The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) held a late afternoon open meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at the 2012 SEMA Show to provide insight into the association’s work
initiatives and activities, and communicate first-hand SCRS’ commitment
to the industry.
The meeting was held on the Collision Repair and Refinish Stage in the Collision Repair & Refinish section of the North Hall. The program was open to any industry professional who wished to attend, and there was no registration fee.
"I never cease to be amazed by the time, passion and drive that our board puts into advocating for collision repairers without thought of financial gain," SCRS Chairman Aaron Clark noted in his opening remarks. "This group has a lot of heart; that’s why SCRS is experiencing its greatest success right now."
Toby Chess led a presentation by the SCRS Education Committee that addressed safety information regarding glass installation. The committee covered the importance of correct windshield bonding procedures, reviewed the materials available to the marketplace, and went over the equipment and training necessary to address the structural nature of today’s glass installations.
"Currently, there is no accepted standard for the installation of aftermarket glass, which is far from ideal when you consider how integral the windshield is to vehicle safety in a collision," said Chess. "SCRS is looking into this issue, with our goal being to identify and promote existing safety standards including those published by the government on an industry-wide scale."
The committee also emphasized that many collision repair facilities contract an outside glass vendor to complete their glass installation needs. When this is the case, it is important for the repair facility to keep in mind the liability involved regardless of who installs the glass. For this reason, it is important to have a release or indemnification document signed by any outside vendor completing work for the repair facility.
SCRS next welcomed Toyota Motor Sales Collision Business Development Consultant Rick Leos, who gave an overview of the advancements Toyota is making to provide comprehensive estimate data to aid in the preparation of repair blueprints that reflect OEM-recommended procedures.
The program, known as "predictive estimating," allows repairers a convenient way to get all the information they need to repair the vehicle.
"You simply click on a button to pull up a PDF file that provides all the documented detail you need to repair the vehicle, which happens to be the exact same information that you can retrieve from the information provider databases," said Leos. "We’re in the process of trying to get our fellow vehicle manufacturers on board with this approach so we can provide a comprehensive, industry-wide solution that ensures quality and safe repairs, our No. 1 priority."
Paul Hulsebusch of Sonora Insurance Group outlined plans to utilize the buying power of SCRS members to negotiate favorable terms on the business insurance each repairer needs.
"We’ll be using an independent broker model," Hulsebusch said. "That way, we can incorporate multiple carriers in order that we may address member needs on an individual basis instead of going for a ‘one size fits all’ approach. We intend to work with SCRS to ensure the high level of member participation we need to effectively discuss terms with insurance carriers."
SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg concluded the evening by updating the audience on the latest work SCRS is undertaking on behalf of the industry, including its efforts to prevent insurance mandates and outside company policies from eroding independent choice when it comes to part procurement.
"Technology is great, but when choice is stripped away from collision repair businesses, efficiency gains are diluted and the process becomes problematic for everyone in the part supply chain," said Schulenburg. "We continue to work on this issue, and are looking at how the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand markets have handled similar situations to help us formulate a strategy here in the U.S."
SCRS is looking forward to holding similar events in the future.
"When you advocate for an industry, it’s important to interact with its members personally and directly so you remain aligned with their changing needs and priorities," said Schulenburg. "Likewise, it’s important for individuals to hear what we are doing on their behalf, not only because they get a sense of the value we provide, but so they can see the passion and energy we bring to the table. The connection that results is significant."