People often contact me asking what they can do to help fix our industry. More often, though, people contact me just to complain and tell me what needs to happen. They are more than willing to root for me, but don’t want to get their hands dirty. I can’t fix your problems alone. You need to step in and step up.
When I was a kid I used to love to get ice cream at 31 Flavors—the best, most expensive ice cream around. Normally our family would go to Thrifty Drug Store to get double dips for ten cents each. 31 Flavors was a real treat with more choices Plus, their ice cream was so expensive, we rarely went there.
1. DRP rates should be discounted no more than 10% of our door rates across the board (SB 1492 by former Senator Jackie Speier suggested this). Every time we raise our door rate we automatically raise our DRP rates.
We are involved in a game with the insurance companies and we are on the losing team. I call it a game because the collision industry operates like no other business model I know of. Insurance companies wouldn’t play this game from our point of view. Let’s switch sides and put the shoe on the other foot.
As president of "Faith" Quality Auto Body, Inc., a large auto body shop with several direct repair programs, I annually renew several company insurance policies with carriers. This year, I decided to conduct an experiment by approaching the insurance companies the same way they approach me.
After attending a recent meeting with one of my largest direct repair accounts, I found myself totally stressed out. We discussed LKQ and aftermarket parts usage, as well as cycle time. Procedures now called for three alternate part searches for every part on the estimate - each of which had to be documented. Furthermore, going over their allotted four hour per day formula would force us to pay rental car ex-penses.
Currently I am struggling to get my shop's recently raised labor rates accepted by the insurance companies we deal with. Raising rates is one thing; getting paid the new rates is another