This is what greeted me when I arrived at the SEMA show today, and the sights only got better!
I walked into the collision area immediately bumped into Barry Dorn, SCRS Past Chairman and Aaron Schulenburg SCRS Executive Director. The SCRS is presenting a large slate of classes through their Repairer Driven Education program. I attended the Load Leveling class presented today and was real impressed with the course content. Tomorrow I will be attending a two part session titled Educate NOT Alienate: The Key to Successful Collision Negotiations presented by Mike Anderson. I will fill you in on that class tomorrow.
Frame Machine Strategy
I talked frame machine strategy with Mike Ramey of M.R.E Inc where we discussed the feasibility of having several small pulling platforms similar to Chief Automotive's EZLiner Express instead of two or more frame machines. The design of new vehicles utilizes a crush zone type construction so mostly what we are doing now is jigging vehicles rather than heavy pulling. A vehicle can be placed on a small pulling platform, measured and align, have the affected structure removed and replaced right in the technician's stall. There is not a need to move the vehicle to the frame machine. You can purchase about three of the small pulling platforms for the price of one frame machine. Utilizing three small pulling machines rather than doing all the pulling on one frame machine will eliminate an area of constraint and improve cycle time. You will still need one full-size frame machine for pick-ups and SUV's but your techinicians will enjoy having pulling capabilities right in their stall with their individual platforms.
Mobile Car Dollies
I stopped at DJS Fabrications booth when their Mobile Car Dollies caught my eye. These dollies are the sturdiest dollies I have ever seen. They will work with the wheels on or off, will clamp to the pinch welds and have special attachments for vehicles with out pinch welds. Doug Symiczek has thought out this product quite well. He has ramps to get over the threshold of paint booths, ramps designed to work with most frame machines and has a rack to store the dollies when they are not in use. These have to be the safest dollies around and they are designed to allow one person to move a car around the shop.
Paint Prep Cart
Goliath Carts has done it again. I have told you about their Estimating Carts in other newsletters but now they have designed a Paint Prep Cart. This cart holds anything you could possibly need to mask a vehicle. The paper changes with ease and it has spacers to make sure the tape stays centered. Just like the estimating cart the paint prep cart has been well thought out and was name the NACE new product of the year. That is two years in a row that Goliath Carts has earned this award and I say earned it because they really did their homework and created two great products.
I was invited to a social mixer held by Chuck Jessen of PreFabAds.com where he described his ad program.
He has developed eleven ads specially for the collision industry, the most famous of which is the "Sledgehammer". I know you have seen it, a scorned woman takes revenge on her boyfriend's car, only to realize she has the wrong car when he drives up along side and asked her what she is doing. It has won several awards, been viral on YouTube and America's funniest commercials. I have previewed all of the ads and you can do the same by clicking on the link above, all are direct and to the point and would work in any market. The thing I really liked about this program is your contract ensures your competition cannot run the same ad, you are guaranteed exlusivity in your market for the term of the contract.
That was my day at SEMA and tomorrow's calendar shows to be just as busy and exciting.