AASP Announces 2010 Industry Improvement Grant Recipients - BodyShop Business
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AASP Announces 2010 Industry Improvement Grant Recipients

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At its Nov. 3 meeting, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers
(AASP) Board of Directors selected the first recipients of its new
Industry Improvement Grant program. The program, established earlier
this year, funds initiatives that demonstrate innovative and
collaborative projects and programs that address unmet needs within the
mechanical and collision repair industries.

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The first grant was awarded to a collaborative project between AASP and
the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS). The effort would
partner the two associations’ work in researching the issues of
business-to-business data ownership and data privacy rights –
specifically as they relate to the collision repair industry’s
relationship with the estimating information providers (IPs) and
management systems – in a time where technology is moving the industry
toward business services that are managed through “cloud-based” servers.
The goal of the initiative is to bring clarity and awareness to the
concern, identify the legal and ethical issues that come into play and
develop tangible solutions to advance the interests of the collision
repair industry.

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“Both AASP and SCRS have shared a long history of working side-by-side
on initiatives that better business conditions for our collective
memberships,” said   SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg. “The new
technology shifts have made it easier to collect and centrally store
data generated by repair businesses, and have increased the ease in
which that data can be shared with others and used in ways that may not
have been intended or understood by the business using the estimating or
management system. It is important for our associations to use our
position in the industry to heighten education of the issues and find
meaningful solutions; and SCRS is certainly proud to work with AASP to
deliver that value through collaboration such as this.”

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A second grant was awarded to the Alliance of Automotive Service
Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN), to help further expand its “Get to
Know Your Neighborhood Auto Repair Pro” campaign. The campaign is an
industry promotion program that raises awareness of the benefits of
doing business with independently-owned automotive repair shops. The
campaign utilizes radio, search website, point-of-sale, social media and
customer reward/referral tools to educate consumers and drive business
to independent shops.

Judell Anderson, AASP-MN executive director, said, “This campaign keeps
independent shops front-of-mind by helping consumers better understand
the capabilities of independent shops and the many benefits of
establishing a relationship with their Neighborhood Auto Repair Pro.
AASP-MN appreciates both the vote of confidence and financial support
from our national organization and looks forward to sharing this program
with our fellow AASP Affiliates in other geographic areas.”

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AASP President Rick Starbard, added, “Both of these grants represent
what we had envisioned when we instituted the Industry Improvement Grant
program. These initiatives have the potential to positively impact the
collision and automotive repair industries in two key areas: addressing
data privacy and ownership issues, which is an emerging concern to
anyone whose data is being uploaded to third parties, and also offering
AASP affiliates and their members access to a truly professional
marketing program. I look forward to witnessing the results of both of
these industry investments.”

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A second round of grant applications will be accepted early in 2011, for
consideration at AASP’s April Board meeting. Grant proposals must have a
sponsoring AASP Affiliate and/or involvement of the AASP National
office. A grant application can be accessed here.

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