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IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU

By DARRYL SIMMONS

Now that we’re basically done with the pandemic—or have at least learned how to deal with it—all shops can get back to the real issues facing their business, namely profitability, sustainability, image building and attracting more qualified personnel.

Oh, and that one item usually spoken in hushed tones, if it’s mentioned in public at all: door rates. All these items are connected; fix one and the others will start falling in line. The downside is that if we lose on one, we’ll lose on them all. Shop owners often ask me why they can’t get their rates on par with mechanical rates. I agree that they should be, and I have some opinions. It comes back to my solution above—repair the image, attract more good people to the great group here already and get better pricing based on the payor’s (read: insurer to most) newfound respect for the way your business is being run. Oh, and by the way, make sure there’s some solid, trackable training in place.

This will serve to separate those who truly want to make a positive impact from those who just want to ride the coattails of the shops putting in the work. There’s an old saying I think is appropriate here: who is going to pull the wagon if everyone wants to ride?

It’s time for each and every one of you shop owners to decide if you’re happy with the way things are or if you want to see some change. Once you’ve made this decision—and I’d be willing to bet money on which choice you’ll pick—the next step is to start talking with other people in the collision repair business who share the same challenges and issues that you do.

Currently, there is no national association that even attempts to say it serves collision repairers. We have some provincial ones doing a great job, but nothing that is countrywide, even though the challenges are universal. At Collision Repair magazine we realize there is a void and are working towards setting up a framework that will be the genesis of a national association serving the needs of Canadian collision repairers.

A couple of years ago we set up a website to help consumers weave their way through the collision repair process. We appropriately named it the Collision Repair Bureau. Please visit it at www.collisionrepair bureau.com. This site was built with the intention to accept membership behind a password-protected login. The goal, in addition to helping consumers, was and still is to be a focal point for a Canadian association. Take a look and let me know if you as a repairer are interested in joining such an association and if so, what would you like to see it do. If you think a national association is not needed, I’d love to hear your views on that as well.

Most importantly, start talking about your ideas. Let your ideas out, and we’ll soon know if we are flat-out wrong or if there are others who share our goals. When we find others who agree, we’ve got the start of a solid communications chain. In the age of the internet, this is as easy as clicking a button on the www.collisionrepairbureau. com website.

We all know most people want to say something—but if truth be told, few people really have something to say. And those who do are usually quiet. Now is the time to have your say. This is how we can create a true industry voice. It starts with individual whispers and builds into some chatter. It gets louder and louder and the next thing you know, everyone is listening. And when people listen, things get done. It’s time to get things done.

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