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Connecticut Collision Repair Specialists Host Industry Leaders

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“Are You Ready for 2011?” was the subject at hand at the monthly CCRS (Connecticut Collision Repair Specialists) association meeting. Three industry leaders presented information to help repairers plan for the upcoming year.  Kelly Owen, Dupont Brand Specialist; Chuck Sulkala, NABC Executive Director/I-CAR Consultant; and Larry Siembab, senior director of insurance relations, CARSTAR Automotive, Inc., were the guest speakers. Attendees were challenged to get “back to basics” in areas of customer service, shop compliance and industry education.

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Owen gave an overview of the upcoming EPA 6H Rule and the process shops should implement for compliancy.

“Best practices can reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants during spraying of automotive paints. Painters should be trained in the efficient use of high volume low pressure (HLVP) or equivalent spray guns and use paints that do not contain lead or chromium pigments,” said Owen.

The EPA regulations controlling air emissions from paint stripping and miscellaneous surface coating operations compliance date is Jan. 10, 2011. Attendees were given training process packets to ensure compliancy.
 
Larry Siembab, CARSTAR Automotive, Inc. presented “How Do You Create a Demand Model?” which included information on customer expectations, specifically generational differences amongst consumers.  

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“There is a vast difference in consumers today – some are very informed on the process and have higher expectations during their repair experience,” said Siembab. “Customers live in a fast-paced environment and many depend on electronic communication, demand quicker repairs and repairs done right the first time. Social media is an excellent example of consumers who can quickly spread how their repair experience went – good or bad.  he collision repair industry must continually look for ways to “overwhelm” the customers – with superior service.”

Sulkala discussed the I-CAR Professional Development Program.  

“Many body shop owners are confused as to the new role relevant program and it’s crucial that they know what the new process entails,” said Sulkala. “I-CAR introduced the Professional Development Program in which training is structured toward the role of the individual. As training progresses, professionals are recognized for their achievements relevant to their roles, as well as breadth of training in their businesses.”

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“2010 has been a very challenging year for our industry and we believe it’s important to focus on business improvement – basic common sense that we often don’t spend time on,” said Lisa Siembab, CCRS executive director. "Many shops focus on production only – trusting that administration and human resources will take care of itself. It won’t. Our objective for the upcoming year is to help our members in all areas that their facilities could stand to improve upon. It’s crucial in order to conquer the economical environment and today’s ever-changing business climate.”

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