Lots of stuff is happening behind the scenes with SGI right now.
You have received a number of emails outlining upcoming Lunch & Learns in regard to the new Safe & Quality Auto Repair Program (SQARP) that takes effect as of March 1st, 2021. Please make sure that you block off time to attend these training events to help you make the transition to the new requirements. These Lunch & Learns start tomorrow, January 26th at noon and will be held the first three Tuesdays in February – the 2nd, 9th & 16th. If you need the link to attend these events feel free to email me and I will send it to you.
Your SAAR Technical Committee is working on a number of Technical Issues with SGI that include Adhesives & Sealants, the Grid System, Adhesive Templates, Computerized Frame Measuring, Battery Maintenance for Scanning, Vehicle Test Drives, Specialty Paints and Destructive Test Welds. Please understand that these discussions take time, but I am confident that we will deal with each issue in the coming year.
We just finalized the wording on the new SQARP Master Services Agreement (MSA) that each shop will be asked to sign before March 1st. We had a lawyer review the document and make a number of suggestions for SGI to consider revising. We presented these to SGI and they willing complied with our suggestions so you can be comfortable knowing that the MSA has been properly veted before you sign it.
Keep in mind that if you have qualified for I-CAR Gold Class you do not automatically get that recognition until you apply to I-CAR. See the latest Bulletin from SGI that gives information on that by clicking here.
SAAR is currently in discussions with SGI in regard to a labor Rate Review and I can tell you that there is not much of an appetite from SGI to raise our current door rate. Having said that they have given us some suggestions to look elsewhere for shop remuneration and our team is compiling a list of suggestions for SGI to consider. I hope to be able to share more with all of you in the coming weeks but please know that we are working to find a good solution for all stakeholders. Stay tuned.
ARA’s CCR (Certified Collision Repair) Program
Through SGI’s SQARP program, shops that become OEM or Industry certified through a recognized program at any time before March 1, 2021 will be eligible for the $6,000 one-time lump-sum payment, plus an additional one-time lump-sum payment of $9,000 (for a total of $15,000).
The ARA’s Certified Collision Repair (CCR) program is recognized by SGI and comes with three great reasons to use it;
- Cost – ARA members pay only $800 plus tax per year vs $1450 CCIAP or $4000 CCC. Note; with CCR you are registered nationally with the CCIAP, the mechanism that Economical Insurance uses to refer their customers for repairs.
- Validate for customers that you have achieved a standard as recognize through a third party (ARA).
- This demonstrates your facility has all the necessary infrastructure and training to repair modern vehicles accurately and safely.
- Convenience – during COVID we are capable of conducting an audit “virtually” to meet the ICBC requirements and at a later date coordinate an in-person audit to maintain program integrity.
In addition, you attain the following benefits;
- Customers recognize your ability to repair “all brand” of vehicles. (OE certifications can lead some customers to avoid shops that do not list their brand of OE certification, thinking that as their brand is not recognized the shop does not repair them)
- You help support industries ability to limit OEM control over the industry (OE certifications come with stringent rules around parts, repair process and equipment needs)
Apply today at https://www.ara.bc.ca/certified-collision-repair-program/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Senior Industry Relations Advisor
SAAR has recently signed a deal with one of our sponsor’s, Westbridge Capital, that has a stake in a company called First Data. Essentially First Data is a Point of Sale (POS) credit card processing company that will allow our SAAR members to save money on processing fees.
My contact Brandon Maher will be supplying more information in the next short while, but it looks to be very good opportunity for shops to save money on POS transactions. Stay tuned for more information.
It is that time of the year again where I come to you hat in hand looking for your membership renewal. I hope that SAAR has earned your trust and that will forward your dues at your earliest convenience.
We have given all of our members a Covid discount of $150 as we did not use all of our dues from last year. Please do your best to pay your dues or let me know if you do not plan to renew your membership so that I can focus on the day-to-day business rather than worry about receivables.
I was on a webinar with Dave Flockhart from Betag last week and they are looking to do a Pilot Project in Saskatchewan centered on a training program to repair more plastics and metal resulting in increased touch time, higher gross profit and increased CSI.
We are looking for up to 20 shops that would be willing to participate in this venture that will take from 6 to 9 months to complete. I do not have the exact cost of the equipment and training, but Dave is looking to work out a program that makes it affordable for any shop that wants to participate.
If you are interested in taking your business to a higher level of productivity and profitability let me know so I can reserve you a spot. I want to give you folks that I consider our organization’s leadership to have first crack at these spots. No commitment at this point, just let me know if you are interested.
Dave will be doing an online presentation of this training in mid-February to explain the benefits and cost of the training. If you want to be in on that presentation send an email to me at email@example.com.
We are looking at a starting date sometime in March.
Many of the shops that switched to the ARA in the past year and half are experiencing their first renewal as of January 1, and I can honestly say, I think they were all pleasantly surprised. The average renewal we saw with the ARA was about 1.5%. For those of you with current benefits in place you know that a renewal that low is not something you would usually see. With Covid-19 causing Disability cases to skyrocket, outside of the ARA we are seeing our plans increase an average of 30%.
It has been almost 2 years since we partnered with the ARA, we have built a strong relationship and they have earned our trust. They have proven that they have a solid plan, great customer service and lower rates when compared to a standard plan.
We are now working on new quotes for the New Year. Contact us to see how we can help you save money on your benefits plan this year and in the future.
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