Newsletter August 2012

It’s Not your Father’s Auto Body Industry Anymore

Bubbling under the surface of our industry is a new breed of shop owners – some older and experienced owners who “have had it up to here” with insurer intrusion into the industry, and a whole lot of thirty and forty-something owners who know that they must change the economic model of the industry if they are going to make a living over the next twenty and thirty years repairing damaged motor vehicles in Massachusetts. With all of these smart, young business owners coming forward to help AASP help them to improve their industry, it’s safe to declare, once and for all, that this is no longer “your father’s auto body industry.”

There’s a “can-do” spirit emerging through the dark clouds that have hung over all of us for the past two to three decades. And these young and well educated leaders of tomorrow are making no bones about the fact that they can only move forward if they have good, strong business management knowledge, well-equipped shops, managers and technicians who possess the latest production, operations, and technical skills, and an intelligent and organized manner of dealing with insurance companies.

With so many of these people saying that there must be a better way, AASP is thrilled to be hosting a couple of industry-leading events in the coming months. First and foremost, AASP is working with the auto body industry consulting firm, the Coalition of Collision Repair Specialists (CCRE), to offer our members a unique, three-part education program that will afford all attendees the opportunity to design a plan for them to “take back control of their business,” not by confronting insurers, but by working with them in a way that makes sense and maintains the important roles each plays for insured customers of body shops.

Those roles are that the insurer is the payer for the safe and complete repair of the vehicle after an accident, and the body shop is the professional business that performs those repairs according to accepted auto industry standards and they must be paid accordingly. This is most definitely not a three-part session in which you will learn how to complain louder and throw state-of-the-art temper tantrums at the insurance companies. No, there is a way to accomplish this without making a lot of noise and trouble. Attendees with learn how they can build an intelligent plan within a legal framework that can help them accomplish the goal of true independence and higher profitability. Don’t miss this event.

Also, AASP will present the most up-to-date information regarding the parts bidding issue that is sweeping the US and could land in Massachusetts in the blink of an eye. Potentially, your parts margins could shrink down to levels at which your shops will not be profitable. And, while insurers would likely gain from this process, and shops will not, more and more shops are just saying, “No!” To find out everything you will need to know about this issue from national leaders, mark your calendar to be in Marlborough on September 12th.

PLEASE NOTE: AASP has changed the location for all of our events in Marlborough. We will now host our events at the Royal Plaza Best Western Hotel, which is just down the street (Route 20 westbound) one mile from our old meeting spot, the Courtyard by Marriott. Please remember this when you go to Marlborough for all of our future events.

See you (at least twice) in September!