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Wednesday, 10 May 2017 20:54

10 Takeaways From the Southern Automotive Repair Conference

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7) “Safety Shield Technologies (Nissan)” by David Robinette


David Robinette, the national field support manager at I-CAR, held a special class on “Safety Shield Technologies (Nissan).” Robinette focused on understanding the elements that make up safety shield technologies and shared information about the unique characteristics of the different collision prevention systems. Those who attended also developed a familiarity with the supplemental restraint systems including inspection and part replacement and additional restraint systems.

During the class, Robinette discussed how to diagnose if a vehicle is damaged and confirm that it is repaired properly and the systems are reinitialized.

The class was originally designed and built as an online course through I-CAR. “For this particular meeting, we were asked to take the online course and convert it into a live format for SARC,” said Robinette. “In its live format, there was an opportunity to discuss the different technologies and some of the things that affect their operation,” said Robinette. Two representatives were also present from Nissan to answer questions and give a futuristic view. 


8) “Building the Business Case” by Jake Rodenroth


In his seminar “Building the Business Case,” Jake Rodenroth from asTech talked about the advanced technology now available on today’s vehicles and how it impacts collision repair processes. Rodenroth explained how shops can better understand and incorporate OEM service information into their SOPs, and the best practices shops should take to perform necessary scans and get paid for them. He also reviewed how to access available resources from OEMs and outside vendors in regards to proper documentation as well as the direction recommended to take for safe and proper repairs.

“Incorporating OEM service information into collision repair strategies is mission critical. Even basic fundamental operations such as removing a headlight, windshield or disconnecting a battery must be thoroughly researched,” said Rodenroth. “The days of assuming our technicians and estimators ‘know’ how to do this are over and overlooking the procedures often leads to increased cycle time, poor CSI and repair comebacks.” He said shops need to define what process works for them and hold team members to it to ensure the scans are done properly and have been fully documented. 


9) “Supercharge Your Profits” by Jim Saeli


Conference attendees learned how to “supercharge” their profits from Jim Saeli’s presentation. Saeli, senior consultant and trainer from Management Success, focused on the importance of having the right employees on your team and how this can make a difference in a shop’s efficiency and bottom line. He talked about how your employees can make or break your shop as well as what it is that sets you apart from the competition. During the presentation, he also shared how to hire a dream team, how to determine which current employees are helping you grow, or slowing you down, and how to use your shop’s statistics as a tool to determine who is on your team.


“The key to creating a highly successful and profitable shop is your people. They are the backbone to any organization,” said Saeli. “The shops that focus on their people by creating a great work environment that is structured will attract the right type of person and allow you to build a true team.”


10) “DryTronic Technology & FixLine Repairs” by Osvaldo Bergaglio and Chad Seelye


Symach hosted an informational session to discuss solutions for forward-thinking owner/operators to grow their repair capacity in today’s collision repair industry. Osvaldo Bergaglio and Chad Seelye from Symach explained the Symach DryTronic technology and the exothermic reaction that cures paint in seconds, along with the Symach Application Process (SAP). “This process reduces application time for body filler, primer, waterborne base and clear coats by 50 – 60 percent,” said Bergaglio. Additionally, they talked about their unique FixLine, conveyor repair process that Bergaglio said yields touch times of only .5 day for one panel, one day for two to three panels and three days for four plus panel repairs. Symach then walked through the methodology they use to develop new body shops around the world.


Assured Performance also hosted a private session titled “20/20 Vision,” where attendees were taught how to maximize the benefits of being an OEM Certified Collision Care Provider. They learned what OEMs are currently doing to educate consumers on the importance of choosing a certified collision care provider. Those who attended were also given business improvement tools and marketing strategies that would be helpful in their shops.

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