An enthusiastic crowd of collision repairers from across the Garden State assembled at Car Lofts in Fairfield on Sept. 14 for the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey’s (AASP/NJ) fall kickoff meeting.
“It was great to see so many familiar faces come out to not only better themselves through valuable information, but also to stick around and socialize after the meeting,” said Charles Bryant, executive director of AASP/NJ. “It’s encouraging to see our members taking the time to keep abreast of what resources are available to them.”
Attendees learned estimating best practices from Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), who set out to equip the audience with “new information that you can use immediately and things you can access for free” to combat the challenging world of collision repair.
“Our jobs are becoming more complex due to vehicle sophistication,” said Schulenburg, reminding repairers they aren’t “the only ones” who have been challenged by bill payers when billing for proper repair procedures.
Documentation can go a long way toward getting properly reimbursed, and this can be achieved by using SCRS’ Blueprint Optimization Tool (BOT) software, which is able to immediately analyze and identify items that might otherwise be overlooked on an estimate. As Schulenburg explained using real-world examples, the BOT was designed to make documentation of operations being performed easier for repairers by increasing accuracy and minimizing the need for supplements. Backing up a repair plan with data is critical in having a successful business, Schulenburg said.
“Everyone in the process prefers consistency, and that includes your bill payer. Your customer benefits when you are consistent with what you tell them and you will be able to make better commitments.”
Schulenburg also spoke about the benefits of the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG), a free tool “the industry can lean on” to assist in helping to improve the quality and accuracy of collision repair estimates.
After the meeting, attendees enjoyed an open bar, buffet and relaxed networking on the upper level of Car Lofts, a luxury vehicle storage facility and social club.
“Oftentimes, what is discussed after the meeting can be almost as important as what’s presented during it,” Bryant notes. “Our Fall Kickoff meeting included a wealth of important information, which I know gave our members plenty of food for thought to take back to the shop the next day. And we couldn’t have had a better venue for mingling and networking afterwards! I look forward to continuing the conversation with our members and supporters next month at our Annual Meeting.”
AASP/NJ’s Annual Meeting is scheduled for October 19 at the Gran Centurions of Clark, NJ. For more information on upcoming events, please visit aaspnj.org.