Trevethan’s Vision is Out of Focus.

November 21, 2005 by · 508 Comments
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I?ve been a little busy lately. Some of you have noticed my absence, but most of you have probably been too busy yourselves to notice or care. That?s good. I hope you?ve been busy working to improve your industry, and not just spinning your wheels fixing cars and worshiping the gods of third party payers.

I?ve been working on new software. It?s like writing a long, complicated novel, only the writer, me, has to solve the mysteries and conquer the problems before the plot can progress. In case you?re wondering what new software I?m working on, it?s a body shop management system that every shop can afford.

A few things have happened recently that have pried me away from writing code. I had a long conversation the other day with a shop owner who called me frustrated about labor times, specifically, paint times and this antiquated blending crap we have been putting up with, like a bunch of ignorant morons, for decades now. Several weeks prior to that I was interviewed by some guy claiming to be a consultant/researcher for who I?m not sure, but he was collecting information about the data providers. As you can imagine, it was a lively conversation. And then the other day I received a call from the folks at Focus-write notifying me that their software was finally ready for a full test drive.

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Has Anyone Seen My Body Shop?

September 6, 2005 by · 10 Comments
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A quick search of Switchboard.com, an online telephone directory, listed about 350 collision repair shops in the greater New Orleans area. Those shops will be shut down for months; many will never reopen. At the same time, thousands of automobiles will be deemed total losses due to the flooding. On top of that, thousands of vehicles have been damaged by flying debris and falling trees caused by the hurricane winds. Many people will never return to New Orleans, so when collision repair shops do reopen, they will find themselves short on work. Cars that aren?t declared total losses will probably be repaired in shops outside of the New Orleans area. Body shops in those areas will be busier than normal.
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Progressive’s Political Pothead

August 16, 2005 by · 7 Comments
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I don?t want it to seem like I?m picking on Progressive Insurance. I mean, I enjoy it immensely, but there are other things to talk about. However, never one to miss an opportunity to shed light on the darkness of the insurance industry, I have to relate some interesting information about the man who has made Progressive what it is today. That man, Peter Lewis, is a piece of work. And wait till you see what he?s been doing with all that money Progressive has been stealing from your operations by artificially holding down labor rates.
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My Application to be a Progressive DRP Shop

August 10, 2005 by · 63 Comments
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Dear Progressive Insurance

Please consider me an applicant for your new Concierge Program. Now, I know I?ve been kind of hard on Progressive in the past, but hey, you do have some real winners working at your company. But I?d like to call a truce and get on board with you. I?ve been reading about your new Concierge Program and must say it?s beginning to grow on me.
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Guilt and Innocence

July 29, 2005 by · 6 Comments
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About two weeks ago I received a phone call from some obnoxious guy telling me we had ruined his car, had done very shoddy work, the paint work was terrible, the tires were wearing improperly, we had failed to replace damaged parts, the vehicle was unsafe to drive, we had committed fraud, he was going to sue us, he wanted us to buy the vehicle from him for the full retail value of the vehicle before it was damaged, blah, blah, blah.
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Committing Suicide

July 18, 2005 by · 10 Comments
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On July 7th four Islamofascist psychopaths strapped on knapsacks full of explosives and headed for the subway and bus stations of London. Three of the snail snots boarded three different subway trains, and the remaining slug slime boarded a double-decker bus. They promptly set off their explosive filled knapsacks, blowing themselves to bits, along with hundreds of innocent Londoners on their way to work. On that same day, many equally deranged body shop owners and managers signed on to become Progressive Insurance direct repair partners. They promptly, in a figurative way, blew themselves up, along with hundreds of nearby body shops. An unfair and inflammatory analogy? Maybe so.
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Pack up your shop and leave. Allstate wants your property.

June 28, 2005 by · 6 Comments
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Last week, five old farts without the slightest understanding of our Constitution decided it was a wonderful thing when slimy politicians looking for a handout, or trying to generate more tax revenue with which to buy votes, took property from plain old common folk and gave it to some high brow developer. The five most liberal justices of the United States Supreme Court, the justices that were revered for their protection of ?the little guy,? opened a Pandora?s Box that threatens every home and small business in this country. So be prepared to relocate your shop.
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I’ve Returned. And I’m Sporting a New Weapon.

June 13, 2005 by · 6 Comments
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Yeah, I know, I?m way overdue for a post to this column. Sue me. I have a very good excuse. Aside from running a shop and having record sales for April and May, I?ve been busy writing a new software application that will help increase revenue and decrease the liability shops that use the flat rate system are exposed to. To increase my fun I decided to try a new programming language too. Sometimes I?m not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. Learning a new software language at 43 years old is like trying to teach the Rain Man the importance of restraining flatulence in public, or trying to teach the Chinese to make parts that fit.
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Political Poontang

April 28, 2005 by · 7 Comments
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Regardless of how some in this industry run their shops, the collision repair business is still a business. It is not a nonprofit organization or a hobby or a school. You are running a business and as a business owner or manager you should be interested and aware of national and regional policy issues that can, and will, affect your bottom line. Now I know many of you could give a flying fornication about politics. And a few of you have expressed your disappointment or distaste of my occasional political pontifications. Too freaking bad. It?s important, if you care about the future of your business, to be aware of what those slimy politicians are up to. Those of you who are easily offended by right wing rhetoric may want to find a nice tree to hug, or better yet, find some smelly homeless person, take him home with you and give him a bath. The rest of you should read on.
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The Counterfeit Parts Business is Thriving Again.

April 5, 2005 by · 7 Comments
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One of my many hobbies is collecting American antiques. I love the look and the history of early American furniture. If you?re careful, collecting antiques can be a great investment too. Being careful means knowing true antiques in original condition from counterfeits and poorly restored junk. Knowing how to spot a fake or reproduction can keep you from wasting money on something that?s pretty much worthless. A $50,000 highboy with replaced brass drawer pulls and a replaced leg can easily loose 75% of its value. Being in original condition means everything. If you had an eighteenth century mirror, and you broke the glass, replacing the glass with a new piece from your local Home Depot would ruin the value of the antique. However, if you replace it with an authentic piece of eighteenth century glass the value would remain intact. In other words, putting aftermarket parts on a valuable antique destroys its value.
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