There are new changes in store for Select Service shops, but State Farm spokesperson George Avery says they're minor and shouldn't concern shops too much.
Avery made the announcement at the Collision Industry Conference held Jan. 15-16, 2009 in Scottsdale, Ariz., emphasizing that the new provisions being added to the Select Service agreement simply are a revision that represents the changing face of the collision repair industry.
"This is not an event to reduce the number of facilities," Avery said. "It is simply an ongoing update of the original agreement devised in 2006."
The first provision addresses taking photos of collision-damaged vehicles as part of lean manufacturing processes. Avery said State Farm supports shops that want to reduce waste in their processes and has no problem with shops performing more complete teardowns of vehicles for the sake of efficiency and reduction of supplements. However, he said State Farm is now asking that estimators take a photo of the vehicle prior to teardown for the sake of personal injury and liability issues State Farm has to deal with.
The second provision addresses environmental stewardship. Avery said that State Farm is now asking that shops follow federal and state laws as they relate to environmental practices. State Farm is also now taking the same stance on shop licensing and registration. If it is required in an individual shop's state, State Farm is advising shops to conform to the law.
"We're not requiring it, we're just saying that if certification or licensing or environmental requirements become necessary as the result of federal or state law, we ask that shops follow them," Avery said.
"We're just cleaning up some things that we think are of the best interest of our customers," Avery added. "We're not peeling off in a different direction."
In sum, the new provisions are as follows:
- Take a photo of the vehicle prior to a complete teardown.
- Follow environmental guidelines and laws from federal and state governments.
- Follow the law regarding licensing and/or certification.
Avery said Select Service shops will be required to sign the new agreement with the provisions and send it back to State Farm.