Nearly 100 collision repair professionals from all over Massachusetts filed into the auditorium at Assabet Valley Vocational Technical School in Marlborough on Nov. 19 to take part in a full day of education and collaboration focused on the idea of “Taking Back Their Business,” presented by the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts (AASP/MA).
The representation of body shops from all over the Commonwealth at AASP/MA’s Fall General Membership Meeting illustrated “the allied forces” that truly make up the AASP/MA. The attendance list also included repair professionals from as far as New Jersey and New York.
“The meeting was a great success,” said Lucky Papageorg, executive director of the AASP/MA. “The enthusiasm and energy could really be felt around the room as each repairer came forth with something to contribute to the conversation.”
Repairers learned how to develop a successful copay system from Jack Lamborghini (Total Care Accident Repair; Raynham, Mass.), how to use valuable tools such as National AutoBody Research’s “Collision Powerpak” presented by Don Dowling (Marblehead Collision, Marblehead, Mass.) and other business-building resources that are needed to survive in an industry that is constantly challenged with third-party interference from the insurance industry.
Collision industry consultant and well-known speaker Barrett Smith of Auto Damage Experts gave the featured presentation, “How to Take Back Control of Your Business,” inspiring the auto body shop audience to think outside the box, earn customers’ trust and “reset the switch” to take their business back.
Another highlight was a panel discussion moderated by Papageorg featuring Rick Starbard (Rick’s Auto Collision, Revere, Mass. and Auto Damage Appraisers Licensing Board member); Ray Belsito (Arnie’s Auto Body, Charlton, Mass. and former insurance professional); and Ken Miller (821 Collision, North Haledon, N.J. and AASP/NJ board member), who were joined by Lamborghini and Smith. Along with audience engagement, the discussion tackled issues caused by the Auto Damage Appraisers Licensing Board being housed under the Department of Insurance rather than the Department of Occupational Licensure as well as the role that effective complaint filing and consumer education can play in helping to make the industry better for all.
“We set out to tackle a hefty agenda in a fast-paced manner that kept everyone engaged from start to finish,” said Papageorg. “Everyone walked out with new knowledge they can take back to their shops. As the word suggests, we are an ‘Alliance’ that is now poised and ready to break free in 2023!”
Every shop represented at the event received a thumb drive with vital resources to use in their day-to-day business.
AASP/MA is grateful for its sponsors who helped make the event a success: Don Kennett and Long Automotive (breakfast sponsors); Crown Collision Solutions (snack/beverage sponsor); PPG; Tiny & Sons Auto Glass and World Insurance Associates (lunch sponsors); and Bill Enross/cPrax Internet Marketing (thumb drive/key fob sponsor).
For more information on AASP/MA, visit aaspma.org.