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Wednesday @ SEMA 
I was able to catch up with some LinkedIn friends for breakfast today.  It is great to see people you have communicated with on a social network in person and discuss things face to face. Larry Montanez from P&L Consulting LLC and James Moy a fellow consultant discussed several issues that I am sure are on the top of your mind, substandard shops and getting paid for what you do.  We all agreed that I-CAR role based training is a true asset to our industry and a step in the right direction.  The discussion moved to getting paid for what you do and we all seem to believe it is dependent on how you document your damage appraisal.  It has to be clear, concise and factual.  Don’t ask for things you are not going to do, but make sure you document everything you to return the vehicle back to pre-accident condition.  As far as substandard shops it seems they will fall to the side as more and more shops are educating themselves, using the proper equipment and taking action against those that are not preforming repairs correctly.  I believe if you stay focused on your shop, keep your mind on your business, you will prosper as those less quality shops fall to the side.

Nitrogen…..Really!?!

There seems to be a belief that you need to convert to nitrogen to spray waterborne effectively.  I have been doing quite a bit of reading on the subject and can’t really find anything to substantiate the belief.  While I was here at SEMA I thought I would do some checking and found Bob Maurer and Michael Camber from Kaeser Compressors and we talked about the advantages and disadvantages.  We agreed that what you really need is low moisture content in the air.  Nitrogen on by itself can’t provide clean moisture free air, it still has to be filtered and have the oil removed so you still need some kind of system to perform that task in addition to the nitrogen equipment.  I figure most shops air handling equipment is due for replacement already and using the thoughts from my ABRN you can systematically replace the items as you can afford them.  To make sure you are buying what you need Kaeser will provide a free Waterborne Paint Evaluation.  Take them up on it and make smart choices, you will probably find that nitrogen is not really necessary.

EPA/OSHA Regulations

This is one area I think some shops really need to spend a little more time checking.  I talked to Joseph J. Kenny II, President of Safety Regulation Strategies Inc, and Compliance Specialist Ryan Sharkey who carry the same thought.  To keep everybody informed on the new laws they have a free newsletter, follow the link to subscribe.  When I was reviewing their website I found some interesting information about OSHA and how they created a new Severe Violator Enforcement Program and increased penalty amounts for workplace injuries.  Just when we thought we were caught up by finishing the 6H requirements a new thing to worry about.  Speaking about 6H, I am still seeing people spraying more than 3 ounces on the shop floor, EPA has people looking, I don’t believe anybody I have seen lately can afford the fine, there are many solutions to reach compliance so please pick on.

SCRS Repairer Driven Education

I was able to spend some time with my friend Mike Anderson on his birthday by attending his negotiation course, Educate – Don’t Alienate!   In this two-part course Mike told us that you need three things to be successful in negotiating; Trust, Respect, and Confidence that you are being credible.  Let me explain that last one.  Have you ever been in the position when you went and asked the technician what he needed, didn’t check it out for yourself and presented it to the insurance company only to find that you did not need it?  Kind of kills the trust and respect thing doesn’t it?  Moral to this story is you need to inspect what you are going to negotiate so you maintain your credibility.  Mike used a Steven Covey quote to stress a point in negotiation, Seek to understand, then to be understood.  He explained that the comma is there for a purpose, it is to make us stop so the recipient has a chance to process what we are telling them.  Along with this he suggested we learn about the other party, it is a true benefit if you know what their concerns or interests are.  If you know what an insurance adjuster is measured on you can direct your negotiation toward that end and create a win-win situation.  Knowing what an insurance adjuster is grading on would seem to be pretty handy, kind of knowing what button to push but in a positive way.  I could fill this complete newsletter with the information Mike provided by SEMA is a big show and I wanted to tell you the other things also.  I will close this off with a thought Mike left us after we watched a scene from the movie Road House, where Patrick Swayze was a “cooler” and it was during a meeting he had with the bar bouncers and he kept repeating they should be nice.  Mike related that to negotiation, be nice, when you let emotions control the situation nobody is winning, you are actually digging a whole and that trust and respect thing is heading south.  So think about this next time you are up against an insurance adjuster, just be nice and understand their side and put yourself into a position where you both can win.  We had a little extra time after the class so Mike reviewed some of the items available on his website.  His website is actually a web catalog of his experiences and he offers them to anybody who wants to utilize them.  Take advantage of Mike’s experience and check it out.

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