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Sunday, 31 July 2005 17:00

Things not always as they might first appear

Written by Dick Strom

My first impression of Dr. Barnard was of an ancient, sinister ogre on this, my first trip to a dentist. Mom had done her best to assure my five-year-young mind that Dr. Barnard just wanted to take a quick peek inside my mouth. While I was not yet too proud to disbelieve Mom, apprehensions grew as, hand in hers, I mustered courage to climb the long, dark, musty wooden hallway toward the single light bulb dangling from spindly wires in the ceiling leading to - the dentist. 

Sunday, 31 July 2005 17:00

CCRE president disputes ASA vision of repairer-insurer relations

Written by Dick Strom

The following excerpt from a letter by CCRE president Tony Lombardozzi, Automotive Collision Repair Services, is in response to Geralynn Kottschade's opinion piece, Not Such A Nightmare, (Hammer and Dolly April 2005). In her opinion piece, Kottschade, chairman of the Automotive Service Association and NACE '05, soft-soaped the repairer-insurer relationship in responding to editor of H&D Sheila Loftus' suggestion that this industry "should have an industry-wide discussion about returning the collision industry to whom it rightfully belongs -- the collision repairer and the vehicle owner." 

Wednesday, 31 August 2005 17:00

Do you have what it takes to become an expert witness?

Written by Dick Strom

A recent article on the qualifications and rewards of being an expert witness, written by Patrick Yurek (6/05 BodyShop Business magazine, Putting The "Expert" In Witness), gives some food for thought to those interested in entering the rapidly growing "expert witness" field. It is also food for thought for those who have thus far gotten away with inferior or deficient repairs, and for certain insurers who encourage shops to cheat. 

Monday, 31 October 2005 17:00

Analysis of the financial crisis in the CR industry

Written by Dick Strom

"The Hidden Financial Crisis In The Collision Repair Industry," an article written by D.J. Styles (penname) (Autobody News, 6/05), presents an insightful account of some of the practices that have rendered the collision repair industry increasingly profitless, practices which the author contends also led to the recent collapse of the consolidator M2 Collision. 

Wednesday, 30 November 2005 17:00

A wake-up call to collision repairers from the California DOI

Written by Dick Strom

Lack of collision industry shop and association support was what struck home to those few collision repair representatives who did attend two recent California Department of Insurance (DOI) public hearings dealing with issues that have potential to adversely impact California repairers and, potentially, repairers across the county. 

Wednesday, 30 November 2005 17:00

Straight talk with customers keeps business thriving without DRPs

Written by Dick Strom

CCRE Update

Barry Roberts, owner of Reno Auto Body in Reno, Nevada, succeeds in the collision repair business by not catering to insurers. The advice he gives to other shops wanting to become profitably independent is incredibly down to earth, accurate, and typical of that given by fellow Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (CCRE) sponsor-members: 

Saturday, 31 December 2005 17:00

Be careful what you wish for - CR legislation

Written by Dick Strom

Strom-photo-0706-2.jpg Some old state and local laws are a kick to read. Though they must have resulted from good intentions, it is hard to comprehend the reason for a California law still on the books that makes it "a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale." Another states, "no vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour." 

Tuesday, 31 January 2006 17:00

Insurers and their partners publicly expose themselves

Written by Dick Strom

It's time for the seventh installment ofBarons in the Buff, a collage of candid quotes from the mind-trust of insurance personnel, those who once walked in their shoes, and from those who know them best. 

Tuesday, 31 January 2006 17:00

CCRE Update Tech considers CR an art form

Written by Dick Strom

Nate Tarr is a member of theCCRE, and a talented painter-technician. A regular contributor on CCRE's exclusive board discussions, Tarr brings a tech's perspective to other CCRE-member techs, shop managers, and shop owners who regularly read and comment on the CCRE Discussion Boards. 

Friday, 31 March 2006 17:00

Hidden costs of employing substance abusing employees

Written by Dick Strom

Kubla Khan, an S. T. Coleridge classic poem, is enchantingly haunting, fragmented, and shrouded in pleasant mystery with good reason - it is the poet's remembrances of an opium-induced dream. From that era before Cele-brex and Advil, when opium was a commonly accepted legal means of countering arthritic pain, Kubla Khan is an exception to the rule - one of the finest poems ever penned, though the product of a drugged mind.