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  Chairman's Message

Darrell AmbersonChange and Improvement

Posted 08/1/2013

It seems we can hardly go a day without hearing how our world is changing. Our industry is part of it. Technology, of course, leads the way.

We used to hear that when contemplating your business proposition, consider quality, speed and price – and that you can provide two out of the three. Today we hear – and know – we must provide all three due to changing expectations of our customers.

Does all of this change lead to improvement? No doubt it does in most cases, however sometimes I wonder. Yet, we have no choice. If we elect to step aside and avoid changing with the rest of the world, as business operators we will either be left behind or run over. It’s up to us to adopt the appropriate mindset and engage in learning and evolving. If we choose to look at it positively, in many ways it can be fun and exciting.

In this issue we look at electric vehicles, changing how we service cars. For those of us who grew up around carburetors, change doesn’t get much more dramatic than that. Yet we cannot deny the existence of EVs and their increasing numbers on our roadways. The occurrence of new startup auto manufacturers is rare indeed, yet I have had some Teslas in our shop already.

We also look at the vehicle check-in process, with a focus on improving CSI, customer pay and cycle time. Improving our performance in these areas sometimes only keeps us abreast of the performance of our competitors. For those collision repairers who participate in various direct-repair programs, have you noticed that higher performance scores often don’t raise your ranking over a period of time? Other shops that we are being compared to are working on improving their performance as well. It takes a higher performance score to simply stay at the same ranking. Maintaining the status quo no longer cuts it. If you pursue excellence, your task is even greater.

We can all agree that oftentimes survival in this great industry of ours is challenging. But we’re not alone – and we can learn from each other. Training, education and networking are the keys to understanding how others in the industry are improving. And ASA is committed to providing the best opportunities. It’s not a sales pitch. It’s an invitation.

Already in the works, next month’s issue will be devoted to NACE and CARS. And some exciting highlights are featured on pages 20-23 of this issue. It’s not too soon to make your arrangements to attend. Everything being planned is genuinely designed with repair professionals in mind. I hope you can join us, and I hope you get as much out of the event as I have each and every year. (Visit or click on “ASRW” from the ASA website,

By Darrell Amberson, AAM, Chairman

Darrell Amberson




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