Did You Know? August 9th 2021

Watch for SGI’s new Safe & Quality Auto Repair promotion program coming out in the next short while. They are very proud of the shops that met the new accreditation standards and they want to promote qualified shops as much as they can.

I have also been informed that SGI would like to do some Town Hall meetings – similar to their 2019 Tour but on a smaller scale. Their goal is to communicate the path forward and get feedback from bodyshops across the province.

Did you see the August 3rd, 2021 Notice from SGI outlining their policy on Dynamic Seat Belt Testing? 

The visual/static inspection of seatbelts has been a “normal” industry practice for decades and is considered an included operation by SGI (captured in overall rate through the blueprinting process). However, for seatbelt functionality testing where a dynamic road test is required by the OEM, and supporting documentation is provided by the repair partner, SGI will allow a 0.2 allowance for collision losses only. (hail and vandalism claims are not eligible).

Make sure your Estimators and Repair Planners are aware of this Notice

SCRS Quick Tips: Use Line Notes to Tell the Full Repair Story

Making sure your repair plan fully communicates what you are doing, and why it is necessary creates consistency and cuts down on friction. Line notes are often a missing element of telling the full story. Danny and Mike talk about using those notes to communicate OEM repair information and owners manuals, paint manufacturer information, technical bulletins and specs, and even articles and links to help substantiate line items on the estimate.

Use the documentation to its fullest by establishing a standardized approach to informing about what you are performing in the repair and why. Watch the video here: 

By the way, last I heard Danny Gedinberg was in the hospital with a severe case of COVID. Keep this man in your thoughts and prayers, when he gets back to work let him know how much you appreciate him.

The importance of world-class efficiency as wages increase: by Donald Cooper

Most of the business news I’ve read recently is about the challenge of attracting staff and how wages are increasing.  Wage increases for front-line workers have been suppressed for many years, and they’re fed up.

Before the Covid pandemic, 44% of American workers were making an average of $10.22 an hour (Canadian numbers are more difficult to find).  I challenge any business owner or manager to survive for a week on that kind of salary.  On top of that, very few of these low-wage workers are in jobs with any opportunity for promotion, let alone an actual career.  It has been a matter of ‘start at the bottom…and stay there!’

In addition, working conditions were often miserable.  Frito Lay workers in Kansas walked off the job last month to protest low pay and 84-hour work weeks.

When the air conditioning broke down at a Burger King in Nebraska and the temperature in the kitchen rose to 90 degrees, the franchise owner did nothing to fix it so the staff changed the letters on the franchise’s roadside sign to read “We All Quit…Sorry For The Inconvenience” and walked off the job.

For the past 18 months the Government has paid a lot of people a lot of money to do nothing. So, now, here’s your reality for the foreseeable future; good people will be even harder to find and wages will be going up…a lot.  And this is the reason that you must focus, more than ever, on achieving world-class operational efficiency in every area of your business, including getting higher prices for your products or services.  Most people don’t think of price increases as an efficiency improvement but getting paid more for delivering the same amount of product or service is definitely more ‘efficient’.

When it comes to ‘employee efficiency’ in most cases, you’re far better to have 10% or 15% fewer employees who are higher quality, more motivated and more productive…and paid 10% or 15% more.  Look for talent…not for ‘bodies’.  Pay more and expect more…that’s the secret.  ‘Pay more and expect less’ will kill you!

Then, how will you improve your processes and systems, your clarity and communication, your equipment, software and training to work smarter?  How will you strengthen and improve your business culture, benefits and career opportunities to increase engagement and reduce staff turnover?  Staff turnover is inefficient and a huge expense!

How will you reward performance and how will you deal with non-performance?  What will you do to make it fun, rewarding and energizing to work on your team?  Remember, the best people have to work for someone…it’s just that you have to deserve them.

Or, are you tired, burned out, cynical or disorganized so that you struggle to energize and organize your team?  If so, perhaps we should chat about ‘possibilities’.

Maybe it’s not just a matter of improving current processes. Maybe it’s a matter of inventing entirely new processes that increase efficiency and give you a competitive edge.  Last week I wrote about a Chinese construction company that built a 57-story skyscraper in just 19 days by perfecting a process for creating modular components in an offsite location and installing them, on-site, at the rate of 3 storeys a day.  What’s the ‘next best’ way of doing what you do and will you create ‘the next’…or be the victim of what’s next?

Lots to think about.  

That’s it for this week…

Stay safe…live brilliantly!       

Donald Cooper 


On Thursday August 12th Verifacts will be hosting a Guild 21 Webinar called All Things Honda. If you are repairing these vehicles on a regular basis I highly recommend clicking on the poster below and signing up for this free training.

The 2021 Q2 Benchmark Report is now available from AutoHouse Technologies. We are getting more users involved as more shops are adopting the use of a computerized management system – this is where this data is mined from. 

I know some shops do not feel comfortable sharing their data but I can assure you that it all goes into a composite report and nobody knows who’s data is who’s. So if you have a computerized management system and are willing to share your data please reach out to Rebecca Fyfe at rebecca@autohousetechnologies.com and get signed up.

You can review the report here

Some quick observations:

  • Our average monthly sales are more in line with the other government insurance provinces as we get more users that have smaller sales volumes. 
  • Our average repair is about 14% more than Manitoba but it will be interesting to see the next Benchmark as Manitoba shops recently signed a new deal with MPI that includes more money for labor and materials.We are only 7% more than British Columbia but I expect that ICBC will loosen the purse strings there as well so we will see what the next report says.
  • Average labor hours show the public insurance provinces still behind private insurance in Alberta but we are closing the gap. Hopefully as our Tech Committee finishes up a number of issues on the go we will see our average hours take a little bump. Also, we are planning to implement Betag Training this fall and we will be actively looking to repair more panels rather than replace them so I am curious how this training will impact our repair hours.
  • Saskatchewan still leads the Western provinces in Cycle Time and my hope is that SGI acknowledges this metric and finds a way to reward this achievement. 

For shops in Regina and south of Regina don’t forget that Rod Jackson will be in your area starting August 20th. If you would like to get your paint booth cleaned and serviced now is the time to do so. Contact Rod at rjackson@mymts.net or by phone at 204-229-4366.

Registration is now open and some of you found it on Facebook and have already got your tickets! Good on you! 

If you want to get your tickets you can go to Eventbrite and purchase them here: 


If you want to book hotel rooms at the Saskatoon Inn the SAAR Rate is $139 per night and you can either call 1-306-668-9601 or go online to book your room at: 


We have a busy few days that I guarantee will inform and excite you. I highly recommend attending this event! A full agenda will be available in the next week or so.