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  News Briefs
Posted 6/1/2008
By Levy Joffrion

125 Women Attend 2nd WIN Conference

Frederica Carter

One hundred and twenty-five women attended the second annual conference of the Women’s Industry Network (WIN) held in Chicago April 13-15.

A highlight of the event included meeting the five technical school students who received WIN scholarships of free registration to the conference and membership to WIN. The conference included a scholarship walk that raised $2,290, and the presentation of the first “Cornerstone Award” for outstanding leadership and support of women in the industry. The award went to Frederica Carter, Akzo Nobel communications manager and WIN board member.

Chairman of WIN is Geralynn Kottschade, co-owner of Jerry’s Body Shop in Mankato, Minn., who is a former chairman of the Automotive Service Association (ASA) and the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE). Among those in attendance was Denise Caspersen, manager of ASA’s Collision Division.

AMI Announces Board of Trustees

The Automotive Management Institute (AMI) has announced the members of its 2008-2009 board of trustees.
George Witt

George Witt, AAM, of George Witt Service Inc. in Lincoln, Neb., was re-elected as chairman. Bob Pearson, AAM, of Precision Auto Collision Center in Shakopee, Minn., was re-elected as treasurer; and Freda Thompson, AAM, of Ace Auto Body Inc. in Hartselle, Ala., was re-elected as secretary.

Other board members include Sherry Hamilton, AAM, ASA-Missouri/Kansas, Overland Park, Kan.; Ron Pyle, ASA president, Bedford, Texas; Ron Ray, director of Education Market Development, I-CAR, Hoffman Estates, Ill.; and Dave Willett, vice president and general manager, Central Division, Automotive Specialty Division, Zurich North America, Overland Park, Kan.

Search on to Find Best AC Technician

CARQUEST and the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide have teamed up to find the best mobile air conditioning and heat transfer service technician in North America. The winner will receive a prize package that includes the opportunity to participate in a NASCAR racing experience.
           
Technicians who are certified in refrigerant recycling and recovery may register for the competition by July 20 at www.carquest.com/macs.
           
The winner will be announced at MACS Worldwide’s 29th annual convention and trade show next Feb. 5-7 in Dallas.

ASA Makes Insurance Sites Available

The Automotive Service Association has launched a new section of its legislative Web site that allows consumers and shop owners to easily access their state insurance regulatory agency Web sites. Also included on the new Web page is the specific name of the agency, contact information, the Web site address for the agency, and a link to instructions for filing a complaint for that particular state.

ASA has historically supported the consumers’ absolute, unequivocal right to choose a repair facility for a collision or mechanical repair. The purpose of this site is to have an accessible approach to handle circumstances in which consumers or shop owners believe insurance companies may have acted unfairly in settling a claim.

To access this site, visit ASA’s legislative Web site, www.TakingTheHill.com. The page can be found by clicking on the “Insurer Complaint” button in the navigation menu on the left.

ASA Publishes Report on Telematics Usage, Potential Effects on Independent Repair Market

ASA has published a report focusing on the potential effects that telematics may have on independent automotive service and repair businesses, including remote diagnostics. The report also explores consumer usage of telematics products and services, how a telematics system functions and its practical applications.

“The ASA Mechanical Division Operations Committee deserves to be commended for recognizing the potential impact this technology could have on independent automotive service and repair. I applaud their decision to compile this comprehensive study and appreciate the insight it provides about telematics,” said Ron Pyle, ASA’s president and chief staff executive.

ASA’s findings indicate that, as with previous technological changes, the aftermarket will rise to the challenge and find its place in the telematics market that will allow the independent repair facility to be an active participant.

“Telematics is not a new technology, but it has gained momentum in the past few years. It could become the new challenge for independents,” said Robbie Addison, Mechanical Division manager. “The one item that seems to be of the most concern to ASA members is remote diagnostics, which allows a vehicle’s built-in systems to identify a mechanical or electronic problem and make the information known to the consumer and vehicle manufacturers. This provides an opportunity to direct the customer back to the dealership for service.”

Anticipating these potential challenges, the ASA Mechanical Division Operations Committee has been actively involved in researching telematics since 2006. “This was no small task for the committee as their research needed to identify current trends, forecast future trends and predict the impact of telematics on the independent repair shop,” added Addison. “The report was created with ASA members in mind and should help explain telematics and how to prepare for potential issues related to telematics. This research could be instrumental in directing ASA to a positive solution for the independent automotive repair business.”

ASA’s “Telematics: Past, Present and Future” report is currently available on the ASA Web site. To download a PDF of the 20-page document, visit www.ASAshop.org. Click on “ASA News” in the top menu, then “More ASA Resources.”

Progressive Changes Policy on Partial Paint/Full Clear

Members of the Automotive Service Association’s (ASA) Collision Division Operations Committee met with Chris Andreoli, corporate PD process manager of Progressive Insurance, May 1 during ASA’s Annual Convention in Santa Clara, Calif.

Following an overview of current Progressive programs and practices, committee members welcomed the opportunity to discuss the relationship between Progressive and collision repair shops, and address issues repairers are experiencing.

During the discussions, Andreoli told the operations committee that as part of Progressive Insurance’s regular overall guideline reviews, it has revisited the topic of partial paint/full clear. Management reconsidered its position, in part, due to industry feedback – including documents such as ASA’s trio of refinish fliers. Progressive has also expressed a strong interest in improving repairer relationships.

Andreoli said, “As part of this process, we reviewed our refinish guidelines and made changes to better address the refinish procedures that are being performed in the industry today; and to clarify operations so that they can be better understood and applied in the appropriate situations.

“Although we strongly believe that reducing refinish times on a more widespread basis is an acceptable practice and reflects operations that allow the shop to restore the vehicle to its pre-loss condition, the decision to limit the use of partial refinish was made in large part to improve our working relationships with shops, and thereby improve the customer’s experience. Situations that would include a minimal color coat application, such as a chip on the edge of a panel, will be adjusted accordingly based upon evaluation of the damage.”

Progressive is expected to implement this change in the weeks to come.

Darrell Amberson, AAM, ASA Collision Division director, said: “The spot paint/full clear position of Progressive, as well as that of other insurers, has been a source of controversy and frustration for repairers for some time. Most repairers and paint manufacturers argue that the logic is flawed based on estimating database procedures and refinish guidelines. ASA hopes that other insurers will recognize the leadership position Progressive has taken on this issue and reconsider their positions on the issue as well.”

Denise Caspersen, manager of ASA’s Collision Division, said: “ASA applauds Progressive for this significant policy change and for its willingness to improve relationships with the repair industry. ASA looks forward to a continuing dialogue. It is through such effort and dialogue that we can continue to work toward better understanding and industry improvement.”

ASA has created several communication tools to help collision repair professionals communicate with their local insurance representatives regarding refinish times. Three fliers are available to the industry free of charge. These fliers may be requested through the ASA Web site at www.ASAshop.org or by calling ASA’s member services department at (800) 272-7467, ext. 295.


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