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Spring 2018

PLUS: 

• 2018 WACTAL Conference & Trade Show Recap • Business Insurance Savings For WACTAL Members


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2016-2018 WACTAL BOARD of DIRECTORS President Larry Terrien, MJ Collision Center larry@mjcollisioncenter.com Vice President Mark Williams, Williams Auto Body mark@williamsautobody.com Secretary Ronnie Goss, Goss Auto Body, Inc. ronnie@gossautobody.com

Spring 2018

Vol. 5, Number 3

CONTENTS

Treasurer Sue Black, Dean’s Auto Body suzieq@deansautobody.com

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE................................................................5 A Call for Complaints by Larry Terrien

Directors Eileen Haberman, Glen's Auto Body, Inc.

WACTAL RECRUIT-A-MEMBER PROGRAM ............................................5

Mike Miyagawa, M & M Auto Body Inc.

WACTAL MEMBER SPOTLIGHT ........................................................7 KB Body Shop by Kristen Dalli

Michael Taylor, Zimbrick Chevrolet-Sun Prairie Tracy Black, Dean’s Auto Body, Inc. Association Administration Sue Peterson wactal@execpc.com / info@wactal.com (800) 366-9472 Lobbyist Jolene Plautz jplautz@aol.com

WACTAL BENEFIT PROGRAM ..........................................................9 2018 WACTAL CONFERENCE & TRADE SHOW RECAP ................................10 2018 WACTAL Conference & Trade Show Educates and Engages by Kristen Dalli ASK MIKE ....................................................................................14 What are Some Ways a Shop Can Determine a Realistic Retail Labor Rate? by Mike Anderson WACTAL INSURANCE COMPLAINT FORM ................................................15

PUBLISHED BY: Thomas Greco Publishing, Inc. 244 Chestnut St., Suite 202 Nutley, NJ 07110 PHONE: 973-667-6922 • FAX: 973-235-1963 ADVERTISING: 973-667-6922 • alicia@grecopublishing.com PUBLISHER Thomas Greco (thomas@grecopublishing.com) SALES DIRECTOR Alicia Figurelli (alicia@grecopublishing.com) CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lea Velocci (lea@grecopublishing.com) EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Joel Gausten (joel@grecopublishing.com) EDITORIAL / CREATIVE COORDINATOR Kristen Dalli (kristen@grecopublishing.com) OFFICE MANAGER Donna Greco (donna@grecopublishing.com)

FEATURE ......................................................................................16 Where Will All the Adjusters Go? by Tom Slear WACTAL MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION ................................................18

ADVERTISER’S INDEX Akzo Nobel ..............................................OBC Dentsmart ................................................17 Axalta Coating Systems ..........................IFC

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

Body Shop Supply Co. ............................4

Morrison’s Auto Parts ..............................6

Buerkle Hyundai ......................................13

Straight and Square ................................IBC

Dent Clinic ..............................................8

Zorn Compressor & Equipment ..............13

www.grecopublishing.com 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 © www.istock.com.

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President’s MESSAGE

A Call for Complaints Last November, WACTAL representatives and our WACTAL lobbyist (Jolene Plautz) met with Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel to address concerns that have been brought up by our members. Those concerns included: Snap/photo estimating, suppressed Labor Rates and insurer prevailing rates, failure to pay for required and/or necessary repairs, steering and timely processing and payment of supplements. Consumers are reluctant to file complaints with the Insurance Commissioner out of fear of cancellation and/or increased rates. Nickel is aware of this misconception on the consumer’s part, and is open to receiving complaints from collision repair shop owners/managers on behalf of our customers. Those in the industry have been well aware of these issues for a very long time. Convincing someone outside the collision repair industry of these issues is

challenging when there’s no supporting evidence. That’s why we need your help. Now is the time for your voice and your customers’ voices to be heard. WACTAL is looking for complaints from you and your customers. Complaints should be sent to the WACTAL office. They will be accumulated and submitted to the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) collectively. A very simple complaint form can be found on page 15. Feel free to use this form. Dates, times, what was said and by whom will be helpful, as will any supporting documents, such as copies of email correspondence. Take this opportunity to speak up. If we don’t hear from you, we will assume that you have no problems or issues with insurance companies. NO COMPLAINTS EQUALS NO ISSUES!

Larry Terrien WACTAL President

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Recruit-a-Member Program For each member an existing WACTAL member recruits, the sponsoring (existing) member will receive a one-time $50 credit toward their membership dues. There is no limit on the number of members an existing member can recruit. If the dollar amount of the credits exceeds the sponsoring member’s annual dues, the excess amount will carry forward to subsequent years.

No monies will be paid out and credits cannot be cashed out. Credits cannot be split amongst multiple members. The sponsoring member’s individual and business name must be listed on the new member’s Application for Membership as the sponsoring member. If the new member had been a WACTAL member during the prior calendar year, no commission will be allowed. This program can be rescinded or amended without prior notice. In the event the program is rescinded or amended, credits for applications received after the change will be processed under the new program. No credits will be issued if the program is rescinded.

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KB Body Shop Merrill, WI

WACTAL

Member

SPOTLIGHT by Kristen Dalli

KB Body Shop has been a Merrill, Wisconsin staple for guidelines closely to bring each vehicle back to factory more than 50 years (53 to be exact!). Established in 1965 by specifications before customers leave the shop. Roman Koebe, today the shop is run by Roman’s son, Jay. While following OEM guidelines is certainly of the utmost “I grew up next door to the shop and hung out there importance in today’s industry, Koebe also says the shop every chance I could!” Koebe shared. often “attends I-CAR classes and paint company training” to As a family business that has become a neighborhood further keep up with the training demands of this evermainstay, Koebe says the crew at KB hasn’t changed much changing industry. over the years. More importantly, it is their hard work and Like many WACTAL members, Koebe utilizes many of dedication to the shop that has made it so successful for the resources the association has to offer, and gains the most more than five decades. from interactions with fellow shop owners. “I’ve had very little turnover. My Production Manager “I joined WACTAL sometime in the ‘70s. Over the years, I Steve retired a couple of years ago and was here for 45 have been to many WACTAL seminars and trade shows, met years. Steve and our Office other shop owners and learned from Manager Terri have been very them. And felt better finding out that valuable to the shop. Terri has they have the same issues I do.” been here almost 33 years. One of Koebe, like many shop owners my painters – Doug Kreie – has nationwide, expressed concern over also been with me for 33 years.” the lack of technicians as one area Having been in business for so he’d like to see WACTAL tackle long, KB has certainly experienced moving forward. a considerable amount of change “In our area, new people over the years. When it comes to coming to the industry is low. It attracting new customers, Koebe would be nice if [WACTAL] could says his advertising strategies somehow promote the industry in have definitely become more the high schools and have young Jay Koebe technologically-advanced. people that are not planning on “It has changed over the going to college go into a trade, like years, for sure. Our website and Facebook have replaced collision repair. Shops could do it too, but it’s hard to find the some of the standard methods we used to use.” time.” KB hasn’t seen technological changes just in terms of Moving forward, Koebe is hoping to pass on KB’s to yet advertising, though. The collision repair industry itself is another generation – with an even greater aspiration. changing at a rapid pace, and things are unquestionably “I am waiting for my son to join me and start taking the different than they were 50 years ago. reins so I can ride off into the sunset!” “We’re probably going through the biggest technological For Koebe, his years in the collision industry were all but changes right now,” Koebe says. “Safety systems on vehicles destined from his childhood. However, his passion for his now require scanning or a reset or pre- and post-repair scans work is as strong as ever. – just trying to get paid for those things. We’re looking at a “The business has been my life for as long as I can company now that can do it remotely.” remember. I, like many shop owners, love cars – working on When it comes to KB’s specialty, Koebe says the shop them and satisfying customers so they return. has always focused on collision repair. One quick look at “I talk to so many people that dislike their workplace or KB’s website, and that statement holds true. The shop occupation. I just have a love for my job. Being my own boss focuses “on the highest quality repair and customer service,” helps!” WAN and ensures that every technician follows the manufacturer’s

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2018 WACTAL Conference & Trade Show Educates and Engages by Kristen Dalli

WACTAL’s 2018 Conference and Trade Show provided attendees with a jam-packed weekend of industry-leading speakers, networking opportunities and lessons in relaxation. WACTAL members flooded the Wilderness Lodge in Wisconsin Dells on February 16 and 17, eager to return to their shops on Monday morning with the knowledge and tools to be more successful business owners going forward.

Mike Anderson presents “A Day with Mike and Friends”

To kick off the day on Friday, attendees were treated to “A Day with Mike and Friends,” hosted by Mike Anderson of Collision Advice. As the most talked-about event of the weekend, WACTAL members raved about Mike’s presentation, and he hit on a variety of topics that are currently of great interest to the collision repair industry. Anderson’s signature energetic persona was in full effect for the entirety of his presentation, as he spoke of warranty vs. liability, the importance of following OEM recommendations, how first notice of loss (FNOL) is changing from insurance companies to OEMs, business 10

succession and more! “I really wanted to hear Mike Anderson,” noted Greg Wubben, auto collision and refinish instructor at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (Fennimore). “He is considered an expert on management and repair procedure requirements, and I’ve read about him in trade magazines and watched videos of him online. By coming to Wisconsin, he was able to answer questions from shop owners in our area. “[Anderson] made me realize that our industry is going through the largest change in its history. We are faced with not only what I-CAR calls a “technical tsunami” – a huge increase in new materials and electronics – but also the need to perform pre- and post-repair scans and retrieve OEM repair information for the tasks we perform in the shop. We have used manufacturer data before, but Mike showed us that it is needed in many more areas than before, and the ways using this data properly will ensure the car is repaired properly.” Following Mike’s presentation, Wubben signed up to receive more information and materials from Mike’s website (CollisionAdvice.com), and has used copies of previous presentations in class with his students. Wubben credits the WACTAL conference with opening his eyes to this information. “The draw was Mike Anderson,” echoed Daniel Biggs of Rick’s Auto Body (South Bend, IN). “His insight into our industry is very valuable and we were able to make great connections at the conference.” Anderson’s presentation also featured results from his “Who Pays for What?” surveys, and the ways in which the Great Lakes region compares to other areas of the country. Additionally, he brought several special guests from I-CAR, asTech, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Stat-Gun, all of whom spoke on the latest technology and the state of the industry. “My shop manager Andy and I came back to our shop Spring 2018


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the following Monday and immediately made some important changes to our business, and we have seen almost instant results,” shared Luke Walz (Poynette Auto Body, Poynette). “What we learned from Mike made us realize how we had been losing work we had historically been getting. He opened our eyes on how to communicate with insurers. We discussed I-CAR training, evaluated some of the procedures regarding scheduling and follow-up and talked of the importance of vehicle scanning – all in an eighthour class!” Saturday’s featured speaker was Erica Eversman (Vehicle Information Services), who presented on the Conference’s main themes: Repairer Liability: Truths, Fallacies & Reality, and provided attendees with an eyeopening and informative session. The biggest takeaway from Eversman’s session? “YOU are the professional repairer.” Eversman repeated the phrase throughout her talk, reinforcing this idea with all in attendance that no one else can take responsibility for how a vehicle is repaired. Providing a safe and proper repair on each and every vehicle that enters the shop is of the utmost importance. Eversman’s presentation covered the realities of the hidden dangers of vehicle technology, improper repair methodology and shops’ liability. As a frequent speaker and knowledgeable industry source, Eversman drew on her years of legal experience to discuss the recent John Eagle Collision case, as well as several other lawsuits that have severely affected the collision repair industry. “I’ve never heard Erica Eversman speak, and I was very interested in doing so,” shared Bob Gibson of Total Auto Body (Grafton). “To have highly valuable industry experts at an event so close to home was a no-brainer to go to. [Eversman] offered great insight into what is going on in our industry from a legal and liability standpoint, and provided ways [for attendees] to take control of their businesses.” Spring 2018

Erica Eversman

“I really enjoyed Eversman’s talk,” said Acuity Senior Commercial Underwriter Marci Post (Sheboygan). “It was beneficial to me from a council point of view, as she spoke about insurance carriers’ claims payment methods and their interactions with auto repair shops. [This session] provided great information I can share with our internal team to help be the best carrier possible for the auto repair industry. I look forward to continuing to work with WACTAL and am excited about future conferences and meetings!” New for the 2018 Conference was Laura Lee Lotto’s two presentations on wellness: Balancing & Managing Stress with Essential Oils and Cleansing Your Life with Essential Oils. As a health and wellness coach who also has a background in nursing, Lotto explained to attendees how therapeutic-grade essential oils can aid in reducing stress, keeping calm, and improving your sleep and overall

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2018 WACTAL CONFERENCE & TRADE SHOW RECAP

Laura Lotto at the 2018 WACTAL Conference & Trade Show

wellbeing. Both sessions were informative and educational, leaving participants feeling calmer than when they walked in. WACTAL’s Trade Show, which had hours on both Friday and Saturday, provided an opportunity for vendors and attendees to interact and learn about new products. “It’s always good to talk to the people that are so important to your business,” Walz offered. “It’s good seeing them in a much more relaxed environment than during the daily grind. I enjoy the conversations I have with other shop owners and managers from around the state. There’s so much that can be learned from people as passionate as I am about our industry.” WAN

WACTAL would like to thank the generous sponsors that made the 2018 Conference & Trade Show such an incredible success: Gold Sponsors BASF Corporation Body Shop Supply Co. Bronze Sponsors BC Marketing Hystik, Inc. Toyota of Brookfield Hospitality Sponsors Body Shop Supply Co. Motors Service & Supply PPG Industries

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Ask

MIKE

What are Some Ways that a Shop Can Determine a Realistic Retail Labor Rate?

This month, we “ASK MIKE” to discuss ways that a shop can determine a realistic retail Labor Rate. 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.

came up with just a flat $2 amount for my Labor Rate to go up; it was always a number like $2.53 or $4.89. I based it off of my specific shop. Another thing that always amazes me is property taxes. What are the taxes in your area versus a place that’s two or 20 miles down the road? Everybody should determine their prices for doing business in their specific area. As I travel the country, I see a wide range Wisconsin Automotive News: Since you of Labor Rates. In San Francisco, I’ll see a have the benefit of working with shops all Labor Rate of $95 or more, and I’ve been in over the country and seeing how different some shops up in Vermont, Maine and facilities operate, what do you see as some Massachusetts that are still in the $35-$45 of the primary things that they should keep range. In the Midwest, it might be $70. What I in mind when they’re looking to develop a will say is that I do see a wide variety of repair rate away from whatever arrangement they times. What is hypothetically a six-hour dent in may have with an insurer? one area might only be a two-hour dent in California because of the higher Labor Rates. Mike Anderson: The first thing that really In a lot of my classes, I have people bring in amazes me is how people raise their Labor estimates and photos of damaged vehicles, and Rates. When I had my shop, I saw people raise I see what they charge for repair time. Those their rates by $2. I’d say, ‘Where the heck did repair times do vary quite a bit around the you come up with $2?’ They seemed to grab country, and some of that is influenced by this fictitious number out of the sky to determine Labor Rates. their rates, and it didn’t make sense at all. What Also, I think your aluminum rate can’t be I would do was look at the profit I would need to this fictitious number. It needs to be based on make so I wouldn’t have cash flow problems. how much you invested in training and Then, I would look at the equipment and equipment, how many of those vehicles you training I would need to invest in over the year. I think you’re going to fix over the lifespan of that would also ask myself a series of questions. equipment and what you think you need to Were there any upgrades that I needed to make for your return on that investment. Your make to my computers? How much did I need goal is not to make back the money you spent to spend on I-CAR, OEM certification and other on that equipment; a smart business decision training? Did health insurance go up? Did my might be to make about double that investment. utilities trend upwards? That way, I would figure Obviously, that needs to be calculated out how my expenses would increase for the based off of knowing your gross profit. next year. Aluminum rates will vary based on the OEM; I developed a spreadsheet that would some people have more money invested in track my sales and my gross and net profits. If I training and equipment for one manufacturer wanted to make the same net, I would have to than they may for another. When you study determine how much my sales would need to your aluminum rate, you need to decide from a increase to offset any costs I had for equipment business standpoint if that rate is going to be and other things. That was how I came up with just on structural repair or if it’s going to be a my Labor Rate. I can tell you that I never, ever different rate for something like R&I-ing a door 14

handle or a bumper. There’s also paint labor time. Is your paint labor going to be the same rate as the aluminum, or is it going to be just your regular door rate? Too often, people just post this generic Labor Rate without taking their various costs into consideration. I also believe you can’t just walk in one day and raise your Labor Rate. In fairness, you need to give anybody you interact with or do business with some type of notice. I used to send out my Labor Rate letter every October, and it would say that my new rates would be effective that January 1. There are a lot of people who will disagree continued on page 17 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 (collisionadvice.com). Spring 2018


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Feature

STORY

Where Will All the Adjusters Go? By Tom Slear

What’s become scarier than a mesh parachute? Earning a living as a claims adjuster. According to a recent issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, the probability of technology replacing claims adjusters is nearly 100 percent. Only cashiers, telemarketers and bookkeepers are more at risk. The culprit is automated appraising, oftentimes referred to as touchless estimating, and more robust software will lead to fewer adjusters. In the process, the time from accident to estimate will compress drastically. What typically took days has already shortened to hours, sometimes even minutes, and with the advent of artificial intelligence, it will shrink to seconds. Meanwhile, adjusters will join elevator operators, secretaries, and gas station attendants in the ash heap of labor history. The guided photo estimating applications now in place are merely the first step of this evolutionary process. Opinions of how this has worked so far vary widely. Insurance companies see nothing but blue skies, and who can blame them? According to a Mitchell white paper published last year, photo estimating of low severity claims ($1,500 or less, which represent roughly 40 percent of all claims) increases productivity of adjusters by a factor of as much as five. The cost per estimate when compared to the conventional approach of inspecting the car in person drops from $250 to $60, the kind of savings that prompts insurance executives to salivate. Allstate has been so taken with the notion of pictures replacing human inspections that earlier this year it announced the impending doom of many of its drive-in stations. Perhaps more important to insurance companies than the savings is how smitten car owners have become with the process. What better way to handle claims than with the most ubiquitous and irreplaceable electronic device of the 21st century? “Consumers are doing everything on their smart phones,” says Jack Rozint, Mitchell’s

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vice president of repair sales and service. “There’s a feeling that they are in control. That’s the reason why it is gaining so much popularity.” The other side of this savings and popularity is performance. Are estimates initiated by photos enhancing accuracy? Not surprisingly, none of the five insurance companies contacted for this article – State Farm, Allstate, USAA, Liberty Mutual and Travelers – would agree to an interview about photo estimating. Ask any 10 insurance adjusters (or shop owners, for that matter) the estimated cost of repairing a specific vehicle and you’ll hear 10 different numbers. That’s the nature of estimating, with or without photos, and no company in any business relishes talking about one of its inherently imprecise operations. (Liberty Mutual and Allstate did provide brief comments. Liberty Mutual said it emphasizes with insureds that its Express Estimate produces only an “estimate of damages.” Allstate said that since its QuickFoto is relatively new, the company “wants to collect more data to have a more complete picture of how the process is working.”) Shop owners aren’t nearly as reticent. “I know when I take photos and go back to my desk to write a sheet, I have to go back out and look at the car even though I have photos right up there on my screen,” says Rick Starbard, owner of Rick’s Auto Collision in Revere, MA. “Photos just don’t duplicate the personal inspection.” Leonardo Rodriguez, owner of Autoworks Collision Center in Lynn, MA, recently had a late model foreign car in his shop. The initial estimate from Commerce Insurance consisted of two photos and $800. Rodriguez wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. The damage was substantial, both internal and external, and went way beyond the damaged bumper cover and other minor replacements in the estimate. The insured had been driving the car blissfully unaware of several obvious safety hazards,

the most noticeable of which were an inoperable latch for the hood and damaged headlights. Rodriguez called, and Commerce promptly dispatched an independent appraiser. The final repair came to $7,200, nearly 10 times the photo estimate. “No good,” Rodriguez says. “[The customer] shouldn’t have been driving that car. It should have been towed.” “Photo estimating certainly gets the ball rolling quickly,” says Nick Kostakis, former AASP/NJ president and owner of Angelo’s Auto Body in Irvington, NJ. “But always in an inaccurate direction. As a general rule, photo generated estimates produce lowball numbers. When a car owner comes in here with a photo estimate, it’s just a starting point.” The starting point for a Ford Explorer that an owner recently drove into Kostakis’ shop was $4,000 based on photos. It left after $23,000 worth of repairs. “There are three things wrong with photo estimates,” Kostakis says. “They are invariably inaccurate, they are misleading and they create a false sense of security. I can tell the customer, ‘You should not be driving that car.’ The same with the adjuster. That doesn’t happen with a photo estimate.” The present phase of photo estimating is passing, and accuracy should improve. Apps are already incorporating software that guides car owners more stringently; for example, correcting them in real time if they attempt to take pictures from the wrong angle or in bad light. However, the best hope for photo estimating to reach its full potential of accurate and almost instantaneous assessments of damages will come from artificial intelligence, which is fast becoming the electricity of the modern era. A subset of AI called deep learning will be the key component of photo estimating. CCC recently introduced a sample called Smart Total Loss, where the repair/total loss decision is derived from a picture. On the surface, the process appears simple—no more complicated than a board game. “We provide the system with a bunch of Spring 2018


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photos, and whether the outcome was repair or total loss,” says David Bliss, CCC’s senior director for product management. “With time, it begins to recognize similarities, and it gets to the point where it can predict whether the loss is total or repairable with a high degree of accuracy. Of course, the technology behind this is where all the sophistication comes in.” Deep learning simultaneously performs and learns, much in the same way as humans. Every time we ski down a hill or practice a foreign language, we learn, setting us up to do better next time. This technology learns by reviewing mountains of data – whether photos, voices, or numbers and eventually, patterns are detected and conclusions are drawn. Input is evaluated and it instructs, something akin to another run down the ski slope. In this way, deep learning stays current. It’s tough to say how deep learning will play out with photo estimating. The extreme notion is by-line estimates complete with parts numbers prepared automatically (no man in the loop) by insurance companies. Rozint foresees a “template” with the lines of the estimate complete, whereupon “the body shop makes adjustments and then is ready to order parts.” Bliss says CCC has already had success with indicating which damaged parts need to be repaired and which need to be replaced, but he doesn’t believe ordering the parts will be part of the scenario anytime soon. “Going touchless isn’t necessarily a great thing in all situations,” Bliss says. Instead, the goal is to make the human touches that remain “more efficient, more engaging and more digital.” Starbard is skeptical. “Maybe their artificial intelligence is better than my real intelligence. If it happens, I will take a peek at it.” Rozint, who was once the general manager of a shop, has heard similar sentiments from many other shop owners. He understands how distasteful it can be to have a machine’s expertise matched with a repairer’s experience. But, as he asks, “Would you rather have to deal with a human who is not as experienced as you are, not as skilled, and have him make a judgement he is not so good at, or a machine that has been trained over thousands and thousands of claims and millions of photos and does it accurately?” No matter how perfect, deep learning doesn’t resolve the issue of car owners driving unsafe cars, nor does it diminish the Spring 2018

inevitable distrust shop owners have of systems sprinkled with insurance companies’ fingerprints. On a scale of concern from one to 10, AASP/NJ’s Executive Director Charles Bryant ranks photo estimating in any form a 10. “Nobody wants to stand in the way of

Ask MIKE continued from page 14

with me, but I was never one of those people who had a posted Labor Rate and collected less from an insurance company. I just had a posted rate, and that was what it was. My rate was my rate whether you were a consumer or an insurance company. It never made sense to me to have two different rates. I think looking at your material rate is equally important. I’ve seen some areas of the country where a paint and material rate is $40, while it’s $28 in other parts of the country. At the end of the day, those products have the same list price. It’s important that shops make

progress,” Bryant says. “But there is a fine line between what works and what doesn’t. This is just a way for insurance companies to save money on the backs of shop owners.” WAN

sure they know what their costs of business are with paint and materials, especially with these new codes that are coming out. One of my top three favorite books is called Matsushita Leadership. In the book, Matsushita says that if you take society’s people and society’s resources and you fail to make a profit, then you’ve committed a crime. If you do make a profit and you don’t improve conditions in society, then you’ve committed an even bigger crime. People trusted you to come work for you, vendors have chosen to give you a credit line, a bank has loaned you money, someone has agreed to rent to you – whatever the case may be. You have an obligation to make a profit. ‘Profit’ is not a dirty word! WAN

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Serving Northwest Wisconsin

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Wisconsin Automotive News Spring 2018  

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

Wisconsin Automotive News Spring 2018  

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