> SPECIAL FEATURE: A look back at Wilf Bedard's 37 years of service at MPI. Serving the Business of the Industry
GETTING APPRENTICESHIPS RIGHT Like a lot of things, it's location, location, location.
IT'S A BLITZ
WHAT HAPPENED IN VEGAS Sights and sounds from ASRW.
The impact of Ontario's safety push.
EXTREME SHOP MAKEOVER
Formula Honda doubles production without breaking the bank.
See 7 PAGE 4ore for m ils! deta
LEAN RULES For KINGSLEY LLOYD, the process is the product. Vol.8 No.6 I $4.95 Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40841632 86 John St. Thornhill ON L3T 1Y2
PPG in Nashville, the Super Mario Brothers of Saskatchewan and much, much more.
How sharks finish off a Barracuda.
For Chip Foose and Peter Klutt, there’s no room to hesitate when it comes to finishing off Peter’s powerful 1971 Barracuda. They’re going for a look that’s positively … killer. That’s why Chip and Peter chose BASF waterborne basecoat. Shop-proven, quick-drying and as smooth as solvent, BASF waterbornes deliver a durable shine while reducing basecoat VOCs by as much as 90 percent. And it sprays so fast … the ’cuda will never know what hit it. Call 1-800-825-3000 or visit basfrefinish.com today.
BASF waterborne. Naturally. FooseTM, Chip FooseTM, Foose DesignTM and the Chip Foose signature are registered trademarks of Foose Design Inc. and used with permission. © 2010 BASF Corporation
IN THIS ISSUE
YOUR ONLINE SOURCE Canada’s collision repair information resource. New articles and top news stories daily. Visit collisionrepairmag.com.
Issue 8 No. 6 January 2010
On The cover Lean Rules
Kingsley Lloyd doesn’t need a lot of space to get big results. by Megan Ng
Cover Photography by MARIA VASQUEZ
brigitte strachan is Collex Collision Experts’ front line for family friendliness.
t Manuel Paul (left) and Phil Panet (right) teamed up to double formula Honda’s capacity, all without stopping production.
Around the world See how Canada’s industry measures up internationally at collisionrepairmag.com
departments 04 Publisher’s Message Moving forward. by Darryl Simmons
20 ASRW 2009 The sights, sounds and excitement from of this year’s conference.
07 News Safety blitz results, industry expansion and much, much more.
14 Point Blank Game plan. by Sam Piercey
23 in with the new... Choosing the right place to train is key for apprentices.
16 Prairie view Super Mario Brothers. by Tom Bissonette
34 Afterburn in Nashville PPG’s MPV Conference gets repairers all fired up.
28 training Known unknowns. by Bill Davidge
36 A sustainable future Re-skilling the industry is essential for collision repair.
44 Recycling Team work. by David Gold
38 a season of giving The spirit was alive in the community this holiday season.
51 Who’s Driving Lean leadership. by Jay Perry
40 Investing in the Future A new shop for the new year at Lindsay Pontiac Buick GMC.
57 health and safety Machine guarding. by Larry Crangle
52 37 years of service CRM takes a fond look back at Wilf Bedard’s long career at MPI.
58 The Last Word Learning environment. by Joe Rayment
56 History Takes Flight Collision repair had a hand in preserving Canada’s aviation heritage.
HAVE YOUR SAY We welcome your comments on anything you see in Collision Repair magazine. Send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail (7725 Yonge St., Suite 3, Thornhill ON L3T 2C4). Please note that letters to the editor may be published and edited for clarity and length.
January 2010 collision Repair 03
MovingForward 2010 is going to be a great year for you!
A Darryl Simmons
t the risk of being labelled an eternal optimist, I truly believe these are good times to be in the collision repair business. Now, I didn’t say best time ever, because as anyone in the industry for more than the lifespan of a Lada knows, there were some amazing halcyon, glory years. According to the pundits and forecasters the world as we knew it was supposed to crash and burn as we watched. Well it sort of did, but there was a lot more smoke and mirrors than real fire and brimstone. Not to say the economic downturn didn’t impact the collision repair industry. But this is an industry that should capitalize. After all, when money’s tight,
who are in, the move was not only painless, but productive. You also can’t control the job market. Unemployment numbers are the highest they’ve been in recent history. But you can control your processes, your culture and your goals. You can control your marketing strategies to attract those discretionary buyers. New processes can improve your productivity and profits so you can pass on savings. You can control your transition to waterborne. By the way, for those who are waiting, I’d strongly suggest getting a move on. Manufacturers have a stopsell date mid-year and expect a huge increase in sales of solvent-based product. But once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Don’t spend time on things you can’t control. Take the time to take control. people tend to fix their cars rather than buy new. In times of high unemployment it should be easier to find employees. Moving forward, disregard the soothsayers and take a look at the things you can control and the things you can’t. You can’t control the economy. It tanked, that’s for sure. If you think you were hit hard, just imagine the insurers and how much they lost in investments. Its effect on your business was felt, but probably not overwhelming. After all, the number of accidents didn’t change. However, fewer people were fixing discretionary damage. Take a quick survey while you’re stopped at any traffic light and you’ll see plenty of scratches, dents and cracked taillights. You also can’t control legislation. Low-VOC mandates go into effect this year and all I can say is I hope you’re ready. Waterborne conversions are well underway and according to all those 04 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
You can control your hiring practices. If you need employees, work with your local Service Canada office. They can direct potential hires to you and inform you about hiring grants and subsidies. Since many job losses came from the auto industry, skills are easily transferred to the collision industry. You can control your corporate culture, the way you do your business. You can control your integrity Don’t spend time on things you can’t control. It results in neglecting things you can control and as a result, you feel like you’re totally out of control. Take the time to re-evaluate. Take the time to take control. CRM
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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.
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One painter. One tall order. No Problem. Speed up your operations and increase productivity with DuPont™ Cromax® Pro waterborne basecoat. With 1.5 coat coverage, wet-on-wet application and no flash time between coats, it’s easy to see why leading shops are making the switch to DuPont™ Cromax® Pro. And for even faster results, DuPont™ ColorNet® Color Proofing can give you great color matches before a single drop of paint is mixed. Just a few of the ways that DuPont Refinish can help you reach your operational goals today— while getting ahead of tomorrow’s environmental regulations. To learn more about increasing your productivity visit www.cromaxpro.dupont.com or speak with a DuPont Refinish waterborne conversion specialist at 1.800.668.6945, prompt 5.
Copyright © 2008 DuPont. The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont ™, ColorNet ®, and Cromax ® are trademarks or registered trademarks of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
3/16/09 8:37:41 AM
Why be anonymous when you can be visible? fixauto.com
TO JOIN THE NETWORK CALL 1.877.344.4349 Untitled-1 1
THE BODY SHOP NETWORK
6/16/09 12:00:10 PM
NEWS PPG Canada Puts a New Focus on Value-Added Programs The automotive refinish division of PPG Canada Inc announced changes to its marketing department designed to focus on the value-added programs and services offered to customers. Lianne Perissinotti joined the PPG Canada Refinish division as program manager, value-added programs. In her new role, Lianne will be responsible for the program management of PPG Canada value-added programs including CertifiedFirst, MVP and Platinum Distribution. She will coordinate customer program
processes and standard operating procedures. Additionally, she will work to strategically enhance and optimize the programs acting as a liaison with the North American business solutions team. Lianne brings over six years of experience in the collision industry with a national collision network. A graduate of McMaster University, her expertise lies in the areas of marketing, project management and customer service. Jennifer Rosiak-Wong has accepted the position of marketing manager, value-
added programs for PPG Canada. In this new function, Jennifer will be responsible for all marketing and communications initiatives for the refinish division of PPG Canada Inc. She will handle customer communications and media relations. Jennifer has worked for PPG Canada for the past two and a half years and brings a wealth of background and creativity to the position. Jennifer graduated from the University of Waterloo and Brock University with degrees in French and Teaching.
New Fix Auto Location for Southern Ontario Fix Auto has signed a new location: Fix Auto London North West. Located at 1867 Blue Heron Drive in London, Ontario, the facility has been in business at this location since 1995. The facility’s owner, Pat Schaffner, is no stranger to the industry, having more than 20 years of collision repair experience.
“I am very excited about joining the Fix Auto Network,” Schaffner said. “This transition will allow us to further grow and expand our business.” Schaffener’s dedication to providing only quality work and customer satisfaction has earned him a reputable and established name in the London community and the industry.
Director of operations for Fix Auto Ontario, Alberta and Atlantic Canada Mike Kaplaniak is pleased with the new addition. “Shops like Fix Auto London North West epitomize what Fix Auto is about,” Kaplaniak said. “Quality repairs and customer satisfaction are a serious priority for the Fix Auto network.”
AkzoNobel Eliminates Lead Compounds from Its Paints AkzoNobel Car Refinishes Americas has successfully eliminated the use of lead compounds from all its North American Car Refinishes paint brands including Sikkens, Lesonal, U-Tech and Wanda. This action follows the earlier adoption of lead free toner formulations, which the company has marketed for years. “AkzoNobel, as the world’s largest coatings company, in recent years has maintained a preemptive position on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for our many efforts to create more environmentally friendly products and practices,” noted Tim Loden director of marketing for AkzoNobel Car Refinishes Americas. “The effort to remove lead compounds from our products was a natural and appropriate step that is in keeping with our corporate aspirations.” AkzoNobel was an industry pioneer in the advancement of waterborne technology, which was a fore-runner to current environmental activities that are being pursued today. This latest technological accomplishment is one of many efforts that are being pursued by the corporation to provide more sustainable business answers to the markets where they operate. January 2010 collision Repair 07
NEWS DuPont Canada Launches New Marketing Program for Customers “Our Focus is Spray Booth Filters!”
Images courtesy of DuPont Performance Coatings.
• • • •
Pit Filters Ceiling Filters Door Filters Intake Filters
We stock ﬁlters for 100s of makes and models of spray booths! CALL FOR YOUR FILTER QUOTE!
www.servairﬁlters.com Call Toll Free: (866)
Keith Hayward “The Filter Guy” Cell: 416-801-5218
36 Armstrong Ave., Georgetown, ON L7G 4R9
08 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
DuPont Performance Coatings (DPC) has consolidated its value-added services under one integrated offering—DuPont Performance Services (DPS). Being rolled out in Canada through 2010, the program uses a personalized approach to improving profitability and productivity by helping customers drive more work to and through their repair centres. According to Mario Tremblay, DPC sales leader, this offering is an ever-evolving series of tools designed specifically for collision repair facilities. Shops will receive personalized service recommendations following a thorough needs analysis. DuPont Performance Services fall into five categories, all of which help collision repair facilities improve the way they promote and manage their business. Categories include: • Education: Formerly branded the SMART series, the new Performance Services Education series has been updated to incorporate lean principles and a guided discovery-learning model, facilitated by industry experts and DuPont Business Development Managers. • Consulting: Using an outcome-based consulting model, Performance Services Consulting consists of the DuPont’s experienced team of experts in TO and THRU work flow dynamics to help drive shop performance. • Performance Groups: DuPont will offer two levels of Performance Groups— local and national—to help customers
tap into the benefits of business benchmarking and networking opportunities with a focus on continuous improvement. • Tools: DPS tools, which can be used individually or as an integrated suite of tools, are designed to help shops improve the way they market and manage their business. Marketing tools, Operations SOPs and ProfitNet are some of the tools available in Canada today. • Performance Alliance: A nation-wide network of repair centres with a strong, consumer-facing web presence: the popular and widely promoted PA24.com web site that makes it easy for consumers to find a Performance Alliance member shop in their area. As a member of the Performance Alliance, an owner will be able to drive work to the shop by leveraging the power of the DuPont brand. They get access to a comprehensive suite of marketing tools they can use to promote their shops online, in print and on TV and radio. Heather Smirle, director of strategic planning, says while DuPont has offered similar services for many years, this collection of tools has been refreshed and streamlined to achieve a specific common goal: help collision repair facilities increase sales, reduce cycle time and improve profitability. Development of this offering will continue to evolve over the coming months. For more information please contact your DuPont Performance Coatings sales representative or visit PA24.com.
NEWS Assured Automotive on the Grow Assured Automotive recently announced the acquisition of two new facilities, one in Hamilton and one in Kitchener, Ontario. Assured Hamilton Mountain is located at 2179 Upper James Street and Assured Kitchener-Waterloo is located at 1295 Courtland Avenue East. “We are extremely excited with the addition of our Hamilton and Kitchener facilities,” said Tony Canade, president of Assured Automotive. “Our expansion into these markets is in keeping with Assured’s growth strategy and consistent with our commitment to better serve our insurance and dealer partners,” Canade added. Assured is an organization of corporately owned collision repair centres with 35 locations in the Greater Toronto and surrounding area.
Mike Spano (left) and Dan Krouse (right) from Assured Automotive Hamilton Mountain.
Emina Husic and Rob Faucher from Assured Automotive Kitchener-Waterloo.
Why Should I Convert My Body Shop To A Maaco? Maaco is ranked #1 in its category by Entrepreneur Magazine in its Franchise 500 List
Haldon Introduces Four Layer Booth Wrap Haldon Company recently introduced Booth Wrap 4x, a four-layer paint booth protection system that guards a spray booth’s interior from over spray and dust. The adhesive wrap can be applied in about two hours to a new or recently repainted booth. When the film becomes dirty you simply peel the top layer off to reveal the next, clean, layer of the wrap. The film can be applied by hand. Haldon also offers an applicator brush and dispenser to make the job easier. “We’ve been selling it as a single layer for ten years,” said Mark Hall as he demonstrated the product at Budds’ Collision.
CANADA HAS CHOSEN ITS BODY SHOP
Maaco has a Canada-wide 97.4% customer satisfaction rating [measured by CSI Complete]
Maaco receives 75% of its business through retail out-of-pocket customer pay
Mark Hall demonstrating Booth Wrap 4x in Budds’ spraybooth.
“At NACE we introduced a laminated film. So now you have a 3mm base layer with three 1.2mm layers on top of it.” According to Haldon, using the Booth Wrap 4x can reduce standard application downtime by 75 per cent.
Macco services more than 500,000 customers / year in North America [572 more customers / year per shop on average than a traditional body shop]
Maaco Canada average store volume = $1 Million PLUS Half of Maaco’s Canadian shops achieve average sales of over $1.4 million annually with a 12% average net profit
Canada Has Chosen Maaco,
Chip Foose and Peter Klutt Unveil Super-Powered Super Cuda
Now It’s Your Turn.
BASF Automotive Refinish Solutions hosted the unveiling of Dream Car Garage’s latest project at SEMA 2009. Show host Peter Klutt (right in photo) was on hand as well as legendary car designer and host of TLC’s Overhaulin’ Chip Foose (left), who designed the car’s look. The car, with a bright green finish courtesy of Foose Signature Colors, has since been clocked at 335 km/h.
today to learn how you can convert your body shop into a high-volume Maaco franchise.
january 2010 collision Repair 09
NEWS When the Government Comes Knocking... How the Ontario Ministry of Labour plans to dust off the dirt on the Collision Repair Industry. By J.C. Wen
427 Auto Collision~CSN owner Lorenzo D’Alessandro passed his recent safety inspection with flying colours.
10 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
On quieter days, a round trip across 427 Auto Collision~CSN’s 80,000 sq. ft. production floor takes about eight minutes on foot, and half that time using the shop’s buggy. But perhaps the longest anyone has ever spent travelling that distance came recently from an Ontario health and safety inspector, who took two hours to take in the sights and sounds of the western Toronto collision repair facility. His visit was a part of the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s latest crackdown on workplace safety violations in the province’s 800 collision repair shops. Along with the Ministry of the Environment and Canada Revenue Agency, the ministry began a tentative six-month inspection sweep to flush out the lurking hazards within the repair facilities. The inspections are an addition to the province’s Safe At Work Ontario blitz strategy, which hopes to reduce workplace
injuries and the costs of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. Before the sweep, the industry was kept in line by a sporadic red flag system in which shops were only inspected when they had too many reported incidents, or if their number came up in a lottery. While the ministry has yet to lock-in on the frequency of the inspections, it’s keeping a running tally of the 800 shops’ performance to consider carrying it out annually or bi-annually. In the case of 427 Auto Collision~CSN, one of the province’s first and largest facilities to undergo the new screening, the inspector liked everything he saw. He had no reason not to. Its open workspace was immersed in natural light. The air surrounding its paint shop is unobtrusive. And the expected whir of machinery was characteristically subdued in the contemporary shop—the work of a few unseen CO2 sensors, air filtration units and sound dampeners that insulated the shop walls. At the end of his walk, he came to the verdict: “a clean bill of health.” General manager Lorenzo D’Alessandro was ecstatic about the shop’s outstanding score, though it was mostly a foregone conclusion. From the get-go, he had spared no expense establishing the shop’s health and safety policies, manuals and training. The combined cost of implementing them was around $60,000—a relatively modest sum compared the half million that could be spent on retraining injured employees. Yet, despite the somewhat hefty startup expenses, D’Alessandro can already feel a favorable tide rolling in. “If the outcome is our work environment becoming better, as an industry we’ll be better off because the people that are going into the industry are used to smaller shops with dusty and grungy workplaces,” he said. “Think about it. Would you want your kids to work in that environment? “So in essence, by doing this, we are going to promote the business a little bit better.”
Not everyone is as gracious as D’Alessandro, however. One Ontario shop owner spent between three to five days in jail for turning the inspector away. Although lesser penalties are more common among the less proactive facilities, receiving an unsatisfactory review from the inspection still means receiving an “order” in which a shop is provided with a list of improvements to follow through on before scheduled deadlines. “We are proactive about safety, but not a lot of people are like that,” D’Alessandro said. “They need to be policed.” D’Alessandro also emphasized the importance of the inspections. “If the environment is not good, and the actual air quality is not good, the dusts and fumes and chemicals can go straight into the front office. So, even the customers are exposed it.” With numerous industrial materials and chemicals to be found in repair facilities, the air quality is constantly monitored for potential isocyanate-related poisoning in the lungs. Employers are also required to schedule bi-annual respiratory testing for each worker. On the production floor, the most apparent hazards lay in plain sight. Beyond having fire extinguishers, first-aid kits and eye wash stations handy, each worker is responsible for wearing the proper personal protective equipment in every workstation, including air masks, goggles and gloves. At a more detailed level, the inspections narrow in on the proper certification and testing of car hoists and jacks. Besides constantly being in a state of “accident-readiness,” it became mandatory for any shop with over 20 employees to form a joint health and safety committee in order to maintain the current policies and training. With the Ministry watching the entire industry, there’s little room for slack. D’Alessandro, for one, welcomes the extra policing. He finds it long overdue. Being meticulous about safety has long been second nature to the staff of 427 Auto Collision~CSN. “Is the blitz necessary? Yes,” he said without a second thought. “How frequent should it be? I wish it were once a year. It would be better if it were once a year.”
Did you know
Young workers are 24% more likely to be injured on the job than other groups. They’re particularly vulnerable in the first few days of employment.
january 2010 collision Repair 11
NEWS IBIS Raising the Standard for 2010 Symposium
The IBIS team has been hard at work developing the structure and content of the new-look 10th Anniversary International BodyshopIndustrySymposium—IBIS2010— which takes place in London June 9-11. As the only truly global forum bringing together all sides of the worldwide collision repair market, worth an estimated $175 billion, IBIS plays a vital role in developing lines of communication, creating constructive debate and providing the catalyst for positive change. The theme for IBIS 2010 is “Raising the Standard” and, from the opening session on Wednesday afternoon to the closing breakfast presentation on Friday morning, an impressive array of speakers and panelists will be interacting with the IBIS moderators and delegates. The 2010 Symposium will concentrate on two core subject areas. The first of these will be the broad issue of standards—where, why and how they fit into the collision repair industry. “Modern cars, like aircraft, are highly complex and manufactured to rigorous standards,” said IBIS moderator Quintin Cornforth in a release. “Indeed the technology built into mass-market passenger cars is now significantly more sophisticated than those of most light aircraft. The aircraft industry has, though, developed and
implemented powerful global standards for maintenance and repairs—I believe that IBIS can provide a springboard for the collision repair industry to develop a similarly robust and effective family of interlocking international industry standards.” The second issue the symposium will look at is the rapid growth in the size and number of collision repair networks and consolidators: what works and why, barriers and benefits, possible future developments and the implications for the various sector stakeholders, from consumers and insurers to the car makers, repairers and industry suppliers. “Attendance at IBIS is an absolute must for senior players committed to the future of the collision repair sector,” said IBIS chairman Chris Mann. “The IBIS mix of uniquely informed high level presentations, panel discussions and audience participation combined with its unrivalled networking opportunities ensures maximum value for all IBIS participants.” The IBIS 2010 delegate package costs £1,650 and includes two nights accommodation (Wednesday and Thursday). They also offer a partner package, based on shared accommodation, for £450. IBIS 2010 is sponsored by 3M, Audatex, DuPont, EMM and Thatcham. See ibisworldwide.com for more info.
New Year Brings New Cellphone Rules for BC Drivers
A NEW STAR IS BORN DESIGN MEETS PERFORMANCE
ANEST IWATA USA, Inc. www.anestiwata.com THE NORTH AMERICAN OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE SUPERNOVA WILL BE DURING THE 2009 SEMA SHOW NOVEMBER 3RD - 6TH
distributed by:ASET (AutomotiveSprayingEquipmentTechnologies) 800-628-5449
12 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
BC drivers now must abide by a new law that brings in a full ban on handheld phones and texting while driving. Starting New Year’s day, police began enforcing changes to the Motor Vehicle Act that meant drivers could only use hands-free cellphones and devices that require just one touch to activate. Fines began on February 1. After that date, when drivers are found talking on hand-held phones or using other electronic devices they will be subject to fines of $167. In addition, drivers caught texting or emailing will be subject to three penalty points. BC is the fifth province to institute such a ban. Obviously, the changes could impact collision rates in the provinces. To abide by the new law in BC, licensed drivers can use hands-free technology that is activated by a single touch to a button, or when it is safe to
do so, drivers can pull over to a legal parking place and stop their vehicle before they talk or text. New drivers in the graduated licensing program face a full ban on all cellphones and electronic devices, including ones that are hands-free. A recent report entitled “Teens and Distracted Driving” by Washington DCbased Pew Research found that of those teens 16 to 17 years of age who own a cellphone or text regularly, more than half have talked on a cellphone while driving, and one in three has texted while driving. Police, fire and ambulance personnel who may need to make calls in the performance of their duties as well motorists who need to call 911 are exempt from the legislation. The use of two-way radios for commercial or industrial vehicles is unaffected by the rules.
NEWS Atlantic Collision Group Goes Gold By Megan Ng
The entire Atlantic Collision Group (ACG) recently became certified as I-CAR Gold Class. “In keeping with our training philosophy and with the assistance of I-CAR Canadian field manager Joe Da Cunha, we opted to ensure our shops were all certified I-CAR Gold Class,” said John Barbosa, Parkway Atlantic Collision Centre manager. “This certification has proven to be the one that best suits the needs of the collision repair industry and ensures that all of our facilities are equipped with the training required to deliver the high standards of service deliverables that we demand.” ACG has been in business for over 40 years and has grown steadily. Currently, they have 15 auto collision centres and two recycling centres in Mississauga and surrounding areas. Their commitment to quality customer service and to utilizing the “best of breed” technologies has ensured that they can continue to be a leader in the industry. According to the company, their business model is tailored around a philosophy of continuous improvement, and up-to-date training for technicians and front-line staff. I-CAR, a not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to advancing the quality and safety of the collision repair industry worldwide by providing up-to-date research and training for professionals in the collision repair, recycling, glass and insurance industries. In January 2007, I-CAR streamlined their Gold and Platinum standards by creating a points system to help businesses monitor their capacity to achieve Gold and/or Platinum status. Gold Class professional businesses have the latest information on collision repair technology and each of its employees must have earned five tested points and are guaranteed to have been trained and approved by an I-CAR trainer. With a strong understanding of the industry and its demanding schedules, I-CAR offers businesses a wide array of options to earn their points and receive certification. Facilities can earn points through the following training services: I-CAR live (enhanced
The Atlantic Group Canada team holding their I-Car Gold Class certificates.
delivery), I-CAR online (self-study), I-CAR qualification tests (hands-on), virtual classroom (Internet), collision television (satellite) and industry training alliance providers. “It’s a very big achievement for a group or chain to go fully Gold Class certified,” said Joe Da Cunha. “A great deal of time and money is invested into certification so businesses must really want it for themselves and their customers. I-CAR is proud of the Atlantic Group, and we hope this will bring in more recognition to them and the Gold status from the consumer and insurance side.” It took almost a year to complete the required training to meet Gold Class requirements. Both I-CAR Canada and Atlantic Collision Group spent a great deal of time on careful planning, budgeting and scheduling to find the appropriate programs for ACG staff.
“We hosted many I-CAR programs at a few locations across the Greater Toronto Area to accommodate all of our 15 locations,” said Ivan Tolfa, Atlantic Collision Group president and CEO. “It was not an easy task. We even hosted programs on Saturdays to make it work.” The staff at the ACG recognize the needs and benefits of receiving the appropriate training and what it means for them as a sustainable, growing organization. For the future, they want to continue their investments in capital assets—both physical and human capital. “Our investment in training has bred tangible and intangible benefits to our organization,” Barbosa said. “We are proud of our accomplishments and hope that our investment in the I-CAR Gold Class certification will embellish our organization in the future.”
january 2010 collision Repair 13
POINT BLANK WITH PIERCEY
Setting your goals and watching your bottom line.
A Sam Piercey
s we begin a new year, I feel it’s time to take a look back at 2009 to try to get set for new goals in the year ahead. A lot of shops are having problems achieving and producing the numbers that are usually the norm in our industry today. Sales are down in some cases, and customers are not coming through the door as much to have their vehicles repaired. Unemployment is up, which means the last thing on a lot of people’s minds is fixing their cars. All you have to do is take a look around our parking lots and highways lately: there is no shortage of cars that are damaged and not being repaired. We need to look at what is coming down the road. Government legislation taking cell phones from our hands while on the road could mean fewer accidents as a result of inattentive driving. Winter is slow in coming,
Canada Parts Gross
Total Gross Profit
These numbers are approximates and are not written in stone. Your numbers depend on how you run your operation as well as your overhead expenses. I do know that if you can maintain a couple of points from low to highs and get your sales up, you can survive the hard times. Lots of shops and dealers have closed recently, which makes this an opportune time to try to gain new
This is an opportune time to try to gain new business. there is less traffic and trucks on the road, and on and on. There are a lot of factors that could make 2010 a challenging year. We need to pull in the reins and start to learn what is happening to our bottom line. We need to know our numbers, watch our overheads and, as I have said before, lean it out and control spending. Control your labour and take a serious look at your bottom line. Watch the pennies and dollars will add up. I would like to share some of the numbers from this year’s KPIs (key performance indicators). Examples are as follows for those who want to take a look:
Barrie Brampton Burlington (East) Burlington (West) Cambridge Carelton Place Chatham Clarksburg Fergus Guelph London Markham Mississauga Newmarket Niagara Falls North Bay Oakville Orangeville Orillia Oshawa Ottawa Ottawa Ottawa Owen Sound Parry Sound Pickering Port Colborne Port Hope Richmond Hill Sarnia Scarborough Simcoe St. Catharines St. Catharines Strathroy Sudbury Thornhill Thunder Bay Tilbury Toronto (Central) Toronto (North) Toronto (West) Trenton Uxbridge Walkerton Windsor (East) Windsor (West) Woodbridge
Zenetec Collision Centre Rutherford Collision Centre Cars Auto Collision City Automotive Golden Triangle Collision Vic Bennett Collision Chatham Kent Chrysler Blue Mountain Collision Hutten Collision Centre Golden Triangle Collision Jones’ Auto Body Fine Line Collision Centre Heartland B & B Collision Elliott’s Collision Service Maple Leaf Collision Centre City Centre Collision Automacs Collision Leggett’s Collision Industrial Park Collision Don Butt Auto Body Bemac Auto Body Capital Collision Turpin Collision Centre V.R. Collision Service Constable Auto Body Royal Auto Body Port Pontiac Buick GMC Lakeshore Auto Body Forest Hill North Auto Body St. Clair Auto Repair Howden Collision Simcoe Collision Centre Ed Learn Ford Glen Merritt Collision High Street Auto Body Imperial Collision Centre Bayview Steeles Auto Collision Mascarin Collision Centre Chatham Kent Collision Centre Martino Bros. Collision Grand Touring Collision Service 427 Auto Collision Autotrend Collision Precision Auto Refinishing Walkerton Collision Centre Emeryville Collision J & J Dominion Collision Hwy 27 Auto Collision
business. If you don’t belong to any 20 groups, try to join one so you can learn and see how other facilities are operating. Your paint companies can also hook you up if you can invest in the time. It provides a great payoff. You must really take a look at your estimates and estimators, and watch your additionals or supplements. This is time and money. I hope this shows how to watch your KPIs and have a better idea about them. CRM
Edmundston Fredericton Grand Falls Miramichi Moncton Saint John Woodstock
G & M Chev Olds Dana’s Collision Center Toner Pontiac Collision Center Sarkis Collision Center Champlain Auto Body Downey’s Collision Center Corey Ford Collision Centre
NOVA SCOTIA Antigonish Bridgewater Elmsdale Kentville Middleton New Glasgow River Bourgeois Sackville Truro Wallace Yarmouth
Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet Saunders Collision R/T Collision Center North’s Auto Body Bruce Collision Atlantic Car Choice Collision Brent’s Auto Body Keizer’s Collision Centre Blaikies Collision Centre Ian MacDonald Auto Body Hubert’s Collision Center
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND Sam Piercey is the co-owner of Budds' Collision Services in Oakville, ON. Sam is a long-time Coyote member and sits on many boards and committees. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Charlottetown Donagh Summerside
Gaudet’s Auto Body Bill Koughan Auto Body Century Auto Body
14 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
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SuperMarioBrothers We can learn a lot from Chris, Greg and Mike Mario.
By Tom Bissonette
n 1986, when I was just a young lad, I had the privilege of taking over the management of Parr Auto Body. Being relatively new to the business it soon became very obvious to me that I was in over my head and I needed help. I asked my friend and mentor, Koos Reineking, “Who do you know in this industry that has got a handle on things and would actually share some information with me?” That’s how I met the Mario brothers at Regina Auto Body (RAB). Chris, Greg and Mike took me under their wing and have been a constant source of information, encouragement and support ever since. They have been there not only for me but the
16 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
entire collision industry. Over the years these guys have served the industry in a number of executive and technical roles. Mike has been involved on the national level with CCIF and Skills Canada. Chris currently teaches body shop management classes for PPG’s MVP Training program and Greg was instrumental in helping form our provincial association—SAAR. Each of these guys has a unique skill set that complements the other two. It is astounding to see three brothers so different, yet so respectful of each other. I seldom see partners or even marriages that work as well together as this team does. It is a testament to their family values to see such harmony.
At a recent CCIF meeting Chris spoke about the history and ongoing journey of RAB. It is amazing to see that the thirdgeneration owners of this business are not only at the top of their game, but setting the pace for virtually everyone else. With the possible exception of Ken Friesen at Concours in Calgary, I do not know of another shop in Canada that has embraced “lean” principles and actually put them into action like the boys at RAB. Just when I think I have achieved success somewhat in the vicinity of where I think RAB is at, I find out that they have moved on to the next level! Their commitment to ongoing improvements in their processes is clinical.
PRAIRIE VIEW So, what’s my point? It is not any one “thing” that sets a shop apart, it is a combination of many “things” and a commitment to continual improvement that allows a business person to stay in the “creative” phase of building their business. This should be our mantra. This is what makes
talked about the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80-20 rule, which states that 80 per cent of the effects come from 20 per cent of the causes. Applying this concept to the collision industry we should see 20 per cent of the shops doing 80 per cent of the work volume.
they have been there not only for me but for the entire collision industry being in business fun. The opposite would be a business person who opts for staying in the “maintenance” phase, which is a recipe for a slow agonizing business death. I can just imagine that if every shop in this country took on an attitude of continual improvement we would revolutionize the collision industry in the next two to five years. Rich Altieri, one of PPG’s top MVP managers also spoke at the last CCIF. He
I want to thank the shops that stay in the maintenance phase—you make the job of being in the 20 per cent group that much easier. CRM
Tom Bissonnette is the owner/operator of Parr Auto Body, a collision repair facility located in Saskatoon, SK. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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january 2010 collision Repair 17
WOMEN OF THE INDUSTRY
The Front Line
Brigitte Strachan is Collex Collision Experts first line for family friendliness.
By J.C. Wen with files from Megan Ng
long the wall of one of the Collex Collision Expert’s offices hangs a sunny reminder that of a life that’s seldom without the presence of cars for Brigitte Strachan. It’s a picture from the late 80s of Brigitte posing with a blazing red Corvette. The picture has begun to fade, but amidst the faded photo is a smile that endured. Brigitte Strachan is Collex Collision Expert’s office manager and has been on top of office and production work since her promotion in 2005. The 12,000 sq. ft. facility is located in Brampton, Ontario and is co-owned by her father-in law, Bill, husband, Karl, and sister-in-law, Kathy Strachan. Although Brigitte’s career began in administration and sales for a telephone company, her passion for cars was always ingrained in her. Growing up, Brigitte’s father took her to snowmobile and Formula One races, and even a few dirt bike rallies. When she could walk, her dad taught her how to do tune-ups on cars, replace engines and change oil. He even taught her electrical work, which came in handy when she built a barn alongside dear ol’ dad. After having her daughter, Mercedes—a name that exemplifies Brigitte’s love of cars and symbolizes her German heritage—she continued to balance motherhood with her full-time job, helping out at Collex and taking care of her family’s four horses. When she came into Collex to assist with the facility’s transition to a new computer system, she fitted right in. She ended up staying on permanently.
Brigitte Strachan of Collex Collision Experts.
Her desk is occasionally swamped by paperwork, but Brigitte appreciates the company of her colleagues at Collex and the industry as a whole, which she considers “fantastic” to be in. “I love dealing with the people. I love going to the meetings, the conferences and the knowledge that everybody seems to be able to give you is great,” she said. She’s made a lot of connections, particularly through attending PPG’s Greenbelt training and MVP Round Table meetings. “I have tonnes of friends and colleagues out there that can give me all kinds of feedback if I have any questions or concerns.” When dealing with her customers, Brigitte takes the same helpful approach, doing her best to alleviate any of the anxieties that come in the aftermath of an accident. “They’ve gone through a traumatic experience,” she said. “A lot of people that come in here have never been in an accident before and they are very scared and unsure...but we try to make things as smooth as possible [and] do as much as we can for them.” Even if her customers are unfamiliar with the inner workings of a collision shop, she still takes the time to help them wipe away any misconceptions. “I think they should realize we are a professional business,” Brigitte said. “We have trained technicians. They know what they are doing. We need to repair things back to their pre-accident condition.” Collex’s family-operated friendliness remains an important piece of the facility’s strategy. They guarantee their work and strive for 100 per cent customer satisfaction. “That’s our biggest concern— making sure customers are satisfied,” Brigitte said. This year Brigitte is pleased to be completing her AMI accredited automotive manager degree. As for the future of Collex Collision Experts, Brigitte sees the company growing with renovations and with the support of industry organizations such as CertifiedFirst. She is confident her knowledge and passion for the industry will also continue to grow. “I’m in this for the long haul,” Brigitte said. “Customers always tell me it’s nice talking with me on the phone because I sound cheerful, and that’s just the way it is—I enjoy what I do.” CRM
Women’s Industry Network (WIN) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to encouraging, developing and cultivating opportunities to attract women to collision repair while recognizing excellence, promoting leadership, fostering a network among the women who are shaping the industry. Collision Repair magazine is pleased to announce that Brigitte Strachan, and every woman profiled in our Women of the Industry section, will receive a membership to WIN. For more information on WIN, please visit womensindustrynetwork.com.
18 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
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What happened in Vegas ...didn’t stay in Vegas. The tens of thousands of industry professionals who attended Automotive Service & Repair Week absorbed as much information as they could and then headed to the four corners of the globe to apply what they learned. Here’s a look at some of the sights from 2009’s events. See if you can spot someone you know.
20 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
utomotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW) 2009 was a huge success again this year. The week, which consisted of both the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) and the Congress of Automotive Repair & Service (CARS), drew a whopping 21,227 industry professionals this year. About 350 exhibitors filled the 130,000 sq. ft. space dedicated to ASRW in Las Vegas from November 4-7. The keynote at the opening general session came from Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III, who delivered a rousing keynote on the importance of safety and proper repair. The event, sponsored by DuPont Performance Coatings, was preceded by 2009 Chairmen Exchange. NACE 2009 chair Jerry Burns and CARS 2009 chair, Aaron Clements discussed the daily issues, challenges and opportunities industry professionals face
while running successful collision repair or mechanical facilities. Events stayed on a high note from there, giving attendees more opportunities to network and view new products than they could have possibly imagined. Highlights included seminars on understanding insurers needs and pressures (from John Sweigart and Josh Moore), getting the most out of recycled parts (from Shawn Collins and Eric Schulz), and tips from women owners of thriving shops (from Kim White), and how to make “green” profitable for your shop (from Carolyn Coquillette). If you couldn’t make it down to attend, or just couldn’t make it to all the events you were planning to, fear not: you can buy recordings of the seminars through the NACEexpo.com and CARSevent.com. NACE 2010 will take place October 10– 13, 2010. See you there! CRM
january2010 collision Repair 21
Fast Greens With Air-Dry Technology
Since switching to SherwinWilliams’ HP Process and the AWX waterborne basecoat system, we have finally realized the results we want. The HP process used with AWX is lean and green.
— Phil McNaul | Miller’s Collision Services Fort Erie, Ontario
Don’t putt around, it’s actually easy being green – just call 1-800-798-5872.
On the golf course, fast greens are hard. In the collision shop, being fast – while being green – is hard, too. So how do you speed up production while doing the right thing when it comes to the environment? With the new HP Process™ from Sherwin-Williams, now you can. Bill Gooder (Left) Paint Technician
Phil McNaul (Right) Collision Services Manager
The HP Process uses proprietary Air-Dry technology to remove the need for baking. It achieves a fast cure time at ambient (70-75°F) room temperatures, allowing for same-day repairs. In fact, its HPC15 Clearcoat can achieve a 15-minute cure that can be sanded, polished and even delivered to the customer. The HP Process not only benefits the environment by reducing a shop’s carbon footprint, but it impacts the bottom line by lowering energy costs and helping paint more cars, faster. The HP Process stands for higher productivity, higher performance, higher profits, a healthy planet – and especially a happy painter.
Chris Wood (left) and Leon’s Auto Body owner Boris Shmorgun (right).
In M with the New For an apprentice, choosing a facility to train in is one of the most important decisions you will make. One of the most difficult can be to finding some place new. By Chris Wood
y name is Chris Wood and I am a 26-year-old auto body and collision repairer. I love auto collision. I have recently fulfilled the requirements set by the government of Ontario to work as a journeyman in the field. I am writing this story because my journey getting to where I am now wasn’t ideal. I faced jealousy, lack of education and a lack of professionalism. When you have shop full of uneducated technicians and collision people who seem to think they know everything, it presents a huge problem for a young apprentice. This type of environment might mould the apprentice to accept these low standards and begin his learning in the wrong direction. Now here’s a thought: what if the apprentice is being educated away from the shop, bringing new procedures to the shop from organizations such as I-CAR, college or even other technicians who demand to do the job right the first time? Clearly, this is a great thing for the apprentice, but how are the older technicians going to react when a young apprentice is becoming a master collision technician and disagreeing with their set ways and procedures? In my experience, the only answer for these old dogs watching new tricks is to try to eliminate the apprentice and hold him back any chance they get. The situation spells major problems for the shop, which is when the office gets involved. The conflict in the shop continues to grow and the apprentice is now considered a threat because it’s not about the skills anymore—it’s about politics. All this conflict because the young apprentice has acquired skills from outside sources while the older technicians remained unchanged and jaded.
january 2010 collision Repair 23
Chris Woodâ€™s journey from apprentice to journeyman was rocky but, in the end, turned out for the best.
What does an apprentice gain and what does he loose in an environment like this? Nothing. He did the job right the first time around, but not thanks to anyone in the shop. If you want to be a professional, you have to want it and dedicate your time and efforts to this trade. If you canâ€™t, you may be in the wrong field. Without dedication and frequent and continuous education, you are not only holding yourself back, you may be holding those around you back as well. How many good technicians are there going to be in the future if we allow a lack of professionalism to take over the trade? So for all dedicated collision repair technicians out there, sometimes the
best way to advance your skills and career is to change your working environment. Repairing vehicles is extremely rewarding and if you do it properly, you may just find you enjoy the art of auto body and collision a lot more. If the shop you work at has the same unified outlook, it could be a very pleasant environment to work in. A collision repair facility needs to be an environment that structures its team on a daily basis. Being a young technician in Canada, you need to have someone to look up to who does what you do and does it the right way. This is all a part of a process where you get to find yourself as a technician and discover procedures that work best for you in order to complete jobs deserving of praise. Confidence is key for young technicians. As is encouraging them to keep trying their best. There may come a time where in order to find a shop that is equipped with the right management and helpful technicians willing to teach the right skills, you might have to find the courage to close up your toolbox and knock on another door. You never know how good it might be elsewhere until you try. Thatâ€™s what I had to do. I am currently employed at Leonâ€™s Auto Body Trim and Glass. When I left my previous shop, I was unaware that there was a collision repair facility in Toronto that had the qualifications and standards Iâ€™ve seen at Leonâ€™s. Theyâ€™re far superior to anything I could ever have anticipated. I am now a proud technician. Every day I leave the shop satisfied with my work. Itâ€™s not just a job or a pay cheque anymoreâ€”itâ€™s a feeling of achievement and success. CRM
*'(#56'56&4;+0)6+/'5T '0)+0''4'&6*'&8#0%'74'5;56'/612418+&'6*'#$51.76'(#56'56&4;+0) 6+/'5(14$16*9#6'4$140'#0&51.8'06g$#5'&2#+065T8#+.#$.'9+6*#0;0'9 2#+06$116*X14#5#4'641(+672)4#&'(14;174':+56+0)$116*T *'14+)+0#.#%%'.'4#6'&&4;+0)51.76+10X 10.;#8#+.#$.'(41/ X6*'914.& .'#&'45+02#+06$116*6'%*01.1);T
&8#0%'74' %%'.'4#6'&+4(.19;56'/ ;.1$#. +0+5*+0)1.76+105
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PROFILES OF SUCCESS
Lean Kingsley Lloyd is generating big results with small spaces.
By Megan Ng
Kingsley Lloyd inside the paint booth at Don Valley North Hyundai.
nyone who is in the collision repair industry knows that there is a rarely dull moment when it comes to organizing details, parts and equipment—and the job doesn’t get any easier when you have limited space. For Kingsley Lloyd, it’s all about making it work for the customer and using lean tactics to manage his elite team as one well-oiled machine. With over 48 years of experiences in the industry, a lot can be learned from the operations manager of Don Valley North Lexus Toyota and Hyundai’s collision repair centre in Toronto. Kingsley started his career in 1964 at Golden Mile Chevy as an apprentice bodyman. He’s been the operations manager of Don Valley North Lexus Toyota for nine years and about eight months ago he became the operations manager at Don Valley North Hyundai. In this time, he has earned himself a reputation as a master of strategic processes and a pioneer of lean practices before the term “lean production” was even coined. “We do about 30 estimates each day and push out about 60 cars each week regularly,” Kingsley said. “My goal is not lose one customer.” Some perks Don Valley North Lexus Toyota offers customers include free touch-ups, free installation of mirrors (purchased from anywhere) and free temporary repairs. The Customer-Retention Department addresses problems in as little as three days and have received a lot of positive feedback. 26 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
Aside from being able to generate such a large output for its size (only about 8,000 sq. ft. for the production area), Don Valley North Lexus Toyota is unique because they take care of everything in-house, brand specific to only Lexus and Toyota vehicles, boast a lifetime guarantee, and are gold certified by Toyota Canada—a feat that only a few shops have yet accomplished. Known for generating big results with small spaces, the Don Valley North Hyundai collision repair centre, which is half the size of Don Valley North Lexus Toyota at about 4, 000 sq. ft., came to be Kingsley’s new collision repair centre when he was having lunch with the vice-president two years ago. “He asked me how I would feel about managing two places. I said, ‘Well, I’ve never done two before.’ After being in the industry so long you have to know how to multi-task and come in with an open mind,” Kingsley said. “Before it was built, I mapped out where I wanted things to be built and played around with little cars to see how things would fit. This year we’re taking the Hyundai centre into third gear.” The Hyundai centre is now able to accept some of the overflow and write-offs from Lexus Toyota, but Kingsley is hoping to hire more staff and restructure the building to bring similarly prosperous results to what his first “baby,” Lexus Toyota, has had. For its part, Lexus Toyota continues to have an increase in sales every year under Kingsley’s leadership.
PROFILES OF SUCCESS
LEFT: Kingsley and his power office team at Don Valley North Lexus Toyota. From left to right: Vince Cesareo, Jacky Lam, Kingsley Lloyd, Dilika Perera, Ricky Leung. RIGHT: A glimpse at the 4,000 sq. ft. Don Valley North Hyundai collision repair centre.
“My goal is not lose one customer.” - Kingsley Lloyd “I think it’s a combination of his years of experience and his natural ability to strategize that has made Kingsley so successful,” said Peter DeGiuli, BASF regional manager. Don Valley North Lexus Toyota is one of the top buyers of BASF paints. With 2009 bringing a lot of businesses into financial turmoil, Kingsley and his team were able to rise above the circumstances and service over 2,700 vehicles last year. Using only 4.74 per cent for the cost of materials—which is below industry standards and averaging about $2,100 per work order—this limited size powerhouse raked in about $5.7 million dollars last year. Rather than using a prescribed management system, Kingsley structured simple procedures that his internationally diverse staff (they speak about a dozen languages to better serve customers) has learned to follow seamlessly. Using a colour-coated production board system and designated labels, the inner workings of Don Valley North are shared with all staff members so that everyone is aware of on-going production scheduling. Adhering to ISO guidelines is a must when processing daily release sheets, equipment maintenance and calibration. With a parking lot that holds only about 60 cars—about 25 of which are the staff ’s, the team must be on top everything. Bumpers and parts are always pre-painted to save time. “I never want to be out of anything. We get great support from upper management and the service departments. Our suppliers go the extra mile for us. We always have more supplies than we need,” Kingsley said. “What is interesting about Don Valley North is that they’re not as large as other facilities, but can generate a similar amount of sales,” said Don Teevens, Co-Auto Co-Operative Inc refinishing manager. “There is a low turnover rate, which says something about Kingsley as a person. He’s innovative with the way he manages—he’s got it down pat.” Kingsley is stern with deadlines and following ISO procedures, but he’s also an approachable and good-natured leader. He believes communication among staff and customers is key. In fact, some of the staff view Kingsley as a father figure. Each year, he spends hours reviewing each staff member’s work quality as part of the company’s Performance Evaluation Program. The staff is similarly given the opportunity to evaluate him through the Employee Satisfaction Survey, which is conducted anonymously by a third-party company. “When something important needs to be done, I’ll make sure I speak to each staff member personally,” Kingsley said. “By the end of this month, I want all training on lifts checks, isocyanate and WHMIS to be completed.” Employee reward programs and comment cards give Kingsley the opportunity to test-drive new ideas
from staff. It was the suggestion of one of his collision damage analysts, Vince Cesareo, who came up with the system of “estimator teams.” Collision damage analysts are designated two technicians, sharing the other technicians and the apprentice. This system ensures no over booking, improves cycle time and decreases the need for rental extensions over the allotted period. “We have to streamline to keep work flowing. Having a close-knit team that works together and knows what is needed from each other is necessary,” Kingsley said. “It’s like a well-orchestrated ballet in here.” Delegating assigned tasks and running strict routines helps maximize output and organize the day. The body technicians start work at 6am and the painters and preppers come in at 8am. Although some of the staff were initially reluctant to embrace Kingsley’s early scheduling, he says they’ve learned to see the positives in getting to leave earlier and completing tasks before customers arrive. Kingsley entrusts all managerial powers to the three collision damage analysts when it comes to handling customers and appraisals, which makes vehicles accountable to an estimator and decreases the need for him to personally assess each car. Vehicles are inspected by one quality-assurance foreman for consistency. With about 40 per cent of their annual business being repeat customers and rising sales year after year, the outlook looks promising in 2010 for Kingsley and his staff. Humbled and honoured to be where he is today, the limitations in size and resources have never hindered Kingsley’s big ambitions. “We’ve been Canada’s number one Toyota Lexus dealer since the brand came to Canada—in sales, parts, everything and we are extremely proud of that. We might not be the biggest shop in Canada, but we can be a small shop with the biggest output.” CRM
Don Valley North Lexus Toyota 391 John St., Thornhill, ON L3T 5W5 Systems Paint: BASF Waterborne Frame: 5 Car-O-Liners, Fast Rack Measuring: Car-O-Liner Estimating: Mitchell’s UltraMate
Don Valley North Hyundai 7537 Woodbine Ave., Markham, ON L3R 2W1
Staff Painters: 2 Preppers: 3 Paint/Prepper: 1 Clean-Up: 2 Body technicians: 8 Apprentice: 1
Staff Painter/Prepper: 1 Prepper/Clean-Up: 1 Body technicians: 3 Manager: 1
Quality-Assurance Foreman: 1 Administrative Assistant: 1 Collision Damage Analysts: 3 Parts Man: 1 Manager: 1 General Assistant: 1
JANUARY 2010 collision Repair 27
Photo illustration by Saarah Taherali
It’s important to know you don’t know everything, and keep trying to change that.
By Bill Davidge
have sat back or laid down with many books and magazines many a night. Sometimes they hit me in the face as I fall asleep and I still don’t feel I’ve learned enough. I do this always thinking that one day I am going to write something for a magazine. But reading articles from respected people like Sam Piercey, who have so much industry knowledge, makes me question what I may offer that can make a difference. Well, after further thought on my background and work experience, I think I am qualified to comment on just that: the constant reminders of my limited knowledge that come just when I think I’m getting a good handle on the industry. I have worked in many capacities in the industry, including training. I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by great people where I continue to learn daily. I have been to a couple of different types of training recently and continue to learn that there are many different classes out there that we continue to write off as “just another company teaching something I already know.” I am here to tell you we are not looking at the whole picture. We are overlooking opportunities to help us operate collision centres more efficiently, among many other things, with some training in areas we don’t think will help us. Let’s take for example my recent experience with training on unibody/frame repair. There I am sitting in class thinking I have done this before and I am familiar with the topic. I was confident for the first 20 minutes of a three-day class. That was until they passed out a quiz to measure our current knowledge on the topic. Results came back indicating my knowledge was just above that of a complete idiot. 28 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
This was the point where I sat up and, of course, said to myself “this guy has no clue what he is talking about, because I know this topic.” It wasn’t long after that I realized I’d better pay close attention here so that I can crush any of these wild theories he is going to throw at us. Needless to say, this was where the learning started, and it wasn’t the instructor learning my way of doing things. The third day, the instructor mentioned OEM information required for specifications as well as other information such as placement of foams that may be inside panels. We should be aware of this due to possibility of fires when welding or cutting. The light in my head came on. Yes, it did take until the third day, but nobody said I was quick! I realized that the repair information is needed not only to repair the vehicle properly but also for estimating purposes, repair planning, profitability, etc. There are many different types of foams available that shops don’t normally stock. They could hold up production (effect cycle time), or worse yet, not be installed at all. These types of materials are easily overlooked during the repairs when a tech simply installs it without documenting the procedure, which of course impacts profitability. Or we do catch it, resulting in the need for a supplement—again more touches on the file lead to costs for both insurers and shops. And it impacts insurance partner relations. Another lesson learned during training that is so important! And I didn’t even know I was there for estimate training! CRM Bill Davidge is a mediations and franchise systems specialist with CARSTAR Automotive Canada Inc. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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Waterborne. The right answers for the right time. The environmental benefits of reducing VOCs are obvious, but Spies Hecker can show you how to create the right conditions in your body shop to improve cycle times using waterborne technology. We can answer your questions about potential equipment, training and procedure needs. Contact us at 800.668.6945, prompt 5. Spies Hecker – productive refinish systems, innovative ideas.
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Our parts. Your service. One passion. Using Original BMW Parts can help you service and satisfy more BMW customers.To ﬁnd out how, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. ©2010 BMW Canada Inc. “BMW”, the BMW logo, BMW model designations and all other BMW related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and/or trademarks of BMW AG, used under licence.
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Shop Makeover By Darryl Simmons
How Formula Honda doubled production capability without breaking the bank
Phil Panet, Manuel Paul, Matt Gibson, Charlie Himeman by Formula Honda’s revamped spraybooth.
goal many mid-sized shop managers share was identical to Manuel Paul’s: how could he double production capability of his 5000 sq. ft. shop within a reasonable budget. “Getting from eight cars a week to 16 or 20 was the primary objective,” said Paul, collision repair shop manager for Formula Honda in Scarborough, Ontario. “Since we were going through our conversion to waterborne, we felt the timing was perfect.” Timing may have been right, but there was still the challenge of balancing budgets and working with existing space limitations. With several things fixed, such as budget and total space, there were several options: refit, re-do or build new. It was time for Paul to call the experts. Phil Panet of Flat Line Spraybooth Specialists of Markham, Ontario has been studying shop workflow for decades, long before “Lean” became such a popular word. He, along with Matt Gibson, met with Paul, surveyed the situation and went back to work on some drawings. “Working within tight parameters and a fixed budget is the challenge,” Panet said. “With unlimited resources and space anyone can fix a problem. Reality however, is different.” Panet’s first step was to map out a design flow. With only one route to enter and exit, cars were being shuffled around to make space and often had to be driven around the entire building to get from one area to the next. Each move was frustrating, time consuming and a burden on productivity. His solution was simple: knock down part of a concrete wall and create a connection from the main shop to the existing isolated prep area next door. “This was also an ideal location to build the new limited finishing workstation,” Panet said. To meet required code restrictions the area 32 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
was closed off with fireproof curtains, dedicated make-up air, filtered exhaust and fire suppression. While Panet was working on converting the existing prep station to a limited finishing workstation there was also the challenge of installing a new booth and, if that wasn’t enough, retrofitting the old booth to match. No problem. Except for the time constraints. Did I forget to mention this all had to be done in less than two months? And one other minor detail: all work was to be done while the shop was still in full (or as full as it could be) production. Still no problem, according to Panet and Gibson. “When constructing the new booth, we wanted to match it to the old one using new triple-hinged doors (made the outside match), but the trick was extending the old booth by two feet to match the length,” Panet said. “Finishing off the project was to accessorize all the equipment and work areas to complete the waterborne transition and make everything user-friendly and safe.” Not only was the finished result seamless, Manuel now got the added bonus of having a larger-than-normal paint mixing room in between, which makes his painters happy. “Manuel is definitely a great leader in terms of his foresight and business process management,” says Norm Angrove, senior manager of value-added programs for PPG Refinish. What makes a great leader is the ability to develop the strategy, but more importantly to have the ability to execute the strategy. “His vision is refreshing,” Angrove said. “It’s no wonder he’s so well respected by his peers and staff.” Another minor setback was the position of one of Formula’s four Car-O-Liner in-floor frame machines. Originally set perpendicular
Manuel Paul and Formula painter Waine Bruno.
to the workflow, it had to be reinstalled parallel to the booths for better workflow. Get those hammers and shovels out! Less than seven weeks after the initial meeting, Paul and his staff were enjoying the fruits of Flat Line Spraybooth Specialists’ design and execution. Cars now enter from the roll-up door to the south and can be set up in any of the four workstations (two per side) or straight back to the workstation area or paint booths. With a solid workflow in place Manuel is now doing double the work in less than double the time. “The bottleneck for us was at the booth stage. We needed the capability of two booths, but didn’t have the budget for them,” Paul
said. “Phil and his team evaluated our current equipment to see what could be salvaged and upgraded to complement what was needed new. The combination not only worked well, but kept the project under budget.” “We worked with what we had to maximize value,” Gibson said. “We needed to see what we could keep, what we could refit and update and then determine what we had to buy new to stay in budget. Working with a focused client helped make successful decisions.” Extreme makeover? Passed on all accounts! On time and on budget. CRM
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To celebrate the tenth anniversary IBIS 2010 comes to London, taking place on 9 - 11th June at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel.
IBIS brings together collision repair leaders and influencers from all sectors of the industry and around the world to discuss issues, exchange ideas and share information on a global stage.
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10/12/2009 14:09:35 JANUARY 2010 collision Repair 33
e l l i v h as
Left: Ken Friesen of Concours Collision, Calgary during Q&A time with the speakers. Top centre: Collision Repair magazine publisher Darryl Simmons and Grammy-award winner, Reba McEntire. Bottom centre: Nancy Ng, PPG Canada. Right: Derrick Ryan, Garland Auto Body.
PPG’s MPV Conference gets repairers all fired up.
By Darryl Simmons
ou’ll never hit your targets if you don’t keep an eye on the horizon as well. According to Jim “Murph” Murphy this same maxim rings the same truth for jet fighter pilots as well as collision repairers. In an intense presentation for over 225 participants at the most recent PPG MPV Conference held in Nashville, Tennessee, Murph cautioned to avoid task saturation at all costs by not letting one issue blind you to everything else that is going on. Founder and CEO of Afterburner Inc, Murphy drew from his experience as a former F-15 fighter pilot and from skills honed through experience in the military and business worlds. He shared his high-energy “Flawless Execution” methodology—born from fighter aviation and applied to the business world—helping owners and managers in the audience find ways execute the missioncritical initiatives within their businesses. Murphy said there are four steps in keeping an organization strategically consistent: planning, proper delivery of instructions, performance and evaluation. The most important step is the evaluation. After every mission he flew there would be a debriefing. To him, this is where the best lessons were learned and taught. Speakers also included Sam Hornish Jr, Penske driver of the PPG-sponsored No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger. As a threetime IndyCar Series champion, winner of the 2006 Indianapolis 34 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
500 and a current Penske Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, Sam gave an inside and backstage look at the challenges he faced and overcame. Norm Angrove, PPG’s senior manager value-added programs, spoke on increasing sales through marketing, branding and insurer relationships. But it wasn’t all work and no play. Downtown Nashville was only a stone’s throw away and there were several occasions for networking at the conference. One of the key highlights was a special guest visit from Reba McEntire, a personal friend of Randy Dewing, PPG’s senior business solutions manager. No, she wasn’t on stage or behind some velvet ropes flanked by publicity staff, she wandered the floor chatting up attendees as if she had a vested interest in making everyone feel right at home in her town. “We are constantly striving to build on our success with the Business Solutions Conferences,” says Angrove. CRM
Left to right: Norm Angrove, Sam Hornish Jr and Jim “Murph” Murphy.
Trusted. Timely. Relevant. The industry never stops. Visit these sites every day for the latest news. www.collisionrepairmag.com www.canadianautorecycler.ca www.waterworx.net www.bodyworx.com www.collisionrepairmag.com/training/directory
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january 2010 collision Repair 35
The key to a sustainable future. By Rod Enlow
ur planet is fragile. Issues of global warming and such aside, pollution of any kind is itself dangerous. Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that the automotive industry is, in the aggregate, the single largest polluter on our planet. It is certainly not a legacy that any of us are proud of, and yet is it something that we do too little about. We all know about our planet, we know about what is happening with our planet, and we know that how we’re treating it is unsustainable. As the largest aggregate polluter on the planet, what can we do as an industry to change those things? I became a student of environmental awareness and health and safety when I retired from the property and casualty industry after almost 36 years. What I’ve found out is that environmental compliance has an unfortunately low priority to many shop owners. Because it is a low priority to shop owners, it is also a low priority to the technicians who work in that shop. Another issue is that very often front-line technicians simply don’t have all the information they need to have in order to be compliant. If one tech receives training, he or she rarely passes it on to the next in line and the apprentices simply see the bad habits. The bad practices continue on, so new people in the industry also conclude that it is a low priority. Despite information they
What is CCAR GreenLink? CCAR, the Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair, was created in 1995 through a collective group of respected organizations such as ASA, ASE, I-CAR and ETI meeting with the US Environmental Protection Agency to discuss the possibility of finding a way to train the automotive industry on environmental issues. CCAR then became the Compliance Assistance Centre for the Environmental Information for the US EPA and has a free website that maintains over 3,000 documents. 36 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
might have already received to the contrary, they start to think that it must not be as dangerous as they thought it was, and the cycle continues. Simple common sense doesn’t necessarily apply to environmental hazards such as to toxic waste and other hazardous materials. You have to get sound technical knowledge about these things. That means knowing what they can do to your body. This includes what they can do short term, and, more importantly, what some of those hazards can do in the long term. When we’re talking about environmental hazards, it’s important to remember that we don’t know what it is that we don’t know. In other words, we can know the limits of our knowledge, but we will never know the limits of our ignorance. I served at a United States military installation during the Cold War in the Black Forest area, the Schwarzwald of Bavaria, which was then called West Germany. Great beer, as you have probably experienced, bratwurst and nuclear missiles. It was indeed the best and the worst of times. The reason I mention this is because I want to share a very profound but classic case of, “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Our missile technicians had to perform monthly maintenance on large telemetry cables that went out to the launcher stations at the missiles. Basically they had to disassemble these large cable heads so they could get at the gold contacts inside and clean them with solvents. The solvents were one of three approved types: trichloroethylene, trichloroethane or methyl ethyl ketone. The missile techs would take this solvent back to the cable heads, take a one inch paint brush, and simply clean the cable heads with the solvents. When they were done, procedure said they should take that used solvent back to the hazardous waste barrel and dispose of it. But it was warm in the Schwarzwald in July and many times the technicians would dispose of the solvent in an unapproved way. They simply took the one inch paint brush, put it in the can and painted their arms with the solvent because it became an excellent refrigerant.
GLOBAL VIEW When they waved their arms in the air, the rapid evaporation cooled their arms and they thought it was, as we say, cool. Little did they know, as we do now, that all three of those approved solvents are known carcinogens. I have tracked one of those technicians down through the years, as we remained friends after my discharge from the military. He did suffer melanoma on his right arm, and he is still with us today because he caught it in an early stage. Did what he did in the military cause that? We will never know. But it was a classic and profound case of you simply don’t know what you don’t know. In the case of shop personnel, they at least have usually had the benefit of training programs, and they have the benefit of personal protection and safety shoes. But when an appraiser or an engineer walks into a shop as part of their job, most of them do not come from the collision repair industry and therefore know little to nothing about what to do to protect themselves. I have an engineering background with the OE rather than a collision repair background. I also did not know about what I should do when I walked into a shop to do to a re-inspection or an appraisal. I’d walk by people cutting quarter panels off with panel cutters at 123 decibels, walked into prep areas where the solvents were heavy and high and so was I. And it is just things that we didn’t know and we just walked away thinking, well that is part of our job. It’s a shame, but I don’t know any old painters. In the days
when they started shooting with the isocyanate finishes, I saw painters in shops painting with a particle mask before we knew what we know now. There is in fact something we can do about this. Determine what training sources are available, and then make environmental education a priority in the near term. This will make it a better industry for all. It will be especially beneficial for our apprentices entering the industry for the first time. Once they see these topics are serious to you, that they are in fact a matter of life and death, they’ll see that they need to do these things. CRM
S/P2 S/P2 stands for “Safety and Pollution Prevention” and it refers to an e-learning program in safety and pollution prevention for auto repair, introduced in 2002 and now used in 4000+ facilities and 2000+ schools. CCAR develops online training, and the content is reviewed by industry and government. At present, three distinct versions exist: 1. Technical and service personnel 2. Collision repair personnel 3. Insurance appraisers, adjusters and re-inspection personnel
january 2010 collision Repair 37
A Generous End to the Year The spirit of giving was alive and well in the collision repair industry this holiday season. We were consistently blown away by the generosity demonstrated as facilities took the opportunity to give back to their communities and those in need.
Don Valley North Toyota and Lexus Don Valley North Toyota and Lexus held its annual toy and food drive again this year. Here’s the team just a few days before Christmas posing by the tree.
38 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
Lorenzo D’Alessandro (427 Collision~CSN) Lorenzo D’Alessandro made the cover of the Toronto Sun on December 20 for helping Vincent McCarthy get back on his feet after a string of bad luck. McCarthy, who’d lost his job and his home, had racked up $2,000 in fees after his van was towed. D’Alessandro helped McCarthy pay the fees and gave him a place to store his van until he had a place to put it.
AkzoNobel As part of the 11th annual AkzoNobel Acoat National Benevolence Program, collision centres across the United States and Canada shared the gift of transportation with 37 deserving families and members of their communities from December 8th through the 15th. Participating collision centres presented refurbished cars to deserving individuals or organizations during the holiday season. Participants in the program have given away more than 300 vehicles to date.
FEATURES Lots of Christmas Care in Chilliwack
Sherwin Williams, Renascent Fix Auto, Chilliwack Ford, Ideal Auto Wrecking, Simpson Automotive, BCAA, Canadian Direct Insurance and the Chilliwack Times all pitched in to give a single mom in Chilliwack, BC a refurbished car for Christmas. “It feels so awesome; I’m so happy,” she told the paper after being handed the keys.
Kent and Rhonda Berg from Norgate AB in Prince George, BC have been giving away vehicles for six years now to families in need. This year was extra special because they just moved from two different facilities to one in September.
CARS Auto Collision~CSN
Pro Body Parts Pro Body Parts got in the Christmas spirit this year—they raised about $7000 in nonperishable food items and unwrapped gifts for deserving families BC’s Lower Mainland. All together, they collected three tonnes of food for families in need in BC and Alberta.
CARS Auto Collision~CSN gave an early Christmas present to Woodview Children’s Centre during their annual “Heart of the Community” event, held December 16. They also put $1,220 to the cause. The donations went to help families in need for the holiday season.
To all those who gave this year, personally or as part of an organization, our hats are off to all of you. Thank you. Congratulations. Keep it up.
ENOUGH TO BE PROPERLY
TRAINED D EQUIPPED E NOT BECAUSE WE HAVE TO, BUT BECAUSE WE WANT TO.
TRAINING IS ESSENTIAL IN TODAY’S INDUSTRY
Assured Automotive honours all of our Facility Managers for their commitment to the collision repair industry. At Assured Automotive we believe that our people are the key to our success. To this end we would like to congratulate our Facility Managers for their relentless pursuit of Customer Satisfaction and thank them for their contribution and dedication to Assured Automotive.
RED ASSUORED N HO
Facility Managers enjoying a wonderful evening as guests of Mike “Pinball” Clemons and his lovely wife Diane.
january 2010 collision Repair 39
An Investment in the Future Lindsay Pontiac Buick GMC’s looking forward to the New Year with new a state-of-the-art collision repair shop. By J.C. Wen
n the spring of 2008, Paul Cross, owner of Lindsay Pontiac Buick GMC, invested in constructing a new, state-of-the-art collision repair shop beside the existing dealership. A year and a half later, the facility is fully operational and already impressing clients. It’s impressed Cross as well, to say the least. When asked, he put it simply: “I’m ecstatic.” “We finish off 2009 on a progressive note and are looking forward to turning the page in 2010 having not only a completed body shop, but also a completed state-of-the-art dealership,” Cross said. The completed facility features a Garmat waterborne paint booth, a two-car Garmat substation, a Car-O-Liner frame machine and a Vision Plus measuring system. It also has a large vehicle-alignment machine, which can perform adjustments on trucks to manufacturer specs. “I think what Paul has done in the body shop down here is definitely no short of spectacular, really,” said Jim Geelen, shop manager. “To get in and see the facility brand new right down to the air lines and the paint booth. I mean, it’s clean and it’s bright, and it’s not what some people might think what a body shop might look like inside.”
40 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
The renovation was done under General Motor’s Image Program, which assists dealerships with the revision or construction retail and repair facilities. The shop’s blueprints and planning were done by RH Carter Architects Inc, while TEC3 Innovations supplied the current equipment designs. Throughout the process, the City of Kawartha Lakes was extremely accommodating of the project as well. All the hard work bodes well for the dealership’s future and its ability to serve the community. “We’ve decided to listen to our customers and use to the space to create a bigger location,” Cross said. “We just recently put in a car wash, which will be utilized by the body shop as well for final cleaning.” The expansion also includes a streamlined drive-through area, intended for faster service delivery for customers, and a larger waiting lounge equipped with a public washroom and wireless Internet for clients staying for the works to be done. “We believe in providing a full service to our customers, and that’s what we are committed to,” Cross said. Having a 35-year history in the area, Lindsay Pontiac Buick GMC prides itself in being a community-oriented dealership. The majority of its employees consist of local residents and many of its customers are second- and third-generation buyers. From the shop’s side, Geelen sees a bright future for the updated Lindsay Pontiac. “I think we definitely have a good business here. Being involved in the community, it makes the dealership known around these parts for miles.” Cross is similarly upbeat. “The future plan is to grow the business,” Cross said. “We have the right people and the customer service experience to become the number one GM dealership in Kawartha Lakes.” CRM
Top left: Jamie Cunday hooking up the Car-O-Liner pull tower. Top right: The team in front of their newlyinstalled Garmat spray booth. From left: Jim Carley (bodyman) Don Dunbar (painter) Jamie Cunday ( bodyman) Ed Cook ( bodyman) Bob Gray (painter) Amanda Hayward (office) and Jim Geelen (shop manager). Bottom: Paul Cross cutting a cake to celebrate the Lindsay Pontiac Buick GMC’s 2007 GM Triple Crown Award.
january 2010 collision Repair 41
On track for a big future Listening more, talking less, CRCR is set to exceed all expectations for train repair. Jobs come into CRCR by the train load. On tracks leading into their spray booth, in fact, with separate trains cars loaded on their beds. Canadian Rail Collision and Refurbish Inc (CRCR) provide collision, refurbishing and non-mechanical warranty service for train cars. And they do it efficiently and quick—their turnaround times on jobs are typically under 24 hours, which is no small feat when you consider the huge scale of the cars they’re working on. Life-long entrepreneur Winston Watson came to found the company by following his mantra: “Listen more, talk less.” Watson cut his teeth in the collision industry working with Linwood Collision, Supreme Collision and Steve’s Auto Collision. Listening to his colleagues he heard the Go trains were having problems with the rivets on their side panels. There was no one in Canada who could service them quickly or with much finesse. Watson saw a business opportunity. Early on he partnered with industry veteran George Warda of United Spray Booths. Warda’s extensive knowledge of spray booths helped CRCR considerably when it took on the challenge constructing facilities large enough to quickly process trains. The spray booths at CRCR, built be United, aren’t so unusual. They’re just bigger than most. At 112 feet long and 50 feet wide, their booths—they have
two—are big enough to fit a train car. Two train cars, actually, as jobs usually come in to the Mississauga facility either by rail or flatbed. The booths use DuPont’s Imron Elite waterborne paint, which makes for quick dry times and long-lasting finishes while still being friendly to the environment. The booths’ tracks run in one end and out the other, which is an important feature. It saves time by allowing the trains to exit without needing to reverse. It’s just one of the ways CRCR has streamlined production to keep cycle times down. “We have a staff of about 35 people and we have a very systematic way of doing things,” Watson said. “Very highly technical.” Still a young company, CRCR’s found remarkable success by offering lightning-fast turnaround times and a quality experience. Just six months in they already count among their customers Go, Bombardier and VIA. They’ve also done quite a bit of work for the new SkyTrain line in Vancouver, which the city opened in preparation for the Olympics. CRCR has a number of other units from SkyTrain to work on in the near future. The company is still on track to expand, and Watson is still listening to customers for ways to improve the services they offer. “My forte is providing customers good service, whatever that may be in,” Watson said. “Listen more, talk less: it’s the backbone of what CRCR is, and who we are, and what we try to become.”
CANADIAN RAIL COLLISION & REFURBISH INC Main Office
1435 Bonhill Rd, Unit 34 Mississauga, Ontario L5T 1V2 Toll free / 1-888-450-1527 Toronto local / 416-309-4475
50 Drummond Street, Building C Mississauga Ontario M8V 4B5
Coming together to promote recycled parts.
B David Gold
ack on April 27, 2009 (Earth Day), a special group of proactive representatives got together to strategize on the best ways to support using used auto parts in the collision repair industry. Members from the insurance, collision repair and auto-recycling communities brain stormed and made suggestions on how to improve the existing situation. The meeting was an open format discussion that centred on the Ontario Auto Recyclers Association’s (OARA) Green Parts brochure and how we can build on it, both to help promote our green parts and to create a win–win situation for stakeholders and the driving public.
The underlying theme of the meeting was that auto recyclers have to push the environmental and cost-saving benefits of our products in a savvy way to get the driving public and collision repairers excited about using recycled parts. OARA used this meeting as a springboard for enhancing its existing marketing material to make it that much more prominent for these two important groups. Our discussion led us to very promising commitments by some members of the collision repair industry. Not only would the collision repairers in the room be willing to help us come up with strategies on how to convince the driving public of the benefits of used auto parts, they would like to be a part of the
marketing plan so that they could better “sell” the benefits of what we have to offer at their front counters. For the first time, a message of “green” will be spread at the front desk of collision repairers in Ontario in the form of a point-of-sale brochure titled “Green Parts.” The brochure itself will be placed in a traditional cardboard pamphlet holder where customers speak with service advisors at the onset of their vehicle repair discussions. It was also suggested that auto recyclers could help write a script that collision repairers could use when speaking to customers. The script would give collision repairers ammunition to help sell our parts when speaking to their customers.
www.sonshineautoparts.com “Quality Used Auto Parts!” A locally owned auto recycler. Specializing in late model auto parts for all makes. Computerized inventory and nation wide locating service.
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RECYCLING The general consensus was that many collision repairers know that there are inherent benefits to going green, but can’t verbalize the message at the point of sale. It was also noted that some collision repairers may not push the use of green parts because the lists of benefits is not clearly laid out to them. One insurance company present at the meeting pointed out that they are giving a 32 per cent mark up on used auto parts because they understand the value of making a solid attempt at compensating collision repairers for incorporating used auto parts into repairs. This same insurance company is also repairing vehicles up to 100 per cent of the actual cash value during the estimate stage in an effort to have more vehicles repaired. This has allowed the company to get down to a 21 per cent write-off rate. This is all good news for collision repairers: there are more vehicles for repair and used auto parts can help make you more money!
Consumers want to get back into their own vehicles and used parts help them do that. Collision repairers can boast about being all green and used auto parts can help them achieve this goal.
of this nature are now taking place and are being highlighted in an open and transparent format for review and discussion. The tide is turning now. Our combined industries have come a long way
For the first time, a message of “green” will be spread at the front counter. There are many good reasons to utilize used auto parts in the repair process. The following four points were highlighted at the meeting: • Used parts are OEM (and come as an assembly). • Faster turn-around time (cycle time). • Economy (many people can’t afford new parts and want their vehicles fixed). • Mitigate (interruption in supply issues —part shortages). Because of the close ties between OARA and Collision Repair magazine, meetings
and are indeed teaming up on levels that are making a big difference. With Collision Repair magazine helping to disseminate this message and working at the grass-roots level on a shop-by-shop basis, we are well positioned for success. A big thank you is in order to you guys for your efforts. CRM
David Gold is the co-owner of Standard Auto Wreckers, an auto recycling facility with locations in Toronto and Niagara Falls, New York. He can be reached by telephone at 416-286-8686 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
january 2010 collision Repair 45
Three Easy Steps
to Pleasing your
Keep collision repair shops happy by keeping their cycle times down. By Janice Schroder, Car-Part.com
t is clear from talking to progressive collision repair shops that they are typically serving two customers: the consumer whose car is being repaired and the insurance company that is paying for the repair. Savvy shops ask insurance companies which key performance indicators (KPIs) they are monitoring and then optimize their collision repair business accordingly in a way that doesn’t sacrifice quality. Two KPIs we frequently hear about are cycle time and alternative part usage. Using recycled OE parts is one way for repair facilities to improve alternative parts usage; the trick is making sure it doesn’t come at the cost of cycle times. Late part delivery and/or shipping a part that doesn’t meet Automotive Recyclers Association quality requirements can increase a shop’s cycle time. If we don’t deliver parts when we say we will or in the condition we say they are, we will likely increase cycle time and add expense to the repair, possibly outweighing the money saved by using a recycled part in the repair. Here are a few steps to avoid that.
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46 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
1 Inform customers ahead of time how much damage is on a part. Just paying a shop to repair the damage is not enough. Shops organize repairs with production schedules. If they know in advance that they need to repair damage on a recycled body part, they can plan for it in their production schedule to minimize impact on cycle time. 2 Quote accurate delivery times. When you quote delivery times to a shop, make sure you take into account both the amount of time it will take to deliver (primarily based on where the shop’s located) and how long it will take you to get the part onto your delivery truck. You can use the category field in your inventory management system to see if the part is in the warehouse, unbolted in the yard or if work is needed to dismantle it from the vehicle before you can ship it off. 3 Self-promote. If you are already providing high-quality services to professional shops, you want other shops and insurance companies to know it. If you have achieved any sort of recognized certification, don’t be shy about advertising the fact. It appeals to professional repairers. As an industry, we must improve our image by inspiring confidence in our customers. And right now—as the auto sector faces ever-growing financial challenges—is a great time to act and increase out market share. CRM
On-time, pre 8 AM delivery service to meet the needs of customers with time-sensitive goods and parts is why Cardinal Couriers is your preferred choice in Ontario and Quebec. Our delivery is facilitated through the use of secure vaults, which are placed just outside your place of business. This allows our professional drivers to handle pick ups and deliveries unattended. We can also partner with you using key access to a secure area in your business, when shipping volumes exceed vault capacity. Consistency, security and reliability is our commitment to you. Pre 8 am delivery means you can get down to business right away. So start your day, the Cardinal Way.
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RECYCLING NEWS OARA and Standard Auto Wreckers Help “Green” the Environment 10,000 Trees for the Rouge, a Toronto environmental group, is a lot greener now thanks to a substantial donation from Standard Auto Wreckers and the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association (OARA). As fate would have it, the donation was for $10,000. 10,000 Trees is a volunteer group dedicated to restoring natural habitat in the Rouge River watershed. The charity was chosen by the co-owner of Standard Auto Wreckers David Gold. “We have been working with 10,000Trees for the Rouge for a while now through our other charity programs,” Gold said, “and we thought this contribution could make a real difference to an important local environmental project. “During tough times, and even at the tail-end of a recession that has crippled much of North America and the world, it is a great feeling to see charitable giving continue,” Gold said. “This donation came as a bit of a surprise,” said Colin Creasey of 10,000 Trees. “And it will come in very handy by helping us further our cause of turning abandoned fields into growing forests! “In fact we, celebrated our 20th anniversary this year and could not have asked for a better gift. We would like to send a special thanks to Standard Auto Wreckers and OARA for making a real difference in the community.”
David Gold of Standard Auto Wreckers (far right) presenting a cheque to 10,000 Trees for the Rouge.
New inductees for CAR-MS QRP CAR-MS QRP expanded twice in the final quarter of 2009. Sonshine Auto Parts joined in September of 2009, while Thorold Auto Parts became a member in December 2009. “Currently, we have 21 members with CARMS...one in Atlantic Canada,” says Howard Berg, executive director CAR-MS QRP. “We are looking for expansion in all provinces. It’s our goal to find quality recyclers in all provinces.”
Howard Berg, CAR-MS QRP’s executive director.
ARC Develops Recycler Audit Program The Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) have won a contract with Environment Canada to develop and deliver the auto recycler audit component of the Retire Your Ride program. Retire Your Ride is an initiative of the Government of Canada, the Clean Air Foundation and its partners, designed to enable people to get their high-polluting cars off the road and reward them for doing so. The program is committed to improving air quality by responsibly recycling vehicles. It aims to retire at least 50,000 vehicles per year until March 31, 2011. As part of the program, Environment Canada commissioned ARC to develop a code of practice that all recyclers must adhere to in order to participate in Retire Your Ride. ARC won a second contract to implement a national training program for auto recyclers to understand the code. This training has been deployed in-person and will soon be available online. The day-long training provides participants with the legal framework for auto recycling in Canada, walks them through the code step-by-step, and provides a series of real-world examples to see the code in action. The audit contract will see ARC hiring and training a series of auditors across Canada, and then coordinating inspections and audits for all Retire Your Ride participants. “This is a massive undertaking that ARC is particularly well positioned to handle,” said Steve Fletcher, managing director of ARC. “What really excites ARC and its members is Environment Canada’s desire to create legacy resources from this program—educational information, training capacity, auditors and ultimately a network of trained and audited auto recycling facilities. With industry directly involved, the process is actually helpful and relevant. “I’ve been through the in-person training earlier in the year,” said Don Fraser, owner of AADCO Auto Parts in Brampton, Ontario. “There is always something to learn, and I took a number of things back to AADCO to improve my operation.” 48 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
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You’re the conductor, not the orchestra.
s you will recall, this column is the second part of a discussion on lean leadership. In the first installment, we established the paradox of lean leadership: the existence of a pyramid structure within your business at the same time you (the leader) work to flatten that pyramid. This article is about how to solve this paradox in practical terms. If we continue to look at the job of the leader and the follower in tradition terms, we will continue to get traditional results. We must change our viewpoint on the job description of the leader itself. The traditional job description is to analyze a challenge, research a solution, then inform the troops what they are going to do from that point forward. Each of us has experienced the results of this approach. If any of you returned from NACE all excited about a seminar you took or some conversation you had with a colleague and told your troops “This is the way it will be from now on,” you have probably experienced the ho-hum reaction and the “This too shall pass” attitude from the rank and file workers of your facility. That’s simply because we followed the way our fathers or mentors taught us. That is, we decide what is wrong, come up with the fix and then tell everyone what to do. The lean way is different. It starts the same way—with analyzing what is a challenge to the business in doing what it does faster-better-cheaper than the way it does things today. Doing it the lean way, we then take a dramatic shift. The leader is not always the one who researches potential fixes for the challenge. That lean leader simply brings the focus and attention of the troops onto
the problem and then listens (yes, I said listens) to the workers for their input on possible solutions. We are not done yet. Don’t get so anxious about getting to the bottom line when it is a process we must go through if we are going to operate under a lean mentality. So we see the job (thus far) is identifying challenges and then orchestrating the group into two things: seeing the same problems we see then coaching them to offer possible solutions. This point of or-
Just this week, I saw it happen. A manager was displaced by an overbearing owner instead of being provided with training on how to handle a solutions-focused band of workers in the shop. The results? Very traditional: the owner is now working his butt off in his business instead of working on his business. He is running around telling the crew how they are going to act and not working with them to get “buyin” and create solutions. He has shackled himself to the running of his business.
The lean leader simply brings the focus and attention of the troops chestration is the key to success in shifting to lean operating principles. If we use the analogy of an orchestra, we can see clearly how the lean mentality works. The conductor could be a talented musician (in our case a talented technician and problem solver), but he/she refrains from jumping in to play the instruments. The conductor chooses to coach the individuals into a harmonious effort. If there is one section of the orchestra not performing at a desired level, perhaps the conductor provides extra attention and works with them separately, providing a mentoring system to help them advance closer to the level they require. The point is, the conductor does not jump in with a solution. The final result is always the individual musicians’ music, aided by the direction and effort of the facilitating conductor. This is how we must shift our mind-set. I too often see owners telling their teams what is wrong and how they are going to do what he/she says to fix the problem.
We have all done it. If we want to change to lean we must control ourselves and curb the desire to jump in with the fix. This is one of the most difficult parts of the conversion. The next part is also difficult. It is the accountability part where goals are set resulting in actions and behaviors being defined. Then measurement of advances are taken at realistic intervals. The old axiom of “You cannot improve that which is not measured” kicks in and must be balanced with effort over time. There will be set-backs, people will fail in their support of the new goals or methodology, but if the goal is clearly spelled out and the time for reflection on the results is reasonable, it will be easy to identify the errors and get back on track to the results you want. If you do that, you’ll be able to remain the one who is driving. CRM Jay Perry is the founder and owner of Automotive Business Consultants (ABC), a performance coaching company specializing in the automotive service industry. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.
Did you know Globally, the collision repair industry
is worth $175 billion annually.
january 2010 collision Repair 51
Wilf Bedard: Retires After 37 Years of Service
By Gloria Mann
ollision Repair magazine would like to bid a fond farewell to a dear friend, Wilf Bedard, who retired from Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) August 28, 2009 after 37 of loyal service. This marks a new milestone for the former MPI vice-president of corporate claims, who’s best remembered by his colleagues as a far-sighted thinker and a positive force in the industry. I’ve known Wilf Bedard for 23 years. In that time, he’s demonstrated himself again and again as being endlessly knowledgeable and generally unflappable. Leave it to him to straighten things out. His tactful nature is what drew me closer to him 23 years ago when I was the national special markets manager for Polaroid. Through my efforts to show Wilf and his team how Polaroid cameras could benefit his line of work they had branded me “relentless,” albeit with a smile. Despite my hopeless enthusiasm, he was forever patient and accommodating. He would be the one to show me around, lead me into meetings and let me have my say. In MPI, Wilf was the diplomat who was able to clearly communicate his many strategies and find solutions that worked for everyone. He believed in giving others the opportunity to voice their thoughts. To Wilf, all are equal. Be it the workers in the
Here’s what a few people had to say about Wilf:
warehouse who sweat behind the scenes or the CEOs who sit on the top floors—they are all of equal standing in his eyes. He refused to place titles before people. “If you rule from a position where people are afraid of you then it gets worse, and worse,” he’d say. “It’s relationships and people that matter.” Building bridges earned Wilf a reputation as a keen problem-solver. His composed demeanour made others seek him out to find answers. However difficult the problems were, he would never get twisted up about them; he’d take them in and reflect. “What you remember is the good time, the people you knew and what you accomplished together,” he said to me once. You could usually find him relaxed with a cup of tea, wearing a smile and perhaps whistling a tune. We may rarely see the lighter side of Wilf during the hubbub of crunch times, but Will Kukelko, Wilf ’s loyal colleague and close friend for almost 40 years, can regale you with more than a few tales of Wilf ’s sense of humour, which he did when we asked him about working with Wilf. As Will reminded me of their times at MPI, he pointed out that Wilf was instrumental in designing the Personal Injury Protection Plan in 1994. His hard work ushered in the digital age for his workplace. Wilf is responsible for implementing the current Windows-based system at MPI, which replaced the outdated mainframe computers in 1999. Personally, what I respect the most about Wilf is the cool yet cheerful disposition he maintains while still getting the job done. He’s calm, but never passive. He hated those much ado about nothing meetings, the so-called “Turkey Dances” where
people march in circles, clapping, slapping and clucking to no avail. “If we are going to do it, let’s make a plan and let’s do it,” he would say resolutely in those situations. “If we’re not going to do it, let’s stop talking about it.” And you can rest assured he’d be the first to step up to the plate to make it happen. He is calm, but never detached. He is the person to count on to move things forward, shake them to their core, or, if needed, to shut them down. In the throes of a storm, he would be its calm centre, and in choppy waters, the lone sturdy isle. “It’s just work,” he liked to say. Any organization would be fortunate to receive his wisdom. I have no doubt that when thrown any new challenges—straight or curved—he’ll handle them with the familiar gusto we’ve come to expect from him.
Wilf is a well known figure in the Canadian physical damage industry due to his considerable involvement in I-CAR, R-Car and the industry advisory boards for which he has volunteered considerable time and energy. Wilf was an dedicated and effective leader with considerable dedication to MPI and the policyholders of Manitoba. Mitchell International continues to be an admirer of his professionalism, support and most of all friendship.
Mike Jerry: Vice-President and General Manager, Mitchell Canada
Wilf, you have been such a positive role model—one who encouraged people to grow, one who challenged people to want more, and there are many people in the corporation who have benefited from this mentoring. You will be missed along with your ever-present smile and great sense of humour. Cathy Mitchler: Manager, Parkland Region, MPI
52 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
Top: Denis Pinette, Scott Smith, Deborah Moynes-Keshen, Kevin Sharpe, Sid Petrisor and Wilf at I-CAR. Bottom: Wilf, Ray Kroll, Darryl Simmons and Kevin Sharpe at enjoying the sun in between sessions at the I-CAR conference in Orlando, Florida.
Reflections on a Brilliant Career By Larry Roberts, Manager, Quality Assurance, Manitoba Public Insurance
n this day and age, to have a successful career spanning almost four decades is a significant accomplishment in any field. To continue to be at the top of one’s game throughout that entire time, as Wilf Bedard was when he retired as vice-president of corporate claims for MPI in August 2009, is nothing short of remarkable. Then again, Wilf Bedard happens to be one remarkable guy. I know because for a significant portion of his 37 years of service with MPI, I had the privilege of working with him. From his ability to master all the relevant details of a subject, to his talent for conceptualizing and articulating solutions to the myriad of issues that present themselves in this fascinating business we call auto insurance, Wilf demonstrated all the traits of a successful executive. Yet there is more to him than “just business.” Wilf has always been, and will always be, a “people person.” Not only did he know hundreds of people both within and outside of MPI, he took the time to actually get to know them as individuals. For someone as busy as Wilf, that in itself tells you a lot about what sort of person he is. I am continually amazed by his ability to recall names, family members and other details involving MPI staff, business partners, and his many other contacts worldwide. Always willing to stop and chat, Wilf also enjoys a good laugh—provided it wasn’t at someone else’s expense. Wilf, Collision Repair magazine’s Gloria Mann and Margaret Knell.
It’s hard to believe that this “man-of-theworld” was born and raised in Selkirk, Manitoba, a small town of roughly 10,000 people just north of Winnipeg. Wilf joined MPI as a physical damage adjuster in 1972 shortly after graduating from university. He rose quickly through the organization, becoming part of MPI’s executive team in 1996. In doing so, Wilf assumed responsibility for all aspects of claims service throughout Manitoba, including injury and physical damage claims, special investigations, salvage operations and quality assurance. For Wilf, it was not enough to simply run the business. He made a point of learning the business and using that information to improve himself, and the company. One of the cornerstones of his knowledge has been his longtime association with RCAR—the Research Council for Automotive Repairs, an international association dedicated to reducing insurance costs by improving vehicle damageability, reparability, safety and security. Wilf has always believed that RCAR provides the best opportunity to learn from the best and to apply these best practices in Manitoba. In 2008, he was elected RCAR secretary-general for a four-year term. A company restructuring a few years ago added a number of areas to Wilf’s portfolio of responsibilities that fit perfectly with his ongoing interests in RCAR. In being named vicepresident of claims operations and service delivery, Wilf retained all of his original claims responsibilities and also took on the full range of driver licensing and claims services to be delivered through MPI’s new full-service centre model. He also took on responsibility for loss-prevention initiatives and road safety programs. All of these new responsibilities
For as long as I have been with MPI there was a Wilf Bedard, in one capacity or another. Although our interactions were not often, your vision and passion for MPI have always been evident to me. This corporation, the people who work here and the people of Manitoba have benefited greatly because of you.
Morris Broder: Case Management Supervisor, MPI Although I never had a chance to work that closely with you I was close enough to truly appreciate the contribution you have made to Manitoba Public Insurance. You have left a legacy that is unprecedented.
Chris Beck: Manager, Medical Records, MPI
Ray Kroll, Wilf and Delando Hawthorne at the 2008 CCIF meeting in Toronto.
remained his right up to his retirement from MPI at the end of August 2009. And his legacy? As MPI CEO Marilyn McLaren so aptly put it in her announcement of Wilf ’s retirement, under Wilf ’s leadership, MPI developed and consistently executed a claims service delivery model that is widely regarded as one of the best in the world. As a member of the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Repair (I-CAR) Canadian advisory committee, Wilf ensured that Manitoba vehicles would be repaired to international standards by insisting that the I-CAR Gold designation become the training standard for MPI-acredited body shops. He also oversaw the introduction of service standards to ensure that our claims processes continued to be responsive to ever-changing customer needs, as well as customer satisfaction indexes for both the physical damage and bodily injury sides of the business. These tools continue to help improve operational effectiveness, but also ensure that customer value continues to be at the centre of our activities. It doesn’t end there. As I mentioned earlier, Wilf is fundamentally a people person. When news of his retirement got out to staff, his mail box filled with kudos from people across the company, even those he had little personal interaction with. Below are some of the kudos people offered. They speak volumes about the legacy Wilf left to the people of MPI. It doesn’t get much better than that! As for me, I will always remember Wilf as someone of seemingly unlimited capability who took his work very seriously, even as he tried never to take himself too seriously. As he embarks on the next phase of his career—secretary-general for RCAR—something tells me that Wilf will be just as effective there as he was at MPI. And just as people-oriented! january 2010 collision Repair 53
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From left: Nick Liguori, Jack Roush, Gloria Mann and Sam Piercey.
By Kaori Inui
he black, glossy warplane took off to the sky from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, where it had been securely stored for decades. On the ground, a crowd of spectators applauded the successful late-November launch. One of the spectators was Sam Piercey, co-owner of Budds’ Collision Services and a columnist for Collision Repair magazine. It was fitting Piercey was on the guest list—he painted the museum’s Avro Lancaster 20 years ago. “When they were talking about it, I let them know that I actually put the clear coat and base on that plane,” Piercey said. Piercey and his son coated the warbird, which was commonly used during World War II as a bomber. Today, he’s happy to see his handiwork stored among dozens of Canadian warplanes in the museum, located in Hamilton, Ontario. The unforgettable afternoon from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at the John C Munro International Airport in Hamilton was hosted by 3M Canada. George Buckley, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the global 3M Company, was on hand to welcome and introduce Jack Roush, chairman of Roush Enterprises. As the co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing, one of NASCAR’s most recognized and successful teams, Jack Roush is very well known to racing fans. But the instrumental role the aerospace company he founded plays in the restoration of Rolls-Royce Merlin engines has also made him a star in aviation circles. The engines powered a number of the fighter and bomber aircraft the Allied forces relied on in World War II. Also flying that day was the museum’s Mitchell B-25. “It’s an amazing thing to see if you haven’t seen it before,” Piercey said. “One of the biggest things people don’t realize is that it’s unbelievable what we have in this museum.” CRM 56 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
Above: A view of some of the aerial history at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. Right: Don Treschak, Roger Field, Gerry McCarthy and Jack Roush.
From left: Cathie Hastings, Jim McSheffrey, and Sue Romyn.
HEALTH & SAFETY
The barrier between you and workplace hazards.
t is not hard to understand why machines are designed with guards in place. The purpose of a guard is to protect operators of the equipment, or people close by, from having their body parts become entangled with, or harmed by, the moving parts of the machines. What is truly baffling is the cavalier attitude of people using the equipment with respect to these guards. Even more distressing is the amount of energy workers devote to overcoming, by-passing or defeating the guards put in place to protect them. Lack of adequate guarding is responsible for some of the most horrific workplace injuries imaginable. They have resulted in crushing injuries, amputations and eye traumas causing permanent blindness. The situation is so serious that the province of Ontario has empowered provincial safety inspectors to hand out tickets of $200 to operators of improperly guarded equipment. Their supervisors and employers can similarly be fined $300, on the spot, for such unsafe practices. In the event of an investigation due to a work-related accident, the resultant fines could be considerably higher than the ticketable offenses. The fixed guard on a hand-held grinder is a commonly disregarded feature. The owner’s manual will insist that the machine not be used unless the guard is in place. However many workers blithely carry on using the device in spite of the danger. Imagine what would happen if the disc were to suddenly break up. Imagine broken pieces of abrasive disc coming at a worker at thousands of surface-feet per minute. The worker, or co-workers, would have no more of a chance than if they were to try to out run a bullet. Grinders must be guarded as per the manufacturer’s specifications and the discs used must have an RPM rating appropriate to the machine with which they are used. Another favourite target of health and
by safety inspectors is the bench grinder. Most shops have one and they are a serious source of danger. Workers should always stand to one side of the device when they are starting it up to ensure that the machine is operating normally and that no unusual vibrations or motions are present. Another area of concern is the gap between the workrest and the grinder stone. If the gap is too large, it could allow the object being ground down to become wedged. This dangerous event has been the cause of many injuries either from the held object suddenly losing control or by causing the grinding stone to explosively disintegrate. The stone to work rest gap usually should not be more than three millimetres (about an eighth of an inch). A ruler as well as a shop policy that calls for a
Diagram of a bench grinder
Eye shield (optional)
Spindle guard Flange
Adjustable tongue guard 1/4” maximum
Work rest 1/8” maximum
The owner’s manual should be considered
a source of trusted advice
confirming measurement each time the device is used are appropriate hazard controls for preventing accidents with this shop tool. The operator’s manual is too often an ignored document. Yet nothing will tell a worker more about how to safely use the device in question. The manual will identify many hazardous conditions associated with its use as well as tips for proper maintenance and inspection regimens. The owner’s manual should be considered a source of trusted advice. After all, who knows the equipment better than the manufacturer? Often this longlost document can be replaced by contacting the manufacturer after a simple Internet search. A duly diligent employer’s tool policy would insist that employees have all the necessary equipment manuals for their personal tools and that such equipment be properly maintained in accordance with the
manufacturer’s instructions. Of course, the same standards would apply to shop owners and any of the tools and equipment they supply. Generally, any moving part that may come in contact with workers must be guarded against such an event. Due diligence demands a thorough workplace inspection that includes searching for devices and machines where guards have been removed or bypassed and corporate policies that demand strict adherence to the manufacturer’s standards. Anything less could result in horrible consequences. Anything less is simply unacceptable. CRM
Larry Crangle is a former collision repair facility owner now working as a health and safety trainer for the Occupation Safety Group. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JANUARY 2010 collision Repair 57
LearningEnvironment Happy apprentices are good for business.
By Joe Rayment
ne story in particular stood out to me this issue. In Chris Wood’s “In With the New” (page 23–24), he describes, without naming names, what sounds like a horrible apprenticeship experience. Now, I might be more sympathetic to his story than most. I was an apprentice once (I was in tool and die) and I too had a miserable experience, though for different reasons. Soon after I began working, the shop underwent some restructuring that left a terrible residue on worker moral. The journeymen who were looking after me were—reasonably—distracted, and I became invisible to them. Work became a nightmare.
Tsawwassen Collision on the key to dealing with apprentices. “There needs to be a track that both of you can see and both want,” he said. Without that, it’s difficult to stay motivated. Not everyone’s going to work out long term, but most of the apprentices I’ve known have been happy to work hard in exchange for the experience and learning opportunities. If you’re good to them early in their careers you’ll have a friend for life and, with some luck, a highly skilled worker. A Canadian Apprenticeship Forum study (which came to us via the CARS Council) recently put the average net benefit of a body repair apprentice at $210,088. That’s $1.72 for every dollar in-
But this is a good news story: Keeping apprentices happy can be easy I’d go in every morning with no tasks assigned to me but with the weight of thinking I’d be judged for every second I wasn’t busy. I’d actually delight in finding uncleaned corners in the factory I could spend a day cleaning. Periodically, the disputes would boil to the surface and all I could think to do was to keep my head down even more than usual and try to keep busy. The experience eventually convinced me to look for employment elsewhere and, as it turned out, in another field. It worked out for the best, but I still wish I could have based my decision on my aptitude in the field and not the conditions at my shop. Sweeping floors is part of the apprentice experience, but doing it in a toxic or indifferent environment day in and day out is enough to turn almost anyone off a trade. But this is a good-news story. Keeping apprentices happy can be easy—a friendly hello in the morning, a pat on the back in the afternoon, and some direction. I recently spoke to Peter Sziklai of 58 collision Repair collisionrepairmag.com
vested. And those numbers are going up. Facilities in the study estimated that apprentices trained in-house were 29 per cent more productive than apprentices from elsewhere. From what I’ve heard, it will usually take between 12–18 months for an apprentice to become a profitable employee. At some point, you’ll have to decide if an apprentice is working out, but the numbers alone should prove the importance of maintaining a positive environment for them to mature. It’s a matter of protecting your investment. Keeping the best people in the industry—or, more importantly, in your facility—is extremely important. Happy apprentices help. CRM
Joe Rayment is the editor of Collision Repair magazine. He can be reached at 905-370-0101 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
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4/27/07 2:58:29 PM