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PLUS:  • What Does Nissan/Infiniti Say About  Feather, Prime & Block? • WACTAL Members: We Need Your Help!

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2016-2018 WACTAL BOARD of DIRECTORS President Larry Terrien, MJ Collision Center Vice President Mark Williams, Williams Auto Body Secretary Ronnie Goss, Goss Auto Body, Inc. Treasurer Sue Black, Dean’s Auto Body Directors Eileen Haberman, Glen's Auto Body, Inc. Mike Miyagawa, M & M Auto Body Inc. Michael Taylor, Zimbrick ChevroletSun Prairie

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Vol. 6, Number 1

CONTENTS PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE................................................................4 We Need Your Help! by Larry Terrien LOCAL NEWS..................................................................................6 Commercial Auto Body Celebrates 40th Anniversary by Alana Bonillo BUSINESS INSURANCE SAVINGS FOR WACTAL MEMBERS ..........................8

Tracy Black, Dean’s Auto Body, Inc. Association Administration Sue Peterson / (800) 366-9472 Lobbyist Jolene Plautz

PUBLISHED BY: Thomas Greco Publishing, Inc. 244 Chestnut St., Suite 202 Nutley, NJ 07110 PHONE: 973-667-6922 • FAX: 973-235-1963

WACTAL MEMBER SPOTLIGHT ........................................................9 Fisco Auto Body by Alana Bonillo GUEST FEATURE ........................................................................12 Downtime: Understanding Wastes in Collision Production by Ted Williams, Sherwin-Williams ASK MIKE ....................................................................................15 What Does Nissan/Infiniti Say About Feather, Prime and Block? WACTAL MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION ................................................18


ADVERTISER’S INDEX Akzo Nobel ..............................................17

Morrison’s Auto Parts ..............................10

Axalta Coating Systems ..........................IFC

PAM’s Auto ..............................................16

Body Shop Supply Co. ............................7

Reliable Automotive Equipment ..............OBC

Buerkle Hyundai ......................................14

Sherwin-Williams ....................................11

Dentsmart ................................................9

Straight and Square ................................14

International Autos Waukesha..................IBC

Zorn Compressor & Equipment ..............IBC

Wisconsin Automotive News is published quarterly by Thomas Greco Publishing, Inc., 244 Chestnut Street, Suite 202 Nutley, NJ 07110. Distributed free to qualified recipients; $48 to all others. Additional copies of Wisconsin Automotive News are available at $5 per copy. Reproduction of any portions of this publication is specifically prohibited without written permission of the publisher. The opinions and ideas appearing in this magazine are not necessarily representations of Thomas Greco Publishing, Inc. or of WACTAL. Copyright © 2018 by Thomas Greco Publishing, Inc. Cover image ©

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We Need Your Help! In the Spring edition of Wisconsin Automotive News, I discussed concerns raised by WACTAL members which were brought forth to Wisconsin’s Insurance Commissioner. These included photo estimating, suppressed Labor Rates and prevailing rates, failure to pay for required/necessary repairs and timely processing and payment of supplements. At the WACTAL office, we regularly receive phone calls on these and many other topics on the day-to-day dealings with insurance companies. Most of the time the caller is very frustrated and is looking for advice or direction on how to handle the situation. We also hear shops asking, “What does WACTAL do for me?” Well, we do have the ability to help you, but we can’t do it without your help! Last time, I stressed the importance of getting documentation from you so we can get it to the Insurance Commissioner. So far, we’ve received very few complaint forms and we can’t act until we have enough

information in writing to present to the Commissioner. We need to hear from you! A simple complaint form can be found on the facing page. Also, to make it easier, we have added an online form on WACTAL’s website ( Right on the home page, just click the “Complaints Form” button and fill out the form. It is very simple and only takes a few minutes. I’m sure everyone reading this can think of several issues that they have concerns about. Please tell us about them! As these issues arise in your daily operations, please go online and fill out the form while it’s fresh in your mind. Remember, if we don’t hear from you, we’ll assume you have no issues or concerns! Larry Terrien WACTAL President WAN

WACTAL Members



with Office Depot / OfficeMax

Save more with your WACTAL Membership Save up to 80% on thousands of items. Shopping and saving in-store or online is easy! Print a free discount card to be used for personal or business purchases. Find discounts on things like ink and toner, paper, cleaning and break room supplies, and even furniture! Most orders of $50 or more are eligible for free delivery to your home or office.

Members— Keep an eye out for your personal discount card in the mail! To visit the WACTAL homepage, go to


Wisconsin Automotive News

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LOCAL NEWS by Alana Bonillo

Commercial Auto Body  Celebrates 40 Years in Business Congratulations to WACTAL member Commercial Auto Body & Paint, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this September. Members of the Muller family have owned and operated the shop since the very beginning. Brad Muller opened the shop in 1978 in a 4,000 square foot building on Main Street in East Green Bay. Five years later, the business moved to a 6,500 square foot building at 1758 East Mason Street, where they continued to grow. In June 2000, Brad’s younger brother, Barry Muller, bought the

business; it has been owned and operated by him ever since. Soon after, they saw an opportunity to expand into auto and truck accessories and Dreamworks Auto & Truck Accessories was born. With hard work and continued loyalty of its great customers, growth has continued allowing the business to expand into a larger building. Today, Commercial Auto Body & Paint, along with Dreamworks, is located at 12531258 West Mason Street in East Green Bay in a 16,000 square foot facility – four times larger than it started out back in 1978. The location provides double

Owner Barry Muller (far right) poses with the Commercial Auto Body crew. The business recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.

the shop space, expanded parking and gives them the opportunity to sell used cars in the front lot.

2019 WACTAL Conference

SAVE THE DATE! March 15-16, 2019

Best Western Inn - Green Bay, WI

• Event will include Friday afternoon seminar, spouses’ program and Membership meeting (all located at Best Western Inn), and a Friday evening reception at The Automobile Gallery (

• A hands-on program on pre- and postrepair scanning including diagnostics will be held Saturday morning (8am – 12pm). Participants will work on different automobiles using different scan tools and software packages for diagnoses.

• Saturday’s program will be held at Williams Auto Body.


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Fisco Auto Body Franklin, WI The Fisco Auto Body staff, pictured with Mike, Joe, Steve and Ron Fisco (bottom row, center)

Fisco Auto Body has been serving the outer Milwaukee area and beyond for 87 years now – and counting. Since 1931, four generations of the Fisco family have owned and operated the auto body shop which specializes in collision repair and refinishing services. Mike Fisco and his cousin Ron Fisco are the fourth generation owners. They just recently took over the shop from their fathers, who both retired over the past year. “It’s not just family owned; we run it. There is always one of us here,” Mike says about the long line of Fiscos who have been successfully running the shop for nearly nine decades. He believes that being family-run is the key to their success. “We take pride in our work and what comes out of our shop. We like to keep our customers happy so we keep them coming back. We have a lot of repeat customers.” Back in 1931, his great-grandfather, Jack Fisco, started the business out of a small shop in downtown Milwaukee. A few decades later, Jack and Ron Fisco moved to a larger shop in the same area. Mike says they moved to its current location in Franklin, a suburb outside Milwaukee roughly 40 years ago, back in the 1970s. Following in his footsteps, Jack’s son (Mike and Ron’s grandfather) bought the shop from his father. It would later be passed down to his sons Joe Fisco (Mike’s father) and Steve Fisco (Ron’s father), who ran the shop until their retirement and their sons took it over. Growing up in a family of auto body technicians, Mike naturally developed an appreciation for cars early on. He started spending his summers during his middle school and high school years working at the shop. Even during his college years, he’d find himself coming back to work for his dad and uncle. After

college, he initially started out working in the information technology field but then he found himself back at Fisco Auto Body. Looking back, he does believe he was meant to wind up in the business. He’s since been at the shop 20 years before taking it over this spring. The biggest changes he’s seen throughout his automotive career mainly lie in the technological advances, such as the need for pre-scan and post-scanning and all the specific rules and regulations that must be followed to properly repair vehicles today. As a member of WACTAL, Mike says

he truly appreciates being part of an organization. He says they appreciate the communication and information that comes from the association. As for the future, Fisco doesn’t foresee any changes by way of increasing the shop’s space or location. “We are happy with this spot and happy with the way things are.” The fourth generation members strive to continue to carry out the Fisco family’s reputation of excellent service work which they have worked hard to maintain for so many generations. WAN

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GUEST FEATURE by Ted Williams, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes

DOWNTIME:  Understanding Wastes in Collision Production “Out of sight, out of mind.” The old saying holds true in today’s collision repair industry, as shops struggle to control production waste, not knowing that some of the best opportunities to improve efficiency are hiding in plain sight. In any lean manufacturing environment, measurement is a fundamental principle. The trouble is that an operator can only measure what they see. Even the most tightly managed shop is susceptible to losing production efficiency in a few frequently overlooked areas of waste, including:

OVERPRODUCTION In many shops, workers blindly build a flag sheet even when those who receive their output aren’t ready for it or don’t need it. This is a major flaw, as overproduction can tie up significant working capital. In collision repair, this often happens when we take in too many repair orders and produce work in progress (WIP) in different departments beyond capacity. Overproduction can result due to a number of reasons. A major one is goal misalignment. This can arise from compensation built around individual flag sheets instead of completed work. Not connecting internal customer needs to company goals creates misalignment. The solution to overproduction is to establish a reasonable workflow for the benefit of the customer. A shop that puts in the work necessary to establish – and stick to – procedures and processes, moving resources and preventing excessive WIP is far less likely to struggle with overproduction and bottlenecks.

Defects; Overproduction; Waiting; Not utilizing talent; Transportation; Inventory excess; Motion waste; and Excess processing. These eight areas of waste comprise the acronym DOWNTIME. Ensuring these areas are visualized and measured will have a direct result on individual and team performance in any shop. Let’s take a look at how each of these areas relates to everyday collision repair operations.

The facility should be designed to avoid wasted movement.


Wisconsin Automotive News

DEFECTS Defects are mistakes that require additional time, resources and money to fix. These can be found throughout the repair process, resulting in rework. In collision repair, defects commonly result from poor quality controls, poor repair, poor documentation and weak or missing processes. Perhaps the biggest (and most avoidable) source is misunderstanding internal and external customer expectations. This is easily prevented by better listening and a stronger focus on customer needs. Defects can be limited by the application of standardized work, more stringent quality control at all levels, a full understanding of work requirements and customer needs and simple job aids (such as standardized checklists).

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WAITING This occurs whenever work has to stop for any reason – the next person in line is overwhelmed, something broke down or parts or materials are unavailable. From unbalanced workloads and long setup times to insufficient staffing and work absences, causes for excessive waiting are everywhere. Many shops create waste by waiting through scheduling. They overschedule work beyond the team’s ability to process it. This forces people to rush, injecting more wait time for parts, supplements, etcetera. Whatever the cause, the effect depends on how the shop reacts. Many workers either wait for a bottleneck to be cleared or continue producing. By adding to the bottleneck, a bad situation becomes worse. One way to address this is through better work scheduling with an adequate and versatile staff that can be moved to address the workload at the bottlenecks. This may mean shifting people to other tasks as needed to address WIP increases in departments.

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Poor process around parts storage can create defects.

Parts organization creates a visual process that speeds first time repair quality.

The inventory should be visibly managed to reduce excess.

NOT UTILIZING TALENT Underutilization of talents, skills and knowledge can have a detrimental financial and cultural effect on an organization. Centers can experience benefits when recognizing the value of skills and improvement ideas from all levels of the business and can suffer when not effectively engaging in the process. Assigning staff members to tasks that do not match their skill set, insufficient training and poor communication are just a few failings that can result in a lack of employee engagement and retention. This can hamstring any organization’s productivity. Key solutions include empowering your employees, elimination of micromanagement and increased training opportunities.

process is motion waste. Poor shop layout is a common cause, as is workstation congestion. When measured, many are astonished about the number of miles technicians walk daily to compensate for process and layout inefficiencies that costs valuable touch time on the repair. One solution for motion waste is to re-arrange layouts to decrease the distance between stations and make it easier to reach things that are often used. Common examples include parts and material carts that move the needed items closer to the technician performing the task or a mobile estimating cart that moves that process to the vehicle and eliminates the redundant task of repeatedly walking back and forth to an office.

TRANSPORTATION Collision centers spend a lot of time moving vehicles and parts around. Too much transportation tends to increase costs, wastes time, increases the likelihood of product damage and can result in poor communication. In general, transportation waste can be caused by an inefficient parts department layout, unnecessary or excessive steps in the repair process or a misaligned process flow. The goal is maximizing technician touch time. Limiting transportation waste can be easily addressed by commonsense efforts such as simplifying processes, addressing physical layouts and locations, handling products less often and making distances between departments as short as possible. A good example is the movement of the parts departments to the production floor, utilizing carts rather than the traditional centralized parts department.

EXCESS PROCESSING Excess processing often occurs due to the creation of multiple versions of the same task or long-winded, poorly designed processes. It frequently results from reports that require multiple signatures, redundant data entry, overdesigned equipment and poor communication. Each of these areas of waste unnecessarily increases costs and drains valuable shop time and resources. Operators must first examine and map their organization to analyze their processes in order to fix them. The traditional teardown and supplement process is an excellent example. This process forces the technician to make judgement calls on a repair in isolation. That handwritten information is then provided to the estimator, who then re-enters it into a database. If there is any confusion, the estimator verifies again with the technician while also making any needed photo documentation. This process repeats over and over. Collision centers must focus on the systematic elimination of these wastes. In doing so, they are rewarded with faster processes, lower costs, higher quality, happier workers and, most importantly, happy (and repeat) customers.

INVENTORY EXCESS Inventory excess occurs when there is supply in excess of real production demand, which masks problems. This can result from overproduction, poor monitoring systems, mismatched production speeds and long setup times. This can also be caused by poor communication with internal customers in the business. A department taking in 14 cars on Monday when it only has the capacity to assess 10 is inventory excess. Assigning technicians five repair orders when they can only physically repair one at a time is also excess inventory. This excess inventory waits and negatively impacts throughput performance. MOTION WASTE Any excess movement, whether by employees or machines, that doesn’t add value to the product, service or


Ted Williams is the business consulting services manager for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. He is a second-generation collision repairer and former, multiple-time Skills USA/VICA Collision Repair Champion. This year, he celebrates 30 years of experience in the collision repair industry and works closely with some of the largest collision repairers in North America.

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Serving Northwest Wisconsin


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What Does Nissan/Infiniti Say about Feather, Prime and Block? This issue, we “ASK MIKE” to update us on information he uncovered during his recent OEM webinar on Nissan/Infiniti. We at Wisconsin Automotive News hope you find this following exchange useful, and we encourage you to reach out to us if you have a question for Mike on this or any industry-related matter that he can answer in a subsequent issue.

paint times are for new, undamaged panels, starting with 320 grit. One of the things that I found early in my career was that all the paint and abrasive manufacturers suggested that we should not jump more than two grit sizes. If you go from 150 to 220, 220 to 240, 240 to 280 and 280 to 320, that’s obviously more than two grit sizes. That’s what the late March Taylor termed ‘the gap,’ because there’s a Wisconsin Automotive News: Your webinar gap between 150 and 320. on Nissan/Infiniti has earned a lot of EPA language is the second thing to attention - thanks in large part to your look at. When the EPA first came out with discussion on feather, prime and block. the 6H Rule, I was involved with the Can you tell us a little about this webinar Automotive Service Association’s Collision and the information it presented? Operations Committee. I had the opportunity to be a part of that when the Mike Anderson: With the Nissan/Infiniti rule was being crafted. One of the things webinar, we had a lot of great content. that was stated was that the only person There was actually so much content that who could spray primer or any type of we had to do a Part Two, which is coating was someone who was HVLP [high something we hadn’t done before with the volume, low pressure]-certified. The only other OEMs. That’s not because those recognizable training for that was through a OEMs don’t have a lot of good information; paint manufacturer/distributor. Secondly, part of it was because we’re getting a lot they stated that any of your applications – more in-depth and we had a lot of like basecoat, clear, primer, etcetera – need questions. One of the things that we found to be done in what was referred to as a in Part Two of going into Nissan/Infiniti’s ‘spray cabin.’ The 6H Rule very clearly repair procedures was a statement that defines what a ‘spray cabin’ is; it talks talked about how you should not jump about how many walls you need to have, more than two grit sizes. I was like, ‘Wow! etcetera. If you look at the EPA’s language, That right there is feather, prime and the only person who can actually take and block!’ It was a cool hidden nugget that we apply products that are used during the found within the OEM repair procedures feather, prime and block process is going to that got me very, very excited. Honestly, be someone who is HVLP-certified. That feather, prime and block has been around happens through refinish training, so it’s for a long time. definitely a refinish operation. Any time I’m trying to get paid for Everything in our industry points to something, I always stick to what I call my feather, prime and block definitely being a ‘four negotiation questions:’ Is it required? Is it included? Is there a pre-determined time? If not, what is it worth? Is feather, prime and block required? First of all, the estimating systems say that body labor times for replacing a quarter panel are for you to finish off up to 150 grit for the body tech. Then, they state that

not-included operation. In our ‘Who Pays for What?’ Surveys, we ask, ‘Who performs feather, prime and block in your facility?’ as well as, ‘How do you charge for it, and what type of time do you come up with?’ The majority of shops that have taken our surveys have stated very clearly that they charge a percentage of the repair time. I’m not in any way suggesting that’s what somebody should charge, because that would be a violation of antitrust, but our Survey results very clearly show that. Without naming any names, some insurers are saying, ‘Well, take it off the repair time,’ but you still have to be compensated for the materials on that. My question back to those insurers that suggest that is, ‘What about when you replace a quarter panel and you get 15.5 hours? ’There’s no repair time included in that. Where are you going to include it in, then? At the end of the day, everything in our industry leads us to feather, prime and block. What I found very unique was that it was actually clearly stated in the Nissan/Infiniti repair procedures. We also found a lot of other cool things in those Nissan/Infiniti procedures. For example, they have a symbol for onetime-use parts. It’s a black dot with a white x. That’s always going to be listed in the OEM repair procedures but not in the electronic parts catalog. That’s why it’s important that you research OEM repair procedures. Mike Anderson’s OEM webinars are available on the Collision Advice YouTube channel ( collisionadvice). WAN

Mike Anderson is an Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) and the former owner of Wagonwork Collision Centers, two highly acclaimed shops located in Alexandria, VA. He has served as a member of many industry organizations throughout his career, including the WMABA Board of Directors, the Mitchell Advisory Board, the MOTOR Advisory Board, the ASE Test Review Committee, the National Auto Body Council, the Collision Industry Conference and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists. Additionally, he is a past Virginia SkillsUSA chairman, serves as a facilitator for Axalta Coating Systems’ highly recognized Business Council 20 Groups in both the US and Canada and facilitates numerous courses for Axalta Coating Systems’ Educational Series. He currently offers expert industry consulting via his latest venture, Collision Advice ( Fall 2018

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PAM’s Auto Inc. Earns ISO Certification

PAM’s Auto, Inc. recently announced the successful completion of its International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2015 audit for its location in Saint Cloud, MN, covering automotive parts distribution and automotive dismantling operations. The audit’s objective is to set international requirements for quality management systems. PAM’s Auto is the first automotive recycler in the nation to develop a quality management system that has been assessed and approved to ISO 9001:2015 standards. The audit was performed by Smithers Quality Assessments, and PAM’s Auto passed the most recent version of the audit with zero nonconformances, the best result possible. The internationally-recognized ISO 9001 standard is applicable to any manufacturing or service industry. “This certification confirms that our quality management system consistently provides exceptional products to meet our customers’ expectations,” said Patrick Huesers, CFO of PAM’s Auto, “Our team is incredibly proud to be recognized for our superior customer service and continuous improvements to our processes, while maintaining focus on our extraordinary safety record.” According to ISO, achieving 9001:2015 certification means that an organization has demonstrated the following:


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Customer focus Leadership Innovation of people Systematic approach to management Continual improvement Factual approach to decision-making Mutually beneficial supplier relations

The newest version of the ISO 9001 certification contains key updates including an emphasis on risk-based thinking to enhance the application of the process approach, improved applicability for services and increased leadership requirements. For more information about PAM’s Auto, Inc., please visit

About PAM’s Auto PAM’s Auto is a 27-year-old automotive parts distributor specializing in recycled, new aftermarket, surplus, and remanufactured products. Recycling operations consist of processing vehicles that have been considered a total loss through an insurance claim. PAM’s Auto inventory consists of late-model import and domestic car and truck parts. PAM’s Auto offers a full disclosure of vehicles featuring hi-res video, quality pictures, mileage cluster/VIN documentation and vehicle history.

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PHONE: 732-495-7900 FAX: 732-495-7904 E-MAIL: VISIT US ON FACEBOOK

Wisconsin Automotive News Fall 2018  

The Official Publication of the Wisconsin Auto Collision Technicians Association Ltd.

Wisconsin Automotive News Fall 2018  

The Official Publication of the Wisconsin Auto Collision Technicians Association Ltd.