Saturday, 30 September 2006 17:00

VeriFacts Automotive delivers training

Written by Karyn Hendricks

Attending a training session can be invigorating. Technicians return to the shop all fired up with new information and ideas to put into practice. Often that enthusiasm bursts like a balloon the first time a tech tries to transfer that knowledge to the shop floor, hits the wall and has nowhere to go for answers. 

VeriFacts Automotive is an interactive coaching company that specializes in transferring the new knowledge acquired in classes to practical applications in the shop. With the rapidly changing industry, technicians are constantly challenged to absorb new repair techniques, as older methods are no longer workable.

"Transference of new knowledge into action is what we do," stated CEO Farzam Afshar. "Follow up accountability is what is missing after most courses."

Although VeriFacts does not actually teach courses, coaches can relate back to the course and facilitate the implementation of new procedures into practice.

"We all know how to lose weight - eat less, eat healthy, get exercise. In reality, with nobody watching, we don't find ourselves in action," explained Afshar. "Our coaches are watching. We offer support as well as coaching in a positive, proactive way. No slapping hands."

Technicians are encouraged to slow down and do the repair once, rather than hurrying through a job and having to redo it. A smart repair is a winning situation all around. Shops do more repairs and make more money in repair hours. Technicians benefit with higher take-home pay. Car owners are better off when their cars are done faster. Insurance companies keep severity down. Even the auto manufacturers retain customers who know they support the car after it leaves the dealership.

Continued Afshar, "We encourage more repairs and less replacement. A less intrusive repair is a better solution as long as the integrity of the vehicle is not jeopardized. Reduction of severity, increase in profitability, the car goes in and out faster. From crash to putting gas in the car after the final repair, the distance is shortened. Customers are happier. Technicians are happier. Owners can keep more cars running through the shop and insurers benefit from decreased severity."

Insurers need coaching too

VeriFacts conducts seminars and provides services for claims professionals that cover some of today's most misunderstood and misinterpreted areas of structural, body and paint procedures, including corrosion protection, welding, structural parts replacement, vehicle measuring and estimate/repair documentation. Using patent-pending technology, VeriFacts can also offer an unbiased assessment of a shop's ability to consistently deliver high quality repairs and meet the ongoing objectives and criteria established for direct repair programs.


Knowing what you don't know

One issue VeriFacts addresses is "knowing what you don't know." Most auto body repair technicians want to do a proper repair and usually think they are doing so. The problem arises when changes are made to procedures that have been done the same way for years. For instance, in 2002, Chrysler banned the use of weld-thru primer on their vehicles (followed soon after by other automakers). Toyota has declared that glue cannot be used on any part on any of their vehicles. Who knew? Certainly not every technician in every shop.

"It is our job to bring that up-to-date information to the shops. Once a technician knows a particular procedure has been changed, and has been taught the current process, he will integrate it into his own work," said Afshar.

VeriFacts program

As part of VeriFact's coaching package, they evaluate, on a regular basis, each technician's application of proper repair methodologies. Followup coaching and guidance - at the facility - is designed and delivered each month based on this assessment and reinforcement process. Expert evaluation of in-process repairs enables the company to highlight progress and opportunities for improvement. In addition to in-shop coaching, coaching is available to shop personnel via phone or fax, five days a week, ten hours a day.

Furthermore, the evaluation helps a shop understand how its repair quality compares to other shops on the VeriFacts program through quality measurement analysis and reporting. Management reports identify trends and progress, and highlight leading indicators to potential future quality and customer issues.

Concluded Afshar, "Our goal is to shine spotlights in areas of darkness where no one has explored before. The fact that different managers had different outcomes was very eye opening for us. Traditionally, technicians don't ask for instructions, but with the changing technology that is no longer acceptable. Lack of knowledge costs time and money. We are trying to change that culture. By visiting the shops, technicians feel more comfortable talking to our coaches in their own environment."

To learn more about VeriFacts, visit