things are important, especially if you don’t

It’s the one who will that’s the problem. One of the keys to successful free enterprise is a level playing field. “Fred in the shed” tilts the field in his direction by not upgrading his equipment and not training his techs. You and I can’t tilt it back on our own. We need our insurance partners—all of our insurance partners—to level it out again by not sending “Fred” and his crew work. I know most insurers are already onboard with this. I know. How do we get those holdouts to come into the 21st century too? Do we need to launch a class action lawsuit, like in the US? That’s going to catch everyone in the same net, the good and the bad. The situation here isn’t like it is in the US. There’s more of a sense of cooperation here, so maybe we need a different solution. I’ll tell you one thing, though: it would get the story out to the public. 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



SHOWUP! It’s the key to making sure your voice is heard. By Chelsea Stebner


id you attend CCIF in Toronto this January? If you were there, you know what an excellent meeting it was. The venue, the showcase, the company we were surrounded by. It was an extremely well thought out and put together meeting with loads of information about the future of our industry. It was a coming together of great minds, of forward thinkers, of concerned parties in our automotive sector. If you didn’t attend, w hy not? Are you a stakeholder in our industry? I’m not just talking about collision centre owners and managers, I’m talking to our insurance companies, OEM representatives, aftermarket suppliers, equipment suppliers and manufacturers. The future of our industry rests on all of our shoulders. It seems that each OEM has its own idea of


what builds a better, safer vehicle which in turn means that each repair on each vehicle will be different. OEMs are very concerned with who is repairing their vehicles. We know that OEM certification is the next step. As a collision shop owner, do you have the right training, the right equipment, the software, the right processes in place to repair your customers’ vehicles? As Mike Anderson entertained us with his fantastic presentation on Friday morning, he also was very serious in his goal, to ensure that we all understand each step of the process and to explain that we don’t know what we don’t know. The goal? Working together to get the right repair process and information to the appropriate trained technicians to ensure the safety of the repair and the success of our businesses. As an equipment supplier and manufacturer,


are you providing your shops with the correct tools and equipment? The training support? The repairs of those tools and equipment when required? Your customers count on you to ensure that your products are doing the job that the OEM expects.

need to work together to collaborate, to argue to put difficult issues on the table and look for solutions. We need you to show up, hear the OEMs talking about repair processes and what they say about scanning for codes, wheel alignments, and what they’re saying about materials.

LISTEN, LEARN AND THROW YOUR TWO CENTS IN. Jobbers and aftermarkets and product suppliers: do your products truly do what they need to? Are you supplying quality products? Do your salespeople have the right training to supply the shops with the support they need? Are you aware of how your products affect structural integrity of vehicles? How are you improving to provide value to your consumers? What about our insurance companies? We saw several private insurer representatives out at the meeting. Kudos to you folks for stepping up. We

As a stakeholder, we each bear the weight of responsibility to ensure that collision repair is a viable industry, to be part of the solutions moving forward. Simply, show up. Then listen, learn and throw your two cents in.


Chelsea Stebner is a co-owner/operator of Parr Auto Body, a collision repair facility located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She can be reached at chelsea@



FUTURETRAINING Is it time to re-examine the need for apprenticeships?

ByAndrew Shepherd


n the last few articles we have looked at the training imperative: the technical changes driving an increased emphasis on training and the need to implement a learning culture in our organizations. We went on to outline some of the “mechanics” of choosing and delivering training. These approaches are in some ways unique to Canada, as we have an excellent broadband infrastructure (allowing good quality distance learning) and a coast-to-coast network of community colleges, all underpinned by a well-established apprenticeship system. We depend on apprenticeship to build the foundation skills of the “all-around”

programs in the US, many with graduate placement rates under 20 percent. Although many of these draw on the I-CAR curriculum, which includes performance evaluations, classroom activity plans and teaching preparation materials, the facilities, equipment, funding and space are often in short supply. The US industry is not well-served by this model and the vast majority of learning is done on the job. How does the Canadian system compare? The shortfalls of our system are apparent to both educators and employers. College apprenticeship directors still get Level 2 and 3 students who have never touched a paint gun in the shop—they are kept

DOES THE PRODUCTION SYSTEM OF A MODERN FACILITY REQUIRE THIS ANCIENT MASTER-STUDENT MODEL? technician who, in theory, goes on to maintain knowledge and experience through training. It is indisputable that we are evolving from a craft to a high-tech industry. The models which were appropriate for a craft era may simply be unsuited to the current and future state of the industry. Apprenticeship is an ancient learning model. Four thousand years ago, the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi provided that artisans teach their crafts to youth. Records of Egypt, Greece and Rome from earliest times reveal that skills were still being passed on in this fashion. Craft workers coming to the New World brought with them the practice of indenture and the system of master-apprentice relationships. Craftsmen generally worked in small workshops (often attached to their homes) and owned all their tools. Division of labour was almost nonexistent. A “master craftsman” was responsible for the entire range of production. Does the production system of a modern facility require this ancient master-student learning model? The US-model of collision education, based on two-year programs, has by many accounts failed to deliver enough qualified technicians to the workplace. There are about 300 community colleges and 700 secondar y schools delivering these 34  COLLISION REPAIR  COLLISIONREPAIRMAG.COM

prepping or cleaning up—and the spirit of the apprenticeship contract is not being fulfilled by the employer, who can see learners interfering with KPIs including cycle time. In this fashion graduates—­ defined as “masters” of collision repair­— can get licensed with almost no real-world training. Other criticisms are that the curriculum is behind the times, that updates are slow to happen, that schooling is overly theoretical and that release schedules do not cater to industry seasonality. Nonetheless, our work is not confined to “remove and replace” and the workplace is not (yet) a series of disaggregated and unique tasks. In most cases the technician must have a broad understanding of all aspects of repair and the “product” as a whole, and we must conclude that apprenticeship remains the best model of foundation skills development. In the next issue, we’ll look at ways the industry as a whole can contribute to an improved apprenticeship system. CRM Andrew Shepherd is the Executive Director of I-CAR Canada, a non-profit organization that provides collision repair training and ongoing education. He can be reached via e-mail at


John Miller of LKQ and Loc Ngo. Ngo has drawn on experience from his vendors to build efficiency.

INTEGRATED APPROACH Loc Ngo and Cosmos Collision have ‘right-sized’ the operation with help from their vendors.


lot of owners and managers may say they have an “open door” policy. Loc Ngo of Cosmos Collision in Calgary, Alberta, takes this a step further. “I have an open shop policy,” he says. “If anyone wants to see what we’re doing, they’re welcome to stop by. I’m a strong believer in contributing to the improvement of the collision industry and am happy to share ideas to help others. At the same time, I want to learn from other people, so I also go to visit other shops whenever I can.” He’s not kidding around. Ngo is the sort of operator who visits other collision repair

facilities when he goes on vacation. He’s visited a number of shops in Europe just to see how they do things, and he passes on what he learns. In some cases, it’s an idea he’s invented. A special system that he designed lifts bumpers clear of the floor and stores them near the ceiling. A remote control lowers them again when needed. It may be a small thing, but it shows Ngo’s attitude: always look for efficiencies, and share them. He’s sent around schematics for the system to other shop owners who might find it useful. It’s an attitude that filters down to every member of the team. John Miller is Business Development Manager with LKQ

Keystone Automotive in Alberta. He’s worked closely with Ngo and the team at Cosmos Collision over the last 18 months, and is always searching for new ways to bring new value and improve business performance. “They’re really big on continuous improvement,” says Miller. “Loc isn’t afraid to innovate and try something new. His attitude has always been ‘two heads are better than one. Let’s develop and try new ideas, if it works, great. If it doesn’t, then we’ve learned something.’ He’s fearless when it comes to trying new things.” Ngo was born and raised in Vietnam and came to Canada when he was 22. JUNE 2016  COLLISION REPAIR  37


Cosmos Collision concentrates on high-end and luxury vehicles, primarily from European brands.

“I came to Canada in 1984. At the time I had no skills,” he says. Ngo filled time working as a janitor, but he quickly saw that it wasn’t the way to go. After working in two different Calgary-based collision shops in technician and management roles, he purchased Cosmos Collision in 2008 and decided to focus on high-end vehicles. It’s a decision that has paid off. Ngo was able to lead his new business to a level of success he characterizes as ‘growth level 1.’ But he also recognized the changing landscape and increasing complexity within the collision repair landscape and took calculated steps to position for the future by becoming a fullly aluminum

distributor partners to coach and consult on topics like short and long-term business plan development, identifying continuous improvement opportunities and exploring different business strategies. The approach appears to have paid off as the overall business has grown from 11 employees grossing $1.4 million annual revenue, to over 20 staff and annual revenues near $4 million, while retaining a close internal culture. The members of a family help each other. On that level, Cosmos Collision definitely qualifies as a family. “I always ask my staff for input when we’re trying something new,” says Ngo. “They

in Alberta. She notes that Ngo and Cosmos Collision are always striving to be best-inclass. “They’re always trying to evolve as quickly and as efficiently as possible,” she says. “We sat down with them and tried to look at areas where we could support them. We focused on production management, but the reason it was successful was because Loc and his staff bought in. All we can do is show a facility a tool and educate them on its value. It’s up to them to incorporate it in their daily production and make use of it, and Loc and his staff have taken the idea and run with it.” The production board occupies a place

“Every morning when I go to work, I say hi to all of my staff. They can tell me about their personal life, their family life. My goal is to make our business like a family, and my staff knows this.” -Loc Ngo of Cosmos Collision

certified facility for Porsche, Audi and Bentley, with Jaguar/LandRover soon to be on board as well. Also in that same time period, he realized that in order to achieve the second level of business success, he needed to request assistance from business professionals at Keystone Automotive and Axalta. He invited his paint vendor and

can always come to me with concerns or ideas to improve workflow. We make sure to reward people for their ideas.” Talk to Ngo about his success, and he gives a lot of the credit to his vendors and his staff. However, they turn it around and give that credit back. Nell Wheeler-Mislang works in business development for Axalta


of central importance at Cosmos Collision. It’s a magnetic board, so staff can easily move items from place to place on the board as needed. Naturally staff members see the board during production meetings, but it’s also placed so that they see it when they go to lunch, and when they punch in and out. It’s central to the operation’s drive


towards greater efficiency. Tom Parnell also works with Axalta and was one of the people Ngo asked for assistance in making his facility more efficient. “One of the keys is ‘right sizing’ the capacity,” says Parnell. “We identified their capacity by day, week and month, and look at the current work in progress. Excess capacity is a waste, but so is excess work. Right sizing means the shop is always working at its ideal capacity. This may mean turning down some work, but it leads to increased efficiency and reduced cycle time.” Mel Cole is a rep with Axalta. He says the high percentage of “exotics” that Cosmos Collision works on is a testament to the facility’s quality. “I’d say their work is over 90 percent highend brands like Porsche, Audi, Land Rover, Mercedes -Benz and Jaguar. You have to do quality work or referrals won’t come to you,” he says. “Cosmos Collision puts a lot of effort into quality control.” For more information, please visit

Ngo designed a system to lift bumpers out of the way of the production area, freeing up significant floor space.

Loc Ngo (far right) and some of the vendors he called on for advice. From left: John Miller of LKQ/Keystone, Mel Cole, Tom Parnell and Nell Wheeler-Mislang of Axalta.





Bob Leibel of Sherwin-Williams on collision repair challenges, what’s new in refinish coatings and the Valspar acquisition.

By Mike Davey

xecutive Vision focuses on discussions with key players in the auto claims economy and the

auto industry, their views on the present industry and their vision for the future. In this issue, our guest is Bob Leibel, Canada’s Director of Sales and Operations for SherwinWilliams Automotive Finishes. Leibel has been with Sherwin-Williams since 2001 and has served on the Steering Committee for the Canadian Collision Industry Forum and the Collision Council for AIA Canada.

Collision Repair magazine: News broke recently that Sherwin-Williams will purchase Valspar. What can you tell us about that? Bob Leibel: This transaction is scheduled to close in early 2017, following regulatory and Valspar shareholder approvals. Until then, Sherwin-Williams and Valspar will continue to operate as separate companies and it is business as usual. CRM: What do you see as the three most critical issues for the collision repair industry? BL: The first is OEM influence. Colour styling is trending in a very translucent direction that is becoming increasing difficult to replicate in application, the advanced design of vehicles, the use of more exotic materials and the development of more “connected” and autonomous vehicles is requiring incremental investment in training and equipment, and OEM certification programs are becoming even more prevalent but the return may not justify the investment. The second is intelligent technology. Technology is decreasing accidents as new vehicles are meeting the new and more difficult safety standards. Sales of anti-crash sensors alone are projected to

reach $9.9 billion by 2020, with radar and cameras accounting for the lion-share, followed by ultrasound and LIDAR. As mandates increase for all vehicles moving forward, accidents and claims frequencies will decrease. The third is the quality labour shortage. Insurance providers and competition are putting pressure on margins, resulting in shops looking at their labour pool to reduce their cost structure (de-skilling of labor). This complicates an already difficult situation relative to the recruitment and retention of quality employees in the face of an overall shortage. CRM: Thinking of just the single most important issue you mentioned, what would you suggest to a shop owner who is trying to deal with that? BL: Shop owners should consider working with a business consultant to get another set of eyes on the business. Together, they should develop a comprehensive training action plan. This plan would include a list of training providers—vendors and OEMs and the training courses they offer—with pricing. Also, identify each position and employee in the shop. From there, they can begin to develop the training requirements for each employee/position and schedule


the training. The training action plan will begin to have a regular cadence as they develop their employees to meet higher standards and re-train annually as needed. CRM: In your view, what are the most important steps for a shop to take to secure longevity? BL: A new business model based on precise processes is critical for repairing new technologies, maintaining customer satisfaction and exceeding insurance partners’ expectations. First, partner with a business and consulting services team so you don’t have to “go it alone.” Second, develop a comprehensive training action plan. Finally, financially assess the value of OEM certification programs. CRM: What do you think will be an area of growth for collision repair facilities? B L : Along with shop consolidation comes claims consolidation, and in many markets, less than 5 percent of the body shop businesses control 80 percent of the claims. As such, the key area of growth and focus for most shops should be process. Developing a “process driven” collision centre to increase consistency and predictability in the vehicle repair cycle is critical. The single biggest area of


opportunity for a repair facility is developing “Standard Work” SOPs for the production floor, such as Damage Analysis, Parts Correctness, Express Repair and Quality Assurance, that drive down cycle time. A shop’s ability to complete vehicles in a shorter repair cycle (quality is a given in the 21st century) will ensure survival in the future. CRM: Thinking solely of how it’s going to change the collision repair business, what do you think is the biggest change we can expect in the next few years? BL: Vehicle technology and the capabilities to avoid accidents

will continually develop at a rapid pace. The advancements in vehicle technology will push shop investment relative to training and equipment as OEMs continue to develop more “connected” and autonomous vehicles. The ride will be fast and exciting for the industry as these advancements are and will continue to be very disruptive. This will have to be balanced with the rising performance expectations of key stakeholders: consumers, shareholders and most importantly, insurance partners. With these current and pending changes, the development of employees and the clear documentation of operations and procedures is critical to success in this evolving environment.

“The key area of growth and focus for most shops should be process.” - Bob Leibel.




Vinyl wraps are increasing in popularity.

Should you offer them? By Jeff Sanford

Vinyl wraps can be seen on many high-end just a normal ass 458 now. All good,” vehicles these days. Tuner fans use them Zimmerman tweeted. Nissan, apparently to change a car’s colour instead of getting sensing some good publicity, stepped in a paint job. Businesses are using them to and offered Zimmerman one of its cars that brand their vehicles. Over the past few it said he was free to wrap. The trend is alive and well, according years the market for wraps has exploded. For anyone running a vehicle paint facility, to Jonathan Glen, owner of Canawrap it might make sense to ask: Is this a service I Imaging. He notes wraps are becoming ubiquitous in the aftermarket auto sector. need to offer? Those who offer the service can charge between $3,000 and $5,000 a job, so there can be money in offering wraps. Last year vinyl wraps grabbed a lot of attention when fabulously successful andfamous-amongmillennials Toronto DJ and producer Deamau5 had a Ferrari 458 wrapped in a baby blue vinyl featuring a cartoon cat that looked a bit like the famous Ferrari stallion logo. Deadmau5, real name Joel Zimmerman, A Mustang with a matte wrap. called the car the Purrari, and Photo courtesy of Canawrap Imaging. whenever he took it out photos began appearing immediately on social media. A Toronto company called Sekanskin did the wrap. But eventually “Over the last couple of years it’s become Ferrari headquarters got a whiff of what mainstream. You cannot go through was going on and sent Zimmerman a Motorama without seeing wrapped cease-and-desist letter. The Italian car vehicles. The wrap community is growing. maker demanded he switch the car back It’s hugely popular,” says Glen. When asked about the skills necessary to to its original colour and design, which Zimmerman did, but not before sending get into this line of work, Glen emphasized out some snarky tweets. “Whatever. It’s the graphic design side of the business.

Toronto DJ Deadmau5’s “Purrari,” wrapped by Sekanskin. Photo courtesy Sekanskin.

The largest segment of his current revenue comes from local businesses that want a vehicle branded with their logo. Producing that wrap then is not just about getting the wrap on the car, but involves producing the graphic design that goes on the wrap, and that’s a special set of skills. “My Dad owned a sign company. I was raised in the graphics industry,” says Glen. “This industry definitely comes from a graphics side.” Having someone on staff, or at least working freelance, who can produce graphics is something anyone wanting to get into this segment will have to consider. Considering the number of graphic designers graduating each year from college, there is a lot of talent available in this area. Going on to describe the nature of the market, Glen notes the other big chunk of his business are car owners into pure customization. Many clients don’t need graphics. They just want a colour change. “The advertising wraps are the big part of the business. The colour change wraps are more seasonal. Once the sun starts coming out again and people are outside, people are getting these wraps to make the car look sexy,” says Glen. “In most cases it’s people who have got their tuner car and are customizing that, getting the rims, having the suspension done, that kind of thing.” JUNE 2016  COLLISION REPAIR  43


Three views of a Lexus wrapped by Canawrap Imaging. Owner Jonathan Glen notes that many wrap jobs will often require a graphic designer before the wrap is prepared and applied.

There are also sports teams that get this work done (team buses for universities are one example), and, of course, the latest trend, all those matte finishes that seem to have become the look of the moment. “There are a lot of those. They’ve become really popular,” says Glen. His company also does something called “chrome deletes,” which is when the owner of a vehicle covers all of the chrome accessories on a car in a vinyl wrap that matches the body colour. This has become a very popular look on expensive, highend cars of late. Of course, the market continues to evolve. There are newer wraps coming out now that have chrome and textured finishes, and so expect to see those in the months to come. “There are several different avenues now,” says Glen. The choice of colours has also expanded greatly over the last couple of years. Another possible market niche, espcially for shops in more rural areas, are camouflage wraps that are popular on off-road vehicles and ATVs used by hunters. Typically those applying wraps are charging between $3,000 and $5,000 a job. But while the job may seem basic—clean the surface, apply the wrap, apply heat—there are many tips and techniques that need to be mastered and only come with experience. “I’ve been in the industry for a long time. It is definitely one of those industries where you get what you pay for,” says Glen. “Some people are new to this and I find there is often an underestimation of what it takes. You want to have someone walk away and think the vehicle was painted.” Typically, wraps stay on for about five years. “I tell people five to seven years. If you’re taking care of it, it will last that long,” says Glen. When the wrap comes off the paint still “looks fabulous,” he says. “You’re protecting the paint. These wraps are 100 percent designed to be removable. It’s a paint protection film. Warm it up, and take it off. The paint is gorgeous. There are no swirls, no pebbling,” says Glen. 44  COLLISION REPAIR  COLLISIONREPAIRMAG.COM

A couple of “rules of thumb” from those in the industry: Don’t wrap cars that are older than seven years and cheaper than $40,000. Only late model vehicles have the precise space between panels (and the correct placement of body panels) necessary to apply a wrap. On older vehicles the front of the car might be a single piece of an odd shape, and that’s going to be difficult to wrap. Modern vehicles are now typically uniform in the way body panels sit on the frame. These smaller panels can more easily be successfully wrapped. Rims, obviously, should never be wrapped as they are subject to too much stress, friction and debris. Changing the colour of the wheels to match a wrap requires they be powder coated or painted. Today, a couple of the main manufacturers, 3M among them, offer a two-day certification course on wraps. One source claims there are still less than ten certified wrap experts in the Greater Toronto Area. A quality colour change will take from eight to 25 hours depending on model. “A truck is going to take longer than a Mini Cooper, obviously,” says Glen. But if your business is one that has bays to repair and paint cars, this is something that can be done in a shop. It’ll take some time to get up to speed, but training is available and the process is relatively straight-forward. Did Ferrari make a marketing mistake in insisting Zimmerman give up the wrap on his Ferrari? Arguably. Wraps have become popular. Forcing the Toronto DJ to unwrap his car has turned one of the taste-makers of the millennial generation off of the brand. Nissan offered Zimmerman a replacement, even designing a digital look-alike Nissan GT-R and then tweeting the picture to the Deadmau5 account, saying, “Hey @deadmau5, heard what happened to your car. Good news? We found a replacement, ready right meow. #GTR” For his part, Zimmerman is reportedly replacing his naked and now plain-vanilla coloured Ferrari with either a McLaren 650S Spider or a Lamborghini.


Production meetings can be a benefit or a hindrance, depending on how they’re run.



any shops start each day with a production meeting. All technicians are present, and the production manager, the foreman, the shop manager, or even the owner, takes the lead. At some shops, estimators and parts persons are asked to participate as well. Prior to the meeting, a list of vehicles from the management system is printed or created manually. The group then reviews every vehicle on the list and discusses the status of the repair. Parts status and back orders are also included in the discussion. Depending on the size of the shop, this meeting can take 20 to 30 minutes. I wonder how many shop owners have taken the time to determine the actual costs of these meetings and the benefit to the participants and to the shop in general.

Let’s pretend that I manage Bob’s Collision. I have a production manager, ten flat-rate technicians and a parts person. I also like my estimator to participate in the meetings. The meetings take an average of 20 minutes because I usually have about 30 WIP vehicles (vehicles that are in the process of being worked on). My technicians average 150 percent efficiency. While all of the technicians are at this meeting, no vehicles are being worked on. This means that I am missing out on 300 minutes or five hours of potential revenue for each meeting that I hold. This adds up to 25 hours per week or about 105 hours in a typical month. At an average door rate of $70, this means that I am losing $350 per day in potential labour sales or $7350 per month. When I factor in parts and other


issues, the potential lost sales opportunity could be over $15,000 per month. Let’s be honest. In a flat-rate shop, does a technician really care what is going on with the vehicles their colleagues are working on? In my experience, the answer is no. Unless the particular vehicle they’re working on is being discussed, technicians tend to tune out everything else, wanting to be back in their stalls making money.

A Better Way

While I agree that communication is important, there might be a better way of updating the production list. One such solution is to make sure that the list is actually up to date on the shop’s management system. Many shops do not trust the data on their system because they


do not have the discipline to make sure that the vehicles are being moved on the management system as they pass through each repair process. If you do not have a management system, make sure that your production sheet or board is up to date by having someone walk around the shop, speak with the technicians and update the list in real time. If you cannot do this, ask the production manager to prepare a list of the WIP vehicles before he leaves each day. He should review this list with whoever is responsible for parts, and make notes on his list or put notes into the file for that repair order (RO) on the management system. The next morning, instead of holding a production meeting, the production manager could visit each technician at his stall and review just the vehicles that technician is responsible for. This should only take a few minutes per technician. The discussion should focus on the vehicles going out that day and the next day. There is little value in speaking about vehicles that are in the compound and

will not be coming into the shop in the next couple of days. Using this method saves time and focuses on the real needs of the individual technician. Some shops like to discuss other issues at these morning meetings, which tend to drag them out for even longer periods of time. Save these issues for monthly staff meetings. If you are having monthly staff meetings, keep them to 45 minutes and make sure that you provide the participants an opportunity to suggest topics and know the agenda ahead of time. If you are a Process Centered Environment (PCE) or lean shop, I recommend a different approach to production meetings, but I will save that discussion for another time. The important thing is that you take a close look at what your meetings are costing, and consider if there is a less time-consuming, less costly approach that you could be using. Bob DuBreuil has been employed with AkzoNobel for 22 years and was one of the developers of the company’s “lean” initiative, Process Centered Environment (PCE).

I wonder how many shop owners have taken the time to determine the actual costs of these meetings and the benefit to the participants and to the shop in general.



Cybersecurity A new era of connected cars means both danger and opportunity. By Jeff Sanford

Cybersecurity is a growing concern in the automotive aftermarket. The targets may be the vehicles themselves, or repairer or recycler data. John T. Ellis is the founder and Managing Director of Ellis & Associates. He offers a provocative look into the emerging world of digitally connected cars. Ellis is more than qualified to speak on the subject. He has worked as Global Technologist and Head of the Ford Developer Program with Ford Motor Company, where he was involved with the creation of SmartDeviceLink, an open source version of Ford’s AppLink technology. Ellis came to the auto sector after a period working at phone maker Motorola. He occupies an interesting niche in the industry at the point where autos, consumers, connectivity and software intersect. Today he runs his consulting firm and is the designer and lead instructor of the Connected Vehicle Professional certificate course. This makes him almost uniquely situated to talk about the issues arising as a result of ever more digitallyconnected vehicles. “I’m not a car guy; I’m a software guy and I work with cars,” he said. That is, he understands the trajectory for software as it involves vehicles. He went on to discuss four key events that occurred over the past year that will help determine the shape of how digital connectivity in the auto industry will work over the years to come. The first event was the Jeep hack. This incident involved two security researchers working for tech industry magazine Wired, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, demonstrating how it was possible to remotely access a car’s digital system and control the vehicle remotely. “They showed how an unmodified

vehicle could be hacked into, and began to mess with the car. From a remote location they changed the radio and turned on wipers. Then they shut the engine off on the freeway. “This unveiling of the security hole resulted in the fastest recall ever. Almost one and a half million vehicles were recalled within 72 hours,” said Ellis. “Chrysler is pissed at Chris and Charlie. They are still talking about taking legal action against them.” Ellis says this is the wrong approach. He notes that another car company is taking a more enlightened and intelligent approach to dealing with connected cars, highlighting his viewpoint with an anecdote about a less well-known incident at an important hacker convention known as Defcon. Two researchers at Defcon talked about a hack they had performed on a Tesla vehicle. According to Ellis, halfway through their address the two hackers stopped their presentation and invited an executive from Tesla onstage. The Tesla executive got up, addressed the crowd and told the assembled hackers that, “We’re hiring. If you think you can hack us, come and let us know.” As the executive was walking offstage he thanked Tesla owners and mentioned the vulnerability had been patched. It was the smart, intelligent approach to take in terms of dealing with hackable vehicles. Needless to say, of the two reactions, the “Tesla model is the model to follow. Chrysler is not the example,” says Ellis. The other incident in the past year that points to the newly emerging auto future is the so-called Diesel Gate incident. “What this pointed out to people was that cars will behave differently if something is done to the on-board diagnostics (OBD) system,” said Ellis. “No regulatory body has tested this, but we have cars on the road that could be behaving differently as


a result of changes to the OBD.” He points out that there are now insurance dongles that plug into the OBD. Companies are offering chiptuning services by modifying the OBD. “It has become a tool which it was never intended to be,” said Ellis. Another key event of the last year: In 2015 the US Library of Congress opened up the rules around patents. A digital activist organization, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, submitted briefs on the case backing the right of auto owners to hack and revise software on their vehicles. GM argued that the owner of the car does not own the software and supplied opposing briefs arguing that modifications by the “owner” of a car’s software was illegal. “The auto industry came hard and said, ‘No way. This should not be allowed,’” said Ellis. The argument was that the software is part of the safety system and the car owner does not own the right to change the software. But this fight over who has rights and access to the software on a car is an important one, according to Ellis. “This fight is not close to over. And it’s coming hard and fast,” he said. “Coalitions are popping up.” The other concern Ellis mentioned was the rise of something called “geo-coding” of auto parts. This is a way of digitally imprinting the part so that only an OEM approved replacement part can be used on the vehicle. “This has chilled the repair market and has limited the ability to get parts and put them in the car,” said Ellis. Given the history of the consumer sector in other industries (where replacement parts have been limited to OE sources only), “We have to be conscious of how this behaviour manifests itself. One day we’ll wake up and not own our car, or not have the right to change that software,” said Ellis.


Concerns over security in an age of connected cars continue to mount. A firm called Karamba Security has stepped up with an invention that blocks hacking attempts.

“Geo-coding will limit functionality to one brand. The OEMs want to make sure the part is original and is leading us to a world where you can no longer swap parts. You will only be able to get certain parts from certain suppliers. If we’re not careful we’ll be in a world so controlled by the OEMs (that) we have issues in terms of choice.” He goes back to the Chrysler hack. “There is an expansion of corporate powers around the Jeep hack, in that it was considered illegal and the people who did it are subject to prison for their work. Instead of recognizing these guys for their contribution to culture and helping to making cars safer, Chrysler would have them punished,” says Ellis. “Where do the solutions lie? How is this going to work?” It’s not quite clear yet according to Ellis. But there are big questions looming. “Technology is wonderful, but we need to be vigilant. We need to look at the consumer industry in terms of limiting choice and say we don’t want to go there,” said Ellis. Computer firm Intel recently established the Automotive Security Review Board, a group of cybersecurity experts that will test and audit systems and recommend solutions and standards for auto makers concerning connected vehicles. These standards and protocols will become even more important with the advent of autonomous cars and vehicle-to-vehicle communication, where each car communicates with others data such as speed, location and traffic congestion. The drive systems will need to be tied to a network, which opens the door for even further havoc from a malicious hacker. At least one company from outside

the OEMs has been working on this problem. Karamba Security, a start-up based in Israel, revealed in early April that it has developed a solution. Karamba has purpose-built an engine control unit (ECU) endpoint solution that the company says protects a car’s externally connected components, identifying attack attempts and blocking exploits from infiltrating the car’s

“Customers have been very excited about our ECU endpoint approach,” said Ami Dotan, CEO of Karamba Security. “By stopping attacks at the ECU, attackers can’t make it inside the car’s network, which means the car’s ongoing operations are safe. Our early warning and malware prevention capabilities allow car companies to provide drivers smart vehicles that will get them where

The founders of Karamba Security. From left: Ami Dotan, David Barzilai, Tal Ben-David and Assaf Harel.

network to ensure drivers’ safety. With Karamba, automotive companies can embed robust security detection and enforcement capabilities directly on the ECU to ensure only explicitly allowed code and applications can be loaded and run on the controller. Karamba blocks any foreign code, which means the controller is safe from attackers, regardless of how they entered (via the internet, USB drive, service port, etc.), with no false alarms.

they want to go, safely.” According to Dotan, the solution can be used to protect both new and existing car models. Automobile manufacturers can retrofit the cars on the road now, as part of the ECU software update, whenever the car comes into the dealer for regular maintenance. Whether or not OEMs will allow others, such as certified collision facilities, to install the solution remains to be seen. OCTOBER 2015  COLLISION REPAIR  51


Planning for Disruption Conference examines future impacts of autonomous vehicles By Dylan O’Hagan and Jeff Sanford


utonomous vehicles (AVs) will be on the market by 2020, according to CAVCOE Co-Founder and Executive Director Barrie Kirk. Kirk was one of the numerous speakers at the Automated Vehicles: Planning the Next Disruptive Technology conference. The event took place in Toronto and covered how AVs will affect data privacy, infrastructure and more. The potential that is looming for this technology to have disruptive effects was one of the themes of the event. “We hope this is a wake-up call. Governments need to begin thinking about this, dealing with it and reacting,” said Dr. Julia Markovich, Research Associate with the Conference Board of Canada, opening up the conference. She went on to note that AVs have been presented in one of two ways. One way is the “celebratory view” that is, as if this technology is going to create endless new benefits the likes of which we have not seen before. The other way that has been considered is that AVs are “inherently problematic” and will have many costs associated with their arrival. “Each of these approaches is misleading. Resist the temptation to view them as inherently bad or inherently good,” said Markovich. In the presentations that followed, it became clear that no one is really sure yet what to expect in terms of autonomous vehicles and their arrival. The unpredictability of the outcomes is no doubt driving interest in the subject. Markovich did say it is good that so many are beginning to address the issues around AVs before they arrive. In this way she said we can avoid “another ridesharing scenario” like Uber where a new technology arrived before anyone had to think about implementation and ended up creating real social havoc. “We don’t

Barrie Kirk of CAVCOE and Dr. Julia Markovich of the Conference Board of Canada at Automated Vehicles: Planning the Next Disruptive Technology conference.

want another situation where we don’t know what to do,” said Markovich. “This conference is an attempt to avoid having another ride-sharing scenario.” This seems smart. The potential for real social chaos as business models across the economy are upended is real with AVs. This was clear in the next presentation of the morning. Following Markovich was Barrie Kirk of the Canadian Automated Vehicle Centre of Excellence (CAVCOE). Collision Repair  magazine has talked with Kirk in the past, and he is always one to deliver some interesting ideas about the new and weird world of AVs. Kirk has spent his entire career on the leading edge of the technology business. His early work was in the telephone and data communications industries. Kirk said he is excited to help organizations get ready for autonomous vehicles and that’s the purpose of CAVCOE. During the conference, Kirk spoke specifically about the extent of the impact that AVs will have on consumers’ dayto-day lives as well as the impact on corporations. “We looked at where autonomous vehicles are today, the deployment plans of the next few years, and a look at the big picture, the business opportunities for technology and the impact on our lives,” he said. “Infrastructure, transit, transportation, the impact on our wallets, the impact on our cities, health care, policing, really a wide range of things.” He added that he believes AVs will have an impact of similar magnitude on our society as the original introduction of the automobile. “One of things I find really exciting about AVs is it touches so many parts of our lives,” said Kirk. “If you look back on the 20th century and think how much cars have changed our individual lives, our

cities, society and so on, and AVs in the 21st century will have an impact of similar magnitude.” An example Kirk provided was taxis and the company Uber Technologies. Uber is a multinational transportation network company that operates a mobile app allowing consumers with smart phones to ask for a ride from Uber drivers who use their own vehicles. Uber is already developing autonomous taxis to eliminate the need for drivers. The technology is disruptive to the taxi industry as many drivers can find themselves out of a job, he said. This applies to other transportation industries as well. In technology industries this may result in job creation however, so AVs will have both social benefits and negatives, he said. “It will be disruptive to many different industries. Transit and basically anybody who drives for living could be displaced,” he said. “There are business benefits but also the drivers could find themselves out of a job. Meanwhile there will be a lot of business opportunities especially for tech companies because AVs are far more technology intensive than the current generation of cars.” The conference featured over 20 different speakers, looking at autonomous vehicles from a number of angles. Jeff Walker is the Vice President, Public Affairs and Chief Strategy Officer for the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA). His session provided information on data privacy considerations. According to Walker, this isn’t an issue that’s exclusive to AVs, but will become an important consideration for every vehicle. “The data privacy consideration issues are not unique to AVs,” said Walker. “Over the last several years we’ve had more and more ability for vehicles to essentially collect, collate and transmit information JUNE 2016 COLLISION REPAIR  53


Canada’s first-ever conference on autonomous vehicles attracted a broad cross-section of representatives from industry, academia and government.

about a number of things going on in the car. The things you can actually measure in real time are rising exponentially. Now there are hundreds of things you can monitor about the car.” The concern is the lack of legislative framework regulating what information can be collected and what consumers will think, said Walker. He also noted that information collected can be sold to third-party organizations. The challenge is making consumers understand what information is collected and why. “We think there is a consumer rights issue that really has to do with vehicle technology in general,” said Walker. “That’s the issue and AVs take it to the next level. In the autonomous vehicle there is more information being captured and utilized by third-party organizations.” However, driverless vehicles are

supposed to decrease vehicle collisions and possibly save lives. The social benefit of safer roads may outweigh the negative of job displacement. Kirk said studies show that 93 percent of all traffic collisions in the US are caused by human error. He noted that the statistics are essentially the same in Canada and believes computers will be better drivers than humans. “We won’t be able to eliminate all collisions but I’m hopeful that we can eliminate 80 percent of the collisions, fatalities and injuries and that’s a huge social benefit,” he said. A decrease in collisions would have a big impact on the collision repair industry as well. Kirk was quick to point out that 80 percent fewer collisions would mean a roughly 80 percent decrease in business volume for collision repair facilities. Awareness and timing of when autonomous vehicles will hit the market is key for anyone who intends to stay in the collision repair industry. “I think you need to keep track of the timing here,” said Kirk. “I generally expect fully autonomous vehicles to start appearing in showrooms in 2020. It’s not something they should be worried about in this decade but they certainly should be concerned about it and planning for the 2020s.” Note that when Kirk says this, he is talking about fully autonomous vehicles.

One of Google’s self-driving cars. Fully autonomous vehicles have been a dream of many in the technology and auto sectors, but in the minds of the public, the vehicles are inextricably linked with the search engine company’s self-driving autos.


Their precursors are already available. “The first message is that the first generation of AVs is here now. You can go to showrooms and buy vehicles with semiautonomous functions like auto braking and lane change ability,” said Kirk. He went on to talk about a couple of projects in Europe where truly autonomous vehicles are already in use. “Some parts of the industry are going after low-hanging fruit. Automated busses are going into use at a French nuclear power plant. They have a fixed route and low speed. It’s a very controlled environment,” said Kirk. “But it is the use of truly automated vehicle technology.” Some other recent examples of the arrival of true AV technology are right here in Canada. Major oilsands company Suncor has announced it is buying 175 heavy haulers to work in the tarsands. “They have demonstrated computers are better drivers than humans. About 800 people are going to lose their jobs. That’s tragic, but that’s the world to come,” said Kirk.   Going on to make a prediction, Kirk said we’ll see the first fully autonomous vehicles in showrooms in 2020. “By 2025, AVs will make up a significant amount of miles travelled,” he said.   The adoption of these vehicles will be driven by safety concerns. “That’s the single biggest issue here, safety. My hope is we can save 80 percent of those injuries,” said Kirk.


“There is no such thing as a crashproof car. Seven percent of accidents will happen whether a computer or a human is driving,” - Barrie Kirk of CAVCOE. That said, he noted that there will still be accidents even with AVs. “There is no such thing as a crashproof car. Seven percent of accidents will happen whether a computer or a human is driving,” said Kirk. He notes that Google has been smart in making sure expectations around AVs are not set too high by saying there will be collisions and that there will be fatalities involving driverless cars in the future. “They are setting expectations where they should be,” said Kirk. “That’s good.” Kirk also predicted some big benefits from the adoption of AVs. “Full deployment of AVs would be a benefit of $65 billion year to the national GDP,” said Kirk. “The average family could save $3,000 a year.”   Urban areas would move away from being crowded, noisy environments in which each resident and visitor has their own private car, to one in which automated, connected and electric cars allow vehicle sharing and other less obtrusive means to mobility.   “This allows for mobility as a service, as a personalized mass transit option. We’re seeing a trend away from personal car ownership and a merging of regular taxi, car rental and transit business models,” said Kirk.   These shifts will have a huge impact on the private sector. “The insurance industry is waking up in a big way to the fact that their business model will be broken by about 2020,” said Kirk. “Those in the parking industry will feel changes as the self-driving taxis don’t need to sit downtown. They can go out of the core and park where it’s cheaper. Unfortunately there will be jobs lost. Anyone who is involved in driving a car, their job is at risk. Even police have to think about this when you consider that over fifty percent of interaction with the police is because of driving. If, as we assume, computers will be safer and drive strictly according to law, then we can see a need for a lot fewer traffic police.”  Kirk went on to talk about a discussion he had with a lawyer who specializes in collision litigation. “He was quite concerned about his business model. With fewer accidents there will be a lower need for litigation,” said Kirk.  We’re creeping closer and closer to fully autonomous vehicles. Consumers still

aren’t ready for them, however. A sponsor of the event, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), has published a report summing up the findings of a recent survey that outlines the mistrust consumers feel for these vehicles. According to data collected by the CAA, Canadians do not yet “trust” autonomous vehicles. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of Canadians say they would not trust a vehicle to drive itself while they are in it. Canadians also stated concerns about vehicle hacking and theft of data generated by the vehicle. Canadians surveyed also said they believe there are benefits to driverless cars in the future, such as improved accessibility for people with mobility issues and fewer road safety incidents due to reduced human error. More than half (57 percent) of Canadians say they think this technology will advance to a point where they would fully trust a driverless car in the next 10 years. As day two of the conference got underway, Paul Godsmark, Chief Technology Officer at the Canadian Automated Vehicles Center of Excellence (CAVCOE), suggested in his comments that some Canadians are going to be surprised how fast AVs emerge. Godsmark is an avowed AV supporter. He thinks a new economy is already emerging. He encouraged all Canadians to take note of the shifting trends as he outlined what might be called the “hard take” on AVs: the arrival of these cars will be a radically disruptive event. He believe this event is already underway and will happen faster than most people might think that it will. Godsmark had some fascinating ideas and predictions. According to Godsmark there is a tsunami hitting our modern car culture, and he draws comparisons between now and the start of the 20th century when automobiles displaced horses. “It’s happening fast. In just a decade, by 1913, the horses were gone from New York City and had been replaced by cars. A similar thing will happen with AVs,” said Godsmark. “We’re in the middle of a hockey-stick like growth curve. This is happening rapidly.” The new Tesla could have an autonomous mode downloaded to it soon, so in theory there could be hundreds of

thousands of AVs on the road within just a couple of years. The arrival of completely autonomous AVs, so-called Level Four and Five automation, will kickstart a whole new economy. “There is going to be a $10 trillion mobility market. This will affect two percent of the total market. We’re talking about four percentage points of GDP here,” said Godsmark. Godsmark also said AVs will be a unique, new consumer product in that they will be able to make money for the owner. Godsmark forsees a time when people will be able to rent out their AV for the 95 percent of the time it’s not being used. “Cars are the world’s most under-used asset. Currently they sit parked for the vast majority of the time,” he said. In the years ahead AVs will be able to be rented out to others as taxis. The AVs will drop someone at work, then go off to carry other people around. The demand for public transit will be decimated, according to Godsmark. A belief among hardcore AV supporters like Godsmark is that “the auto industry is the most disruptable business on earth.” He expects that as a result of AVs onethird fewer people could use transit. “AVs will offer point-to-point service, rather than fixed routes,” he said. That will be compelling for the average person. AVs will take over bus routes with low rates of use. “This is the first consumer product to exist like this,” said Godsmark. “This is going to be transformative.” Godsmark expects each AV to replace anywhere from two to 13 private vehicles. Families will get used to automated taxis and a seeming personal chauffeur for the family always on call. AVs won’t just transport people, but goods and services. Think about “sidewalk-friendly” AVs and what that could change in the way of food delivery alone. The AV fleets will be run by commercial entities, which could eventually begin to do road work as well, according to another conference goer. The current structure of municipal finance shifts in deeply fundamental ways. As fuel taxes drop because the cars are electric, governments could find themselves in trouble. There is a new and potentially dangerous world dawning. A constellation of tech JUNE 2016 COLLISION REPAIR  57


companies, OEMs, small tech start-ups, transit companies, taxi companies and ride sharing apps are coming together and beginning to form into so-called mobility providers. One attendee talked about a catalogue of mobility services being bought by the average person. It could include a certain number of hours of bike sharing, so many miles of transit access and then so many hours of share in a car. “I think there could be ten to twelve of these big mobility providers in the future,” said another panel member. GM recently opened up a new “mobility” centre and has bought up tech-based

ride share companies. Ford has already announced it is no longer a car company but a mobility provider. AVs are, according to the now remarkable levels of hype, the next new big thing. Godsmark went on to suggest that municipal and provincial governments do audits of major transportation projects. Godsmark highlighted a quote from the mayor of Los Angeles: “How do you spend billions on fixed rail when we might not own cars in this city in a decade, decade and a half.” Wrapping up his presentation, he was emphatic, “This technology is coming like a freight train,” said Godsmark.

“We hope this is a wake-up call. Governments need to begin thinking about this, dealing with it and reacting.” - Dr. Julia Markovich of the Conference Board of Canada.

Suncor has entered into an agreement with Komatsu to provide autonomous heavy haulers for its tarsands operations. These vehicles are large enough to make passenger cars look almost like toys in comparison.





The use of alternative materials in vehicles continues to grow. By Chris Gerics

Aluminum has been a high-end staple for years, such as in this Jaguar. The material is slowly but surely making its way into mid-market vehicles.


he transition from old to new is usually a struggle. For the automotive industry, change and advancement is inevitable, which is why materials such as carbon fibre, aluminum and various types of polymer are making their way into the production of new vehicles. Since the dawn of the automobile, steel has essentially ruled. This is partially due to the relative simplicity of its forging and malleability. The other primary advantages of steel are that it’s cheap and readily available, as well as yielding quite a bit of strength. Vice President of the Automotive Market at the Steel Market Development Institute, Dr. Jody Hall, believes that while newer materials are beginning to show their face, steel will continue to be the major factor in producing efficient vehicles. This is especially true of its various highstrength variants. These variants, such as HSLA and TRIP, are well-known to anyone

who makes their living in the collision repair industry. “Steel is such a valuable resource for the auto industry. It’s cheap, provides better overall value and is becoming more environmentally friendly,” says Hall. She also notes that with the implementation of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), the improved flexibility and strength allows it to replace an aluminum part, while also producing lower carbon emissions during its production than other materials. “Steel’s end life is fantastic, as it’s easy to recycle which allows for more productivity and efficiency when producing steel auto parts,” she says. “At the Steel Market Development Institute, we are committed to researching new ways to make more sustainable steel, as well as develop new grades for higher strength and efficiency, and the SMDI is always working to improve our facilities in order to create the highest quality product.”

In terms of steel being produced more efficiently, Hall pointed out that “it will take 31 million acres of forest to counter the pollution that is emitted by aluminum SUVs, so I don’t think alternative materials are worth it.” While steel is still a prominent force, aluminum has begun to slowly climb the ladder of material efficiency. High-end manufacturers have been using aluminum for years and we’re starting to see it make its way into mass-market vehicles. Aluminum provides a lightweight, strong and rust-free alternative to steel, although is typically more expensive to use. While companies such as Ford have begun to produce some mid-market vehicles with aluminum body panels (for example the 2016 F-150) the aluminum market is still largely a high-end affair. However, there is no guarantee that it will stay that way. Jim Dickson, Director of Global Automotive Strategy at aluminum producer JUNE 2016 COLLISION REPAIR  61


Composites are also finding their way into more vehicles, but generally at a slower rate.

Dr. Jody Hall of SMDI.

Rio Tinto, believes that aluminum will be close to, if not on the same level, as steel. “In view of the foregoing, we forecast that aluminum is going to play a very strategic and important role as OEMs develop and design their platforms for the future,” says Dickson. “Ducker (a marketing firm that specializes in research for industrial, automotive, energy and material industries) has forecast that by 2025 there will be, on average, 500 lbs. of aluminum used in light vehicles in North America. Some states, like California, would even like to see more aggressive

targets, and are promoting zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) as a way of achieving tighter environmental targets and we see that as being highly complementary for continued aluminum usage, and I believe that the best days of aluminum usage are ahead of us, not behind.” During an interview with Collision Repair magazine, Dickson also discussed the use of carbon fibre and polymers, and how we will likely see them used more frequently in the future. “The other material producers will not be satisfied to stay on the sidelines,” he said. In other


words, there’s money to be had in autos. Carbon fibre is widely used in racing, aeronautics and in some high-end vehicles. Manufacturers such as Ferrari and BMW have begun to use more carbon fibre in their cars, due to its incredible strength and lightness. The main barrier for more widespread adoption of carbon fibre remains its high cost of production. Carbon fibre is created by combining polyacrylontrile (PAN) with a petroleumbased pitch. The fibres are stretched out into a string of carbon and super-heated without oxygen. Oxygen needs to be


“Steel is such a valuable resource for the auto industry. It’s cheap, provides better overall value and is becoming more environmentally friendly.” - Dr. Jody Hall.

kept away during the heating process, as otherwise the fibres could burst into flame. The stretching and heating processes cause the carbon atoms to vibrate violently, expelling non-carbon atoms. This creats a chain of carbon atoms and a material of incredible strength. Zoltek, a company that has specialized in carbon fibre since 1988, believes that the future of carbon fibre in automotive is bright. Companies like Zoltek and ESE Carbon Company are striving to create affordable carbon fibre for use in automotive. “Auto production ... has continued to accelerate at an amazing pace. Light vehicle sales in 2015 were almost of record proportions, and 2016 looks equally promising,” says Dickson. “While other market sectors for aluminum, and other

commodity metals, are still recovering from the global financial crisis, auto sales are forecasted to remain fairly strong.” The argument over which materials are “better” will be fought for many years to come, as the steel, aluminum and carbon fibre manufacturers continue to put forth the case for their own materials, and car companies strive to make their vehicles lighter and more fuel-efficient while keeping the cost affordable for the consumer. It seems almost certain that your shop will see more aluminum and more advanced high-strength steel in the coming years. You may even start to see more structural carbon fibre come rolling off the assembly lines and making its way to your shop. The only uncertain part is just when the next material revolution will come.

Jim Dickson of aluminum producer Rio Tinto at a meeting of CCIF.



A Raspberry Pi, shown here, lies at the heart of the new paint monitoring system from Enviro Database Solutions. The Raspberry Pi is a simple computer designed to be cheap to produce.

Watchful Eye Two new inventions keep you updated on paint usage and filter life. By Jeff Sanford and Dylan O’Hagan


teve Ark first came into the industry way back in the 1970s. He started out painting custom cars, and he’s been working in the industry one way or another ever since. In his latest incarnation, he’s been working as a developer and inventor of a new device that helps collision repair facilities monitor paint use. As every shop owner knows, some years back the Ministry of the Environment stepped up efforts around the regulation and approval of the use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), prompting the switch to waterborne coatings. Once you’ve got your Certificate of Air, that’s when the paper game begins. Logbooks have to be maintained and produced upon request if a ministry inspector shows up. Keeping these books up-to-date is a time-intensive task. Time-stressed painters may only take a few seconds to quickly scribble down usage numbers on a piece of paper. Entering the data takes up time that could be used for more profitable endeavours. “Put it this way, in 1986 I only had to

fill out a one-page form and fill out the certificate. Now the average report is 90 to 100 pages. They’ve got a lot more restrictive,” says Steve. “I do a lot of environment administration and approval certification work. I began hearing from shop owners, ‘I need help keeping track of my paint usage.’ They’ve got to keep all those records. They’ve got reams of paper in a drawer. And then when the ministry comes in they have to go through all that. I wanted to develop something that allows them to do this more efficiently.” Recognizing an unfilled market niche, Steve got to work. He went into the garage, began reading books on how to code, and eventually came up with his device. “It was hours and hours of work,” he says. “At a summer BBQ when everyone else was having fun, I’d be the one sitting in the corner reading the textbook. It took me five years.” Using a computer language called Python, he developed software to run

on a Raspberry Pi computer and Enviro Database Solutions (EDS) was born. Steve is now selling a digital paint usage assistant. A sensor on the gun registers the amount of paint being used. The stats are uploaded to a cloud-based site. No more piles of paper scraps or dataentry labour time. When the MOE does an inspection and asks for your records, you simply go to the website, log in and hit print. All of the data from when the painter starts the job is stored. No more checking scribbled notes or trying to reconstruct the data from paint supplier invoices. One of the benefits is that this paint usage monitoring system updates in real-time. The feed can be sent to a smartphone, so the owner or manager can see how much material painters are using from anywhere in the world. “You can be sitting on a beach in Florida and watching how much paint your guy is using in the booth,” he says. There’s also the question of the painter’s time, productivity and morale. They didn’t JUNE 2016 COLLISION REPAIR  65


The new SureChange filter monitor alerts you either visually or through email when it’s time to change the filter on your spray booth.

get into the business to do paperwork. They want to paint. “It’s tough for painters. They’re running around with all these scraps of paper, dumping it on the manager’s desk at the end of the day. Then that gets passed off to someone. This eliminates that whole step. You are notified by email if you’ve gone over your limit,” he says. “The painters love being freed from paperwork. They weren’t hired to do all the tracking of usage. Painters were hired to paint. Let them do that.” The device can be installed on any paint booth or prep station and works with any spray gun. The data stream includes the time the painter pulled the gun trigger and for how long. The software keeps a log and totals this all up automatically, giving you a number in terms of total litres per hour used. “Owners will say to me, well, ‘My paint mixing scale does this.’ Oh really? Tell me how much actually went up the stack. This device tells you how much did,” he says. “Normally a painter would have to write down how much mix, time he started, time he finished. Does that cover for waste? That doesn’t cover that.” The system has been beta tested for over a year. It works on smart phones, laptops, tablets or a desktop PC. “You can run nine booths off one unit,” he says. It has already been installed at two facilities,


Highland Collision BSM and Carcone’s Auto Recycling. One of the most interesting details about the device itself is that the computer is a Raspberry Pi. For those who may not have heard, this is a revolutionary new computer that was designed to be durable, easy to use, small and inexpensive. It was designed so that kids anywhere in the world, even in developing nations, could acquire it and learn programming. “I was reading about it. I began to play around with it,” he says. The computer is tiny. It’s really just a motherboard with chips attached. It’s not even laptop or tablet size. “It’s really unobtrusive. You don’t have to lug another big computer into the shop. You just need an internet connection, which a lot of shops have for their scales,” says Steve. “Why not make it easier on yourself?” The second invention from Steve and his son Jerohmie is an air filter monitor for spray booths. The new product is designed to eliminate the question of when it’s time to change the filter. The SureChange filter monitor works by alerting you when it’s time to install a new filter. “Once that filter reaches its lifespan the buzzer will go off and the red light will come on indicating it needs to be changed,” says Jerohmie. “Now you don’t have to look at the filter and guess and throw away something that could have lasted another week.” Jerohmie says that in a series of tests, it was found that the device can help air filters last seven to 14 days longer than average. The price is $280, a relatively small incremental investment for something as big and as costly as the typical spray booth. “The equipment these days is running to $100,000 or more and that’s a big investment,” he says. “It’s the bread and butter of the body shop, and they should be keeping it in tip-top shape to get as many years out of it as they can.” Jerohmie says the original concept came from a similar invention he and his father originally designed for his home furnace. “My mom was sick of remembering if the furnace filter had been changed and constantly holding it up to the light, guessing if it was still good or not. I thought, ‘there has to be a better way,’” he says. “I started looking for something I could use that was compact, easy to install and accurate.” When an air filter unit needs to be changed it begins to clog and less air will flow into the spray booth. This can cause an uneven finish and lead to increased cost and lost productivity redoing the job. However, Jerohmie says it can also place strain on the system itself. “You’re using this system plugged and next thing you know your balance is off,” he said. “You’re putting strain on the motor and the fan because it’s still trying to draw in the same amount of air.” In addition to providing a visual indication of filter longevity, the SureChange monitoring system can be set up to alert you by email when it’s time to change the filter. For more information, please visit



Fraser River Paint & Body

Owner Franko Borri has seen a lot of changes over the years, but theres one thing that’s never changed.

The team from Fraser River Paint & Body. The business has grown significantly since it was founded five years ago.

is to start them from scratch and train them.” The “grow your own” method of developing technicians can work, if you have the time and people to train them. It should also be mentioned that Borri is a hands-on owner. When things get busy, he puts on the coveralls and gets dirty. Borri has seen a lot of changes over the years, but there’s at least one thing that hasn’t changed. “I’ve used Mitchell from day one,” he says. Borri says he has depended on the hard copy books for years, but he and his facility are now starting on a new journey. “We’re really getting going on RepairCenter,” he says, referring to Mitchell’s management program. “When I can use Mitchell, I do. We use Mitchell Estimating for every estimate we can. I find it gives me more accurate results and nothing is left out.”


o one will deny that growth is good for a business, but it still comes with challenges. Franko Borri opened Fraser River Paint & Body five years ago. Located in the community of New Westminster, British Columbia, the shop started out in a 7,000 sq. ft. space with a staff of six. Since then, it has grown enormously. Today, a total of 27 people work at the business, which occupies 26,000 sq. ft. spread over five buildings. Fraser River Paint & Body is actually comprised of three distinct operations: a commercial fleet shop, a car shop and a restoration shop, Roadhouse Paint & Body. Keeping everything organized and running smoothly has been a major task, but Borri and his team are up to the job. While Borri has been a shop owner for just five years, his experience in the industry goes back more than 40 years. Frankly, he’s seen it all. Today, he sees a challenge that impacts almost every shop across the country: there just aren’t enough qualified techs. “The industry as a whole is going to have a big problem,” he says. “There just aren’t skilled people to do the work. My solution

Attention to detail is always important. Mitchell’s estimating solution helps to ensure nothing is missed.

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Bruno Vendrasco and Carmen Abbinante stay organized with Mitchell’s FastPhoto.


runo Vendrasco is the manager of D&K Auto Body in Vancouver. The shop is owned by Carmen Abbinante. Just like Borri of Fraser River, he finds a lot to like about Mitchell Estimating. “I think the estimating system gives you more detail, and I find estimates much easier to do with the Mitchell system,” he says. “Overall, I really like how simple it is to update the system. When I come in to the shop in the morning, if it says ‘Update,’ then I click the button and it does it automatically. It saves a lot of time over the old disc system, plus we get the updates faster.” Vendrasco says D&K Auto Body has been using Mitchell’s estimating and management solutions for over three years. He says the TechAdvisor component of RepairCenter has been extremely valuable.

Bruno Vendrasco and Carmen Abbinante.

Mitchell gives us knowledge and the right measurements

“You know, on these new vehicles it’s almost like they like to hide the bolts! TechAdvisor saves us time hunting down the information we need.” The facility added Mitchell’s FastPhoto Manager software about a year ago. Vendrasco says this is another area where the Mitchell product has saved them time. “I can take pics of the vehicle and they automatically go to my computer. Each vehicle has its own number and the system keeps everything organized. Even a year from now, if I need to find something, I know exactly where it will be,” he says. The team at D&K Auto Body during the Mitchell Road Show.

For more information on Mitchell, please visit

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Steven Hudey, National Welding Qualification Coordinator for I-CAR.

Solid knowledge of repair techniques can only come with hands-on practice. That’s part of the reason behind I-CAR’s newest courses, Rivet Bonding (RVT01) and MIG Brazing (BRZ02). They are the first offerings in I-CAR’s new Hands-On Skill Development curriculum. Steven Hudey is the National Welding Qualification Coordinator for I-CAR. He stresses the importance of these new programs. “With the implementation of smaller classes, the instructor is able to give a detailed hands-on approach in regards to proper equipment use and maintenance,” says Hudey. “It isn’t just going through a manual or class, but by having hands-on training the workers will be better prepared to repair vehicles efficiently, and that can’t be done through a book.” The goal of these programs is to not only educate technicians on how to properly implement the training, but to educate them about the newest advancements in automotive technology. The two new courses are characterized by small class sizes and a relentless focus on practicing necessary techniques. Rivet Bonding will feature a maximum total of four people per course. Hudey says that if the classes were any larger, it would “take away from retaining the knowledge that is presented.” In short, rivet bonding is the process of fastening two metals together with structural adhesive, creating a stronger join than with just rivets alone. The group will have an aluminum frame to work on, with a variety of rivets. The overall goal of the course is to not only properly

train technicians in the technique, but educate them as to why these courses are important. “Repair techs need to learn how to keep up with technology and this hands-on training allows them to hone their skills,” Hudey says. MIG brazing is a big advantage when it comes to high-strength steel, as the low temperature doesn’t cause damage to the steel’s structure. The MIG Brazing course from I-CAR will hold a total of two to three techs per welder. The relatively low number of techs per welder is so they all have a chance to practice the techniques. “Normally a shop has one welder, although if they do have a second welder they would be able to bring in another two or three techs to practice.


The techs will be completing four welds in two different positions, along with coaching from an instructor while also teaching new techniques,” Hudey says. The new courses began in April with Winnipeg, Vancouver Island, and North Bay being the first regions to run the course. Andrew Shepherd, Executive Director of I-CAR Canada, spoke to Collision Repair magazine regarding the importance of these training programs. “The normal training set is eight hours a year, but that is woefully low,” says Shepherd. “Training for shops is the absolute priority, so we are trying to increase the annual amount of hours these techs are being trained. If the customer knows their car is being repaired efficiently, properly and with correct training they will feel a lot more at ease with the process.”

SATA and Uni-Select Team Up for Refinish Application Training

Hands-on spray training.

With a master painter as part of the team, SATA and Uni-Select Canada recently teamed up to offer spray paint gun training and expertise across the country. The training was offered in major cities across Canada including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Montreal, Ottawa and the Greater Toronto Area. Recently, the training was offered both in Etobicoke at the AkzoNobel training centre and in Mississauga at the PPG training centre.

“What sets this training apart was having Andy Engenhardt here, a master painter from Germany,” says Brad Lengsfeld, SATA Canada Business Development Manager. “Not only does he have experience as a painter on a shop level, he also has his Master’s degree in painting, which covers the chemical side of paint. With his expertise and thorough understanding he was able to answer even the most technical questions.”


The importance of proper air quality and proper filtration were covered in the classroom. Most of the training, however, took place in an actual spray booth. In the spray booth, Engenhardt discussed gun set up, fan pattern adjustments and other topics. While there was a classroom portion, the training was mostly hands on according to Nicole Constantineau, Sales Representative for Uni-Select. “It’s absolutely hands-on. They spent maybe 40 minutes in theory in the class

and the rest was hands-on in the spray booths,” says Constantineau. “They showed the importance of spray patterns, gun adjustment and volume of air.” Painters, salespeople and technical representatives attend these training sessions and can walk away with much more information about paint spray guns and spray booths, according to Lengsfeld. “Many problems in painting can be traced back to air quality and a little education can save a lot of time and money. The training is detail oriented and provides examples of

how not to and how to properly spray paint a vehicle,” says Lengsfeld. Constantineau said that she hopes the people who attended left with a much greater understanding than when they began the training. “I hope they leave with the importance of the spray gun, the importance of the tool and the maintenance of it. As far as the shop is concerned the spray booth is their money maker. So the equipment related to that is very important,” says Constantineau.

PPG to Expand Training PPG has announced it will offer an expanded array of classes throughout 2016, with subjects ranging from basic and advanced product line training to custom painting techniques, business management, shop operations and customer service. Courses will be available in 16 PPG Business Development Centers in Canada and the US. Specific locations are being

upgraded with new equipment and remodeled to accommodate increased demand. PPG trainers will also travel to numerous vocational schools, PPG distributors and other PPG-affiliated locations across North America. “The refinish industry is everchanging—and changing faster than ever,” says Randy Cremeans, PPG’s Director of

Training. “Our classes have to reflect that. Technicians need to know how to work with the latest finishes; managers need to know the latest productivity processes and techniques. There’s also increased interest in custom and restoration work, and we’re covering that as well. Training is a large part of our investment in our customers; it’s an investment we’re happy to make.”

Ontario Technological Skills Competition to Move to Toronto for 2017 It looks like Waterloo’s loss will be Toronto’s gain. Skills Ontario has revealed that the Ontario Technological Skills Competition (OTSC) will move to the Toronto Congress Centre for the 2017 event. The competition currently takes place in Waterloo at RIM Park. The OTSC is Canada’s largest skilled trades and technology competition. Every year the competition draws 2,200 competitors and over 20,000 spectators and those numbers continue to grow each year. According to an official statement from Skills Ontario, the Toronto Congress Centre will provide an upgraded space that will allow every contest to be hosted under one roof, making the contests less weather-dependant. In addition, associated events such as the OTSC closing ceremony and Young Women’s Conference, which are currently hosted off-site in Waterloo, will now be hosted at the Toronto Congress Centre. The announcement was made at the Toronto Congress Centre by Skills Ontario Executive Director, Gail Smyth. “Ontario continues to experience a critical skills shortage and Skills Ontario is addressing this ongoing challenge through interactive, hands-on programs in addition to the OTSC,” said

Smyth. “We are thrilled to be moving the pride of Ontario to the Toronto Congress Centre, a facility that will help us heighten the awareness of the tremendous career opportunities in skilled trades and technologies to young people from across Ontario.” Toronto’s Deputy Mayor, Vincent Crisanti, was also present and provided remarks on the significance of the OTSC’s move to Toronto in 2017. “Skills Ontario is an essential organization that for the last 27 years has encouraged our youth to learn about and pursue exciting careers in the trade and technology sectors, while growing a competitive and skilled workforce in Ontario,” said Crisanti. “Having experienced firsthand a Skills Competition, I am excited that this event will be taking place in North Etobicoke, at the Toronto Congress Centre in 2017.” Qualifying competitions for the 2016 OTSC started April 16 at designated colleges across Ontario. The 27th annual Ontario Technological Skills Competition took place May 2 to 4, 2016, at RIM Park in Waterloo. The first event held at the Toronto Congress Centre will take place in 2017. JUNE 2016  COLLISION REPAIR  71


A view of the Exposition floor at NACE 2015. There’s a reason why NACE has the reputation for being North America’s largest collision repair event.

NACE Preview The latest technology and information will be on full display at NACE 2016. By Chris Gerics When NACE 2016 cruises into Anaheim, California this August, the automotive world will be there. NACE has a gigantic influence on the collision industry. Among the regular highlights are the educational opportunities such as the MSO Symposium and the Technology & Telematics Forum, the chance to network with industry thought leaders and key influencers and the exhibition itself, featuring a total of 134 exhibitors at time of publication. NACE is also an international event, offering repairers a rare chance to interact with fellow professionals from around the world. A total of 39 countries will be represented, with over 8,000 already confirmed to attend NACE and other Industry Week events. Many different vendors and exhibits showcase the entire spectrum of the collision repair industry and auto claims economy, with representatives from Collision Works, Euro Spray Technology, State Farm, and NAPA Auto Parts just to name a few. There are also numerous formal educational sessions. Of particular interest, I-CAR will premier two new training programs: Rivet Bonding and MIG Brazing, two rapidly advancing technologies that are changing the way the collision repair industry operates. Andrew Shepherd is the Executive Director of I-CAR Canada. In a recent

interview with Collision Repair magazine, Shepherd outlined I-CAR’s focus. “I-CAR focuses on three major trends: Hands-on training, more granularity within the repair industry, and a growing partnership with OEs,” said Shepherd. “Due to technical advancements, we need to keep up with the times. Customer retention is a vital piece of a successful repair shop.” One of the main events at NACE is the MSO Symposium. Now in its sixth year, the MSO Symposium is an extremely popular and exclusive event during NACE, drawing attendance from multi-shop operators throughout the collision repair industry. The MSO Symposium now incorporates a broader group of collision repair executives allowing it to be more inclusive of some of the best operators in the industry. The closed half-day program is limited to qualified multi-shop owners/ operators, owners or managers of large independent shops planning for growth or divestiture and insurance professionals. There are going to be a number of different panels including an industry update presented by Vincent Romans, Founding Principal and Managing Partner at The Romans Group. Romans will report on the growing consolidation of the MSOs in the US marketplace and will provide statistical information that illustrates their impact upon the collision repair industry.

That will be followed by the Insurer Panel from 1:30 to 3 p.m., where representatives from State Farm, Allstate and Progressive will discuss. This panel will also include 30 minutes of questions and answers from attendees. One of the major insurers, Allstate, is going to be represented at the insurer panel by Clint Marlow. Stressing the importance of the MSO Symposium to insurers, Marlow says, “Allstate sees great value in being connected—collaborating—with key stakeholders in the collision repair industry. We have a variety of approaches to staying

Make sure to stop by our booth at the show!





NACE is the place to premiere new technology, such as these virtual glasses debuted by Spanesi in 2015.

NACE draws together represenatives of every segment of the auto claims economy, making it a great place to network. connected and sharing information. One example is through our participation in industry events such as NACE and being on the MSO Insurer panel. I am really looking forward to it.” After a short break, the MSO Panel will begin. Included on the panel are Jake Nossaman, Collision Works; Jeff Middleton, Exhibition Automotive CARSTAR; Jim Keller, 1Collision; Darrell Amberson, LaMettry’s Collision; Jim West, CARSTAR Collision Care Centre; Twila Harris, Auto Art; and Rick Wood, Cooks Collision. The focus of the MSO Panel is how to attract qualified techs, retain them, and differentiate between themselves and the larger MSOs. Panelists will also share their thoughts on OEM certification and its future, as well as when the proper time is to increase the number of shops they own. Another popular event, the Technology and Telematics Forum, will return this year. Speakers will discuss the latest advancements in vehicle security, telematics technology and how the Internet is changing the modern automobile. More in-depth this year is a look at how shops can stay secure and the risks and prevention methods. Also 74  COLLISION REPAIR  COLLISIONREPAIRMAG.COM

on the list is a look at cybersecurity and its effects on the technology in vehicles. This forum promises to help manufacturers and industry professionals to get an inside look at the dangers of technology and also how to minimize the damage if a problem occurs. NACE 2016 runs from August 9 to 13 at the Anaheim Convention Center. For more information or to register for the event, please visit

There is also an assortment of attractions in the Anaheim area that are sure to entertain attendees including: • The Peterson Automotive Museum, where you can experience the best in automotive artistry, extravagant automobiles and industrial engineering California has to offer. • The Marconi Automotive Museum, a $30-million collection of exotic, high-performance and classic cars ooze with class and is sure to entice even the most jaded enthusiast. • Follow that up with a visit to one of the many beaches of Orange County including Laguna and Huntington, providing a varied selection of shops, restaurants and beach activities to keep you occupied. • Disneyland Resort and Theme Park is sure to offer memories that last a lifetime, and for those automotive fans be sure to check out the Cars Land area of Disney’s California Adventure which features the popular Radiator Springs Racers coaster and provides a racetrack and automobile themed atmosphere that’s sure to please. Various hotels are hosting

NACE is also a great place to learn about the latest repair techniques.

attendees for the event, including the Anaheim Marriot and the Desert Palms Hotels & Suites among many others. More information can also be found on the NACE Expo website.


For more information:

Eurotech Spray Products Ltd. 3636 Burnsland Rd SE Calgary, AB T2G 3Z2 800.884.7282

Distributor of SATA Products

New show highlights the danger of working on Highway 401 With the popularity of television shows such as Highway Thru Hell and Lizard Lick Towing, a new towing program has emerged with Heavy Rescue: 401, a reality show focused on Preferred Towing in Sarnia. The show will feature the difficult trials that tow operators encounter. The focus will be intense and allow viewers a glimpse into the difficulties faced by towing companies. Unlike Lizard Lick Towing, which focuses on the repossession of vehicles, the show follows its predecessor Highway Thru Hell in showcasing highway rescue and the dangers of working on the highway. Gary Vandenheuvel, owner of Preferred Towing and subject of the show, believes that the highway presents numerous challenges including cleanup, and highway shutdown which can cause a lot gridlock and frustration with drivers. “The big thing we have here is the volume of traffic,” he says. “It’s one of the busiest border crossings and it’s a big problem when that highway shuts down.” Beginning in January, cameras were filming the towing company seven days a week for three months and although initially bothersome, the cameras reportedly became part of the day-to-day operations. The business, which started 24 years ago with just a single

‘Heavy Rescue: 401’ follows the crew of Sarnia’s Preferred Towing as they deal with accidents and recoveries on Highway 401.

one-ton truck, has since grown to a fleet of 15 trucks, including a massive 65-ton rotator capable of lifting over 130,000 lbs. and used to clear car wrecks and haul massive vessels from Sarnia’s fabricating shops. The show will be produced by Great Pacific Television for the Discovery Channel. It was a time-consuming project, but Vandenheuvel believes this is an excellent opportunity for the business and the towing industry in general. “It’s really neat to be able to show the professional side of our industry. It brings Sarnia into the picture, and I am excited about that,” he says.

Tower takes province of New Brunswick to court A towing company in New Brunswick is taking the province to court over a law obligating towing companies to pay for impounded vehicles on a day-to-day basis. Loyalist Towing Company, operating in Saint John since the 1970s, has reportedly been paying tens of thousands of dollars to the province for fees racked up from impounded vehicles. With the provincial Motor Vehicles Act, towing companies can re-sell vehicles

that are impounded if they are assessed at a value of $500 or less. The province imposes a lien for fines and other costs on vehicles that are valued over that threshold, and the tow operator can sell the vehicle at a public auction if they aren’t paid after three months. Loyalist Towing has told local media that these vehicle can sometimes take upwards of a year to be sold at auction.

Mississauga approves additional towing and storage regulations The city council of Mississauga has approved additional regulations and procedures and creation of a subcommittee with the mission of improving consumer protection and safety for vehicle towing and storage. According to an official statement, the subcommittee is to review options to help eliminate chasing. The subcommittee will be formed of Mayor Bonnie Crombie; Ron Starr, Councillor Ward 6 and Towing Industry Advisory Committee Chair; Matt Mahoney, Councillor Ward 8 and Vice Chair of the Towing Industry Advisory Committee; Nando Iannicca,

Councillor Ward 7 and Carolyn Parrish, Councillor Ward 5. “We are looking at what is best for the consumer and taxpayer while ensuring safety, good governance, transparency and value for tax dollars,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “Consumer protection on this matter is important. At this time, we did not feel that operating our own pound was the best option for Mississauga. The options we are looking at would provide significant consumer protection and generate fewer complaints and risks against the city.”

For advertising inquiries, please contact Mike Davey at 905-549-0454 or AUGUST JUNE 2016  2013  COLLISION REPAIR  77

CONTENTS Recycling News....................79 - 82

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Highlights from the OARA Conference, Tire Take Back 2016, Grants in Gear program returns and much more.

OARA Conference highlights role of auto recycling in a sustainable economy By Jeff Sanford and Mike Davey


Amber Kendrick was the keynote speaker for the 2016 OARA Conference. She presented a number of different sessions over the run of the Conference, including a special ‘Sales School‘ session on Sunday.

The Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association (OARA) 2016 Conference and Trade Show is the single largest auto recycling event in Canada, drawing attendees and presenters from well outside of Ontario. The conference took place at the Markham Suites Conference Centre. The event was a great success with recyclers taking in a series of informative seminars that provided attendees with a map of current issues in the industry and a wealth of tips on how to improve profits. Steve Fletcher, Executive Director of OARA, delivered the opening remarks before welcoming Glen Murray to the podium. Murray is Ontario’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Automotive recycling is both a vital part of the economy and an environmental

necessity. It’s relatively rare that these facts are acknowledged, but that is precisely what Minister Murray did. He noted that the Ontario government is moving ahead with legislation designed to encourage the creation of a circular, sustainable economy, and how recyclers are a huge part of that. Jennifer Court of Scout Environmental was next to the stage, discussing various projects involving automotive recyclers and Scout Environmental. Court updated the attendees on Switch Out, Tundra Take Back and the Grants in Gear program. Switch Out is dedicated to managing mercury-containing switches and ABS sensor modules from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs). Participating recyclers have collected and properly disposed of over 475,000 mercury switches since the program began. Continued on page 80.

Discarded tires are unsightly, unhealthy and the materials can be recycled into numerous consumer products. The good news is that it’s time for Tire Take Back! Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association (OARA) and Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) have announced the seventh annual OARA Tire Take Back event to raise money for The Sunshine Foundation of Canada. To date, the campaign has raised over $940,000 for The Sunshine Foundation of Canada, helping to fulfill dreams for Sunshine Kids through the Individual Dreams and DreamLift programs. From May 24 to June 4, Ontario residents can drop off unlimited used tires for free at participating recyclers during business hours across the province. Every tire dropped off generates a donation to The Sunshine Foundation. Last year, another organization joined in to help out, and they’re back again this year. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is Canada’s largest voluntary farm organization, representing more than 37,000 farm families across Ontario. The OFA was instrumental in 2015 in encouraging their members to donate their used tires to the cause. The association has indicated it will again support Tire Take Back this year. So far, over 60 OARA member auto recyclers have signed on to help collect tires during the 2016 event. For more information, please visit JUNE 2016 COLLISION REPAIR 79

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OARA Conference ... continued from page 79.

Tundra Take Back depollutes and recycles ELVs found in Canada’s North. The program has run in several communities since 2014, with automotive recyclers volunteering time and energy to train local people in proper disposal methods. Next up was Mark Gamble, Executive Director of Team PRP, the largest group of independent automotive recyclers in North America. Gamble discussed how Team PRP was founded in 1998 by a group of recyclers who wanted to improve parts sales. “Their goal was to improve their ability to market recycled parts to insurers and repairers, by pooling high-quality, late-model inventory, and improving the efficiency of parts shipment to allow them to cover a wider distribution area,” said Gamble. By 2010, word had spread throughout the industry about the success of the Team PRP initiatives, resulting in a growth spurt for the organization that brought membership to over 75 recyclers. Today the organization has facilities all over the US, including Alaska. After a short coffee break, attending recyclers were treated to a presentation by Carolynne Champagne and Taylor Lindsay-Noel, speaking on behalf of the Sunshine Foundation. The Sunshine Foundation is a charitable organization supported by OARA fundraising efforts and volunteers. The next presentation, “Survival in a Down Market,” was delivered by Robert Counts of Counts Business Consulting. Counts is a wellrespected speaker in the automotive recycling industry. He took the opportunity at the 2016 OARA Conference to point out the benefits of failure, noting that “All trails that lead to success are littered with failure,” and “... most failures will not kill you.” According to Counts, failure can be valuable if you are adaptable. He said that adaptability implies an awareness that things change, and the willingness to make course corrections when needed. “You can dance around that pile of vehicles and pray to the sky, but $400 a ton steel is not coming back any time soon,” he said. Chris Budion of Hollander followed, presenting on “Taking the Hollander Interchange to the next level.” Budion’s presentation focused on improvements and changes Hollander is currently making to its system. Many of these improvements are actually consumer-


facing, but it is hoped it will have a positive impact on professional recyclers by improving parts sales. Amber Kendrick, the conference’s keynote speaker, gave the final presentation before lunch. Kendrick is the President of Pete’s Auto & Truck Parts in Sheldon, Michigan. This is her family’s business and she grew up working there. In the interim, however, she has served as the General Manager of several other yards. A Third-generation automotive recycler, her presentation largely focused on recruiting, hiring, motivation and retention. “Now, more than ever, our business depends on our people,” she said. Kendrick provided numerous tips and strategies recyclers could use in their own businesses when it comes to recruiting top-flight employees and motivating the staff already in the organization. Kendrick ended her presentation with a look at the next five to 10 years. Summing up, “Big yards are getting bigger,” she said. “Small yards are either going to get bigger or close.” The trade show opened after Kendrick’s presentation and stayed open until 8 p.m. that night. The trade show was followed by a charity casino and live auction in support of the OARA Scholarship Fund. Kicking off the event on Saturday morning was the keynote address from Mike Swift, President of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA). Swift also runs a company of his own, Swift’s Trails End Auto Recycling in Des Moines, Iowa. In his address Swift talked about the amazing changes in the industry since the days when his grandfather, if, “he made $100 for the day, he closed up and went home.” Today Swift is heavily engaged in Washington, helping to keep the industry from being “mowed over” by larger industrial forces on the legislative front. A perfect example is ARA’s ongoing push to have OEMs provide full VIN numbers to the recycling industry as a way of dealing with recalled parts. It is the last few numbers in the VIN system that give particulars about parts on a car. The first part of a VIN is public, but not the last few. “We should have those numbers made public and the data in our systems,” said Swift. “How else are we going to know if a part on that car is involved in a recall? Without that info how can we know what parts to keep off the shelf?”

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The issue seems an obvious one. But to this point OEMs have refused to give up that data, the innate corporate stance being to give up as little data as possible. According to Swift, however, this is no longer tenable. “OEs look at that data as something they

should keep private. But we need this, the customers need this,” said Swift. The ARA has also been in court on the Takata air bag issue. Swift noted the organization recently had a legal setback when courts ruled against the ARA. “We

did have a setback recently. But we’re not out of the game yet,” he said. Swift went on to acknowledge the challenge many recyclers are having in this current environment in which commodity prices are low. The price of scrap steel has plunged over the past year and a half, and that is squeezing the profits of many. “A lot of people are frustrated in this world. You’re wondering how you are going to make payroll,” says Swift. “I know how it is. We had to close one of our shops.” But he ended the address on a positive note. “I know how we’re treated so badly sometimes. But I believe in this industry. I fight for it every day,” he said. Following Swift on the podium was Amber Kendrick, the conference’s keynote. Her address Saturday morning was about the importance of adding alternative revenue streams to a recycler’s business plan. “You want to grow,” said Kendrick. Next on stage was Bill Cline from ACE/ MCI Commodities. His presentation, “More for Your Cores with a Managed Core Program,” provided an important tip for recyclers: Don’t leave your cores sitting in a bin for six months. Move them. Get them into the distribution chain as soon as possible. The basic message was that recyclers want to get their parts to the remanufacturer as soon as possible, before they commission a brand new part from China. “Move your cores as fast as possible,” said Cline. “If they don’t have your part to re-manufacture, they’ll just make it. Whether it’s us, or a competitor, just pick a partner and turn over your parts.” B e c k y B e r u b e of Un it e d C at a l y s t C or p or at i on w a s n e x t to t h e s t a ge, updating attendees on how to realize more profits from catalytic converters. Andrew MacDonald of Maritime Auto Parts closed out the Saturday morning session with a look at “Next Generation Auto Recycling.” The afternoon session was dedicated to the OARA Annual General Meeting and election of board members. An employee training session ran concurrently, presented by Amber Kendrick, with a focus on inventory control. Kendrick also ran a special “Sales School” session on Sunday, the final day of the 2016 OARA Conference. JUNE 2016  COLLISION REPAIR 


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RECYCLERS CALL FOR IMPORTATION BAN ON ASBESTOS BRAKE PADS The Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) is adding its voice in support of a call for federal policies to effectively eliminate the import and use of asbestos in Canada. In particular, asbestos brake pads carry health risks when it comes to recycling end-of-life vehicles. Every year approximately 1.6 million vehicles reach their end-of-life in Canada. These vehicles require proper end-of-life management including depollution, dismantling for parts salvage and metals recycling. Asbestos brake pads are not currently in use by any OEMs, but according to a statement from ARC, aftermarket brake pads are one of the largest categories of asbestos containing products imported into the country. In the last 10 years, Canada has imported more than $100 million in asbestos brake pads and linings. The Ontario Ministry of Environment and

Climate Change recently put into effect regulations requiring automotive recyclers to recycle ELVs to set environmental standards. These standards include the removal of asbestos brake pads prior to compaction of vehicle hulks. “For an auto recycler there is no way to know whether a brake pad contains asbestos or not,” says Steve Fletcher, Managing Director of ARC. “ In Ontario, every pad will need to be removed and where the recycler encounters an asbestos brake pad there is inevitably going to be some release of asbestos particulate into the air. This is an unacceptable and wholly unnecessary risk. Asbestos brake pads should simply not exist in Canada. We are calling for the federal Ministers of Health and Environment and Climate Change to act now.” For more information on ARC, please visit

Grants in Gear returns for 2016 Eight organizations across Canada have benef itted f rom the Grants in Gear program so far, and the next year will bring these benefits to even more organizations. The Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) has partnered with Scout Environmental to offer Grants in Gear for a t h i rd ye ar. T h e pro g r am w i l l provide funding worth up to $100,000 to Canadian environmental non-profit and entrepreneurial groups. Municipal/ regional governmental bodies are also eligible to apply for the first time. Grants in Gear provides funding to groups working to achieve measurable positive impact for the environment. ARC is

excited to extend this opportunity to more organizations whose projects seek tangible results in emissions reduction or pollution prevention in the transportation sector or auto recycling or reuse excellence. “We welcome eligible organizations of all sizes who seek to make a positive environmental impact on the automotive industry,” says Steve Fletcher, Managing Director of ARC. “This year, ARC will disburse up to four grants worth a maximum of $25,000 each with one grant being offered as an optional legacy grant. This will allow previous winners to apply for additional funding to increase the capacity of their existing program.”



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ONTOUR From shop to shop to shop, the message remained the same. By David Gold


ecently our team visited collision repairers big and small, MSOs and independents alike. We came unannounced and were overwhelmingly given the opportunity to speak with the shop owners, key managers, service writers and parts buyers in shop after shop. Our end game was pretty clear; we wanted to hear from those that utilize our products and gain insightful feedback so we can learn and improve our level of service to each and every shop that we visited. The reception we received was unexpected as we know that in the auto industry everyone is busy but it was clear from the start that the approach we took was well received. Collision repairers were genuinely pleased to hear from us and were glad we cared enough to visit. All repairers use recycled parts in varying degrees. Our job is to make sure the experience is positive. Having the opportunity to talk to repairers about our industry first hand was important. It was mutually acknowledged that we share more similarities than


we do differences. After a brief introduction about the auto recycling industry and the changes we are making to better serve our customers, we got into the thick of things and many great conversations ensued. The key message to parts providers is of course communication and fostering a relationship based on trust so that we do what we say we are going to do. That’s followed by service, service and service. The scrutiny that the collision shops are under was explained to us clearly. Repairing cars quicker is a key performance metric. Knowing the parts vendor is reliable has a large amount of influence in the decision making process. Timely delivery of our parts was followed by the quality of the parts that we deliver. Some repair shops were more willing than others to deal with an imperfection with the part because of the significant value recycled OEM parts have. The message was more one of “no surprises on delivery!” Hence, describing the particulars with the parts from the onset of the conversation is paramount. Then better decisions can be made

RECYCLING I during the part ordering process. As for the parts ordering procedures, it became clear that repairers like a single point of contact from their parts providers. Parts are purchased so often because of the relationship with the salesperson and the representative ordering the parts at the repair facility. Parts providers that can solve problems seamlessly by dealing with issues when they arise and ensuring that they make parts available for the repair more often than not is

Our job is to make the marketplace for recycled parts more seamless and the feedback we received will help us to accomplish that goal. Recyclers have never been more committed to delivering a quality part and our industry is adopting preparation standards to meet expectations. We understand repairers require clean parts, delivered as described. Our interests are aligned perfectly on that point. Some of the real benefits of the road trip were that we were afforded the opportunity to

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delivery driver, auto recyclers are pressing harder than ever to compliment the key performance indicators scorecard that is inherently entrenched in the make-up of collision repairers that complete insurance work. We understand that our customers want to be rated highly by their insurance partners and we want to do whatever we can to help you be successful. Ongoing collaboration between our industries will lead to a greater number of quality recycled parts on your ve-

COLLISION REPAIRERS WERE GENUINELY PLEASED TO HEAR FROM US AND WERE GLAD WE CARED ENOUGH TO VISIT. paramount. For recyclers, this is best accomplished by dealing with good affiliate partners who help fill orders and make the relationship better. Every repair facility understands the value that committed recyclers bring to the process. The decision making process on what replacement parts repairers will procure is often based on how easy it is to obtain parts.

clear up old misconceptions and even misunderstandings, some of which have festered for way too long. We solved problems together on the spot and that led to parts being ordered mid-conversation as well, which was important for both of us. From the top management to the

hicles and more repairs. This is great for all stakeholders. CRM David Gold of Standard Auto Wreckers is a founder of Fenix Parts and President for Canadian Operations. Canadian locations include Toronto, Port Hope and Ottawa. He can be reached at 416-286-8686 or via email to





3M..............................................7 AADCO Auto Parts...................80 ABC...........................................24 Akzo Nobel..................................4 ARSLAN Automotive.................64 Assured Automotive.................25 Automotive Recyclers...............81 Auto Quip Canada......................8 Axalta..............................29, OBC Bodyshop 911............................19 Canadian Hail Repair..................55 Carcone’s Auto Recycling........62 Cardinal Couriers......................17 Car-O-Liner.................................12 CAR-MS QRP.......................82,83 CARSTAR..................................32 Collision Solutions Network......52 Collision 360.............................49 Color Compass.........................26 D&E Distributers........................66 Dominion Sure Seal....................9 DV Air Systems.....................13,56 Eurotech Spray Products.........76 Eurovac......................................14 Fix Auto .....................................45 Global Finishing Solutions.......27 Global Refinishing Imports.......15 Garmat.......................................18 Hollander....................................72 Impact Auto Auctions...............84 Krown.........................................10 Martech Services.......................11 Mercedes-Benz........................22 Mitchell International............68,69 Monidex .....................................75 Monster Auto Wreckers.............80 MTB Transit Solutions...............21 NACE Expo................................35 Ontario College of Trades...............28 Peter Kwansy Inc......................67 Polyvance.................................60 PPG..........................................2,3 Prochillo Brothers......................16 Pro Spot International..............42 Sherwin-Williams.......................33 Spanesi......................................36 Stark Auto Sales.......................59 Steck Manufacturing.................20 Titanium.....................................63 Thorold Auto Parts...................85 Valspar.......................................87 Wedge........................................47 Wurth Canada............................31


Looking past the hype surroung self-driving cars. By Jeff Sanford


here is a brave new world d aw n i n g . O r s o s ay t h e soothsayers promoting automated vehicles (AVs). The new and trendy thinking about AVs was indulged in downtown Toronto recently as the first ever Canadian conference on AVs got underway. According to the AV acolytes the coming changes will be disruptive, radical and fast-acting. Brian Flemming, a

will fall apart. The almost 300,000 people who work in the liquid hydrocarbon fuels industry will be reduced as many of these cars will be electric. The sales and financing supply chain will be affected. A report on AVs suggests, “truck drivers, taxi drivers, bus drivers, autobody repair personnel, those selling auto insurance or adjusting claims, lawyers practising personal injury law relating to autos, traffic police, road safety pro-


HIT TOP SPEED LATELY. panelist and fellow of the Van Horne Institute, foresaw a world in which emerging technologies like quantum-computing, 3D printing, genetics, nanotech and artificial intelligence (AI) come together with advanced manufacturing techniques to create a Second Machine Age. This era will rival the changes that occurred during the industrial revolution and will see electric vehicle technology paired with digital technology to create advanced, automated vehicles that will roam city streets delivering passengers where they want to go, while allowing owners to “rent out” their car when not in use, generating revenue for the owner. There are some serious downsides to the AV world, among them the potential unemployment in many sectors. Almost two million people in Canada are employed in the auto sector. “Unfortunately there will be jobs lost. Anyone who is involved in driving a car, their job is at risk,” said one panelist. “If, as we assume, computers will be safer and drive strictly according to law then we can see a need for a lot fewer traffic police.” Dealerships won’t be necessary because the car will be able to drive right to your home from the factory after you order it online. Pooled insurance plans

fessionals, tow truck drivers, driving instructors, emergency room staff and trauma medical doctors, rehabilitation doctors and nurses, parking lot attendants and road building companies,” will all face disruption. Many of those in Toronto suggested 2020 as the year this new era will really take off. However, the Rand Corporation has issued a contrarian report suggesting that the arrival of AVs would be much later than the optimists predict. Governments will have an interest, so legislation is likely to slow their introduction. Plus, the global road system has to be mapped digitally and much more precisely. At least one expert says that will take more than a decade to do. According to the Rand report, AVs won’t really be a force on the road until 2050. Looking past the predictions of the most AV-besotted analysts there is no reason to worry auto insurance will collapse any time soon, but the hype around AVs has hit top speed lately. CRM Jeff Sanford is the Staff Writer for Collision Repair magazine. He can be reached at 905-370-0101 or at jeff@

Collision Repair Volume 15 Issue 3  
Collision Repair Volume 15 Issue 3