July 1, 2021, officially marked the deadline for Saskatchewan collision shops to meet SGI’s (Saskatchewan Government Insurance) new accreditation requirements, part of the province’s Safe and Quality Auto Repair Program (SQARP).
Citing “industry fuel efficiency targets and advancements in vehicle automation” as driving factors for updating the collision industry’s accreditation requirements, SGI says that SQARP will include changes to minimum tooling, training and equipment requirements, that will come into effect on July 1. According to a June 11 bulletin from SGI, “collision repair shops that do not apply or meet the new minimum accreditation requirements, or submit an incomplete application, will be removed from the SGI accredited collision program.”
After July 1, non-accredited shops in Saskatchewan will: • be assigned a blended (refinish, frame and mechanical) labour rate of $46.50/hr plus body shop materials of $6.12/hr and a water-borne paint material rate of $57.94/hr of refinish time. • be removed from SGI’s Mitchell network and will not be able to receive or electronically process estimate assignments (no dispatches) or supplements. • be removed from the shop locator on SGI’s website and no longer be scheduled for SGI staff road-runs. • and not have access to ePay for collision/damage repairs but will continue to have ePay access for road-hazard glass, rental and EFT, if applicable (all collision repairs completed by non-accredited shops will be paid using a Completed Repair Notification (CRN) manual payment process).
Several delays and postponements have caused SQARP’s full implementation to be bumped several times; SQARP was initially set to go into action March 1, 2020 but was later postponed. For more information, email SGI at email@example.com.
QUARTER CENTURY CELEBRATIONS
Advantage Collision recently celebrated a huge milestone — 25 years in business.
Ben Gareau, owner and general manager of Advantage Collision has owned the shop for 14 years now, however, the business itself has been around for 25 years. “Somebody once said that five years is a test of business. If you can make it past five years you’re probably doing pretty good. And for us to hit 14 years and 25 as a business I think is a big accomplishment.”
When asked why he thinks the business has been around for so long, Gareau said trust is the main ingredient. “I think at the heart of everything we do all day is in the best interest of the customer. Having that relationship with the customer, where we’ve done all the things that we said we were going to do and they really trust us. I guess at the basis of the foundation of our success is trust,” he says.
“When a customer comes in here, they are already not in the best frame of mind. They’ve just gotten into an accident whether it was their fault or somebody else’s. Then you add that little bit of the stigma that’s out there about automotive shops. From the start we’re already facing a bit of an uphill climb. So, we try to make it as convenient and as transparent as possible and update the customer, so they are informed throughout the repair. And I think that honesty and transparency build a lot of trust.”
Gareau is proud to say both of his facilities — Advantage Collision located in Saskatoon as well as another one in Prince Albert — are SGI Elite Accredited Auto Body Repair Shops and Certified Collision Care OEM Approved shops. “We’re pretty proud of the fact we invested the money to be cutting-edge.”