Hey CCC! Welcome to the 21st Century.

November 15, 2007 by · 7 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

I can’t freakin believe it. CCC has finally decided to remove their moronic prompt when replacing or repairing a bumper cover. For those of you who use another estimating system I’ll give a quick explanation. When writing an estimate in Pathways, choosing to repair or replace a bumper cover causes the software to ask some stupid questions. One of the questions, presented as a prompt with a Yes or No answer, asks if you will be painting the bumper cover off the car, or in a separate procedure. If you click the Yes button, no overlap is taken from the refinish time of the bumper cover or the next chosen panel. And if you have a clear coat cap set, the clear coat time of the bumper is not included in that cap. If you choose No, the bumper cover is treated like any other panel that needs no special attention.

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Not So Sly Fox, and Detroit Shoves it up Your Backside

November 7, 2007 by · 11 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Unless you’ve been too busy running yourselves out of business you’ve heard about or read the letter to our industry from Fox Collision Centers. It was a shock to hear a man who owned and operated 18 body shops say “Uncle” and throw in the towel. In fact, it makes little sense. How could a man who was driven enough and smart enough to build an empire like he had suddenly walk away from it all? How could he just hit the light switch on his way out the door and not return? Could he not see the damage piling up? Did he have no other choices? I detect an unpleasant olfactory sensation.

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The Progressive Disease Spreads, Becoming a Plague

October 17, 2007 by · 30 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Know of any decent insurance companies looking for a good appraiser? No, not for me. I wouldn’t torture myself like that. Right now I can think of at least ten appraisers who are fed up with their current job and are looking for another insurance company to work for. In case you haven’t’ noticed, there is some major turmoil in the insurance appraiser industry. Staff appraisers and independents alike are jumping ship or complaining about their jobs. Complaints are nothing new. Many appraisers are ex-body men, the kings of complainers, but this is beyond normal. Kinda almost makes me feel sorry for them.

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NICB Sends Bulletin to All Insurers About BodyShop Solutions.

July 4, 2007 by · 34 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

I received a phone call the other day from an insurance appraiser friend of mine that confirmed a rumor I heard. That rumor started here on this site a couple of weeks ago when some insurance person left a comment stating that the National Insurance Crime Bureau had issued an alert to all its members warning them about the software sold on this site. I could not confirm it because NICB does not post these alerts on their website. Apparently only paying members have access to this information. I ignored the rumor because I had heard nothing else. Well it is no longer a rumor. It is fact.

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A New Beginning

June 8, 2007 by · 14 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

I have retired from the collision repair business. On Tuesday, June 5th, I quit my job as a body shop manager and walked away from the repair end of our industry. If things work out like I hope they do, I will never have to argue with another insurance appraiser. I will never have to answer another stupid question like, “Why do I have to pay my deductible?” I will never have another boss (aside from my wife, of course). I will never have that same 40 minute drive each way to my job, day in and day out. Pushed to my breaking point, I have taken what some consider an insane leap.

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Body Shop Business 2007 Industry Profile: An Analysis

May 31, 2007 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Has every one read their May issue of Body Shop Business? Yeah, right! I bet half of them are buried under piles of paperwork, still in their plastic wrappers. Those of you more savvy business professionals who read it carefully every month have seen, and hopefully read, their 2007 Industry Profile. If you haven’t, stop reading this and click here to read it online. To some it may seem like a bunch of boring numbers and useless facts, but when analyzed it reveals some very interesting facts about our industry

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C.I.A. Technology: Paint & Materials Calculator

May 29, 2007 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

If you’ve ever had some doubt whether or not the database providers are more interested in the welfare of their insurance customers than that of their collision repairer customers, you need look no further than the last estimate you wrote using their software. While all three claim to do research and time studies, and there is a general consensus that the current method of determining paint and materials costs is seriously flawed, all three continue to employ the derelict and unreliable formula that multiplies paint hours by some arbitrary dollar amount. If that isn’t bad enough, one of the three providers, Mitchell, sells a Paint and Materials Calculator. And while this calculator is also flawed it is much more accurate than the hours times dollars formula. It begs the question, why isn’t Mitchell’s P&M calculator integrated into their estimating software?

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A Blueprint for Change

May 18, 2007 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Last week I received a call from someone asking my permission to use something I wrote at his association’s next meeting. I, of course, agreed to let him use it, but it had been a while since I had read it myself so I took another look at it. More than a year ago I wrote an outline for a presentation I gave for an auto body association meeting in another state. I titled it, “Taking Back the Collision Repair Industry: A blueprint for reclaiming your business from the insurance companies.” It’s a pretty good outline of talking points and action plans. It’s kind of buried in my website so I checked to see how many people actually found it and downloaded it. Not too many, so I decided to post a link to it here.

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Does Erica Eversman Have the Silver Bullet?

May 9, 2007 by · 13 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a meeting held by the Auto Body Association of Connecticut with association leaders from seven other northeastern states. The meeting was prompted when a couple of ABAC members attended the NORTHEAST Autobody/Automotive Tradeshow in Suffern NY this past April. They attended a meeting and were impressed enough with the dialog to invite some of the attendees to Connecticut to exchange information and ideas. Aside from Connecticut, the states represented were Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont. Also present was Sheila Loftus from Crash Network and Erica Eversman from Vehicle Information Services.

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With Partners Like These Who Needs a Colonoscopy?

April 17, 2007 by · 12 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Am I the only software developer who makes software for body shops? Yesterday’s mail brought to my attention just how bad things are getting for body shops wanting software that benefits them and not the insurance companies. Yesterday’s mail also highlighted how deeply the myth of “insurance partners” has been entrenched into our industry.

I received a multi-page letter from Alldata trying to sell me their CollisionConnect software. In the sales pitch was the following: “Strengthen Relationships with your Insurance Partner” I also received my monthly Pathways update. In it contained an advertisement for their Estimatic Report Service. Their sales pitch was “Get the same data insurers traditionally use. Make your next meeting with your insurance partner more productive and take action to improve your operation.” Yeah, that just what I need, an “insurance partner.”

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