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Posts Tagged ‘collision repair news’

State of HD Collision Repair Industry & Automated Trucking Information Shared on Episode One of HDRF Webinar Series

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The HD Repair Forum (HDRF) kicked off the first of six webinars scheduled for 2020. These webinars are free of charge and made possible by these industry sponsors, www.hdrepairforum.com/sponsors.

Richard Bishop, President of Richard Bishop Consulting, kicked off the event with a presentation on automation in heavy-duty trucking appropriately titled, Robots on the Road: Outlook for Automated Trucking. The information shared provided attendees with a look at the evolving technology on today’s truck. Truck manufacturers are incorporating advanced driver assistance systems at an accelerated pace, and partnerships like Navistar and TuSimple’s recent announcement are another confirmation of that fact. Semi-autonomous vehicles will be in your bay sooner than later and repairers need to be prepared.  

Richard’s subtle and indirect message to attendees was very clear – your business needs to continue to evolve and embrace change. Preparing for the future starts with understanding trends and building a foundation within your business to adapt to the change. Investing in tooling, training, and equipment will ensure your business will be able to insure, estimate, repair, and service the most modern vehicles.

Following Bishop’s presentation, John Webb, President of TenPoint Complete shared a subset of the results from the HD Repair Forum’s inaugural collision industry survey. Additional results are set to be provided in a future webinar. 

“The goal of the survey is to provide benchmark data on the HD collision repair industry with the intent of expanding its content annually. The results included some surprising information on the current state of HD collision repairers,” explained Brian Nessen, HD Repair Forum’s CEO. 

87% of repairers surveyed stated that despite the pandemic, they felt positive about their business and prospect for the future. Conversely, 13% of respondents said their business was severely impacted by the pandemic. Although not shared on the call, this is in stark contrast to the automotive collision repair industry that has been severely impacted by the pandemic.

Another enlightening statistic pulled from the survey includes what can only be characterized as “great news” for progress in the industry. Less than 60% of the shops surveyed repair frame damage within their facility.

This presents a promising opportunity to educate the industry on the added value on-site frame repair can provide. As it relates to cycle time, it also highlights a problem and potential smoking gun within the industry. Could part of the reason for elongated cycle times be a by-product of sublet repairs, since so many collision shops do not have the ability to repair frame damage in house?

Another surprising statistic coming from the survey is the number of HD collision shops that do not use an electronic estimating system.

It’s alarming because most developed and mature industries have already come to wide-spread adoption of this type of  technology. These statistics could be an indication that the industry is lagging with a lot of opportunity for growth and improvement.

Much of the data found within the survey is “industry first” and uncovering this data will support businesses across the industry in their decision making process.

The HD Repair Forum continues to grow its reach and identify shops that offer heavy-duty collision repair. However, the following chart depicts the challenge it and many others have faced in answering, “How many HD collision repair facilities are there?” 17% of the shops surveyed don’t know who or where their competition is. The positive news seen below is that there may be more shops within the industry than has been suggested.

“We are committed to providing relevant and timely information to the heavy-duty collision repair industry. Our webinars are a natural extension of the annual event held in Fort Worth, Texas.” Nessen continued.

Additional insight and other results from the study presented during this one hour webinar can be found by registering for the webinar on-demand at www.hdrepairforum.com

Episode two of this six-part series is scheduled for  August 18th, 11 AM CDT. Complimentary registration, made possible by the organization’s 2020 sponsors, can be found at this link.

If you have questions about the HD Repair Forum, its webinar series, or further involvement please visit our website or contact the company’s Communications Director, Jennie Lenk at JennieL@hdrepairforum.com

SCA Appraisal Launches Dedicated Department of Insurance (“DOI”) Re-inspection Unit: Names Jose Hermida Unit Leader

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Burbank, CA – In response to the growing demand of insurance carrier clients for Department of Insurance “(DOI”) re-inspections and regulatory compliance, SCA Appraisal has launched a newly-formed DOI Customer Success Unit.  Most SCA clients know Jose Hermida as he has been servicing SCA clients for over 20 years and is a client favorite. Jose will be leading the new DOI- CSU program.

“The regulatory environment in some states is becoming ever more complex and compliance is critical for our clients.  The establishment of a dedicated unit ensures that compliance.” says Tim Davis, President of SCA Appraisal.  “Being able to meet the unique needs of our clients in specifically-regulated markets with the DOI program further illustrates our evolution from an independent appraisal company to an integrated appraisal company.”

Clients will have three program options within the DOI program.  Specific vehicles can be assigned for re-inspection.  A selection of vehicles can be made by SCA based on geography and claim count.  Or, clients can opt for a fully-managed program that uses rental car logs to identify re-inspection opportunities in order to meet compliance.  In all cases SCA provides the necessary re-inspections and supplemental reporting.

In business since 1979, with franchise and supplier resources in all 50 states, SCA is a leading provider of private passenger auto, specialty, heavy equipment and financial services appraisals.  For more information, or to request a demonstration, please contact ClientServices@sca-appraisal.com.

HD Repair Forum Hosts Webinar on Automated Trucking; HD Collision Repair Industry Survey

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Katy, TX, July 8, 2020 – The HD Repair Forum will host a two-part online program next Thursday, July 16, that provides insight on the most current technology in today’s heavy trucks and what challenges the industry will face. The program will also present the results from a recent survey of the HD collision repair industry. 

The first half of episode 1 features 2nd Vice Chair of the American Trucking Association’s Automated Driving Study Group, Richard Bishop. His expertise in vehicle automation will provide attendees with insight on Robots on the Road: An Outlook for Automated Trucking. Four key operational settings for Goods Movement: Controlled Environments, Streets, Resource Roads, and Highway will be discussed along with some of the larger implications and key challenges automation is bringing to the industry, including impacts on estimates.

The second 30 minutes of this webinar will take a look at the results from the HD Repair Forum’s First Annual Heavy-Duty Collision Repair Industry Study. John Webb, president of TenPoint Complete, will share perspectives and insights on this benchmark data, which will include a look at some of the most recent effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This is the first in a series of webinars designed to provide attendees with important information about the heavy-duty industry in a condensed format. Those involved in heavy-duty collision repair will not want to miss this unique opportunity to learn more about the industry.  Register for free today. 

Organizers for the HD Repair Forum understand the need for the industry to remain connected during this challenging time. Although face-to-face meetings may not be possible in the coming weeks or months, industry advancement should not stop. A special thanks to our sponsors for their continued support of the industry and for making this possible. 

“These webinars are the first of their kind, specifically geared towards the HD collision industry. We look forward to providing our constituents industry-wide information in these digital formats.” states Brian Nessen, President of the organization. “We care about this industry and we’re committed to bringing these businesses repair information, networking, education, and training opportunities, as well as the resources needed to run a successful collision repair business.”

Time for Q&A is planned at the end of each presentation. 

To attend, complete the registration form, save the hour, and dial-in next Thursday, July 16th.

Questions can be forwarded to the organization’s Director of Communications, Jennie Lenk.

SCA Appraisal Launches Customized Client Care Program

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SCA Appraisal Launches Customized Client Care:  Appoints Monica Diaz Senior Director of Customer Success, Lucano Figueroa, Yesenia Barreto & Amye Chow Customer Success Managers

Burbank, CA – To meet the evolving needs of its customers across a variety of industries, SCA Appraisal has implemented a Customer Success division and has re-allocated and added resources to specifically support clients across various markets. 

Monica Diaz has been appointed Senior Director of Customer Success and will be accountable for end-to-end delivery to clients across three unique markets: insurance, third-party administrators, and financial services/government.

“Our industry has experienced a lot of change over the 41 years we have been in business.  However, perhaps the most profound change has been our clients’ requests for company-specific requirements that leverage their own unique brands and identities” states Tim Davis, Jr., President of SCA Appraisal. “The IA space has long had a reputation for a one-size fits all approach, that is not acceptable at SCA. We are investing in our clients’ success and when they are successful, we are successful.”

Lucano Figueroa, an 18-year veteran of SCA will lead the Financial Services/Government group.  Yesenia Barreto, brings her 13 years with SCA to lead the Third-Party Administrators group.  Amye Chow, with SCA since 2011 leads the Insurance group. 

“All aspects of a claim will be handled by a vertically-integrated team that is familiar with our clients’ business objectives and processes.” says Monica Diaz.  “We know we are an extension of our clients’ claims resources and we are aligned accordingly. Customers will see industry-leading service.”

In business since 1979, with franchise and supplier resources in all 50 states, SCA is a leading provider of private passenger auto, specialty, heavy equipment and financial services appraisals.  For more information, or to request a demonstration, please contact ClientServices@sca-appraisal.com

SCA Distributes Over $30,000 Worth of PPE Appraiser Safety Kits Free to Industry

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Burbank, CA – In a period of 10 days, SCA Appraisal has delivered 550 Appraiser Safety Kits at no cost to members of the industry including independent appraisal suppliers, SCA franchise owners and even competitors.  “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our entire industry and we wanted to do something to give back to those folks who make it happen every day,” says Tim Davis, Jr., president of SCA Appraisal. “We put out notice via social media about the kits and within 5 days we had requests for over 500. https://www.facebook.com/scaappraisal/videos/542225729776383/?d=n

“I am proud of how our team mobilized to get them out within days and the testimonials have flooded my inbox.”  

Each kit contains PPE including gloves, masks, and sanitizer spray with a value of over $65. “I contract with several Appraisal Companies and no one stepped up to bat to help keep us safe the way SCA did!  Not only did I receive increased compensation & bonuses for putting myself into harm’s way, but they also sent me the supplies I needed and could not get anywhere locally,” wrote Leo Slosser of West Coast Appraisers. “Thank you SCA for the awesome masks, gloves, wipes & sanitizer you sent me!  I was getting worried I would not be able to find anymore and BOOM! Delivered.”

Another appraiser, Jimmy Wessel of Tulsa, OK sent a note after receiving the PPE. “During COVID SCA provided quick and proper guidance to protect the employee, shops, & owners we deal with on a daily basis. Trying to locate items locally was a nightmare. In an unprecedented time SCA was able to communicate to us not only the procedures, but provide the masks, gloves, & sanitizer we very much needed.”

As a leading independent appraisal company, SCA is committed to the well-being of its franchise and supplier network, which includes the safety of appraisers, vehicle owners and shop personnel.  “As a franchise owner for over 10 years, SCA has always provided exceptional support.  SCA once again showed their appreciation by not only providing “COVID Relief Compensation”, but also by sending personal safety kits.  They really do care and that’s why I’ll always be loyal to SCA. “, says Elizabeth Muradyan, SCA franchisee.

For inquiries: Clientservices@sca-appraisal.com

Garmat Innovates to Combat the COVID-19 Virus

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The headlines scream that we are facing a critical shortage of PPE in the fight against COVID, and that protecting our medical providers against contamination is of the utmost importance.  There is a call to manufacturers to innovate and help overcome this crisis, 3D printers around the country are churning out masks, to help fill the void.  Manufacturers are turning their factories into medical device fabricators. At Garmat we are joining the fight to help stop the COVID-19 epidemic, with a new idea, an idea that protects the medical provider while saving PPE.

Garmat USA is a leading U.S. based manufacturer of Paint Booths and Refinish Equipment. Our company is well versed in innovation, and we possess agile manufacturing processes that allow for easy product customizations.  This led us to research ideas to help fight the COVID-19 crisis.

The core of our business is providing a clean environment through containment, which includes expertise in airflow and differential pressure.  We are leveraging that expertise to support the battle against COVID-19, and the development of the COVID-19 Walk-Up Testing Booth. This product was developed from start to finish in less than six days, and we know that getting it out the door is critical, so we focused all of our attention on the development.

The availability of safe and rapid testing is one of the most critical tools in the fight against COVID-19. In the weeks and months ahead, both the number of tests and availability of testing sites will need to grow exponentially. We believe Garmat’ s innovative COVID-19 Walk-Up Testing Booth developed by Garmat entrepreneur, Johan Huwaert, enables a rapid and effective rollout of testing sites. This solution saves PPE and protects the provider while providing a more efficient way to test masses of individuals.

Current testing methods are flawed when it comes to testing the masses of individuals in the months ahead. For example, in the medical office, when a patient is suspected of having the COVID-19 Virus, the medical provider must have on PPE. Most of these of the cases come back negative – so the PPE is wasted. Testing stations in Colorado provide Drive Through operations, which are unsafe, time-consuming, and not viable for those without access to transportation.

South Korea has been very proactive in testing its citizens for COVID-19, which has led to a lower number of cases and deaths. One hospital in Seoul has set up four walk-up booths outside the hospital for patients to enter for testing. Before the development of these booths, patients were treated in large negative pressure rooms that took a long time to disinfect. The innovation to “individual patient,” walk-up phone booth testing made processing ten times faster, allowing for more patients testing each day. It also reduced the amount of personal protective gear required by healthcare workers to perform the tests. The patient-centered booth in South Korea has one major drawback – it still requires a fulsome disinfection process after each patient.

Brigham & Women’s hospital in Boston designed a 3-sided plexiglass version, an improvement over the S Korea booth, as it  placed the healthcare provider inside, minimizing the surface area and time required for disinfection.  Garmat’s latest innovation advances Brigham’s version to provide additional protection for healthcare workers by fully enclosing the booth and applying positive airflow pressure, forcing contaminants from the interior of the booth.

The size and convenience of these walk-up style testing booths would allow for testing outside hospitals, urgent care centers, pharmacies, airports, universities, and major sporting venues. Garmat has ample production capacity in its Colorado manufacturing facility. Units can be shipped fully assembled on a standard pallet – install is as simple as placing the unit and plugging into a power source.

Garmat USA is America’s leading manufacturer of paint booths serving auto collision repair and industrial refinishing customers. Read more at the Garmat USA website. We are concerned about the spread of this virus and would like to do what we can help keep our families and communities safe. We know stopping the spread is vital, and protection for the provider is paramount.

Employment Issues Relating to COVID-19

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We have located a resource that we believe you will find useful in answering many of the important questions you are facing right now as an employer.

A regular speaker at our HD Repair Forum, employment attorney, Cory J. King, shares some good news – Automotive supply and repair and heavy duty collision repair in particular, is considered an “essential service,” supporting the critical transportation infrastructure in most, if not all, areas of the United States. This means that heavy duty collision repairers may continue operations while of course, complying with other federal, state, and local orders regarding social distancing, group sizes, etc.

Mr. King’s firm, FordHarrison LLP, has created a special Coronavirus Task Force to assist employers through the labyrinth of new and constantly changing laws, orders, and regulations affecting their workplace. Earlier this week, thousands of employers from around the world participated in a webinar conducted by that Task Force.

The webinar covered the main issues employers are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic and discussed best practices to help organizations mitigate the associated employment law risks.  A link to that webinar, as well as around the clock access to the firm’s extensive resources and materials, which are being updated several times a day to stay current, are designed to help employers through this pandemic and is available on the FordHarrison Coronavirus Task Force webpage.

We encourage shops to take advantage of this free online resource. If you have industry specific questions, or need further assistance related to dealing with COVID-19 in the workplace or any other employment issue, Mr. King can be reached at (858) 214-3951 or cking@fordharrison.com.

If you have any questions, are looking to connect, or would like to share information regarding additional resources that may help the industry, please contact us or reach out to the organization’s Communications Manager, Jennie Lenk.

How Heavy-Duty Collision Repair Shops are Doing Their Part

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As the world watches the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, people and companies are doing everything possible to stay healthy, stay in business, and reduce the impact of this illness on the healthcare system and the economy.

Over the past few days we spoke with a number of shops and companies to find out what they’re doing to keep employees safe and healthy while trying to reduce the spread of the virus. The purpose of these calls was to gather information and share that with the HD Repair Forum audience.

Following are examples of the steps shops and companies across the US have put in place:

Steps for Staff

  • Every shop we spoke with has all employees wearing gloves at all times. There is a constant exchange of tools and wearing gloves discourages touching around the face.
  • Vendors and other non-employees are not allowed in shops in order to reduce contact and exposure.
  • Lunches and breaks are not at the same time for every employee, thus avoiding everyone congregating in one place at one time (physical distancing).
  • Some shops are purchasing lunch for staff; this reduces risk of bringing an illness from homes, and it supports local food-service businesses that may be surviving by pick-up or delivery only.
  • Some shops have altered work hours and created new shift times, so some employees start earlier in the day and leave earlier, while other employees come and leave later in the day. This establishes little, or no overlap while having fewer people in the shop at the same time.
  • Some businesses have opened on weekends to further spread out their staff’s time in the shop, and allowing some people, who have children at home to work more flexible hours.
  • To reduce bringing illness to the business some are offering a safe, clean place to change and asking workers to consider leaving work clothes and boots at the shop.
  • More hand-sanitizer stations are being placed throughout the business and a good supply of soap at every sink and wash station.
  • Anyone with so much as a sniffle needs to stay home until absolutely healthy.
  • If any staff can work from home, even for some hours, try to support that.
  • If a company has more than one location, no staff is traveling to other offices
  • Staff meetings in some shops are limited to no more than 6. Keep group meetings small, in open spaces if possible, and have people physically apart from one another.

It is critical to have staff buy-in for the measures you are taking. Some people are taking this situation more seriously than others, and it is very important everyone is in alignment with the steps and measures taken for the safety of all. One way to do this is to ask your team members for their ideas on how to keep everyone safe. When they feel they have a voice in the process, they are more likely to support new mandates.

Steps for Customers

  • No customers are allowed in shops. Customers are met outside and at a safe distance.
  • Some shops are requiring scheduled appointments only to spread out the number of people coming in for repair work.
  • Do not reuse pens; when a customer signs an estimate or invoice, give them the pen to keep.
  • Photo-estimating is being utilized as much as possible.
  • All vehicles are disinfected before any employee gets in a vehicle. Key touch points are wiped down including but not limited to:
    • Door handles (inside and outside)
    • Armrests
    • Steering wheel
    • Seat belts
    • Any push-button areas on the dash and doors (radio, electric windows, thermostat, etc.)
    • Cruise control and windshield wiper controls
    • Glove box and center console
    • Shift levers and knobs
    • Hazard light buttons

When all work is complete, the vehicle should be disinfected (following the same steps as above) before delivering it to the customer.
It is very important to communicate these measures with customers, so they know your procedures and feel safe when working with your company.

Steps for Leadership

  • Lead by example; if you ask your team to take certain safety measures, you should be abiding by those same measures or they won’t take you seriously.
  • Listen to your team. Many people are losing jobs right now. Kids are at home because schools are closed. Some products are not available on store shelves. All of this is creating stress. Anything you can do to give your employees some level of comfort in their roles will help with productivity and their overall well-being.
  • Look at opportunities to acquire products that your staff cannot get at a store. One shop had a large order of paper towels and toilet paper that they were able to share with their staff.
  • Stay informed of local, regional, and state mandates; they are changing, sometimes daily, and you need to be ready to make adjustments. Some states are requiring shelter in place or mandatory quarantines.
  • If possible, keep in touch with local officials. Your business may be able to help in some way.
  • Contact other shops and share ideas, challenges, and solutions. The HD Repair Forum was designed to promote networking within the industry and now is the time to take advantage of communicating with your industry peers.
  • Most importantly, keep yourselves, your team, and your customers safe. This is your highest responsibility.

In speaking with some of the vendor companies, many are cutting travel for their staff so communication and orders should be made by phone and email. Be patient with them as some of those companies are able to shift their efforts to the medical community. Gloves, dust masks, and head socks are difficult to come by right now, because they are being sent to medical establishments. Within your own shops, DO NOT REUSE THESE ITEMS! But do not be wasteful either, they are in high demand right now.

In addition to the many steps listed above, if you are taking additional actions at your place of business and you would like to share them, please let us know. Information is empowering, and this is certainly a time to help one another any way we can.

If you have any questions, are looking to connect, or would like to share the additional steps you are taking, please contact us: www.hdrepairforum.com/contact-us/