Texas Automotive April 2024

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The official publication of the Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT)
16 for the
See Pg.
2024 Texas Auto Body Trade Show Educational Lineup!
DALLAS!!! serves the auto body and collision repair industry of East Texas, Northern Louisiana, and Southern Arkansas. We look forward to providing our customers with expertise, product knowledge, training opportunities and more in our newest Desoto, TX location! Contact us today to learn how we can help your business perform at maximum efficiency! PAINT WORKS OF DALLAS, LLC 632 East Centre Park Blvd. Desoto, TX 75115 • Ph: 469-372-0855 • paintworkstyler.com Single Line AkzoNobel Distributor For Over 20 Years!




Robert McDorman Auto Claim Specialists rmcdorman@autoclaimspecialists.com (817) 756-5482

Chad Neal Innovative Collision Equipment Chadwneal@yahoo.com (817) 527-2143

Logan Payne Payne & Sons Paint & Body logan@paynescollision.com (214) 321-4362

Brandon Gillespy Park Place BodyWerks bgillespy@parkplace.com 214-443-8250

Chad Kiffe Berli's Body & Fine Finishes chadk@berlisbody.com (512) 251-6136

Greg Luther Helfman Collision gluther@helfman.com (713) 574-5060

Anthony Palomo

West Texas Auto Color japalomo3@yahoo.com (806) 831-7765

Manuel Rubio Miracle Body & Paint manuelr@miraclebp.com (210) 843-9564

Albert Salinas South Houston Nissan asalinas@southhoustonnissan.com 833-856-7871

Published by: Thomas Greco Publishing, Inc. 244 Chestnut Street, Suite 202, Nutley, NJ 07110

Corporate: (973) 667-6922 / FAX: (973) 235-1963


Thomas Greco / thomas@grecopublishing.com


Alicia Figurelli / alicia@grecopublishing.com


Alana Quartuccio / alana@grecopublishing.com


Chasidy Rae Sisk / chasidy@grecopublishing.com


Joe Greco / joe@grecopublishing.com


Donna Greco / donna@grecopublishing.com

SPECIAL CONTRIBUTORS: Burl Richards / Jill Tuggle

Robert L. McDorman / Mike Anderson / Jacquelyn Bauman


TEXAS AUTOMOTIVE is published monthly and is sent to ABAT

members free of charge. Subscriptions are $24 per year. TEXAS

AUTOMOTIVE is published by Thomas Greco Publishing Inc., 244 Chestnut St., Nutley, NJ 07110. The editorial contents of TEXAS AUTOMOTIVE are copyright © 2023 by Thomas Greco Publishing Inc. and may not be reproduced in any manner,

3 APRIL 2024 Texas Automotive
publication of the Auto Body Association of Texas
either in whole or in part, without written permission from the publisher and/or editor. Articles in this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Thomas Greco Publishing Inc. Stock Images courtesy of www. istockphoto.com Bobby Beason DeMontrond Collision Center bobby.beason@demontrond.com (936) 577-2747 Larry Cernosek Deer Park Paint & Body lcwrecker@comcast.net (281) 930-1539 Kevin Ellison Westway Ford kellison@vtaig.com (972) 584-9033
1SourceADAS 4 All Clear Diagnostics & Calibration 7 Auto Claim Specialists 21 CAR-O-LINER Southwest 22 Classic Chevrolet 24 Ecotech .............................................................. 23 English Color & Supply .................................. 19 FindPigtails.com............................................... 10 Goliath 14 Paint Works Dallas IFC Petty Details 18 Reliable Automotive Equipment 12-13 Thomas Greco Publishing 19 Transparent Claim / Who-Owes-What ....... 11 USI ....................................................................... 15 Womens Industry Network ........................... 8 ADVERTISERS’ INDEX Contents APRIL 2024 on the cover Executive Director Jill Tuggle jill@abat.us (817) 899-0554 President Burl Richards Burl's Collision Center burl@burlscollision.com (903) 657-8082 Chairman of the Board Corey Pigg S&W Expert Collision Repair coreyp@swcollision.com (936) 634-8361 Vice President Eric McKenzie Park Place Dealerships emckenzie@parkplace.com (214) 443-8250 Treasurer David Osburn “Ozzy” David McDavid Ford ozzy6384@gmail.com (817) 648-5759 Darrell Smith McDaniel’s Quality Body Works Inc darrell-mcdaniels@sbcglobal.net (903) 753-5391 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE by Burl Richards Thank You, Representative Travis Clardy! EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE by Jill Tuggle Rev Up Your Excitement: Unveiling the Thrills at the Texas Auto Body Trade Show EDITOR’S MESSAGE by Chasidy Rae Sisk Weird Book Girl TEXAS AUTO BODY TRADE SHOW SAVE THE DATE INDUSTRY UPDATE EV Repair: Fire Safety Considerations NATIONAL NEWS by Chasidy Rae Sisk Reap the Rewards of Using OEM Parts Through Nissan’s Rebate Program ASK THE EXPERT by Robert L. McDorman Still Progressing Down the Road toward Mandatory Right to Appraisal in Texas 4 DEPARTMENTS 6 @grecopublishing 9 10 KEEPING IT OG: Texas Auto Body Trade Show’s 2024 Educational Lineup by Chasidy Rae Sisk 20 14 8 16 Photo courtesy of Irving Convention Center

President’s Message Thank You, Representative Travis Clardy!

AAnything can change in the blink of an eye. Last month’s primary election certainly demonstrated that when nine Republican incumbents in the Texas House of Representatives lost their races to challengers, while another eight incumbents headed to runoffs. It was a record-breaking primary – in all of Texas’ history, this is the largest number of Republican incumbents to lose their seats.

There were many upsets in the race, but the one that touched me (and ABAT) personally was what happened in the House of Representatives election in District 11. Travis Clardy lost his race to Representative Joanne Shofner, who ran as a “Conservative Republican.”

Travis Clardy has been my representative for the past 12 years since he was first elected to the House in 2012, but our relationship goes deeper than that. Shortly after ABAT got started in 2014, we hired Travis as the association’s attorney, and at one of our first meetings, he spoke about his role as a state representative and the process of introducing legislation. Over the years, he has attended many meetings and participated in many of our trade shows to help educate repairers and also to learn more about our industry so he could better advocate for us.

Since ABAT decided to get involved in the legislative process


in 2017, Travis has always had our back, sponsoring every piece of legislation we’ve put forward and helping us promote the need for safe repairs for all Texans as well as the importance of mandating Right to Appraisal. He took the time to get to know us, our industry and our concerns. Travis never had a problem standing shoulder to shoulder with collision repairers in our fight to protect Lone Star consumers from the greedy insurance companies that want to under-indemnify and harm them.

So, yes, Travis Clardy has been my representative for over a decade, but more importantly, he has become my friend and a friend to our industry. I’m truly sorry to see him leave this position, and I’m going to miss his support greatly. I cannot thank him enough for everything he has done to support ABAT, the Texas collision repair industry and our legislative efforts over the years.

I don’t know our future District 11 representative yet, but I reckon I’ll be getting to know them soon, and I hope that they’ll be as supportive of their constituents as Representative Clardy has been.

continued on pg. 23

4 APRIL 2024 Texas Automotive
Burl Richards ABAT President
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Join ABAT today in our mission to promote consumer safety, proper repairs and the success of the collision repair industry!


Executive Director’s Message

Rev Up Your Excitement: Unveiling the Thrills at the Texas Auto Body Trade Show

IIt’s finally April, and registration for the 2024 Texas Auto Body Trade Show is OPEN! We are always so excited, but this year will be absolutely epic. I want to tell you about all the FUN we have planned, so buckle up!

Speaking of buckling up…you’re going to need to do that at the Irving Convention Center too because we are bringing a NASCAR simulator to the show floor! This life-sized simulator will allow all attendees to take a virtual lap in the ABAT 500 race! The winner will receive two free NASCAR race tickets to ANY race in the country! Stop by any of the sponsor booths for an extra chance to win!

In addition to the NASCAR simulator, we are bringing another new toy to the show. Stop by the ABAT booth on Saturday to try your luck at the claw machine! ABAT members will get a chance to let their inner child loose and try their luck to win all kinds of swag and prizes. And a little secret – the claw machine will actually make its debut the night before at our annual Friday night After Party at Bar Louie, where it will be filled with party items and prizes like free drink tickets!

We are also bringing back our ladies event! My vision for this gathering was to have a place for collision ladies to connect. Women in our industry are cut from a different cloth – we are not always high-tea kind of girls, so our ladies’ event won’t be all crumpets and hummus. In 2023, we sipped craft margaritas by the pool and had an absolute blast (even if we boiled a bit in the Texas sun).

This year, we are seeking shade and tasting tequila at the Texican Court’s boutique tequila bar, Salt. There will be special gifts and great networking with gals just like us, who are a little different in the best freaking way.

How could I talk about fun and not mention the 2024 BIG SHOTS Competition?! If you haven’t participated in this skill-based battle, it is a must-see and must-do activity at the show! Be on the lookout for next month’s message where I will give you all the details of the competition. Let me just leave you with this: There’s $1,000 cash on the line for each category!!

If you missed my message last month, go back and check out where I highlighted our educational offerings (or flip to page 16 for a detailed look). Be sure to read about Repairidy! our interactive auto body game show that you’re going to love!

And the fun does not stop there…Stop by different vendor booths to try your hand at spinning wheels, cornhole games and poker hands. We have fun and prizes waiting around every corner. Who ever said a trade show had to be all serious business?


Editor’s Message

Weird Book Girl

When I was 18 years old, I began working at a real estate appraisal management company while attending college. I planned to work there until I graduated – when I would immediately land a high-profile writing/editing job with a $100,000 starting salary, of course (hahaha, the naivety of youth)! Well, I was wrong, so I hung onto that reliable paycheck for the next 17 years, transitioning from one position to another in an attempt to make myself valuable enough to survive the layoffs that came every couple years. And I excelled in every role, becoming the top performer on my team more often than not. But when I expressed interest in an opening as a team lead (the lowest of management positions), I was discouraged from pursuing it. In fact, one of my managers outright laughed at me, while another told me it wouldn’t be a good fit.

See, I was a hard worker, but I didn’t socialize much with my co-workers. I always saw that as a distraction from what I was being paid to do. In fact, I spent my daily breaks walking around or sitting on a bench with a book in my hand. Little did I know, I’d earned myself the moniker “Weird Book Girl.” As time passed, I grew increasingly bored with my position – and along with boredom came discontent; I was miserable because I wasn’t reaching my full potential.

I began searching for a new job, and after only one interview, I received an offer; however, my supervisor (Molly) learned of

my plans and came up with an idea: what if I helped write some standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the team? It wasn’t her strong suit, but it would be helpful since we had pretty high turnover at the time. From that endeavor, she recognized that I had an untapped skillset, so she began asking for my help with reports to track the team’s productivity and quality, and when Molly’s team lead left the company, I finally received that promotion. The funny thing was my new role required a lot more interaction with my co-workers…and no one was more surprised than me to find that I had no problem meeting that requirement. And when a supervisor position opened up a couple years later, our manager (Jeanette) offered it to me right away.

By then, I had begun my side hustle as a freelance writer, so I still spent the majority of my breaks being the weird book girl, though it was more likely to find me with a notebook and pencil in hand. But instead of seeing that as a quirk and detriment like past managers did, both Molly and Jeanette viewed it as a strength that also benefited our business since I was constantly learning new things and even applied some of the business, leadership and training knowledge I acquired to what I was doing in our appraisal world.

Why Join WIN?

WIN offers education, mentoring and leadership development opportunities to build critical skills for success in the collision repair market.

• Local/Regional Networking Events

• Annual Education Conference

• Educational Webinars

• Mentoring Opportunities womensindustrynetwork.com

• Scholarship Program

• School Outreach Program

• Most Influential Women (MIW) Award

It’s easy to focus on an employee’s shortcomings in one area without understanding why they may not meet those expectations, but multiple studies have shown that helping employees develop their strengths is a much more effective method of improving overall performance. It also enhances engagement and makes companies more likely to retain those employees. And those are great ways to boost profit!

Because of my experiences early in my career, I went into my supervisory role with a different perspective than my peers had. I viewed each member of my team as an individual, not as cogs in a wheel that were supposed to fit a certain mold. I adapted training as necessary to meet their needs, I delegated tasks to the people who were interested in and equipped to take them on, and I got to know them all and engaged in conversations both professionally and personally…and our previously distressing retention rate soared. In my six years as a supervisor, I only had to fire one associate, and our team saw very little turnover. Every month, we met or exceeded our team goals, even after they were made more stringent.

Playing to my team’s strengths made their jobs more enjoyable, and it made mine easier. When the opportunity arose in 2021 to join the team at Thomas Greco Publishing, my boss and my team expressed sorrow at seeing me leave, but they were also overwhelmingly happy for me to pursue my writing dreams. After all, I’ve always been – and will always be – that weird book girl, but that’s never been the weakness that people used to believe it was. It’s one of my greatest strengths!

So, take a look at your team. Embrace their quirks, focus on their strengths, and reevaluate what you see as their weaknesses. They could have skills you’re not capitalizing on…and that type of short-sightedness might be a weakness worth overcoming! TXA

8 APRIL 2024 Texas Automotive
9 APRIL 2024 Texas Automotive 2024 THE LARGEST SHOW OF ITS KIND IN THE SOUTHWEST! For more information visit www.abat.us/tradeshow SAVE THE DATE! New Dates! July 12-13, 2024
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Industry Update

EV Repair: Fire Safety Considerations

When it comes to repairing electric vehicles, safety should always be the number one priority. One of the primary risks in EV repair is the high voltage present in batteries and powertrain components. Even a small mistake could lead to a deadly situation.

Lithium-ion batteries, while efficient and powerful, can be prone to thermal runaway if damaged or improperly handled. This could result in a fire that is difficult to extinguish, posing significant danger to the entire repair area.

In addition to always wearing personal protective equipment when working on hybrid and e-vehicles, technicians must be trained using manufacturer procedures on how to safely handle lithium-ion batteries and how to respond in the event of a fire. Properly outfitting the repair area with preventative safety equipment and accessories is a necessary measure to not only ensure efficient and effective repairs, but also minimize the risk of accidents or injuries.

If a fire does occur, products like the RAE containment blanket are essential to prevent building damage in the repair area. When used properly, the fire blanket will prevent flames from spreading to surrounding areas, isolating the fire and lowering the oxygen content at the scene of the fire. All this helps give professional emergency services time to respond to the incident.

The WS 1100 fire protection ceiling is non-flammable (A1) according to EN 13501-1, with innovative, mineral-coated high-temperature fabric on both sides with continuous thermal load up to 2012 °F. The blanket can withstand a short-term thermal load of up to 2462 °F, with a melting point above 2912 °F. It is extremely lightweight and easy to deploy in an emergency.

For more information on the WS fire containment blanket or critical safety measures that should be considered when repairing EVs or conventional vehicles, Reliable Automotive Equipment is your

If a fire does occur, products like the RAE containment blanket are essential to prevent building damage in the repair area.

10 APRIL 2024 Texas Automotive
source for products, training and support. Visit them at raeservice.com or call (800) 328-7855 to learn more. TXA
11 APRIL 2024 Texas Automotive UPCOMING ONE-OF-A-KIND CLAIM MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE FOR AUTO DEALERSHIPS Who-Owes-What is designed to help a wide range of institutions frequently involved in primarily liability auto claims (auto lending institutions, auto dealerships with loaner fleets, etc.) determine in a transparent way who owes what following a partial or total vehicle loss. Simplify your business, improve client relationships, and save money using Who-Owes-What. Currently in testing with a major automotive dealership group! For additional information and updates on availability, please visit Who-Owes-What.com Who-Owes-What is a division of Claim Transparency Innovations, LLC EXPECTED AVAILABILITY LATE 2023 UPCOMING ONE-OF-A-KIND CLAIM MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE FOR BODY SHOPS Recent and ongoing changes in the auto collision claim process such as remote appraisals based purely upon photos
claim process significantly more challenging and frustrating for body shops, using up more and more of your scarce and costly administrative resources. TRANSPARENT CLAIM was developed to move control of claims from the insurance carriers into the hands of the body shop and make the entire collision claim process transparent for all parties involved. For additional information and updates on availability, please visit TransparentClaim.com. Transparent Claim is a division of Claim Transparency Innovations, LLC OUR MOTTO: IF IT’S FAIR, EXPOSE IT! Currently in testing with 3 highly rated body shops Expected availability late 2023
have made the
WHICH INVERTAPULS WELDER IS BEST FOR YOUR SHOP? SCAN TO LEARN MORE Extremely simple to use entry-level welding machine for steel welding. Constructed with durable materials and produces great results on panels as thin as .023 inches. Perfect for standard shop use. Versatile dual torch welding machine capable of performing various welding processes with Automotive Cold Transfer including aluminum welding, MIG brazing on steel, traditional MIG welding, and pulse welding IM240-i SINGLE PHASE IP6-2 THREE PHASE OEM APPROVALS www.raeservice.com (800)328-7855 For over 30 years, Reliable Automotive Equipment has been the premier OEM Collision Repair equipment supplier. Continue reading for details on our range of OEM certified welders, tailored for diverse automotive needs. Discover the ideal choice for your workshop today! 12 APRIL 2024 Texas Automotive



New generation of the IP6-2! Incredibly self-explanatory and dual torch welding machine capable of performing the same welding processes listed under IP6-2. 10-280 AMP’s of welding power professional shop use!

Cutting-edge triple torch machine capable of steel, brazing, aluminum, pulse and double pulse welding. Has memory of 90 welding parameters. The allrounder for body shop professionals.

*All of the above welders utilize inverter technology to provide better control over the welding arc, increase energy e ciency, and improve welding performance

13 APRIL 2024 Texas Automotive

Reap the Rewards of Using OEM Parts Through Nissan’s Rebate Program

Fit, quality, performance, safety, cycle time, fewer returns, enhanced customer satisfaction…There are many reasons for collision repair facilities to use OEM parts. The opportunity to save money has been added to that list, thanks to Nissan’s parts rebate program, which seeks to reward repairers for using more OEM parts!

When a shop uses more OEM parts, they’re eligible for a larger rebate – up to 22 percent! – as the rebate multiplies based on the percentage of Nissan or Infiniti OEM parts ordered through OPSTrax, a parts procurement platform. All parts are eligible for the rebate, as long as they are ordered as part of a complete repair estimate.

Orders that include 65 to 75 percent OEM parts receive a five percent rebate on those parts, with the rebate doubling to 10 percent for those parts on orders consisting of 75 to 85 percent OEM parts…and then doubling again to a 20 percent rebate if the order is comprised of more than 85 percent OEM parts.

Although Nissan/Infiniti certification is not necessary to be eligible to participate in the rebate program, certified shops do receive an additional one percent rebate, as long as their total share of OEM parts reaches at least 50 percent. An extra one percent rebate is available by subscribing to RepairLogic and using it to create two or more Nissan/Infiniti repair plans each month.

For example, on a $3,000 estimate utilizing 80 percent OEM

parts, a non-certified shop would be eligible for a rebate of $30. By increasing OEM parts usage to 100 percent, that shop’s rebate climbs to approximately $135; a certified shop using RepairLogic would be around $165. The entire estimate must be submitted through OPSTrax using TraxMatch to qualify.

The main goal behind the program is to ensure Nissan/Infiniti customers receive the safest possible repairs, utilizing OEM parts by well-trained technicians, but it also offers value to repair facilities. “Nissan knows it gives the shop operator an opportunity to take another step toward ensuring they install the parts they feel more confident in,” according to Daniel Dent (Nissan). “We want to partner with businesses and individuals who care about the customer experience and provide the absolute safest repair possible. Nissan understands that our customers’ safety comes first, and we know the safest repair is one with 100 percent OEM parts with trained technicians and the right tools.”

Rebates are paid via ACH to the shop’s chosen business account, and there is no cost to access OPSTrax, although shops will be charged five percent of the total rebate as a monthly administrative fee. Enroll now through April 30, 2024 to be eligible for a $100 signup bonus.

Sign up now at bit.ly/NissanPartRebate to start reaping the rewards of OEM parts usage! TXA

14 APRIL 2024 Texas Automotive National News

Buying a paint booth is a huge investment, and there are many factors to carefully consider before selecting one Will the booth work well in a region where there’s a ton of humidity and with drastic changes in the weather? How long do you think the booth will last and will it require a lot of maintenance? Will your painters be comfortable using it ever y day and finally, will the company making the booth provide solid training and reliable customer ser vice?

To answer these questions before acquiring two Chronotech spray booths and a prep deck from USI ITALIA back in 2004, Collision Center Manager Kevin McIllveen at Russell & Smith Body Shop in Houston, TX spent six months studying the market He was looking for the best booths that matched his needs to use in a brand-new 36,000 sq ft facility that the company built from the ground up

Mcllveen, age 56, entered the industr y more than three decades ago as an estimator and has worked for Russell & Smith Body Shop since 1993 His goal with his new spray booths was to improve the efficiencies in his paint department and to accommodate his production, he said, while simultaneously saving time and energy if possible

The vetting process was arduous but worth it in the end. "We did our research so that we could make an educated decision," he said "I went to NACE two years in a row and talked to literally ever yone and asked a lot of questions We knew that this was going to be a ver y significant investment, so we took the time to perform our due diligence to cover all our bases We invested in their prep stations as well, which was another good decision, because my guys can work so much faster and effectively with five different places where we can spray We put a curtain up in the prep booth that provides us two additional spaces that are heated and properly ventilated So, when we are really jammed, we can handle the workload and maintain our cycle time without interrupting or slowing down our production "

After using them for a ver y short time, Mcllveen could clearly see that his Chronotechs were more than capable as they quickly became a centerpiece in his new, high-end, modern shop

"We have four paint teams here, consisting of a painter and a painter’s helper and we consistently log approximately 600-700 paint hours weekly,” he said “We switched to waterborne paint when we opened this facility because we want to provide a healthier climate for our employees and the community as a whole ”

we push these booths and they never let us down ”

Any issues that Russell & Smith Body Shop have encountered with their USI ITALIA booths have been rare and far between But Mcllveen feels good knowing that if called upon, the company will respond and find solutions promptly “If you do your scheduled maintenance and keep ever ything clean, these booths will last you 30 years and maybe even longer The issues that we have encountered with the Chronotechs have been minor and quickly solved, which is impressive when you think that we have been using these booths daily for the last 16 years. I tell people that these booths will be here long after I’ve retired!”

Why was Mcllveen able to improve his numbers by simply adding two USI booths? “In the end, it all comes down to their airflow because we never need blowers or additional air to cure these vehicles The fans in these Chronotechs are exceptional because they feature variable speeds, so we can switch depending on the parameters of each job. Our painters are producing an impressive product day after day, so these booths are saving us both time and money We paint an average of 400 cars ever y month, so

After training provided by USI ITALIA, Mcllveen’s painters were able to start spraying after one day, he said "The Chronotechs are designed to work with waterborne paint, which makes it easier for our painters to do their work After a ver y short time, all of our guys were comfortable and the results were consistently exceptional.”

Mcllveen is also impressed by the Chronotech's sturdy construction and durability "Some booths are just a box, but these are wellbuilt," he said “I know, because I've seen them all and there isn't anything like a USI ITALIA booth "

His career in collision repair industr y has been a great experience and products like his USI ITALIA spray booths and prep station are a part of that, he said “We haven’t had to furlough anybody here and that’s because we value our people and, in the end, our Chronotechs are part of the team ”

15 APRIL 2024 Texas Automotive
& Smith Logging Big Paint Hours with USI
& Prep Station USI of North America | 565 Commerce Street Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417 | 201-405-7761 | s moretto@usius com | www.usius.com

Cover Story Keeping It OG:

Texas Auto Body Trade Show’s 2024 Educational Lineup

What does it mean to be “original?” The word actually has a couple definitions; it can describe something that came first, something that sets the standard and serves as a model of what should be, or “original” may suggest that something is innovative, novel and new…in either case, ABAT’s Texas Auto Body Trade Show certainly fits the bill when it comes to originality!

Year after year – since 2016! – your local association has hosted world-class vendors, top-tier educators and hundreds of auto body shops from the Lone Star State and beyond as ABAT delivers updates on industry trends, showcases the latest and greatest tools and equipment and provides exciting experiences you can’t find anywhere else. And the 2024 iteration of this original event, taking place July 12-13 at the Irving Convention Center, promises to continue in the same tradition while bringing just a little something extra.

“This year, we are bringing in speakers that we have never had at any ABAT meetings!” shares ABAT Executive Director Jill Tuggle. “We are really excited to bring these fresh yet nationally recognized faces to y’all! Of course, we are bringing back the speakers you cannot get enough of, and we are even getting what I would call a ‘Collision Advice three-course meal’ as we welcome not just Mike Anderson but also several members of his team to teach on a variety of topics. His very vocal support of ABAT and what we are doing is immeasurable!”

Collision Advice’s Sheryl Driggers kicks things off on Thursday morning with Game Changer Customer Experience. “Customer experience is paramount in the collision repair industry because we are often the first point of contact for individuals who have just experienced a traumatic event – a car accident,” she explains. “These customers are understandably stressed, anxious and sometimes unsure of what to do next. How we handle their experience can greatly influence their choice of a collision repair facility that is right for them. By focusing on customer experience, repair shops can build trust and loyalty among their guests. This session aims to highlight the importance of empathetic and relational approaches over merely transactional ones, ultimately leading to customers who are raving fans and establishing the shop as the premier choice in the market due to unparalleled customer experience.”

Driggers promises, “Attendees of this session can expect to gain valuable insights and practical strategies for enhancing their approach to customer interactions. Through practical examples and interactive exercises, attendees will learn to identify a customer’s DISC communication style, enabling them to adapt their communication effectively for each personality type. Participants will walk away with sample scripts and other customer service resources that they can immediately implement in their repair shops. Repairers will learn how to effectively communicate with customers during a highly emotional and stressful time, manage

16 APRIL 2024 Texas Automotive

expectations and prioritize customer experience within their organization. By attending this session, repairers can equip themselves with the tools and techniques necessary to provide a positive and supportive experience for their customers.”

During the same time slot, attendees will have the option of attending Damage Appraisal Documentation with BASF’s John Shoemaker or From Dent to Delivery: AI Tools and Strategies to Reduce Cycle Time, taught by Tom Zobelein (Capture the Keys), as he explores ways shops can strategically introduce artificial intelligence (AI) into their daily operations. “The advancement in AI technology has introduced a variety of tools beyond just chatbots, providing numerous simple solutions to automate or remove repetitive tasks in body shops. Increasingly, we’re noticing that bottlenecks are not only in the shop but also in the front office operations. I plan to explore a selection of these straightforward tools that could significantly streamline or automate various stages of our repair process,” he says. “I’ll cover a selection of AI tools that shops can adopt immediately and provide guidance on how to integrate these tools into existing workflows and present various scenarios where they could be beneficial. My aim is to demystify AI, illustrating its ease of use and highlighting applications that may be new to you. I’ll even introduce a unique AI tool that’s designed to help you discover other AI solutions!”

President Burl Richards’ (Burl’s Collision Center; Henderson) Navigating Collision Repair Regulations and Insurance Terminology, Do You Have Leaky Profit? Find Out Where Profit Leaks from Your Collision Center and How to Fill the Holes! presented by Taylor Moss (OEConnection) or Estimating for Seat Belt Inspections with Danny Gredinberg of the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG).

“For years, I wondered ‘why do insurers pay for some repairs but not others? Why do they agree to and refuse certain rates?’ I’ve learned a lot and want to pass that knowledge along to help others understand how it all works,” Richards explains the motivation for his course. “I hope to provide attendees with a better understanding of what the State of Texas says about vehicle repairs and a better sense of why they are paid what they get paid, which in return will help them make day-to-day business decisions.”

Moss wants to help shops increase profitability by uncovering areas that may be costing more than they realize. “There is an ever-increasing downward pressure from insurance companies to control costs and have predictability in their outcomes,” he says. “The advancement of safety features in vehicles has driven the cost of repairs skyward and premiums haven’t caught up yet. Thus, understanding where you have profit leaks in your business is becoming more and more critical in order to pay competitive wages that keep you off the hiring hamster wheel, keep your shop running efficiently and profitably and help you find peace of mind in running your business.

“Repairers can expect to find real actionable areas to look at in their business where they may be losing profit today,” Moss adds. “We will delve into several areas where it is common for collision shops to be either losing money or not making much (or any!) money and discuss steps to take to reverse those outcomes to benefit the business and enhance profitability. This is meant to have real-world takeaways so you can look at your business with a critical eye and take something home that you can implement to become more profitable within days.”

Meanwhile, Gredinberg wants to help auto body professionals deliver the safest possible repairs to their customers. “Vehicle owners deserve the best of us, including a full understanding of the vehicle’s safety systems. We need to recognize that the liability of not performing ‘safety inspections’ could lead to a catastrophic situation,” he observes, promising to provide attendees with an “understanding of what resources are available to locate safety inspection information and the ability to build an evidence package around the necessary steps.”

Friday morning’s educational delights will conclude with Success Today, Success Tomorrow, presented by industry icon Mike Anderson of Collision Advice at 11:30am. Brand new in 2024, this class covers a variety of topics that today’s top shops need to know to stay ahead of the curve; attendees will acquire valuable information on industry trends related to employee retention, OEM certification, DRP and non-DRP models, AI and building customer relationships.

After spending an afternoon on the trade show floor (open 1pm until 8pm), attendees will want to rest their feet and exercise their laugh box by tuning into Repairidy!, a Jeopardyinspired, interactive game show, hosted by Gredinberg and Erin

At 10:15am, attendees can choose between three sessions: ABAT continued on pg. 18

17 APRIL 2024 Texas Automotive

continued from pg. 17

Solis (Certified Collision Group) at 4pm. During this electrifying event, participants from all corners of the collision repair industry will compete in a series of thrilling rounds designed to test their expertise and problem-solving abilities as contestants face off to tackle questions and scenarios related to collision repair techniques, industry standards, safety protocols and cutting-edge technologies.

“Repairidy will test contestants’ knowledge directly in the spotlight,” Gredinberg notes. “It keeps contestants and attendees on their toes with questions about the past, present and future of our industry!”

On Saturday morning at 9am, Anderson returns with 100 Percent Disassembly Best Practices. “One of the most common things I see while traveling over 300 days a year and visiting so many shops is that most people believe they’re doing 100 percent disassembly, but they’re actually doing more like 80 or 90 percent disassembly,” Anderson points out. “Repairers need to realize 100 percent disassembly is the foundation for so much. It’s necessary and required to write an accurate repair plan; it’s critical for capturing all the items that can be removed and installed, improving the quality of your repair plan and minimizing supplements. It’s also critical to the parts mirror-matching process. If we don’t remove everything, it’s much more difficult for the parts person to mirror-match the parts.”

Disassembly is actually vital for all stakeholders, according to Anderson. “The customer service person can set more accurate delivery expectations for the customer, and it’s critical when we order parts from our vendor. Really, it’s critical to everything we do and to all stakeholders. One of the most important things I want to impart to everyone who attends this class: When I had my shops, a big mistake I made would be to tell people what to remove instead of telling them WHY it needs to be removed. If we can help our team understand WHY something needs to be removed during 100 percent disassembly, it’s more sustainable, so I’m very excited to share some insights on this subject with Texas repairers.”

Alternately, auto body professionals might elect to check out AkzoNobel’s Tony Adams as he dives into Understanding Contemporary Workforce Dynamics: What Does the Data Say and How Does History and Human Biology Play a Role? “This is an important topic for shops to learn about as the workforce is changing,” Adams stresses. “We spend a lot of time working on better production techniques or estimatics, but we forget to work on

“ This year, we are bringing in speakers that we have never had at any ABAT meetings! We are really excited to bring these fresh yet nationally recognized faces to y’all!”

our people skills. Creating cultures where people want to come to work takes strong leadership. My hope for participants coming out of this session is to reframe their thoughts on what employees want from their employer and for the people in lead positions to elevate their leadership skills.”

At 10:15am, attendees might want to attend Unveiling Trends and Reimbursement Strategies for Body Shop Materials, presented by Yanni Koutmos (Eagle MMS), who will share reimbursement strategies and resources available to shops today.

Or they may want to engage in Honest Conversations: How to be YOUR Best with Clay Hoberecht of Best Body Shop (Wichita, KS). “Right now, the industry is upside down and inside out, and logic isn’t always so logical,” he says. “But I know that, personally, I had to have a consultant, Auto Damage Experts, come into my life and make some very REAL observations to shock me out of my stupor! As an industry, we have gotten so used to some really ridiculous ways of doing business that we don’t even realize how absurd it is until someone comes along and challenges the status quo. Facing this can be very emotional for some folks – I’ve seen people go from angry to sad to surprised to excited in a very short time – and attendees typically either love or hate what I have to share.”

So why should anyone subject themselves to such an emotional roller coaster? According to Hoberecht, “There’s not a single repair facility owner or employee who doesn’t know the industry is broken, but almost no one is doing anything about it. We have done something at our shop. We don’t struggle or deal with the majority of what the industry is dealing with. But if they want to stay on the hamster wheel, they shouldn’t come to my class.”

The 2024 educational slate will wrap up at 1pm with The Culture Club, an engaging panel discussion that will explore the intricacies of company culture, featuring Anderson, Adams and Richards. Expect to gain valuable insights into various aspects of company culture, ranging from shortened work weeks to employee engagement strategies as panelists draw from their own experiences

continued on pg. 23

18 APRIL 2024 Texas Automotive
Cover Story
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Ask The Expert

Still Progressing Down the Road Toward

Mandatory Right to Appraisal in Texas

Dear Mr. McDorman,

I own and operate a collision facility in East Texas. Like the reader in last month’s editorial, I have also read through all of the reports you have referenced in your monthly editorials on the critical topic of Right to Appraisal in Texas (Texas Watch’s “Impact Of Auto Appraisal” analysis, the Office of Public Insurance Counsel Report to the 88th Texas Legislature and the Texas Department of Insurance 2022 Biennial Report). I can confirm that the findings in these reports are also consistent with what we are seeing in our operation daily.

A large number of our clients are also having an additional amount due on top of their deductible to have their vehicle returned to its pre-loss condition; however, each of the clients who follow our advice to contact you seem to be made whole for their loss. Your impressive results have convinced me that you are spot-on when you always say that the Right to Appraisal is the guardrail for proper indemnification. Is there anything we can do as collision facility owners to help secure mandatory appraisal rights in Texas motor vehicle policies?

Thank you for your comments and question. The egregious behavior of carriers under-indemnifying motor vehicle claims is not just a Texas issue, as we see this in many other states we are licensed in. I spoke with several additional lawmakers just this past month to help educate them on this atrocity while seeking advice on how best to move forward with getting passed a bill to make the Right to Appraisal mandatory in each motor vehicle policy. As to what collision facility owners like yourself can do to help us secure mandatory appraisal rights in Texas, I would strongly recommend advising each client who has been under-indemnified on their loss to turn in a complaint to the Texas Department of Insurance. Based on what lawmakers have told me, this data will be critical in our push to secure mandatory appraisal rights in all Texas policies during the next legislative session.

It is my unwavering position that limiting or removing the Right to Appraisal in a motor vehicle policy will be the nail in the coffin for safe roadways for us all. As we move forward with this journey to secure the mandatory Right to Appraisal in motor vehicle policies, we will need to continue to educate all parties involved of the consequences of its removal. The more complex our motor vehicles become, the greater the need for the repair methodology to be determined through the Right to Appraisal by repair professionals when a dispute arises.

As I have noted in several past editorials and public speaking engagements over the years, as a stark consumer advocate, Auto Claim Specialists has gone to agencies with well-documented facts seeking to help our clients who have been harmed by their insurance carrier and to bring awareness to these systematic atrocities. At each turn, we were told the only help was to seek legislation or a finder of fact.

Robert is a recognized Public Insurance Adjuster and Certified Vehicle Value Expert specializing in motor vehicle-related insurance claim resolution. Robert can be reached by phone at (800) 736-6816, (817) 756-5482 or via email at AskTheExpert@autoclaimspecialists.com.

The under-indemnification in total loss and repair procedure claims in Texas is rampant. Besides the higher settlements for total loss clients averaging 28 percent above the carrier’s undisputed loss statement, we have also reduced clients’ out-of-pocket expenses on repair procedure disputes in almost every case that crosses our desk. These under-indemnification percentages are staggering and harmful to Texas citizens.

The spirit of the Appraisal Clause is to resolve loss disputes fairly and to do so in a timely and cost-effective manner. Invoking the Appraisal Clause removes inexperienced and biased carrier appraisers and claims handlers from the process, undermining their management’s many tricks to undervalue the loss settlement and under-indemnify the insured. Through the Appraisal Clause, loss disputes can be resolved relatively quickly, economically, equitably and amicably by unbiased, experienced, independent third party appraisers as opposed to more costly and time-consuming methods such as mediation, arbitration and litigation.

In today’s world regarding motor vehicle insurance policies, frequent changes in claim management and claim handling policies and non-standardized GAP Addendums, we have found it is always in the best interest of the insured or claimant to have their proposed insurance settlement reviewed by an expert before accepting. There is never an upfront fee for Auto Claim Specialists to review a motor vehicle claim or proposed settlement and give their professional opinion as to the fairness of the offer.

Please call me should you have any questions relating to the policy or covered loss. We have most insurance policies in our library. Always keep in mind a safe repair is a quality repair and quality equates to value. I thank you for your question and look forward to any follow-up questions that may arise.


20 APRIL 2024 Texas Automotive
21 APRIL 2024 Texas Automotive Vehicle Value Experts is a unique appraisal firm specializing in Actual Cash Value Appraisals; Insurance Total Loss Market Evaluation Reports; Collision & Mechanical Repair Estimates, and Diminished Value Claims. PH: 409-200-2226 F: 409-750-7160 appraisals@vehiclevalueexperts.com 777 Main St., Suite 600 Fort Worth, TX 76102 www.vehiclevalueexperts.com CONTACT US FROM ANYWHERE IN THE U.S.! 201 Main Street Suite 600 Fort Worth, TX 76102 817-756-5482 Fax: 866-550-0484 Toll Free: 800-736-6816 claims@autoclaimspecialists.com WE SUPPORT MEMBER We are experienced in negotiating claims with insurance companies. As a Licensed Public Insurance Adjuster Agency, we can ensure a fair settlement on your auto claim. It is our duty to act on your behalf! Founder Robert McDorman WE SUPPORT PROUD MEMBER WWW.AUTOCLAIMSPECIALISTS.COM TOTAL LOSS: If your vehicle was totaled following an accident, we’ll examine the market value comparison report, collision repair estimate and settlement offer prior to settlement. DIMINISHED VALUE: We have been helping people with Diminished Value claims since 1999. Do you qualify for a diminished value assessment? Contact us! APPRAISALS: Our comprehensive auto appraisal reports offer a documented value assessment based on the subject vehicle’s condition at the time of the incident or loss. ALLOW US TO ASSIST YOU WITH: Look for the VVEverified™ seal When you see the VVEverified™ seal, you can rest assured that the accompanying valuation comes from an expert auto appraiser, not from a faceless black box pricing algorithm. That is our promise! Settle with Confidence! If you need a recognized and qualified expert to provide testimony for you or your client, make sure you select one who’s certified! Choose The Vehicle Value Experts!

President’s Message

continued from pg. 4

As I already mentioned, Travis was not the only incumbent to lose his race; lots of districts experienced this type of huge shakeup, so as ABAT starts gearing up for the next legislative session, we need to be prepared for all the new faces we’re going to encounter at the Capitol. We will need to invest more time and energy into educating these new legislators on our industry and the things that affect our businesses. We must forge new relationships.

Doing all of that requires us to truly understand not only ABAT’s legislative initiatives but also the Texas laws currently impacting our shops, and we want to help educate YOU so you can educate your legislators when the time comes. Make sure you’re paying attention to what the association has scheduled because we regularly hold webinars and meetings where we’ll discuss these important matters. And you definitely want to head to Irving on July 12-13 for ABAT’s Texas Auto Body Trade Show where I’ll be presenting a class focused specifically on Texas repair laws (take a look at the full training schedule on page 16).

You do NOT want to miss the 2024 iteration of the auto body trade show in Texas; it just gets bigger and better every year as your association finds new ways to better support YOU and your business! I look forward to seeing y’all there!



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continued from pg. 18

to illustrate how a positive culture can drive innovation, enhance productivity and contribute to long-term sustainability.

“Shops know that for some of their employees, a working environment that promotes a great culture is worth more than a few extra dollars on their paycheck,” Richards points out. “They want a balance, and this panel will help give ideas to shop managers and owners on how to create a better culture inside the shop.”

And of course, the educational agenda (as impressive as it may be!) is only part of what makes the show such a draw year after year. The original auto body trade show in Texas, created FOR auto body shops BY auto body shops, also features a load of fun! In addition to the activities everyone has come to expect each year – the ABAT After Party, a car show and the BIG SHOTS Competition – some new additions in 2024 will include a claw machine where association members can win cool swag and a NASCAR simulator which will give each attendee a chance to compete for the fastest lap with one lucky winner walking away with tickets to any NASCAR race in the country!

Stay tuned for more updates on the 2024 Texas Auto Body Trade Show in next month’s Texas Automotive. To learn more about the show and to register, visit abat.us/tradeshow. TXA

23 APRIL 2024 Texas Automotive
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