This article originally appeared in the November 2009 Issue of INSIGHT
©2009 Collision Repair Industry INSIGHT All Rights Reserved
In a major realignment of its service offering to its paint brand customers, DuPont Performance Coatings (DPC) has folded its value-added services under one integrated offering - DuPont Performance Services (DPS). The new value-added offering employs a personalized approach to improving profitability and productivity by helping customers drive more work to, and through, their repair centers.
Beginning in the fourth quarter of this year, shops will be able to customize their own business implementation plans using the new DuPont Performance Services integrated solutions offering, which is comprised of five individual business performance disciplines:
1. Education - Formerly branded the SMART series, the new Performance Services Education solution incorporates lean principles and a guided discovery-learning model, facilitated by industry experts and DuPont Business Development Managers.
2. Consulting - Formerly DuPont Solutions, Performance Services Consulting consists of the industry’s largest and most experienced team of experts in TO and THRU work flow dynamics, to help drive shop performance.
3. Performance Groups – Shop owners have the ability to benchmark their performance against non-competitive shops in their local area, using national Business Councils as facilitators and a new web-based benchmarking tool.
4. Performance Alliance - A network of nationwide repair centers with a strong, consumer facing web presence, PA24.com, Performance Alliance is the DPS channel that connects insurers, shops, and vehicle owners.
5. Tools – This offering consists of a suite of tools, which can be applied individually or together, to improve the way a shop markets and manages its business. Marketing tools, Operations SOPs and ProfitNet(TM) are just some of the tools available.
“The alignment of our value-added resources under one integrated umbrella will go a long way toward helping our customers adopt and implement the full spectrum of the services we offer,” said Troy Weaver, collision services manager. “It is a monumental undertaking, and we are putting our entire sales force and jobber network through extensive training so they are fully equipped to assess customer performance issues using a “needs to solutions” based consulting model, where they can offer a holistic approach to our interested customers.”o
Mitchell International, Inc., a provider of information, workflow, and performance management solutions to the Collision Repair and Property & Casualty claims industries, will unveil the industry’s first Shop Workspace at this year’s NACE.
According to a company press release, the new Mitchell RepairCenter(TM) brings shops of any size the flexibility to manage the repair, the customer, and the business — all from a single cohesive Workspace — by enabling them to select from a comprehensive set of functionalities and modules.
Collision repairers are invited to design their own personalized Workspace firsthand at Mitchell’s Booth #N3087 during the show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas from November 5th-7th.
This workspace reinforces Mitchell’s rcommitment to helping shops be more competitive and profitable by leveraging its 22 years of providing business management systems to more shops than any other company and its 63-year history of improving efficiency, profitability, and growth within collision repair shops. Mitchell used this firsthand knowledge to drill down and understand how all employees, from technicians and estimators to owners and managers, access the key tools they need across all areas of the shop to achieve ultimate productivity.
In doing so, Mitchell found that what shops needed most was the ability to manage the repair, the customer, and the business from within a single Workspace. RepairCenter delivers end-to-end performance to serve the needs of everyone involved in the repair process, including the technician (who fixes the vehicle), the customer (who expects quality service), and the shop owner (who manages the day-to-day business).
“As the leader in providing business management solutions to the industry, it was clear that we needed to extend beyond what is found in today’s shop systems,” said Jason Bertellotti, Vice President of Repair Solutions, Mitchell International. “With monumental changes occurring in the industry, from complex vehicle repairs to increased competition and tightening margins, we’ve combined repair, customer, and business management into a single Workspace that is robust yet scalable to meet the needs of any size collision repair shop.”
Bertellotti added, “While there are definitely similarities in how collision repair shops run their business, each is unique in how they adapt to industry changes in order to grow their business. RepairCenter takes our ultimate goal of taking shops to the next level by providing them with a solution that's the right fit for their business needs today, while also giving them the opportunity to easily choose to add capabilities as their business needs evolve over time.”
3M has donated 319 3M Dynamic Mixing Systems to the I-CAR Education Foundation, which in total is valued at $300,000. Working with 3M, the I-CAR Education Foundation will arrange to have the Dynamic Mixing Systems distributed to career and technical schools and colleges that offer collision repair and automotive refinishing training programs.
“3M’s donation puts advanced new technology in the hands of our future collision technicians. Certainly most schools would never be able to demonstrate this new body filler system to their students without 3M generosity,” said Scott Kruger, I-CAR Education Foundation Executive Director. “The response to this offer was overwhelming and the data we gathered from the survey will form the basis for our future collision school grant programs. Thanks to 3M for a very successful product donation.”
The first 319 qualifying schools to respond to an I-CAR Education Foundation survey each received a 3M Dynamic Mixing System applicator gun and the corresponding cartridges. Each package has an approximate retail value of $700.
The donation of the 319 3M Dynamic Mixing Systems is being made possible through an ongoing partnership between 3M’s Community Giving Program, the I-CAR Education Foundation, and 3M’s Automotive Aftermarket Division. 3M has been a sustaining member of I-CAR since 2002. Additionally, 3M Business Development Manager Mark Algie currently serves on the I-CAR Education Foundation Board of Trustees.
The California Autobody Association (CAA) has been named an Energy Star Partner by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The distinction recognizes the CAA effort to help its members increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
CAA is committed to achieving energy efficiency targets and has set energy conservation goals for its members. Steven Schillinger, president of GRC-Pirk and EPA partnership consultant, estimated CAA member shops will increase their energy efficiency by 32 percent in 2010 over 2009, while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 22 percent. Similar Energy Star Partnerships are generating annual cost savings of more than $80 million compared to 2008 efficiency levels.
As an Energy Star Partner, the EPA recognized CAA’s comprehensive approach to energy management, which includes utility-feed tracking of energy usage for its member shops, the use of more energy efficient equipment and lighting fixtures, programs to raise employees' awareness of their role in improving energy efficiency, and emphasis on Certified Green Investment (CGI) registration.
"In these challenging economic times, our focus on energy efficiency is generating real cost savings for our members, while helping us improve sustainability, reduce our environmental impact and preserve resources for the future," said David McClune, Executive Director for the California Autobody association. "This recognition as an EPA Energy Star Partner underscores our commitment to our members to help them help sustain the environment in the state of California.”
Schillinger noted, "The EPA has recognized CAA for leadership in addressing global warming through greater energy efficiency. Because collision repair facilities account for a measurable portion of greenhouse gas emissions, the association’s efforts are vital to protecting our global environment."
In 2008, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved $18 billion on their energy bills and avoided greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 28 million vehicles. To date, more than three billion Energy Star qualified products have been sold, and nearly 500 shops have earned the Energy Star. Energy Star qualified products, homes, and buildings provide the quality, features, and personal comfort today's consumers expect.
Energy Star was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency.
Today, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Star offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money, and help protect the environment for future generations. More than 15,000 organizations are Energy Star partners committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes, buildings, and businesses.
PPG Automotive Refinish’s new MVP training courses centered on developing people and organizations in collision re-pair have earned accreditation from I-CAR and the Automo-tive Management Institute (AMI).
According to PPG, the set of three interrelated MVP courses, - Job Relations, Job Instruction, and Job Methods -are designed to develop the skills of managers and team leaders in their effort to build teamwork in their organization and create an exceptionally productive workforce. I-CAR students are eligible to receive 3.5 Gold Class points for each of the three courses, with AMI students eligible to receive 28 Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) credits each.
The curriculum for the skills-building courses is based upon the Training Within Industry (TWI) system of developing organizations. Con-ceived in the United States during the early 1940s as a way to dramatically boost industrial production during World War II, TWI also formed the foundation for a skills-based system of developing people within the acclaimed Toyota Production System. TWI is still used by Toyota today and is referred to by many as the “Roots of Lean.”
“In essence, PPG has taken the highly-effective teaching principles of TWI and developed a practical application specific to collision repair,” explained Mike Gunnells, manager, MVP Business Solutions. “Upon completing these courses, attendees gain the practical skill set for helping transform a good employee into an exceptional one as well as the training required to unlock the potential of the entire organization.”
Intended for supervisors, team leaders, corporate trainers, and anyone with leadership responsibilities at a collision repair center, the MVP courses are scheduled throughout the year at PPG Business Development Centers located throughout North America.
DuPont has named Steve Aitken and Steve Trapp to two key positions within the company’s newly formed, value-added services offering, DuPont Performance Services.
Aitken, named collision services sales manager, is a 23-year DuPont veteran who will manage DuPont Performance Coatings’ growing staff of business development managers (BDM). BDMs are charged with leading the implementation of the local value-added services efforts.
Trapp, named collision services development manager, will lead course development activity and develop performance group content and consulting materials. He will also coordinate DuPont Executive Facilitators, a team of experts responsible for course instruction.
“With the addition of Steve Aitken and Steve Trapp to lead these critical Performance Services areas, our business development managers and course facilitators will be more fully prepared to address the needs of our customers,” said Troy Weaver, collision services manager. “We have always had great tools and consulting services, but now we have the field and development teams to become the clear value-added services leader in the collision repair industry.”o
Snap-on Inc. has teamed up with EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge, a collegiate competition focused on the development of innovative technologies for the next generation of low emission, fuel efficient vehicles. Snap-on will be partnering with some of the best and brightest engineering students across the country as they explore a variety of cutting-edge clean vehicle solutions and create a blueprint for how cars of the future will be manufactured and maintained.
“We are honored to be part of this exciting and cutting-edge educational project,” said Ben Brenton, chief innovation officer for Snap-on. “For almost 90 years, Snap-on has set the standard when it comes to innovation and technology and we feel privileged to be able to provide our state-of-the art tools to each of the very talented EcoCAR Challenge teams.”
Snap-on tools and tool storage systems have recently been delivered to the participating colleges and universities and those deliveries coincided with the receipt of each team’s Saturn Vue vehicles.
“Snap-on looks forward to working closely with the teams as some of our nation’s brightest minds put Snap-on tools to work to identify breakthrough solutions that will have a lasting impact on both the environment and the automotive industry. Importantly, the Eco-Car Challenge affords Snap-on the unique ability to be at the forefront in providing innovative solutions for the unique needs associated with building and repairing the next generation of automobiles,” said Brenton.
EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge is a three-year collegiate advanced vehicle technology engineering competition established by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors (GM), and is being managed by Argonne National Laboratory. The competition challenges 17 universities across North America to reduce the environmental impact of vehicles by minimizing a vehicle’s fuel consumption and reducing its emissions while retaining the vehicle’s performance, safety and consumer appeal. Students explore a variety of cutting-edge clean vehicle solutions, including full-function electric, range-extended electric, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell technologies.
Snap-on Incorporated is a global manufacturer and marketer of tools, diagnostics, equipment, software, and service solutions for professional users. Founded in 1920, Snap-on is a $2.9 billion, S&P 500 company headquartered in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Collision Hub, a networking website for the Collision Repair Industry, has announced the first in a series of one hour Microsoft Live Meetings for students and newcomers to the collision repair industry, sponsored by I-CAR.
The first event, in mid-November, featured I-CAR Director of Field Operations Jeff Peevy., who is responsible for I-CAR Classroom and qualification testing as well as volunteer and instructor programs and strategies.
“We began discussions in the Collision Educators group on Collision Hub and that launched the Future Leaders Group for students. Our quest was to educate, empower and support students in collision repair programs. We wanted to teach them about the many different career paths in our industry and offer guidance on how to plan their careers and development,” stated Peevy.
Each online meeting will feature a different industry leader who is also a member of Collision Hub. These leaders will tell the story of how they began their career in the industry and events leading up to their current position. Students will be able to ask questions and receive expert career advice.
“We wanted to develop an ongoing mentoring and support program for these students and are excited to have I-CAR ‘s assistance. We as leaders, can support and encourage them in their education and in their careers”, commented D.M. Rainwater, Director of Oper-ations for Collision Hub.
For more information and registration, visit Events at www.collisionhub.com.
BASF Automotive Refinish Solutions has presented the findings of, Finding Common Ground: A Claims Perspective, during the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The study was sponsored by BASF, and conducted by Square One Systems, Inc. and Condon Consulting, LLC. The work encompassed over 22 hours of interviews with claims executives and staff from nine major insurers, representing about half of the total dollars spent on repairable vehicles per year.
“BASF would like to thank the insurance company executives and staff who participated in the study for giving so generously of their time and for their commitment to addressing industry challenges,” said Chuck Soeder, Business Director - BASF Automotive Refinish North America. “Considering the scale and breadth of the study, we believe its findings have credibility and will drive cooperation and innovation between industry segments for years to come.”
Finding Common Ground: A Claims Perspective is a collision repair industry study that BASF Automotive Refinish Solutions sponsored earlier this year as a logical extension of the study it sponsored in 2005, the Carlew & Associates Excellence in DRP study that provided repairers with an opportunity to express their views on the direct repair program (DRP) business model to insurers and the industry at large.
Finding Common Ground: A Claims Perspective study findings are available for download at www.basfrefinish.com.
I-CAR, The Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, has announced that it will host a roundtable discussion on Wednesday, December 9 at its Training Support Center in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. I-CAR invites interested members of the collision repair inter-industry to participate in an open dialog about the ongoing work to organize industry training around role-specific career paths.
Over the past 18 months, I-CAR has taken a systematic approach to analyzing its current curriculum model and collaborating with the inter-industry to develop a more meaningful approach to training that encompasses role-specific needs and training that builds on a foundation over time. I-CAR presented a concept version of a new curriculum model at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) meeting held on November 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Despite the extent of the collaboration to date, we are still working to get as much information from the industry as possible,” said Jeff Peevy, Director of Field Operations.
John Edelen said, “For the past two years, we have been engaged directly with the inter-industry to identify the training challenges it is facing, and how I-CAR can better support the industry’s efforts to address them. We continue to be guided by the I-CAR Vision throughout this work: ‘that every person in the collision industry, current and future, has the necessary knowledge and skills relevant to their position to achieve a complete and safe repair.’ We are continuing this work in that spirit – to define role-based performance-focused training solutions that the industry needs.”
Collision repair inter-industry professionals can register at www.i-car.com/roundtable to attend the meeting. There is no cost to attend and lunch will be served.
Summit Software Solutions, Inc. has established a wholly owned subsidiary, Summit Mobile Solutions, to design, develop, and implement mobile sales, marketing, advertising, communication, and business management applications compatible across most mobile phone operating systems for the auto collision, auto insurance, auto aftermarket and other service and repair industries.
Summit Mobile Solutions has released its first mobile phone applications, Help I Crashed My Car and MarketPlace, at NACE 2009. These initial applications are designed for the iPhone™, BlackBerry®, Windows Mobile®, Symbian, and Android™ operating systems and will focus on connecting consumers and collision repair businesses. In addition to this initial launch of mobile applications, Summit Mobile Solutions is developing mobile solutions for several other service and repair industries.
“Mobile software applications will reshape how small, medium, and large companies in every industry sell, market, advertise, communicate, and manage their businesses,” said Frank Terlep, president and founder of Summit Software Solutions. “Summit Mobile Solutions will design, develop, and deliver mobile solutions that help businesses sharpen business operating efficiencies, increase sales and market share, and enhance customer service, retention and communications.”
Help I Crashed My Car and MarketPlace combine to create an integrated patent-pending technology platform designed to help auto body shops retain customers and capture new repair opportunities, while streamlining the auto collision repair process for consumers.
MarketPlace is a web-based sales, marketing, advertising, customer service and communication platform for the auto collision industry. Help I Crashed My Car includes a consumer-focused website and five mobile phone applications that are free to the consumer. Together, this integrated mobile and Internet-based technology solution provides collision repair businesses with a powerful tool to increase sales, improve customer service, and boost customer retention and loyalty.
“Help I Crashed My Car and MarketPlace provide the most powerful sales, marketing, advertising, customer service, and communication system ever developed for the auto collision industry,” noted Terlep. “Help I Crashed My Car and MarketPlace give collision repairers a sales and marketing presence with the consumer at the point of sale - the scene of an accident.”
With Help I Crashed My Car and MarketPlace, repairers can own an exclusive marketing position on a consumer’s smart phone 24/7 and receive a first notice of loss directly from the consumer that includes a map and location of the accident.
For consumers, Help I Crashed My Car is an auto accident emergency system that features a single “help” button that automatically dials one number and sends text or email messages with accident details to five other people and/or companies selected by the consumer, such as insurance agent and family members. The consumer can enter and store emergency contact information, insurance company, policy and agent information and pertinent vehicle information; locate and select a single body shop as their preferred shop; locate, select and contact the closest body shops, towing companies, police, hospitals, ambulances, and rental car companies through GPS; enter, store and send a basic accident report; take, attach and send accident photos; and access information about what to do in case of an accident and how to find a good body shop.
Under the software agreement with Summit Software Solutions, collision repairers can provide an unlimited number of phone applications free of charge to previous and potential customers, auto dealerships, auto insurance agents, local schools and businesses, and others.
“We believe that consumer adoption of this new technology will drive adoption within the collision repair industry. I can’t imagine any car driver with a smart phone not wanting to download this free auto accident emergency system,” concluded Terlep.
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