“What’s the future hold for VOC compliance? With all the new regulations and the trouble it took to become compliant and to learn new techniques for materials, will it all have to be done again in the next two to five years? What’s next?“ – Sterling Wayne Stirewalt, shop manager, Mr. Dent, West Plains, Mo.
“Why don’t the OEMs do a better job of supporting the collision repair industry through their dealer body?”
“Why do our best students get pushed to go to college when we know that only 25 percent of all college graduates go on to employment in their field? Meanwhile, trades are overlooked. How can the collision industry compete with white collar, high-tech industries?” – Dan McClellan, autobody instructor, Great Johnstown Vocational Technical School, Johnstown, Pa
That was then … The wood vs. steel battle continues. In June 1926, the National Lumber Manufacturers Association charged steel makers with "disseminating propaganda against the use of wooden automobile bodies." "It’s an insidious attack on lumber," they declared. The reason for the association’s angst? An ad, which stated: Automobile Industry Heeds Trend of Progress.
That was then … An unthinkable thing happened on Jan. 14, 1914: Henry Ford had the audacity to raise Ford Motor Company’s minimum wage to $5 a day – and then, as if that weren’t enough, he allocated $10 million of the $25 million in company profits for his workers. This will ruin the industry,
That was then … In the year 1906, Baltimore County Commissioners came up with a sure-fire way to stop speeders: They gave police officer Noah Walker permission to shoot at cars when drivers violated the speed limit. "Slow down, or I’ll shoot!" When Walker fired at Yates Pennington’s car, Pennington filed charges against him –
That was then … When word got around in early 1901 that millionaire William K. Vanderbilt would pay handsomely for horses his car hit and killed, local Long Island farmers turned entrepreneurs. When they spotted Vanderbilt out for a drive, they tipped off their friends, who then led their old nags into the road. The
Who performs, oversees and approves the labor time standards? Why are they done on clean, undamaged? Who replaces clean and undamaged? When will labor time standards reflect life and not a sterile lab?” – Tom Ferguson, body shop manager, Thoroughbred Ford, Kansas City, Mo.
“Things have changed with the way smaller body shops are treated by jobbers and product companies.Ten years ago, we saw more product support and received more attention from reps. How can we smaller shops get the same customer service and savings on products as the bigger guys? – GiGi Walker, owner, Walker’s Auto Body, Concord, Calif.
“I’ve been in this industry for 27 years, but the joy is going away every day I have to justify why I’m charging for this, why I’m replacing that, etc. Usually I’m explaining all this to some college kid who’s working at an insurance company. Everyone needs educated. How can we educate our customers about their rights, our techs regarding quality and safety, and insurance reps, who usually don’t understand the repair process?” – Rick LaFountain, owner, The Finishing Touch Auto Body and Refinishing Center, Otsego, Mich.
In 1999, retail sales of specialty equipment products totaled $23.24 billion. You can funnel some of that cash into your own pocket by offering restyle products – from fender flares to floor mats to grille guards – in addition to the collision work you do now.
Pat yourself on the back! If you can’t reach, find someone attractive and ask that person to pat you on the back. Warning: If you’re married, you might want to make sure that person is your spouse. (If your spouse isn’t attractive, that’s your own fault.)