State Farm is Kickin’ Ass!

December 28, 2007 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Still cocky from their paid-for victory in the aftermarket parts suit, State Farm feels it has the collision repair industry by the short hairs.  They’ve played the good cop for many years, but all that is now changing. We have only ourselves to blame. For years we’ve gratefully accepted higher labor rates and fairer treatment from State Farm when compared to most other insurers. For years we’ve failed to capitalize on State Farm’s perceived generosity by not holding other insurers to the same standards and fair play. State Farm finally wised up and realized that it was giving money away because most of you have been willing to lay on your backs for much less.

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Understanding the Progressive Disease

November 27, 2007 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

We are under attack from a virus as deadly to your shop’s health as the aids virus is to your physical health. That is not a dramatic overstatement. It is a depressing fact. Our industry’s immune system is in such bad shape that I don’t see how it can fend off this disease. The irony of it all would be hilarious if it was happening to some other industry, but because we are affected by the collateral damage of Progressive’s viral mutation I can find little to laugh about.

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Traveler’s Joins Other Insurers in the Gutter

November 25, 2007 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

You have to give some of these people credit for their creativity, and their tenacity when trying to come up with ways to screw you out of a few dollars. The insurers must have some committee where members brainstorm, trying to find little ways to carve up your repair bill. Never underestimate their desire to cut costs and the depths they will dive into the sewer to attain those cuts. A few dollars here and a few dollars there…insurers don’t really have any boundaries when it comes to relieving you of your hard earned money. Traveler’s, a company that, at least in my area of the country, has avoided some of the sleazy tactics has come up with a new trick. Have you seen this one?

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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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