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When Did the Collision Industry Become Full of Nerds?

Scanning and recalibration has transformed us from cool guys with cigarettes rolled up in our sleeves fixing cars to computer nerds.

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Jason Stahl has 26 years of experience as an editor, and has been editor of BodyShop Business for the past 14 years. He currently is a gold pin member of the Collision Industry Conference. Jason, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from John Carroll University and started his career in journalism at a weekly newspaper, doing everything from delivering newspapers to selling advertising space to writing articles.

We know the collision industry is going through immense change as far as vehicle technology. At the Collision Industry Conference July 24 in Indianapolis, the Emerging Technology & Insurer/Repairer Committees gave a joint presentation on the “Proliferation of Component Calibration.” Committee member Matt Thornton, owner of Parks Royal Body Works in Boise, Idaho, offered a characterization of what the industry is experiencing that I have not heard yet:

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“We used to be the cool guys with cigarettes rolled up in our sleeves fixing cars,” Thornton said. “Now we’re becoming computer nerds.”

Although “guys with cigarettes rolled up in their sleeves” might harken back to a bygone era and perhaps is not the image we want to portray today, he kind of hit the nail on the head. That description really sums up the transition our industry is going through. And it also made me think: opportunity. Opportunity to reach out to and recruit people with a skill set we never needed before who may have never considered collision repair as a career. Could the next Bill Gates get his start in your shop? It’s a very real possibility now. 

Let’s just not let anybody kick sand in our faces…

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