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We Have Winners


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If an industry expert could answer one question for you, what would that question be? (One catch: The question has to be collision-repair related. This eliminates the chance of our receiving any more questions like, “My wife says the only way to get my attention is to stand in front of the TV set. She hates me. What do I have to do to make this woman happy?”)

Last year (for the third year in a row), we asked you what questions you’d like an expert to answer. And, like years past, your response was overwhelming.

How did we sort through all these suggestions and decide on 10 winners? Easy. We used the same process as last year:

  1. If you sent in cash with your entry, you won.
  2. If you sent in a check with your entry and it cleared, you won.
  3. If you sent in a credit card number, I’d be on a trip to some exotic locale right now and wouldn’t be writing these Editor’s Notes. No one sent in a credit card number.

Yes, I’m kidding! Here’s how we really selected the winning entries:

  1. We went through all your suggestions to determine which topics were most in demand. Those topics “won.”
  2. Because these topics were suggested by more than one reader, the reader who suggested the topic first won. For example, lots of you asked if you should rely on being a DRP shop to survive, but Dave Dunning of Dorschel Collision Center in Rochester, N.Y., was the first to fax us his entry form with that question – so he won.

What did our 10 winners win? Fifty dollars and their question answered by an industry expert. On the first page of each article, you’ll see a photo of the winning reader, along with his or her question. The article itself will address that question. (Six articles appear in this issue; the other four are at www.bodyshopbusiness.com.)


How did we find these so-called “experts” to write the articles? How do you know they’re really experts and not my out-of-work brother-in-law who needed to make a few extra bucks?

You’re just going to have to trust me.

Not a chance? OK, OK, the truth is, I didn’t cut anyone in my family a break. Here’s how we picked the writers …

Everyone who wrote an article has personal experience with the question being asked. For example, to answer Dunning’s question, “Should a collision shop rely on being a DRP shop to make a living?” we enlisted Texas shop owner Bobby Johnson. Why Johnson? He knows both sides of the issue. He ran his shop for 26 years without being on DRPs but recently decided to take a look at them. So far, two of the three DRPs he’s looked at are working out. He dropped the third program when the insurer changed the rules mid-game (the insurer mistakingly thought Johnson needed the work and would have to go along with it).


Like Johnson, every other writer in this issue is an active participant in the collision industry and knows the topic he’s writing about. Each of them can advise you from a “Been there, done that, doesn’t work” standpoint. And hopefully their advice will prevent you from making some of the same mistakes.

We try hard to bring you articles like this every month – the kind of articles that help you to run a better business. Still, this issue is special. It’s 100 percent reader generated. You created it. You asked the questions – and the articles are the answers.


As for those of you who still have “women” questions, the best advice I can give you is this: Don’t take advice from columnists. You can’t trust ’em. They tell you ridiculous stuff just to see if you’ll do it. It’s true. If you’ve got a “woman” question, you’ll be better off if you simply ask the woman. And then buy her something. But you might want to test the gift out on me first – just make sure it’s a good gift.* We wouldn’t want you messing things up worse than you already have.


Georgina K. Carson

*Good gifts will not be returned.


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