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Inside the Aluminum Revolution April 2015
Plus: Shop Here First! AASP-MN Associate Member Directory
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CONTENTS AASP-MN News is the official publication of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers, Minnesota, Inc. 1970 Oakcrest Ave., Suite 102 • Roseville, MN 55113 Phone: 612-623-1110 • Fax: 612-623-1122 email: firstname.lastname@example.org • website: aaspmn.org. All rights reserved. To keep its readers better informed, AASP-MN News allows its columnists to fully express their opinions. All views expressed are not necessarily those of the publication. AASP-MN News is published by Thomas Greco Publishing, Inc. Cover image © www.istockphoto.com.
AASP of Minnesota is an association of independently-owned automotive service businesses and industry suppliers dedicated to improving the state’s automotive service industry and the success of its members.
Vol. 23 No.4
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE....................................................................6 We Are Not Competitors by Tom Gleason, AASP-MN President
2015 - 2016
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE ......................................................................7 Efforts Re-Doubled at the Capitol by Kevin Walli, AASP-MN Lobbyist
PRESIDENT Tom Gleason
LOCAL NEWS ................................................................................8
AASP-MN BOARD MEMBERS
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Jerald Stiele SECRETARY-TREASURER Greg Kasel, AAM COLLISION DIVISION DIRECTOR Jim Siegfried, AAM MECHANICAL DIVISION DIRECTOR Wayne Watson ASSOCIATE DIVISION DIRECTOR Kevin Martin
COVER STORY ..............................................................................11 Inside the Aluminum Revolution: Factors to Consider When Upgrading Reprinted courtesy of SCRS INSURANCE I.Q. ............................................................................15 The Reason to Have a Business Continuity Plan Now PARTNERS IN PREVENTION ..............................................................17 Keeping Lakes and Rivers Clean SHOP HERE FIRST! AASP-MN ASSOCIATE MEMBER DIRECTORY ..................18
COLLISION SEATS Joyce Weinhandl Will Latuff MECHANICAL SEAT Mars Overlee
STAFF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Judell Anderson, CAE, AAM OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Jodi Pillsbury MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR Tom Kluver
UPCOMING EVENTS April 15-17, 2015 AASP-MN Annual Meeting & Convention Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West, Plymouth
For more information, contact the AASP-MN office at 612-623-1110 or visit the Association’s website, www.aaspmn.org.
PUBLISHED BY: Thomas Greco Publishing, Inc. 244 Chestnut St., Suite 202 Nutley, NJ 07110 PHONE: 973-667-6922 • FAX: 973-235-1963 PUBLISHER: Thomas Greco (email@example.com) DIRECTOR OF SALES: Alicia Figurelli (firstname.lastname@example.org) MANAGING EDITOR: Jacquelyn Bauman (email@example.com) EDITOR: Joel Gausten (firstname.lastname@example.org) ART DIRECTOR: Lea Velocci (email@example.com) OFFICE MANAGER: Donna Greco (firstname.lastname@example.org)
June 16, 2015 AASP-MN 21st Annual Golf Outing 3M’s Tartan Park Golf Course, Lake Elmo
AmeriPride ................................................................6 Axalta Coating Systems..............................................OBC Buerkle Hyundai ........................................................3 Choice Auto Rentals ..................................................3 Dentsmart ..................................................................17 Inver Grove Honda / Inver Grove Toyota ............................4 Jack McClard ............................................................4 Keystone ....................................................................16 Lowell’s PCE ..............................................................15 Maplewood Toyota ....................................................7
Mills Parts Center ......................................................10 Morrie’s ....................................................................9 Motorwerks BMW ......................................................IBC Motorwerks Mini........................................................IBC MPA..................................................................................................10-11 Rosedale Chevrolet ....................................................16 Roseville Chrysler ......................................................10 Straight & Square ......................................................14 Toyota Group..............................................................IFC
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We Are Not Competitors by Tom Gleason AASP-MN President
Hello, I would like to introduce myself. I’m Tom Gleason; I have owned Pro-tech Auto Repair located in Corcoran for 32 years. Prior to that, I was a dealership tech for eight years. First of all, I would like to say that I am very much honored to serve as your president in the upcoming year. I have been involved in the Association for a good many years now and have realized a tremendous benefit from my membership and participation in the group and I’m pleased to be able to give back. Through my membership and involvement, I have built relationships with other members that have been extremely valuable. I have learned so much from these people. They have shared information on difficult repairs, borrowed tools and discussed difficulties that we might be having in business, often offering a different point of view or a way of approaching the problem that might not have been that obvious at first.
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I’ve gained much through the use of the member benefit programs the Association has to offer. Not only have I saved money on services that I already used and needed, but received dividends back that more than covered the cost of my membership dues. The education I received on things like preparing for an OSHA inspection at a class last September and writing my employee “Right to Know” program and safety training has been a tremendous help. This would have been a monumental task had our Association not been able to help put together this training at an affordable price. Just the fact that I was made aware that I needed these programs was huge. I also got help with becoming PCI compliant for credit card processing, which I knew nothing about. I, like many of you, was too busy just trying to run my business to take the time to find these things out on my own. Our Association
does a great job helping us all stay on top of new laws and regulations so we can run our businesses, instead of the business running us. This is in no small part due to the tremendous job Judell and Jodi do as executive director and staff — thank you both. Most recently, I needed to hire two additional techs. I took advantage of our newest benefit, which helps to screen potential new hires through an online survey. Hiring can be difficult and the cost of hiring wrong can be tremendous. This is a way to help ensure the new hire is a good fit for your group. This was developed through Assessment Associates International. I was most pleased with the results and found some good people to fill the openings. Watch for more about this valuable hiring tool in the near future. I find marketing to be the most important thing I do for my business. I’m always trying to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Being a part of the “Get to Know Your Neighborhood Auto Repair Pro” campaign helps to set us apart from other shops. It’s a way to build brand recognition for our group. The ad spots were crafted from the statements that we hear our customers say, such as why they choose us over other options they might have, and that they didn’t know we could do a certain type of service for them. We are able to reach potential customers with this message as a group, whereas alone we could not. There are a lot of big box and big brands trying to take our customers. I think it is easier to keep our customers than it is to win them back and this is a great way to help do that. I also have been able to talk to my fellow shop owners about their experiences with different types of marketing that advertisers are bombarding us with all the time. It sure is helpful to hear their stories, both good and bad, to help decide if it’s a good fit for my shop. I encourage everyone to be active and get involved; you all have much more to offer than you think and I promise you will get ten times back what you put in. If you haven’t signed up for the annual convention April 15-17, do so. We are not competitors, we are associates and the Association brings us together to exchange ideas that help us all grow and prosper. I look forward to seeing you there.
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Efforts Re-Doubled at the Capitol AASP-MN spent the early weeks of the 2015 Legislative Session
meeting with virtually every member of the House and Senate Com-
merce Committees. Our objective was to inform legislators of our pro-
posal to limit the ability of insurance companies to specify particular
products, suppliers, manufacturers or distributors that shops work with in
securing the parts, materials and other services needed to repair vehicles. We are now focusing considerable attention on the Committee
Chairs as we seek to have hearings on the measure. One challenge that
we face is a preference in the Commerce Committee for parties to “find
peace in the valley” and reach compromises as bills come before the
Committee. In this instance, AASP-MN has reported that we have had
our meetings with the insurance industry and that we do not expect that there is an opportunity for compromise. The imbalance in the relation-
ship between insurers and repair shops has become so fundamental that
by Kevin Walli, AASP-MN Lobbyist
something needs to change – and our only available remedy is to change
AASP-MN has also called in reinforcements for this effort. The
Association has retained the services of Mike Beard, a former State Rep-
resentative from Shakopee. Beard served for six terms in the Minnesota
House. During that time, he chaired the House Transportation Commit-
tee. He chose not to run for re-election in 2014; instead, he ran and won
a seat on the Scott County Board of Commissioners. Mike has good rela-
tionships with many legislators, particularly with key members of the
Republican Caucus, and will be a great asset to our efforts.
Our focus now is on getting the necessary hearings on our bill.
Having talked to Committee Members, we have high confidence that we
will prevail if we can get our bill in front of the Committee.
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AASP-MN ANNOUNCES 2015-2016 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Congratulations to Will Latuff, Latuff Bros., St. Paul and Mars Overlee, Rick’s 36 Automotive Services, Stillwater, on their election to the AASP-MN Board of Directors! They will join the other members of the Board, which include:
• Tom Gleason, Pro-Tech Auto Repair, Corcoran - President • Jerald Stiele, Hopkins Auto Body, Hopkins - Immediate Past President • Greg Kasel, Downtown Tire & Auto, Hastings - Secretary/Treasurer • Kevin Martin, PPG Automotive Refinishes, Edina - Associate Division Director • Jim Siegfried, Crystal Lake Automotive Burnsville - Collision Division Director • Wayne Watson, Autoworks Diagnostics & Repair - Mechanical Division Director • Joyce Weinhandl, Twin City Auto BodyCollision Seat
AASP-MN also extends a sincere thank you to this year’s outgoing board members: Mike Cox, AAM, Ed’s Collision Center, Maple Grove and Dan Sjolseth, AAM, Superior Service Center, Eagan.
COLLABORATION BRINGS WATERBORNE TO DUNWOODY The odds of a sentence containing the phrases “auto body,” “city staff” and “environment,” and ending in a positive outcome are few and far between. The City of Minneapolis is hoping to change that and, as Dunwoody College of Technology can attest, they’re on the right track. February 11 marked the culmination of collaborative efforts between the City, Dunwoody, the University of Minnesota Technical Assistance Program and Environmental Initiative. This day marked the completion and demonstration of a waterborne paint booth that is now a permanent fixture in 8 April 2015
the college’s Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing Program. The project was made possible by the City of Minneapolis’ Green Business Grant Program, which provides a onethird match of up to $20,000 for auto shops that are interested in converting to waterborne paint systems. Dunwoody had previously used waterborne in its program, but use was limited due to a drying system that was mostly hand-held air multipliers. The new booth will allow Dunwoody to increase its use of waterborne paint to comprise 75 percent of the program’s paint usage. The conversion to waterborne is expected to reduce Dunwoody’s VOC emissions by an estimated 450lbs. An added benefit is the elimination of two 55-gallon drums of solvent towels and half a drum
Dunwoody’s new waterborne paint booth made possible by City of Minneapolis’ Green Business Grant Program.
from the solvent recycler waste stream every year. Most importantly, the transition to waterborne will train and prepare the future auto body industry professionals for working with waterborne. Dunwoody also noted the importance of reducing solvent and isocyanates exposure to staff and students, as well as demonstrating a healthier environment to parents of prospective students. Are you a Minneapolis auto body shop interested in waterborne or other ways to reduce VOCs? Deadline for applications for the 2015 Minneapolis grant is April 15, but the grants will be offered in 2016, as well. For more information, contact Patrick Hanlon at the City of AASP News
Minneapolis at Patrick.Hanlon@minneapolismn.gov or 612-673-2319.
DID YOU KNOW? I-CAR has an OEM Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Disable search tool. Following OEM repair procedures is critical to repairing hybrid vehicles safely and efficiently. Properly disabling a hybrid vehicle is also critical for personal safety. Using the tool, repairers can find information on: • Identifying where parts of hybrid systems are located, • How to disable the hybrid system before repairs begin and • Best practices to ensure a complete, safe and quality repair Check it out at http://rts.i-car.com/hybrid-and-electric-vehicle-disable search.html. 3M has updated its Standard Operating Procedures library. The guide has been expanded and improved to include the most up-to-date information on processes and techniques. The growing area of aluminum repair has been addressed with 21 new process charts. Information is also available on metal and plastic repair, sanding, paint finishing and car clean-up. The library can be found at: http://3mcollision.com/library/sops?utm_s ource=site_home_rotator&utm_medium= Position_3&utm_content=NewSOP&utm _campaign=on_site_tracking.
AASP-MN ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF “PREPARING FOR AN OSHA INSPECTION” WEBINAR AASP-MN is pleased to announce the availability of a new video webinar, “Preparing for an OSHA Inspection.” The program presents the most frequently cited and most commonly found OSHA violations in automotive repair facilities. Viewers are advised of what to do if OSHA shows up, how to prepare ahead of
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time, what to do during an inspection and how to identify potential problem areas in their own place of business. The program, a recording of a live workshop offered in November 2014, is approximately 97 minutes long and is divided into 5 chapters. Those who register receive a link and password that remain valid for two weeks, allowing them to access and view the program as many times as they wish during the two week time period. The cost to register is $95.00 for AASP-MN members and $125.00 for non-members. For more information about this video webinar or other AASP-MN programs and services, visit www.aaspmn.org or call (612) 623-1110. AASP-MN ANNOUNCES ITS 21st ANNUAL GOLF OUTING The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers - Minnesota (AASP-MN) invites all collision and mechanical industry professionals to attend its 21st Annual Golf Outing, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, at 3M’s Tartan Park Golf Course in Lake Elmo. Over 150 AASP-MN members, employees, vendors, and insurance industry representatives are expected to enjoy the day of golf and socializing. Play will begin at noon, followed by a social hour and awards presentation. The cost to participate is $110 per golfer or $440 per foursome. Golf holes are also available to sponsor for $350 each. For additional information, contact the AASP-MN office at (612) 623-1110 or 800-8529071 or online at www.aaspmn.org.
IN MEMORY... Audrey Westlund, wife of long-time AASP-MN member and industry icon Whitey Westlund, passed away in March. She was married to Whitey for 62 years. In addition to Whitey, Audrey is survived by three children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. AASP-MN extends its sincere condolences to the Westlund family.
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THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS Recently, AASP-MN asked for sponsorship support from its Associate members and other industry vendors to help support the Association’s educational programming and other activities in 2015. Sponsorships help AASP-MN deliver the quality programs members expect, and keep registration fees affordable. To date, the following companies have made sponsorship commitments: Gold Sponsors Auto Value Parts Stores & APH Axalta Coating Systems PPG Automotive Finishes Silver Sponsors aaa Auto Parts CBIZ AIA Inver Grove Ford LKQ/Keystone Lowell’s Performance Coatings Meadowbrook Insurance Midwest Parts Advantage Mitchell International O’Reilly Auto Parts PAM’s Auto, Inc.
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Suburban Chevrolet United Fire Group Program Sponsors 3M AASP National Autoshop Solutions CARQUEST CBIZ AIA CBIZ Payroll Dent Impressions IDENTIFIX Robert Bosch, LLC
Hospitality Sponsors AmeriPride Services BASF Automotive Refinish CCC Information Services Choice Auto Rental Dentsmart PDR Enterprise Rent-a-Car Net Driven Norton Abrasives Pro Paint Metro Sherwin-Williams
Welcome New Members:
Cherokee Service West St. Paul Honest-1 Auto Care New Hope Koppy Motors Forest Lake Len’s Automotive Service St. Paul
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COVER STORY Reprinted courtesy of SCRS
Inside the Aluminum Revolution: Factors to Consider When Upgrading Not since the introduction of the unibody vehicle has there been as revolutionary a topic to hit the collision repair industry as aluminum repair. With more and more cars and trucks equipped with this innovative material - as well as tools, products and equipment specifically designed for them - entering the market every day, the debate on how to best perform proper aluminum repairs rages on. The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) recently sat down with representatives from the equipment and tooling sides of the industry, as well as several collision repair facilities who have taken the plunge of upgrading, to get their perspectives on repair safety, the importance of accurate information and their personal experiences on the front lines of the aluminum revolution. As someone who has seen his share of tools, fasteners and repair solutions, Bastian Hartmann, project manager of Advanced Joining Technologies for Indiana-based Bollhoff, Inc., a selfpiercing rivet (SPR) fastener and tooling company, is well aware of the importance of a good tool - and the devastating consequences of an inferior one. “A company who wants to provide a proper SPR repair kit should not only sell a tool, but also have the experience and competence to guide their customers on how to set an SPR properly based on the application or material combination,” he says. “SPR equipment in mass production runs with high setting forces of up to 80kN (approximately 1.5 seconds per joint), and full process monitoring on parts fixed and clamped in engineered devices. To match the same joint quality with a handheld tool in a workshop requires not only different parameters, but also training on the technology itself. Training should be provided to all operators in the correct use of the tooling and appropriate personal safety equipment should be worn at all times.” “Rivets can take up to 11,000 pounds of force on an 8-millimeter tip,” notes Dave Gruskos, president of Reliable Automotive Equipment (RAE). “Tip quality and arm stability is vital to performing a safe and proper repair. Also, the types of rivets vary from one OEM to another, so one needs the ability to adapt the rivet to fit each job. A battery-powered rivet gun for a tiny rivet, for example, may not be the best direction.” So how can repairers be sure they’re using the right tools for the job, and more importantly, stay safe while working with them? “Collision repair professionals should be purchasing tools that have been approved and tested by car manufacturers,” enforces Gruskos. “There should be training provided on the tools’ proper use by suppliers that have a tech line. But it doesn’t stop there; repairers should continue to be trained - and retrained yearly, and should also have tools certified on an annual basis as well.” “For the installation of the SPR, body shop operators should follow the tool’s operation manual and OEM guidelines,
including all safety procedures,” adds Hartmann. “For the application, in the best case, there is an OEM repair guideline existing which describes the exact setting parameters and the rivet/die combination to use at a certain location. This takes away the ‘guessing’ on the operator side and keeps both body shop and customer safe. If such a document is not available, the OEM should provide a general SPR guideline and the provider for the equipment should be able to help the operator achieve the joint quality described in the document.” There is a plethora of information to consider when researching the decision to upgrade or modify tooling and equipment in the shop. However, in many cases, some of the most valuable data can often come straight from the real life experiences of those who have experienced it firsthand. SCRS Past Chairman Gary Wano of G.W. and Son Auto Body, Inc. in Oklahoma City, OK is a facility owner who has adopted advanced equipment and tooling to prepare for the future. As he advises, the decision cannot be made overnight. “The adoption of advanced programs, tooling, equipment and procedures has to be birthed from leadership, but a continual culture of learning must also be embraced, from the very top to the very bottom of the shop,” he says. “This is not just a plaque on a wall; it’s about making sure the correct processes are in place, about continually investing in the improvement of your business and about making sure that the people you have along for the journey are as dedicated to the business’ success as you are.” Once a shop has committed to upgrading, SCRS board member Kye Yeung of European Motor Car Works, Santa Ana, CA, notes that the research process into tool and equipment purchases should encompass the past, present and future. “As a shop owner, [deciding on equipment for advanced materials], I would look back at which lines I repaired, who my customers were and whether those OEs were thinking about changing their production or technology in the near future, i.e. carbon fiber. You don’t want to circumvent a process where a manufacturer comes up with something unique, leaving you with outdated equipment. If you’re going through that push to upgrade, start slowly; get all the basics out of the way before deciding exactly what large purchases to buy.” As Yeung continues, those large purchases should be considered with universality and convenience in mind whenever possible. “Like any type of purchase, the so-called ‘right’ brand would, in my eyes, have to include a service network that’s easily attainable. Our shop was originally involved with the Aston Martin factory-approved program, and every piece of equipment had to be imported. Even their adhesives were Euro-specific; you simply could not get them in the States. The accessibility of
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service is huge. And my suggestion would be, before you jump, see what required equipment can be used on multiple lines.” “The manufacturers dictate the tools, the equipment and the training that are mandatory [for the repair of advanced materials],” adds SCRS Chairman Ron Reichen, Precision Body & Paint, with multiple locations in Oregon. “If you’re going to take that plunge and invest in becoming a certified shop, you need to make that decision to either dip your toe in the water, or to jump in and become certified for several lines. If you invest in building a clean room for Audi’s certification program, for example, you’ll be able to use that space for several lines. Some pieces of equipment also have crossover, and with an average cost of $10,000 apiece or more on rivet guns and between $20,000 to $30,000 on welders, the economies of scale really do come into play in some respects. Do your due diligence, do your homework and pay attention to the big picture.” While market demand is also hugely influential to the decision-making process, Reichen stresses, “Research whether your market will support the lines you want to work on before purchasing equipment to fix them. Outside of your relationship with the OE, the most important tool in a repairer’s arsenal can be one’s own peers.” Wano agrees, “My relationships with my industry colleagues have been extremely helpful in my research. Whether it’s calling around to get their experiences on a certain piece of equipment or getting their take on a particular tool, keeping the lines of com-
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munication open helps us all make more informed, realistic decisions for our customers.” Yeung adds, “Your relationship with the OE and sponsoring dealer is very important because if you don’t have that affiliation, you might not know where to start in terms of purchasing equipment or getting training. Industry groups and communication are incredibly important to help facilitate that.” “The SCRS’ OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit held during the SEMA Show allowed us to hear from the aluminum and steel industry, as well as multiple automakers and businesses who have gone through the certification process,” Reichen says. “Events like these offer tons of information in one place, and grant access to more pieces of the puzzle, which is crucial for repairers who may not know where to start otherwise.” Regardless of where you as a repairer are in the process of determining your shop’s future upgrades, one thing is for certain: The OEMs - and industry associations like SCRS - are the greatest source of information on the ins and outs of becoming (and staying) certified, choosing the proper equipment for your business and fostering continued success in the market. For more information about SCRS, or to join as a member, please visit www.scrs.com, call toll free 1-877-841-0660 or email us at email@example.com.
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INSURANCE I.Q. By Dennis P. Begley CLU ChFC CUTCF CBC
The Reason to Have a Business Continuity Plan
This month, I am hosting a session on business continuity stunned. He just lost his longtime partner of 35 years. A key peragreements for a small business at the AASP-MN Convention. I son to the business is gone. And worse, the minority stock of this thought I would take this time to add a few thoughts about why Sub S corporation is now passing to the deceased partner’s four you should attend this meeting. children. I have experienced many years, more than I want to admit, This company now has five partners. There is no valuation working with business owners in this area. I have talked to hunmethod in place. No funding to redeem that stock. Sure, the madreds of business owners during the 40 years I have been doing jority owner still controls the company, but he now has four new this. I have my CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter) and my ChFC people to deal with who probably expect some cash from the (Chartered Financial Consultant) designations, which means I value. And to make it even worse, as a Sub S corporation, any have book education in addition to my years of experience. I earnings that result above business expenses have to be paid out often play the part of the quarterback in getting these plans in to the stockholders according to their percentage of ownership. place. I am the one person that looks at the big picture from all And these new four partners are not involved or contributing to sides and can help a business owner formulate a plan. the success of the business. It is so easy to get tied up in the daily tasks of running a Once a business owner dies, the options get limited very business. Life is what happens to you while you are busy making quickly. It is always best to have contingency plans in place beplans (I borrowed that from John Lennon). And time flies past so fore you need them. You should always pack your parachute bequickly, until one day time runs out. fore you jump out of the perfectly good airplane. It’s a bit late to Most of us don’t take the time to consider what happens if try to pack that chute on the way down. something bad like a death occurs. We don’t want to deal with it Be sure to sign up for this session. I look forward to talking or even take the time. I read once that most of us spend more time with you at the AASP-MN Convention. planning a vacation than we do planning our lives. And the next step is taking the time to discuss it with those that would be affected. I am going to review the different aspects of what is involved with business continuity planning. We are going to discuss the following topics: 1) Terms that are used in this area 2) How different forms of a business affect the planning and options 3) Valuing a small business and how to come up with a value and the different methods to do so 4) Why the agreement should be in writing and who should sign it 5) The importance of having a will 6) Who is the person(s) that will take over the business 7) What happens to the financial and banking relationships when a death or disability occurs 8) How to fund an agreement and the tremendous value of insuring an agreement to provide the dollars to carry it out I was referred to a small business owner recently by an attorney friend of mine. He had drafted a buy and sale agreement for the owners, but they had not signed it. And the owners needed a conversation about funding the agreement. I met with the owners and had a great conversation. They explained to me the reason they did not sign the agreement is that, after going through the process, the agreement really didn’t set up what they decided was the plan they wanted. I collected the new information and arranged to have another meeting with the attorney to revamp the agreement. I took life insurance applications on both of them to fund what their new plan was. The life insurance applications were turned in two weeks ago. I get a call this week from the majority owner. His partner died the night before. No signed documents, no life insurance. No plan on paper. The majority owner was AASP News April 2015 15
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PARTNERS IN PREVENTION
Keeping Lakes and Rivers Clean Spring rains have washed away the dirt and debris of winter, but where is ‘away’? When snowmelt or rain drain off your property into a gutter or ditch, they flow through storm drains right into the nearest lake or river. And pollutants left on sidewalks and pavement, like engine fluids, grass clippings, pet waste, dirt and salt, go with. Businesses regulated by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s stormwater permit simply follow the requirements of the permit to keep pollutants out of waterways. But auto body shops and repair shops aren’t regulated by that permit. What can you do to help keep your local lakes and rivers clean? A lot of what you can do is common sense. Pick up windblown litter around your property. Check for trash in out-of-theway and hidden areas on your property regularly. Pick up spilled trash in the area around your dumpsters after they’ve been emptied. Keep dumpster lids closed to keep rain and snow out. Don’t store anything outside that isn’t meant to be kept outside. Cars are made to sit outside, so they’re fine most of the time, but what about cars that have been in an accident? Make sure a drip pan is available for cars that are towed in. Use a squeegee and dustpan to clean up engine fluid leaks on pavement, and drain the engine if you need to store a leaking car for a while. How about that engine you pulled as a personal project and stashed out back, but haven’t gotten around to rebuilding? The grease, oil and dirt on it are polluting water every time it rains. Move it inside or get rid of it. Cast a critical eye outside your shop bay doors. What’s in that drum? If the answer is “nothing” or “I don’t know,” get rid of it. If you know what’s in it and you need it, move the drum inside before it leaks or rusts. Do you have a gravel parking lot? Look for areas where dirt might be washing away. Stabilize it with plants if you can. Con-
sider paving small areas that are particularly muddy or prone to washing out. And make sure cars aren’t tracking dirt and mud out. If your parking lot is paved, sweep regularly. Keep the parking lot litter-free whether it is paved or gravel. If your shop is on a hill, strips of grass or coarse gravel can help control stormwater that runs onto your property. Consider aerating lawns so water will soak in rather than wash over hardpacked dirt. Depending on what you do at your shop to keep stormwater clean, you might even save some money. Check your city utility bill. Is there a line for a stormwater fee? You might be able to shrink that fee if you can reduce the amount of stormwater that leaves your property or make it cleaner. Ask your city if they offer a stormwater fee credit and how you can earn it. One popular way to earn stormwater fee credits is by landscaping with raingardens. You may not even notice how many raingardens are around, because they just look like nice gardens. Runoff directed to a raingarden will soak into the ground rather carrying pollutants to the lake you enjoy so much. Many watershed districts will help you design and pay for a raingarden. A shop with grass and attractive plantings can be more welcoming for customers, too. Community groups that work to keep lakes and rivers clean remind us that “Every curb is a shoreline.” A little effort this spring will help keep your neighborhood lake or river enjoyable all year long. And a heads-up: There are a few automotive businesses that need a stormwater permit from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, such as salvage yards, commuter bus lines, charter bus services, taxi and limo services and construction sites larger than one acre.
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SHOP HERE FIRST! AASP-MN Associate Member Directory Kent Automotive – Minneapolis, MN Keystone Automotive – Minneapolis, MN LKQ - John’s Auto Parts – Blaine, MN LKQ - Minnesota – Albert Lea, MN LKQ - Viking Auto Salvage – Northfield, MN Lowell’s Performance Coatings & Equipment – Edina, MN Mark’s Towing, Inc. – Eagan, MN McClard & Associates – Hopkins, MN Meadowbrook Insurance – Overland Park, KS Merit Chevrolet – Maplewood, MN Metro Auto Salvage – Lakeville, MN Midwest Parts Advantage – Eden Prairie, MN Mighty Auto Parts – Burnsville, MN Mitchell International – Minneapolis, MN Mitchell1 – Slidell, LA Morrie’s Automotive Group – Brooklyn Park, MN Motor Parts & Equipment – Winona, MN NAPA Auto Parts – Cambridge, MN NAPA Auto Parts – New Ulm, MN NAPA Auto Parts – Forest Lake, MN NAPA Auto Parts – Monticello, MN NAPA Auto Parts – Northfield, MN NAPA Distribution Center – Owatonna, MN NAPA Distribution Center – St. Louis Park, MN National Coatings & Supplies – Little Canada, MN National Coatings & Supplies – Rochester, MN Net Driven – Duluth, MN Noble Conservation Solutions – Plymouth, MN Northland Parts – McGregor, MN Norton Automotive Aftermarket – No. St. Paul, MN O’Reilly Auto Parts – Brooklyn Park, MN P.P.G. Automotive Finishes – Edina, MN PAMs Auto, Inc. – St. Cloud, MN Parts Department of Faribault – Faribault, MN Parts Department of Owatonna – Owatonna, MN Pearl Insurance – Eden Prairie, MN Pro Paint Metro, Inc. – Baldwin, WI Pro Paint Metro, Inc. – Roseville, MN Proven Force Clutch and U Joint – Maple Grove, MN Pump & Meter Service – Hopkins, MN Rudy Luther’s Hopkins Honda – Hopkins, MN SATA Spray Equipment – Spring Valley, MN Savage Parts Service – Burnsville, MN Scharf Auto Supply – Rochester, MN Schmelz Countryside – Maplewood, MN Sharp Auto Parts, Inc. – Stillwater, MN Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes – Bloomington, MN Southern Minnesota Auto Supply Co. – Rochester, MN St. Paul/Mpls. Wholesale Parts – Anoka, MN Straight & Square Distributing, LLC – St. Cloud, MN Suburban Chevrolet – Eden Prairie, MN U.S. Auto Force – Appleton, WI U.S. Auto Force – Maple Grove, MN United Fire Group – Cedar Rapids, IA Valley Imports – Fargo, ND Valspar – Minneapolis, MN Wakeman Equipment Sales, Inc. – Brown Deer, WI Wallace Auto Parts – Columbia Heights, MN Wipers & Wipes, Inc. – Hugo, MN Wurth USA – Sioux Falls, SD
3M Company – St. Paul, MN aaa Auto Parts – East Bethel, MN aaa Auto Parts – Rosemount, MN AASP-MN BankCard Program – Minnetonka, MN Action Auto Parts of St. Paul, Inc. – St. Paul, MN Advantage Data Systems – Carver, MN AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings – Stillwater, MN AmeriPride Services – Minneapolis, MN Arcon Solutions, Inc. – Burnsville, MN Assessment Associates International – Minnetonka, MN AudaExplore – LaCrosse, WI Auto Body Specialties, Inc. – Mankato, MN Auto Color & Industrial Supply, Inc. – St. Joseph, MN Auto Nation Parts Department – White Bear Lake, MN Auto Plus Auto Stores – Apple Valley, MN Auto Plus Auto Stores – Bloomington, MN Auto Plus Auto Stores – Crystal, MN Auto Plus Auto Stores – Lexington, MN Auto Plus Auto Stores – Rogers, MN Auto Plus Auto Stores – Hopkins, MN Auto Value Parts Stores – St. Cloud, MN Autodata Labels, Inc. – Deer Park, NY Automotive Parts Solutions, Inc. – St. Cloud, MN Automotive Recyclers of MN – Minneapolis, MN Automotive Seminars, Inc. – Luxemburg, WI Automotive Training Institute – Linthicum, MD Axalta Coating Systems – Chisago, MN BASF Corporation – Crystal, MN Blue Rock Refinishing Solutions, LLC – Roseville, MN Blue Tow Service Center – Blaine, MN Boulay Financial Advisors – Minneapolis, MN Brake & Equipment Warehouse – Minneapolis, MN Buerkle Honda – White Bear Lake, MN Buerkle Hyundai – White Bear Lake, MN C.H.E.S.S. – West St. Paul, MN Car-Co Auto Parts, Inc. – Waconia, MN CARQUEST Auto Parts – Lakeville, MN CBIZ AiA – Brooklyn Center, MN CCC Information Services, Inc. – Stone Lake, WI Choice Auto Rental – Bloomington, MN Cottens’ NAPA – Anoka, MN Dent Impressions – Rogers, MN Dentsmart – Isanti, MN Derson/Clean Burn – Watertown, MN Dorman Products – Colmar, PA Dynotec Industries, Inc. – Shakopee, MN Eau Claire Auto Parts, Inc. – Eau Claire, WI Elite Worldwide, Inc. – Rancho Santa Fe, CA Enterprise Rent-A-Car – Eagan, MN Factory Motor Parts – Eagan, MN Federated Insurance – Owatonna, MN Finishmaster – Duluth, MN Finishmaster – St. Cloud, MN Finishmaster – Fridley, MN G & K Services, Inc. – Minneapolis, MN Hedahls Parts Plus – Detroit Lakes, MN Hedahls Parts Plus – Fergus Falls, MN Hertz Corporation – Richfield, MN IDENTIFIX – Roseville, MN Inver Grove Ford Lincoln – Inver Grove Heights, MN Johnson Supply Company – Duluth, MN
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Published on Apr 1, 2015