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Auto Body Corner
Welcome to the Web-Est blog! Where we post interviews, survey results, and commentary on every day happenings in the Collision Repair industry. Click the button on the lower left side to Request a Free Trial on our Collision Estimating Software!
2/17/2014
How Web-Est Collision Estimating Software Helps Auto Body Shops

It's not uncommon for customers to ask us up front why they should make the switch to Web-Est Collision Estimating Software. "Why should I go through the hassle of learning a new program? Switching programs will only make my life more difficult." That's an honest question, one we hear from time to time. Well...let's ask that question here. Let's explore how Web-Est can make life easier for an auto body shop. Just to give some insight into how we think we can make life easier for an auto shop, we can make life easier for an auto body shop because of our efficiency, reliability, mobility and affordability.

Efficiency- We at Web-Est have built an efficient way of estimating for body shops. Our platform is entirely web-based. This provides a number of advantages for the way estimating is done. One advantage is data updates. Our part price updates are completed by our staff for subscribers every month. Updating every month provides users with the latest information almost as soon as it comes out. While we're on the subject, our labor times are industry standard. Using data from Mitchel International, our estimates are accepted by every insurance company in the industry. With industry-standard labor times, part prices and monthly updates, our data is timely, accurate and available for your estimating needs immediately.

Reliability- Web-Est Collision Estimating Software is a reliable program that comes complete with free training and technical support. When customers purchase our program, all of the shop's technicians are given professional training on the platform. Our training aims to bring users up-to-speed as quickly as possible. We want to equip customers with the skills to do less busy work setting up for figuring out the program. By the end of the training, users are able to breeze through an estimate in under 5 minutes. Additionally, our program comes complete with free technical support. While some auto estimating programs charge for technical support, ours comes free of charge.

Mobility- Web-Est Collision Estimating has incredible mobility. Because our program is entirely on the web, its accessible from any location. Are you out of the office and want to see the shop's workflow? Hop online and check. Are you on the road, checking the damage to a potential customer's vehicle? Bring your tablet, jump online and write an estimate immediately. With subscription purchase, no download is necessary with no limitations to *devices* to access it. 

Affordability- The primary aim of Web-Est has always been to provide affordable auto estimating software for auto body shops. At $99/monthly and a down payment for only one year, our program is one of the lowest cost programs on the market. In addition, our program comes complete at that rate. The package includes unlimited estimating, point-and-click estimating, Vin Decodes, Aftermarket Part pricing, LKQ-Keystone, reporting capabilities, supplements, photo imaging, and letter templates. There are no surprises, hidden fees or capabilities that we withhold. All these features come included in our base package.

Web-Est offers a free, 14-day Free trial.  Click here to start your Free Trial.

POSTED BY ADMINISTRATOR AT 2:53 PM
2/7/2014
Letter Templates For Web-Est Collision Estimating Software

Web-Est is excited to announce a new feature to our collision estimating software.  We just added a new letter-writing feature that is available to all users.  This new feature offers a number of options for users, such as authorization letters, follow-up letters, estimate approval letters and many others.  Users also have the ability to create their own letters.  Each letter is formatted specific to each user's company profile.  It comes with an address header, plus any logo users upload to their program.  The feature is now available to all collision estimting users.

See the images below to get a glance at the new feature.

Click here to start a free, 14-day Trial.

 

letters

 

 

 

POSTED BY ADMINISTRATOR AT 4:43 PM
4/9/2013
New PDR Estimating Training Videos

Our new PDR Estimating Software continues to receive a wonderful response from customers.  Below you will find two short training videos that will give users more information on how to best utilize the program.

The first video is a training session on how to set up administrative information and enter in customer and vehicle information.

The second video offers training on utilizing the dent matrix, how to enter vehicle dents and how to utlize part prices and R&I times.

 

Video 1: Part 1: PDR Software How to Write An Estimate- Admin information

 

Video 2: Part 2: PDR Software How to Write An Estimate- Rate Matrix

POSTED BY ADMINISTRATOR AT 3:14 PM
4/5/2013
Introducing PDR Estimating Software

As you might have noticed, we have been very busy here at Web-Est with the launch of PDR-Software. This is something we are real excited about. Web-Est entered into an agreement with Community Data Group to begin selling this useful tool and the response has been great. I wanted to take some time to explore what it can do and how we think it benefits your business.


PDR-Software is a paintless dent repair estimating program created specifically for PDR repair professionals. By integrating paintless dent repair estimatics with logic-based technology, up-to-date OEM parts price data and additional parts R&I times, PDR-Software allows techs to write accurate estimates for their customers by efficiently using our Internet-based platform. Additionally, since PDR-Software is a web-based program, its compatible with all mobile technology. So if you are out on the road respond to a hail claim or traditional PDR claim, you conveniently pull out your IPadTM, IPhoneTM or AndroidTM device and begin writing your estimate using our point-and-click functionality. When you are finished, simply email the estimate to your customer and move on to the next assignment.


Writing an estimate on PDR-Software is simple. After you enter the vehicle information, you can view the estimating matrix and enter in the number of dents by size, quantity, depth and even allow for special circumstances (oversized dents, contour lines, aluminum parts etc) simply by clicking on the appropriate selection.

pdr_article_1

All of your selections calculate at the bottom in a table.

pdr_article_2

Once complete, you can generate a professional estimate with your company information on it.

dummy_estimate

Other key features that tech find helpful are easily accessible OEM part pricing. These prices appear on the left-hand side of each part category. You will also see a combined labor amount for traditional replacement of the part listed. A tech can look at these two figures and get a very good idea on cost of traditional repair on the panel versus PDR on the panel.

pdr_article_3

Another unique feature is the labor rate setting. Estimators have two options for setting their labor rates. Techs can establish their own rates by creating a rate matrix as they would normally do. Techs also have the ability to use Community Data rates. The community data rates are averages based on other users in a given repair area or catastrophe location. This helps a tech coming in from a different location know what the average repair rates are for that location and gives him the ability to step right into the situation knowing his repair rates are in line with other techs in the area.


PDR-Software was established to satisfy a need in the PDR community. Many techs that we have spoken to have been writing estimates on pre-made spreadsheets for years. The long-standing dilemma is the additional labor times and costs associated with the repair beyond the actual "popping" of a dent. Our program provides that information in an easily accessible and reliable format. It enables PDR professionals everywhere the ability to work efficiently and at a fraction of the cost of the more expensive software or traditional collision repair estimatics. With a starting cost as low as $39.00 per month, PDR-Software is the best program in the market.

Simply put, PDR-Software was developed by PDR professionals for PDR professionals.

You can start a no commitment, 14-day free trial by visiting PDR-Software.com.

 

POSTED BY ADMINISTRATOR AT 1:20 PM
11/16/2012
Auto Body Training for Shop Owners and Technicians

How important is training to shop owners and technicians today?

Ten years ago technician training was not nearly important as it is today. Vehicles were slightly less complicated high strength steel was for bumper reinforcements and we were just entering the multi stage and located everywhere safety systems we have today. I took my first ASE test about ten years ago. I felt the need to validate my 30 years experience with some training and some verification of what I felt like I already knew!

I tested well and got grades in the 90% zone. I was now ASE master certified. I also obtained some General Motors structural training that year and felt like I was validated. The dealership I did work for at the time was under pressure to even have their sublet shops like mine, certified to do warranty repairs on GM vehicles.

Today's environment is far more complicated than then. Shops that have relationships with Insurer's are being force fed training. Technicians and other shops may be free from mandated training, but this may also damage your shop image. Training is far more important than we once thought.

Liability for our repair work being foremost on the list of things we take seriously, proper training can also avoid important issues affecting shop liability for repairs. At least I would recommend looking up the repair procedure for the job at hand. OEM's all provide this information on the web. This information may not be Free; however subscription's can be purchased for 48 hours in some cases. The prices I have paid seemed very reasonable for the amount of information that was available. If I can find all the secret clips for panel removal and not break something that costs several hundred dollars I feel like the purchase was worth the price. Cars and parts are super expensive today compared to ten years ago. I think that replacement parts prices can seem out of hand compared to what a vehicle is worth. That subject is for another time.

Liability for safe repairs and following OEM repair procedures can help protect you from future law suits. We all want our repairs to be safe but who better to certify a method for repair than the designer of the vehicle? Sectioning procedures, welding procedures, coatings, corrosion prevention and part removal. Just these few items can make the factory procedure worth looking up!

I-Car offers some great training, although more general and not model specific, the procedures and outlines can be very helpful in your shop. I teach I-Car classes part time and I have found that the information portrayed can be very helpful. General safety, personal safety, care of vehicle, handling of hazardous waste and the list goes on. I-Car offers hundreds of relevant classes for all aspects of collision repair. A lot more options exist than in the past. There are Alliance classes for tech's starting out, I-Car Live 4 hour setting and I-Car online. All are helpful and my students get 2 hours classroom and 2 hours lab twice a week. The techs with more experience do not need to learn the basics. I have found there are some good things to learn. Of the 50 classes I can teach, I have taken away something for every class.

Don't rule out training at any level of Auto body employment. Things in our trade are constantly changing. If you do what you always do, you will get what you always get!

Bob Winfrey

 

POSTED BY ADMINISTRATOR AT 10:02 AM
11/7/2012
Top Ten Things To Consider When Hiring New Staff for an Auto Body Shop

It's not easy hiring the right staff for your auto body shop. Skilled employees can grow your business and build your reputation, but as quality in the industry varies wildly, making the wrong hire could leave you lumped with a hack that brings more harm to your business than good. Don't let this happen toyou; here are 10 things for you to consider when making a new hire for your auto body shop.


1. Education

Education isn't everything, but it's a good place to start. Highly qualified staff are able to hit the ground running and are more likely to produce quality work. Checking the qualifications of your prospective hires will tell you their strengths and specializations, and for assurance, you canalways ask for a reference from their tutors.

2. Experience

Ensure candidates have a bank of high quality experience. Ask specifics in the interview to gauge their skills and comfort zones. Don't be too caught up by the length of experience someone has, it's what they can do that's most important. Someone with 3 years' experience as a technician may have spent half that time as the body shop flunky doing the car washing and porter duties, while a candidate fresher to the industry may have been given quality, on-the-job training and development from day one. Remember, its quality that matters and as almost anyone can call themselves a technician, it's important for you to get a handle on the level of their skill.

3. Apprenticeships

By working with local schools and colleges, you can offer work placements for current students. If you find a hard worker who fits in well with the team, then consider making them an offer. Investing in the future of your staff breeds loyalty, and it's a lot less risky than taking on an external hire, as you already know what you're getting.

4. Reliability

With new vehicles coming in every day, you need reliable staff to enable you to complete a quick turnaround. Punctuality and attendance mean a lot in the auto body shop industry. When making a new hire, check previous sickness records and have an attendance policy in place which quickly allows you to get rid of the unreliable.

5. Verify credentials

Always ask for references and conduct criminal record checks. Some candidates exaggerate and tell outright lies on their resume; don't fall for it. All it takes is a quick e-mail or phone call to obtain a reference, and you'll be safe in the knowledge you're hiring someone you can trust.

6. Specialization

Ensure candidates are right for your role by knowing up front exactly which part of the business they will be involved in. This sounds obvious, but if you know in advance that you want a detailer, narrow down your search to those with the specific experience and training. Specialized applicants will be more productive and produce higher quality results.

7. Pay more for talent

In the body shop industry, reputation is everything. Choosing the right staff can make or break your business, so don't leave anything to chance. Top technicians may cost you more in wages,but the satisfaction their handiwork will bring to customers ensures this is well worth it.

8. Personality

Technical skills matter, but you've also got to work with this person on a daily basis. Make sure you get someone with a good personality who will fit well into the team, and who isn't too much of a diva to do the grunt work, like car washing, when the porter calls in sick.

9. Network

Get to know local tutors and get involved in the social side of the auto repair industry. Networking contacts can help you find the right staff, let you know if anyone reputable is looking for work, and enable you to spot new upcoming talent before your rivals.

10. Test or trial period

Anyone can talk their way into a job, but not everyone can do it. Set a practical test in the interview, or initially employ new staff on a trial period so you can assess the quality of their work before making them permanent.

 

http://goarticles.com/article/The-Best-Way-To-Hire-Staff-In-An-Auto-Body-Shop/6454996/

http://www.brighthub.com/office/entrepreneurs/articles/64587.aspx

http://www.motortraderecruitment.com/

POSTED BY ADMINISTRATOR AT 10:05 AM
6/6/2012
Using the Estimating Process to Close Sales at the Auto Body Shop

By Bob Winfrey

I hope that this article will help your estimators close some sales!

When a customer pulls up to our shop, one of the first things we do is greet the customer. Some shops have greeters and some smaller shops leave that to the estimator to do the greeting. One of the most polite things to say is to just simply say hello, introduce yourself, and ask "How can I help you?" A golf shirt or name tag is helpful for identification purposes. Some of us still wear uniforms so our name and shop name are pretty evident but sometimes I wonder if people take the time to read them! I teach I-Car classes and one of the things I have learned is that there are no dumb questions (no matter how it seems to us). If you answer the questions asked with an intelligent answer it goes a long way to win over trust with the potential customer.

If it actually turns out to be a customer there are two things I ask politely for. My first question is "Has anyone written you an estimate yet"? If they say yes, I ask them politely if I could see the estimate. Sometimes they don't like to share the estimate but I have found that if I can get a look at it, it helps me explain any shortfalls as my sheet comes together in front of the computer. If they won't share it, insurer estimates are most important as this is what the customer's payment is based on. I will tell the customer that if they already have the insurer estimate it is not necessary for me to write one. I can take the car in and any shortfalls will be noted and the insurer contacted to cover the additional damage or lack of labor to cover necessary items. I just get a copy of the insurer estimate and have them sign my authorization to repair. We will get it in the shop and disassemble as soon as possible. Then we contact the insurer involved and get a re-inspection scheduled. I think a lot of cut rate insurance companies are writing 50% of the repair costs in hopes that customers either find someone hard up enough to fix it for the low price or that the customer will not have the vehicle fixed. If they are seeking your help or advice they are at least considering your services.

The second thing I ask for is the registration, this solves two problems. Firstly, you will know who the registered owner is. Secondly, you will have the 17 digit vin number that I can never read when I get back to the office to write the estimate.

On newer cars aftermarket parts can be an issue. If the other estimate has aftermarket parts on it make sure you mention how your company deals with the quality and warranty of used and aftermarket parts. Most customers cannot read an estimate so I like to explain every item as I hand them the sheet. It is funny when you are writing the estimate most customers like to chat about the weather or golf but I usually test the waters by asking about the accident and anything related to the cause. Sometimes it can be important to know if the car was sitting when hit, how many people were in the car for seatbelt inspections etc. If you are the first estimator then your estimate will be what the customer bases the rest of his experience on. I myself prefer to be honest and write a straight up sheet to cover what we are going to have to do to repair the vehicle properly and offer a lifetime warranty. Sometimes customers think that they can file a claim and not have to pay their deductible; in our area backyard shops with no overhead may be able to save them that percentage of the gross. I have found that you cannot do a quality repair and save a deductible. Being honest with the customer, I explain that the deductible is the first part of the payment of the claim and is to be paid first, then insurance kicks in. The customer needs to know that it is tough enough to get the insurer to do the right thing and pay what is necessary to repair the car properly! None the less save them $250, $500 or $1,000. If they are adamant about trying to save the deductible ask them what parts they would like you to leave off of the estimate. I start with the fender, door, broken windshield or bent rim. That usually gets the point across. Pick a large item that is important and they will get the point. I have been asked to leave airbag parts off and safety restraints off but that is a huge liability and against federal law.

I try to be flexible and work with the customer but sometimes there are things that I just cannot do. One thing you can do is write them an estimate for OEM parts and then a separate estimate for used or aftermarket. If you are writing for a DRP relationship then you are bound by your DRP deal.

To close the deal I usually let them know we can start on the car right away once they decide who they are going to use to repair their vehicle. Allover paint jobs are a little trickier. I generally have a set of hours in mind for a small car, a mid size car, large car, van or SUV and pickup truck. Semi cabs and box trucks are bid as you go kind of items. I cannot compete with the shake and bakes. They are not so cheap nowadays. They charge about $1,500 a car around us and their work is something to be desired. I explain that it is cheaper to have us paint the vehicle once and last for 8 or 10 years than to have shake and bake paint it and need a repaint in one year. We charge what we need to de-trim the car and as always the age of the vehicle and cost is important.  

I try to feel the customer out to see what they are trying to spend and sometimes they can afford us and sometimes they can't. I know a decent material I trust that will last the length of time I warranty the work for is going to last longer than I need it to. This material is going to cost about $700.00 with clear for a small car. Being aware of your fixed costs is important.

You have to operate lean to survive but there are only so many corners you can cut!

I hope this helps you, it has worked for me for 35 years.

Bob Winfrey
www.apcr.biz

 

 

POSTED BY ADMINISTRATOR AT 11:12 AM
1/10/2012
Estimating To Keep the Customer

By our guest writer Bob Winfrey

I am writing this to help some of you guys improve your estimating processes to help you catch those jobs that we seem to pass paper on and they never seem to return. Alot of the time when insurers do not inspect a drivable car they tell the customer to go get three estimates. Well 9 times out of 10 unless that customer is sold on you and your shop, they are going to go with the cheapest of the estimates. Sometimes it is hard to manage customer's expectations as far as price. Some people hear over a thousand dollars and shock sets in! With higher deductibles, peoples fear of turning in claims and a tight economy some people are just trying to get the claim money and not fix the car!

In order to avoid being the highest estimate you have to be a little creative. You don't want to miss anything important and look like you do not know what you are doing. I have found a few little tricks that can help you and I am going to share them here.

This works well for drive up estimates, tow ins are a different situation.
I always ask if they have an insurance estimate or an estimate from another shop. If they have an insurance estimate I explain that we have to work off of their estimate to get started since they are paying the claim. I usually know what my competitor's write so it is not critical I see the estimate, it is nice to know the total price. If I can't get near the total of the other shop I will definitely ask to see it to see what they missed and explain that to the client. I know some people are hoping the shop will be cheaper than the Insurer, but that is really tough in today's economy. If you can beat an Insurer's estimate you are usually selling yourself short unless you are a shade tree body shop.

You also need to manage your customers expectations, are they ok with used parts or aftermarket? Sometimes on a few year old car it can be saved from being a total loss that way. If they are adamant about OEM parts on an older car it is going to be a tough battle. I usually tell them to read their policy and it may exclude OEM parts or require used or aftermarket. I will write what they want but sometimes that will definitely make you the highest estimate.

If there is obvious unibody damage you make a note on the estimate that there is possible structural damage and the vehicle will need to be measured to identify the degree of damage. This way you are not guessing and this will usually knock several hundred dollars off of the estimate.  The same thing works on suspension damage, hood hinges, trunk hinges and some scratches and scuffs.

We do not write sand and buff on a drive up estimate although we do write tint color and blend, explaining to the customer why we have to tint and blend color. There are hundreds of variants for some colors and we explain location of assembly has a lot to do with which variant color we have to use.

Some of you may or may not know of me but I am a 33 year veteran of the auto body trade. I have a ton of I-Car certifications; I am ASE Master certified and too many others to list. I currently own my own shop and teach I-Car part time. I also do diminished value claims and have made myself available as an expert witness.

 

 

If you would like to contribute to Web-Est blogs by writing an article of your own, please feel free to contact JR Seidel at jr@web-est.com

POSTED BY ADMINISTRATOR AT 2:15 PM
3/22/2011
Auto Body Technicians: Teaching a New Dog Some Old Tricks

In 2000, I went to a Body shop Owner Association meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio. At this meeting, a colleague of mine was discussing repairing versus replacing parts in the collision process. He had some figures from 1980 showing that 50% of a shops income resulted from body labor, 20% of the income from parts sales, and income from paint at 20% (with the remaining 10% from miscellaneous items like towing, storage, etc). He compared it to a then recent study that showed body shops in 2000 were receiving 50% of their income from parts and only 20% from actual repair labor. Most of the shop-owners were quick to agree with the numbers. Some shop owner attributed the inversion in percentages to the dwindling number of available, qualified body techs. Some added that the vehicles were becoming more difficult to make a quality repair due to subtle nuances in the "lines" of a vehicle. And still more decided that it was a financial benefit to "hang and paint" instead of repair due to work flow and turn time in the production facility. Now, in 2011, I thought it might be interesting to talk with some shop owners and see what the numbers looked like today.

I talk with hundreds of shops every week. The topic generally focuses around the Web-Est products but often will tangent to the industry as a whole. So I started asking some more specific questions regarding repair versus replace. Who makes the decision? What factors are considered when choosing? When is one process more acceptable than another? One could argue that a smaller shop may do more "hang and paint" because often they employee "combo" technicians and have to balance their skilled resources evenly to turn vehicles. Clearly, it is a faster process which leads to faster push through. Conversely, a larger, production-type facility that employees more body technicians might look to utilize its labor pool to gain the repair dollar, running the assembly line process that bigger production shops are known for. But perhaps a larger shop, in order to meet the volume it needs to stay profitable, might do more "hang and paint" then the smaller shop. So deciding which path to go down can be a complicated one, especially when one starts weighing in some of the factors for deciding. Is the vehicle as safe having had the parts repaired instead of replaced? Could there be a potential liability to the shop? Are OEM warranties affected in this vehicle by using repair processes? Are insurance companies pressuring the shop for faster turn time, less rental and lower overall collision costs? All of these factors (and good number more) can all add up to difficult decisions. On top of all of them is the fact that the body shop must make a profit in order to survive.

After speaking with one shop owner, I think he summed up what a lot of other owners are worried about. He stated that "he employs various tools to tell him if he is more profitable repairing instead of replacing (or vice versa), yet he still has to ultimately worry about long term success of his business. Does he gear up for current trends of replacing parts? Right now, with the economy still not back to normal, OEM manufacturers are not afraid of slashing their parts prices to get a sale." Likewise, many shops have told me that OEM suppliers are coming to within 5% of aftermarket costs (and at times matching them) just to make sure they sell parts. Shop owners recognize that costs have dropped considerably and begin replacing more parts than repairing and taking the profit on the parts side. But when there is a need to repair, are the technicians still retaining the skill sets to do it correctly? Finding a body technician that still is able to turn the quality work that a technician could turn fifteen years ago has become more difficult than ever. In fact, when I ask shop owners and managers what the hardest space to fill in the shop is, they all say good, qualified body techs. There are just too few of them in the market today. Those that are here are generally spoken for at facilities. If they are any good at all, the owners of these shops strive to keep them busy and keep them on staff. But what happens if the industry begins to move back towards repair instead of replacing parts? Where are the body techs going to come from?

The depletion of qualified techs has been happening for a while. Getting entry level techs from the trade schools and high-school vocational programs has become more difficult as they have cut back or dropped these programs all together since kids are not enrolling in those classes as they once did. Shops are left to either send their technicians to I-Car and similar training programs or invest the time internally to teach the trade. Either represents significant costs to the shop owner. It takes time to teach those skills. Yet it is a cost that a shop owner must invest in.

Shop owners need to continue to follow trends and try and make the best profit margins where they can. Currently they are being asked to hang more and repair fewer panels. Go with the tide as much as it will carry you but keep working with your young body techs. Support the mentoring of entry level techs. Invest in your future with a little more time in training internally as to insure that master techs will always be available when your shop needs them. Those skilled technicians might not be needed to repair a panel today, but like so many other industries, ours has the potential to swing the pendulum the other way and we may very well see the need for those master body technicians as much as we used to in the past.

 

POSTED BY ADMINISTRATOR AT 3:35 PM
2/7/2011
Putting a Strong Staff in Place for Your Auto Body Shop Business

If you are going to go through any kind of auto body shop profit training, you need to realize just how big of an impact your staff has on the amount of money you make. Your staff provides the face of your company. They are the people your customers interact with on a regular basis. In addition to that, the staff you put in place has an enormous impact on the productivity of your business. As the owner, you know you can't do it all. If you try to, it'll always be a one man show and your results will reflect it. Bringing people on board to help out will take your business a long way. Thus the better the staff you have, the more money you can make in the end. Here are some thoughts to ponder when analyzing how to grow your staff:

Be selective about who you bring in. I'm sure it's a tempting thing to hire the first guy that comes through the door if you're busy and need the hands, but that's a recipe for disaster. This is your business. It's your baby. Take the time to verify the credentials and certifications they list, don't just assume. You also want to spend the extra time reaching out to the personal references they list. A shop owner in Texas shared with me his experience with a guy he brought in. He accepted a guy's application once who had tons of experience. Graduated from a nearby tech school, spent years working with bigger shops around town. He thought he wouldn't have to spend much time training him. So he took him in to help with the work flow. He later found out from his previous employer that he was struggling with a drug addiction, but it wasn't discovered until after the damage was done to his business. Be selective and do your due diligence on the guys you bring in.

Train your guys as an investment. Jason Stahl of Body Shop Business shares his experience with Doug Keilian of Auto Kraft in Lincoln, Nebraska. Responding to the problem of training guys then watching them leave to his competitors, Keilian says he has no issue with it at all. "To see young guys advance with skills and talents because they don't need you anymore is satisfying because you know you had an impact on them and will still be having an impact in the industry, even though you're not reaping the rewards directly anymore." Clearly, Keilian takes on the task of training his team as an investment in them as men, in the industry itself, but also in his own reputation and the reputation of his shop. The benefits of that effort on his part plays itself out in other areas: employee satisfaction, quality of work provided, customer experience, etc. All of these things will positively effect both your customer retention rate and your customer referrals. Train your guys as a marketing investment.

Keeping business goals in mind when gauging their performance.  Create benchmarks for your guys to measure their performance.  Reward good staff members when they do a good job. Terminate those who are habitually hindering your business. The whole goal in doing this will be to keep your auto body operations running smoothly and to bring in customers. You need to cater to your customers as much as possible, and if that means making adjustments to your staff, so be it.

What are some experiences you as a shop owner and/or manager have had when it comes to your staff? What are some good/bad experiences you've had? What are some things you've learned when it comes to training your team?

 

POSTED BY ADMINISTRATOR AT 10:49 AM
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