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Whether you knew it or not, the odds are good that already today you've contributed in some way - positively or negatively - to your company's "culture." 

Thursday, 30 June 2005 17:00

A look back at some visions of the future

Back in 1997, an article compiled some thoughts about the future from various players in the collision repair industry. A more recent reading of the article proved interesting; some of the predictions were startling accurate, while others, in hindsight, were partially if not completely - and often ironically - wrong. 

Although the percentage of dealerships with body shops has declined over the past 30 years, a growing number of automakers are working to help dealership shops gain market share. How successful they will be remains to be seen, but independent shop owners would be foolish to ignore the threat - or possibly the opportunity - these efforts may offer. 

With the growing number of insurance company direct repair programs - and with many insurers processing an increasing percentage of their claims through such programs - it's easy to understand why some states are looking to put the brakes on "steering" of work by insurers. 

Here's your assignment: Pretend you have 45 seconds to talk about your business in front a group of people you'd love to have as customers. Could you tell them something that's unique about your business, something that no other shop in your area could or is likely to tell them? 

A committee of Oregon lawmakers last month said they like the concept of consumers being made aware of direct repair agreements between collision repair shops and insurers, but the details of how to accomplish that still needs some work. 

Some shop owners say the use of aluminum in vehicles today is similar to the shifts in the industry caused by the rise of the unibody structure in the 1980s. 

A widespread and significant drop in ADP refinish labor times discovered in recent weeks will be corrected in ADP's November CD update release, which the company says has been sent to ADP customers. 

Hank Tarter jokes that if you're going to have a heart attack, the place to be is Keizer, Oregon, a community of 35,000 residents just north of Oregon's capitol city of Salem. 

Eric Reid wants to do his part to reduce the shortage of collision repair technicians he's always hearing and reading about. But Reid, the collision repair instructor at Northwest-Shoals Commun-ity College in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is getting discouraged watching his top students move on to other fields because of low starting wages at body shops.