The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) and the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) have announced the program schedule for this year’s Collision Professional Repairer Education Program (Collision P.R.E.P.), which will be held live and in-person at the 2021 NORTHEAST Automotive Services Show Sept. 10-12 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, N.J.
After more than a year of virtual educational programs, repair professionals can now fill seats in a classroom setting once again to see and hear from some of the best presenters in the industry.
Oregon-based shop owner and educator Ron Reichen (Precision Body & Paint) is set to travel to New Jersey for the NORTHEAST debut of his course, “Structural Identification for Profitability – Knowing and Understanding Structural Damage.” In light of the demands facing today’s industry, it’s no surprise that he intends to use part of his discussion to emphasize the importance of OEM-recommended/required repair procedures.
“It couldn’t be more important than it is now,” said Reichen. “You can’t assume [the procedures will be the same] because you did that repair a month ago on the same vehicle. You have to pull out that OEM repair procedure again and again, because the manufacturers change them very frequently.”
Reichen is excited to finally present in front of actual people as opposed to attempting to get his points across over a computer screen.
“In an in-person class as opposed to a Zoom meeting, it just seems like the participants and attendees are more comfortable asking questions as they come to their mind,” he said. “That will spur a thought in another attendee, and we really get into a good discussion.”
The 2021 Collision P.R.E.P. will also feature the return of veteran NORTHEAST presenter John Shoemaker (BASF), who will preside over the Sept. 11 course, “Productive Refinishing Processes.” His presentation will explore how to utilize proven best practices to maximize paint shop productivity by reducing common shortfalls, minimize paint flaws, improve paint hours per booth cycle and increase overall throughput. After doing dozens of virtual classes throughout the pandemic, Shoemaker is one of many who can’t wait to see live faces again.
“In-person presentations bring a lot more interactions from the attendees,” said Shoemaker. “There are a lot of times when I learn just as much by presenting a course as they do by being at that course, and that’s all because of the attendee involvement. We didn’t get a lot of that by being virtual.”
Additionally, Collision P.R.E.P. is set to include a special panel discussion devoted to demystifying the “right to appraisal,” otherwise known as the appraisal clause. Comprised of both repairers and experts, the candid gathering promises to explore real-world situations with real results – both wins and lessons learned – by those who are deeply involved in this sometimes taboo topic.