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Thread: Check this out read from the bottom up ...Audatex at it's finest

  1. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    572

    We well know,

    the only data recognized is the acceptable data, the real data doesn't count. Reminds me of a survey performed by one of the trade outlets during the early days of the internet. The survey wanted to establish the "normal" dollar per square output of shops. I submitted my numbers but after inquiry found my data was thrown out of the equation because it did not conform to the results the survey was trying to show.

    I see the same with the repair data, but suspect with the new models, metals and materials which are in many cases unrepairable, reality may over run the fantasy business model of mega volume MSO operations working for nothing.
    Collision repair... so easy even a monkey can do it... and some do!

  2. Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    1,350

    You would think so. Have a Service King near you yet?

    It is not hard to appear to work for nothing when you have piles of money back there supporting the program, and the instigator looking the other way when the consumer is deprived of the full duty of the policy. (well, the policy as we understand what it should be; no one is sure of the contents of a policy these days) As long as the insurer is in the driver's (which appears forever) seat they will dribble out enough to keep everyone appeased. Remember Mark, you look at the business differently. Like everyone should but don't. And never will apparently.



    near 12000 views since September........
    Last edited by Roy Smalley; 03-06-2016 at 11:09 AM.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

  3. Join Date
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    What has the repair industry learned in the the past 20 years?

    Nothing.

    In 1996, most shops were completing the move to computers leaving behind the hand written estimate. Insurers required the use of the computer and to 'send them' the estimate electronically. Digital cameras came along. The labor rate was what, the low 20's? The big debates railed around not included items....what is a blend and how to get paid and of course aftermarket parts. Folks were complaining about steering, tortuous interference and incomplete estimates from the insurer. Just like today.


    The majority of shops were still 'independent' in thought but the reality was they were not independent. About that time was the first push of consolidators in some states.

    I happened to be at a July 4th lunch with some of my old HS buddies and their families yesterday. One of their sons is a big mucketty muck for the insurance industry, having worked for several, very successfully. He is aware that I used to be in the collision business. He went on about how great the insurance industry has been in streamlining the "process". Contracting shops, MSO's and how the insurance industry has moved from the onerous task of estimating inspectors, reinspectors and all that expensive communication to digital correspondence and of course reducing time and cost to them. It reminded me again of how little voice and input there is from the repairer. In fact, none to speak of. Estimatics has become Analytics; insurers deal with tens of thousands fewer shop entities. In particular, he represents the "new" insurance industry that doesn't have a clue about how the insurance industry has destroyed the rights of the collision business and even if explained to him he wouldn't understand. He is a good guy no doubt, but his education of how things are supposed to work is missing. This is something Pierson commented about long ago "soon all the old insurance guys that know what they are doing will be gone........".

    The mail had delivered SW Autobody News last week...I rarely read it but there were two stories that attracted my attention. Presnell throwing out the Eaves law firm efforts regarding "steering", "Price fixing". Inside, the Tennessee case against Progressive steering also dismissed. These two cases followed the same patterns that have failed for at least 20 years, so what have the legal representatives learned? Nothing.

    The striking thing that has continued both with repairers and lawyers is their, the best word I can think of..... naive belief in the law; that by making allegations should be enough to make a court understand the depth and breadth of a conspiracy that deprives repairers the ability to operate competitively. They fail the basic rule of "know your enemy", and know their weakness. Strike there. This tired old DEG string that still has life, shows the way but no one goes down that road. Truly amazing.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

  4. Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    572

    Well...

    the courts have always treated insurers like the FBI has treated Hillary... "Yeah, they may have done all those things but their intentions were well meaning." It appears "per se" evidence is only good against us. We currently have a past Governor sitting in prison for crimes he was thinking about (selling a Senate seat). He never actually asked for money for the seat and he never received anything of value... but he was arrested because the FBI thought he was going to commit a crime. I certainly was no supporter of his, and he probably has some graft in his past but his big crime was to up against the Party Machine of Illinois.

    I know I'm straying off topic, but this and a recent newspaper editor being jailed by a judge annoyed by FOIA request is getting out of hand. I have been known to annoy a few elected officials with FOIAs...
    Collision repair... so easy even a monkey can do it... and some do!

  5. Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    1,350

    The light at the end of the tunnel grows dim when you start flirting with socialism..........

    Pierson, those willing to look at the relation ship between the insurer industry, consumers both insurer and repairer connected, and repairers, and have watched the progression of insurer actions that exert control over both consumer and repairer entities for the past 10-15 years, should not be surprised at the pervasive distrust of the legal, political environments that we are experiencing on a grand scale today.

    Rapidly expanding technology, most prevalent the movement of, and control of, information befuddles the mind with partial, complete untruths, obfuscation and misdirection. Coupled with the lack of principled leadership clearly evident in every section of government, it is no wonder that we find ourselves in this predicament. This process has taken time and effort. Can it be undone? If we go back to our situation as repairers, the answer is staring us in the face. Short of a complete failure of society or a threat that is evident and cannot be ignored, I doubt it. The last time we, the US of A faced a real threat, the threat was palpable and that was December 7, 1941 (discounting the Cuban crisis that came and went quickly). We came together because we understood the threat. Today all kinds of equal threats abound, but few see what they are because they are only interested in the here and now. And themselves.

    Read 1984 again......
    Last edited by Roy Smalley; 07-10-2016 at 10:18 PM.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

  6. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    572

    I just read

    something the other day about Orwell and his early years in Burma that eventually produced 1984. We never could understand how the majority of our industry would bow down and scrape to their insurance masters... but I guess you have been saying all along that it is just a reflection of society in general. There is little chance of me changing my ways now, so I have fired up a few WreckCheck era concepts and brochures to some customers. I'm realistic enough to know that the course of this industry is beyond my influence... but who's to say I can't have some fun anyway!? Molon Labe

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/t-...well.html?_r=0
    Collision repair... so easy even a monkey can do it... and some do!

  7. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ma.
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    485

    Mark, It is fun to rattle their cage but I do it for the money!

  8. Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    572

    You are correct Sir!

    The last few years I have been walking away from a few jobs and situations where I could see the energy expended would not give a return. I still pass on these but will do a little more followup on re-inspection, DV and firm referrals. It seems to go in cycles, but lately more of the customers are taking an interest again... some of that has to do with their vehicle costing a small fortune.
    Collision repair... so easy even a monkey can do it... and some do!

  9. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Southaven, Mississippi
    Posts
    808

    I think the biggest mistakes the attorneys made were: Not listening to Roy and others and continuing to assume that the collision repair industry operates in a free market, just as any other industry. They failed to recognize a very basic premise that is the cornerstone of the CCRE model, THE INSURANCE COMPANY OWES THE SHOP NOTHING. Where the contract of repair is concerned, many of us have traditionally argued that the insurance company has no standing. They have successfully argued, and the courts have agreed, allowing them to negotiate terms and conditions of repair, that since they are paying the bill, they DO have a standing, allowing them to stand in the shoes that should only be worn by the customer. Who the actual customer is has become the foot in the door that has facilitated most of the interference and allowed them to take control of the process and, in turn, the shops. It is curious how they claim to have a standing in the contract as long as they have control, yet continue to proclaim that only the vehicle owner can authorize anything to do with the repair. The fraud and the control process is so convoluted and widespread that lawyers cannot wrap their heads around how complex and devious it is and how much work went into constructing this business model.
    I too believe that post repair inspections, bringing vehicle owners into the process and making them aware of the conspiracy to return unsafe vehicles to them, is all we have left to return any degree of control to shops. Once consumers are generally aware of what has been happening, do what is necessary, charge the customer and require the customer to be reimbursed by the insurance company, as it should be. Arm the customer with all the documentation and supporting evidence they need and back away. Negotiating for the customer, under the pretense of "good customer service" is what got us into this mess in the first place and why the mess continues.
    Now that I am retired, I am seriously considering getting involved in conducting post repair inspections, exposing the insurance companies that are promoting unsafe repairs (all of them) and the shops that are complicit. I also plan to push for shop licensing and certification in my state, finally establishing the disparity in competence and capability between shops. For too many years, cost mitigation has been the driving competitive force, while competency has been ignored. A shop that has a million dollars invested in order to be competent cannot possibly compete cost wise with a shop that has invested fifty thousand and is not competent. I have been offered an opportunity in my state to establish that disparity and plan to take full advantage of it, shifting the emphasis to what constitutes a "proper" repair and away from the right of the insurance company to secure the "cheapest" repair.
    Last edited by Bill; 07-15-2016 at 11:30 AM.

  10. Bill
    Your solution of post repair inspections is correct. PRI is a growing business right now.
    Your correct in saying that the insurer must be removed from the repair process is also
    correct, but I do not agree with removing the insurer from the transaction and then replacing
    them with government interference by the use of licensing and certification. Call or e-mail me
    if you would like to continue a conversation on this matter. Then we can post our discussion here at
    a later date.

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