Geico’s Gecko Gets Grumpy

November 12, 2009 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

 

Geico whined about copyright infringement so I had to remove the image. They are wrong and don’t understand the Fair Use act, and I could easily win in court, but I’m not sticking my neck out for this industry any more.

Photoshop is a wonderful thing. Insurers creating more work for us is not. For those of you not on either Geico’s or Allstate’s DRP program, you’ve probably been acquainted with their new supplement request forms. I first received one from Allstate. Instead of picking up the phone and calling the supplement hot-line, I now have to fill out a full page form and fax it to a supplement fax number, then pray it got through and was processed.

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Screw Lean, Get Mean

August 19, 2009 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Pick up any trade magazine from the past couple of years and you’ll probably find an article about “lean production” or cutting your cycle time. Anyone whose mind is a jumbled mess from having to deal with the daily BS involved in running a shop would think little about the meaning and intent behind those articles. In fact, many of you have invested time and money to follow some of the advice in these articles.

From people intimately familiar with Toyota’s lean manufacturing processes to the freelancers who write for our industry’s trade magazines even though they have zero experience working in or running a collision repair shop, everyone seems to be banging on the same worn out drum trying to get you to dance. But these writers are no musicians. They are herdsmen, and you are their brainless sheep.

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The Folks at AIG Have Lost Their Minds

August 3, 2009 by · 7 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

AIG has had a hard time in the past year or so. Bad publicity from less than squeaky clean business dealings has caused a panic, prompting a name change. They were losing thousands of policy holders every month due to the stigma of the AIG brand so they changed their name to 21st Century Insurance. Sounds so clean and modern, doesn’t it? Apparently the stress of their identity crisis has caused them to lose their minds altogether. Their legal department–those tasked with creating the disclaimers printed at the end of AIG’s estimates–has decided that the law shouldn’t stand in their way of taking back control of their company, and trying to take control of the collision repair industry. Their disclaimer page has been expanded, now containing some pretty inventive statements.

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The Enemy Leading the Ignorant

April 10, 2009 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

A recent story at Autobodyonline is one sad commentary on the state of our industry. Though there is no author listed for the story, it appears to be a press release from the National Auto Body Council. And judging by the content of this press release the NABC is another “industry” organization that has fallen to the lure of insurance money. In fact, the new president of the NABC is none other than Mr. Feather-edge, Prime and Block himself, George Avery from State Farm. I’m curious, does Georgie get paid by State Farm based on how much of our industry he can take over? And who are these ignoramuses who keep electing insurance people to head up our organizations?

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The Insurance Company’s Taj Mahal

April 2, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Today’s Body Shop Business newsletter profiles what is being called the “Bellagio” of body shops in Fremont CA. I Think “Taj Mahal is more fitting and I’ll explain why in a minute. This is a must read for every one of you. More importantly, you must visit their website to believe what I’m about to tell you. I’ll have a link to their site at the end my little rant.

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CAPA and the Law of Unintended Consequences

March 20, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

The insurance industry’s meddling in parts manufacturing and so called “certification” is putting them in a difficult position. Since CAPA is the preeminent entity in the pursuit of aftermarket excellence, all aftermarket parts manufacturers endeavour to capture the esteemed certification for the parts they make. But what happens when a part doesn’t pass CAPA’s rigorous (don’t worry, I’m not smoking any thing. Just using CAPA’s propaganda) tests? What does it mean when they fail?

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A Letter to Githesh Ramamurthy, CEO of CCC

March 16, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Dear Mr. Ramamurthy,

I just received your FAX admitting defeat over the CCC/Mitchell merger. I think I speak for the entire collision repair industry when I say “Thank God!” The last thing this industry needed was fewer choices when it comes to collision estimating. Your takeover of Comp-Est was bad enough, we didn’t need our choices cut from three estimating platforms to two. It is understandable that competition is tough, but, and this is just some friendly advice, the next time you find your company in tough competition, it may be more cost effective to improve your product instead of trying to buy your competition. Your consumption of Mitchell was going to cost you an estimated 1.4 billion dollars. You could have hired a couple of high school kids for a few hundred bucks to give Pathways a face-lift and fix some of the dreadful inefficiencies y0ur users have been complaining about for years. For a few bucks more you could have hired a handful of Pathways users–collision repairers–to tell you how to improve your software. We are used to working for little or nothing. You should take advantage of that.

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ABRN: New Look, Same Uninformed Content

February 17, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

ABRN may have changed the look and format of their magazine but it is still not the place to get your Auto Body Business News. Their editor, Tim Sramcik, seems to lack any understanding of business and economics. Had he ever run a business, his column this month would have been much different. Instead Sramcik appears more concerned about the union members at GM than for this country’s financial well being. Maybe he has some friend or relative working at GM being paid a ridiculous salary (a salary, by the way, that tops just about every one of his readers’ pay).

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