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Wednesday, 11 February 2015 00:00

Auto Body Association of Texas Gains Momentum After Inaugural Year

On Tuesday, January 20th, and Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 the Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT) held back-to-back monthly meetings.

The first meeting was held at the Classic Chevrolet Fleet Service Department in Grapevine Texas in the Dallas Forth Worth area. Attendance at the 5 PM meeting was estimated at 65 attendees. The meeting was partially sponsored and supported by Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes, PPG Automotive Finishes and Single Source, Inc. Automotive Paint Distributors.

The second meeting took place the following day at 2:00 pm evening at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Longview Texas whereas an estimated 35 attendees were at the presentation. Cheri and Darrell Smith, owners of McDaniel’s Quality Body Shop in Longview, TX, sponsored the meeting.The meetings began in the usual fashion whereas with the association’s founder and President, Burl Richards of Burl’s Collision of Henderson, TX opened with the Pledge of Allegiance, Prayer and Anti-Trust Disclaimer.

At both meetings, Tim Ronak of AkzoNobel Automotive Coatings was the guest speaker on the topic, “How to Improve Your Business Processes and Help Your Bottom Line Profits."Discussions centered around shrinking labor gross profit percentages due to additional costs of investment in equipment, facilities and training. 

Other areas of discussion included:

1. What does the current collision industry labor profitability look like currently and over the last several years?
2. Why do we need to invest in additional facility, equipment and training?
3. How do I calculate my ROI (Return On Investment) required, and what is the reasonable rate of return one can anticipate?
4. What time frame should one consider for a return on such investments?
5. How do I equate the additional capital expense for facility, equipment and training into a reasonable and competitive labor rate and/or charge?

The ABAT Board also announced the election 6 new board members from ABAT’s DFW area Chapter.

Burl Richard’s, ABAT’s current president stated, “Were extremely excited as to the potential impact this will have on the association’s continued growth in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond. We have many other repairers across our great state who want to get involved in developing new ABAT chapters in their areas."

The National Auto Body Research (NABR) ‘Variable Rate System’ was also covered, stressing the importance for repairer’s to go on line and complete the FREE SURVEY due to the many distinct benefits it can offer. The short survey can be found at by clicking on “Surveys” and selecting the Texas flag.The meetings concluded with a review and summary of ABAT’s first year and its many accomplishments.Texas repairers, manufacturer-suppliers or mere supporters who would like to learn more about ABAT are encouraged to contact Burl Richards at Phone: 903.657.8082 Fax: 903.655.1270 or E-Mail:

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