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by Angie Wilson
ASA's Vice President of Marketing and Communications

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) made several announcements regarding association initiatives and its Collision Division activities at a Thursday morning press conference held at The Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. The official launch of ASA's Buyers Guide for Service Professionals was also conducted at the conference.

Ron Pyle, ASA president and chief staff executive, shared with attendees news of a recently announced member benefit with Delphi, which will offer Web-based education and training options to ASA members at a preferred rate. He also touched on the renewed benefit agreements with both Nova and Cintas.

Mapping technology was incorporated into ASA's shop locator recently, providing motorists with directions and additional shop information. An enhanced shop listing is available that allows members to promote their shop hours, offer online appointment scheduling and additional business details.

The press conference served as the official launch of ASA's new buyers guide, łASA's Ultimate Buyers Guide for Service Professionals.˛ The new offering is published in an electronic format and can be accessed on the Web or CD using Web synchronization technology (similar to the format of ASA OnDemand, ASA's electronic benefits portfolio launched earlier this year).

Michael Scheevel, representing MultiView, which publishes the guide for ASA, was on hand to explain several of the guide's benefits. The vertical search engine provides easy-to-use, convenient search options for today's repair facilities. Offering Web links, e-mail addresses and additional contact information, the buyers guide provides today's repair professional with quick access to everything one might need to run a successful business.

The buyers guide can be accessed at www.ASAUltimateBuyersGuide.com or a CD version can be picked up at ASA's NACE booth - W3367.

Denise Caspersen was also introduced during the press conference. Caspersen is ASA's Collision Division manager, a role she recently took over after serving for several years as the association's research specialist. Several activities of the Collision Division Operations Committee were announced and the group's subcommittee chairmen were introduced.

Issues being addressed by the Collision Division include re-keying of estimates, efficiency and accuracy in estimating systems, a feather-edge time study, service information Web sites, OEM training information, a review of recycled parts guides, salvage air bags, and parts procurement programs.

Collision Division Operations Committee subcommittee chairmen include Carroll Proctor, Estimating Subcommittee; Jerry Burns, AAM, Refinish Subcommittee; Dan Bailey, Auto Manufacturer Subcommittee; Ron Nagy, AAM, Salvage Subcommittee; and Harry Moppert, Insurance Subcommittee.

Collision Division Director Darrell Amberson, AAM, was also in attendance. Amberson addressed various industry issues and outlined ASA's activities in conjunction with other associations to better the industry.

Other news presented by Pyle included a recap of the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) meeting held Wednesday at The Mirage, and its relevance to collision repairers. The key announcement from that meeting was that the task force, by unanimous vote, decided to move forward on the formalization of NASTF. Pyle described the decision as great news for the industry and stressed the importance of keeping the group free of politics. Of significance to the collision repair segment of the industry, ideas were presented to NASTF to aid collision repairers in their service information needs. The group plans to enhance its services to better inform collision repair professionals moving forward.

The press conference concluded with a question-and-answer session from various trade press representatives.

All ASA press releases are available online at ASA's Web site, www.ASAshop.org.

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