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St. Claude Autobody achieves I-CAR Gold Class

The team at St. Claude Autobody. The facility has recently achieved I-CAR Gold Class.
By Mike Davey
 
St. Claude, Winnipeg — July 20, 2016 — Training is always needed in the collision repair industry, but St. Claude Autobody is well-prepared for the future. The facility recently achieved the I-CAR Gold Class designation, making it the second facility in Manitoba to do so. The shop is located in St. Claude, a small but vibrant community outside of Winnipeg. 
 
Norm Bruneau is the owner/operator of St. Claude Autobody. In a recent interview with Collision Repair magazine, he discussed his reasons for pursuing I-CAR Gold Class. 
 
“We have an ongoing commitment to staying current with technology, repair techniques and training to keep pace with the automotive industry,” he says.  “In my view, it’s going to become standard. A lot of the OEMs require you to be certified now, and I think more of them will come out with those programs in the future. There’s going to be more of an emphasis on proving you can do the work. You may know how to do the repairs, but if it’s not down on paper, it’s meaningless. You need to be able to prove it.” 
 
Bruneau started working for the original owner of St. Claude Autobody when he was 14. He bought the business 10 years ago. He notes that a rural location can make it difficult to access necessary training. A lot of the I-CAR courses required a trip to Manitoba Public Insurance’s training centre in Winnipeg.
 
“It’s an hour-and-a-half trip, one way, to get to MPI’s training centre. That means at least three hours of travel for every course,” he says. “One of the guys we hired last year was really up-to-date in his training and that helped a lot.”
 
To qualify as I-CAR Gold Class, shops have to have four “Role Reps” who have achieved enough training to qualify as Platinum Individuals in the following areas: Structural, Non-Structural, Production Management and Refinish. 
 
I-CAR research has shown that customers that use Gold Class facilities have noted improved satisfaction scores of 5 percent. Other key performance indicators show that repair times and touch times improved, while supplement counts fell. This is a favorable outcome for the facility, the motorist and the insurer, as leads to decreased over-all repair times.
 
In addition, a 2013 analysis found that Gold Class businesses outperformed other body shops by 47 percent in the CynCast Shop Performance Value Rating, which measures shop performance through several key metrics.
 
For more information on St. Claude Autobody, please visit stclaudeautobody.com
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