Your SAAR Executive took some time last week to meet in person for the first time since September of last year. It was great to actually meet in person even though only 5 of the 9 people were able to attend in the flesh, the rest joined by ZOOM. Some of the items we discussed included:

Paintless Dent Repair accreditation. Essentially, we have a group of paintless dent repair companies in the province that would like to develop their profile here in Saskatchewan. Some of these businesses would like to have the opportunity to deal directly with SGI while the majority of them would prefer to remain as a partner with the body shops in the province. We don’t have an issue with those shops that would like to deal directly with SGI as long as they are able to meet a reasonable accreditation program that would allow them to do safe & quality repairs. We met online with SGI on April 22nd and initiated a conversation about what this PDR accreditation would look like. Since then, I have contacted Scott Kucharyshen at Sask Polytechnic and he is putting together a training program that could be the basis of a PDR certification program. We will meet with SGI again most likely in June and I will update you all then.

We discussed the SAAR Fall Conference scheduled for September 9th, 10th & 11th. Similar to last year we will kick off with a Golf Tournament on Thursday afternoon with fellowship in the evening, a training presentation on Friday during the day followed by a trade show in the evening, Saturday would be our AGM and various speakers. We hope to have a live event but either way we will be broadcasting the event on ZOOM same as last year. Topics for presentations include How to Gamify Your Workplace, Electric Vehicles and some hands on ADAS training. Stay tuned for details as they materialize.

We worked on developing some Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) to deal with SGI issues. At this point many of you are contacting Tom to solve numerous one-off issues and the board feels that we all need to be given the knowledge how to do this for ourselves. If an issue is a universal reoccurring one, then SAAR (Tom) will get involved. In addition, SGI has initiated a beta test of their Claims Industry Partner program where all issues related to the adjuster side of the business will be addressed by a senior adjuster named Karen Klein and a team of people to help her. Initially they will start with 18 shops and once they get the bugs sorted out, they anticipate adding more shops each month. The goal is to create better communication between the shops and SGI at the adjuster level and smooth the workflow. In addition, we confirmed with SGI that if and when shops have questions about OEM repair procedures, they need to contact Tom Campbell in the south or Jeryl Olorenshaw in the north, As Jeryl so aptly put it, “when in doubt, call before you cut”. 

We discussed some of our Technical Sub Committee discussions and you can expect to hear some announcements from SGI regarding changes to the Fill, Sand & Feather process now referred to as “Feather. Block and Prime” which better describes the actual procedure. In addition, we will be tackling Weld burn through and Battery Maintenance on Tuesday May 4th so plan to hear about that discussion in the next week or so. See bulletin #92 here

I did speak with Ciaran Downes last week and you may already have received a bulletin from SGI, but he indicated that they will be reimbursing shops for the Mitchell subscriptions and OEM procedures upon receipt of your invoices for the time being until they can work out the payment details directly with Mitchell. Both companies are large operations and it takes time to sort out a new payment policy, let’s be patient.

On Thursday April 29th you received a Notice from SGI regarding a New initiative to improve communication between Claims and Industry Partners. Essentially this initiative is an effort by SGI to enhance the communication between body shops and the claims adjuster branch of SGI. We have Tom Campbell and Jeryl Olorenshaw as our Technical Go To people and we now we can welcome Karen Klein as our Go To person for the administrative part of our claims. Hopefully, you can get service from the actual claim adjuster however, the new Claims Industry Partner Representative will be available to you to:

– provide an avenue to resolve your complex questions and inquiries

– obtain claims guidance and resources for your shop operations

– collect and oversee your suggestions on how to improve our working partnership on a larger scale

This program will be rolled out in stages until they get the bugs out so wait until they call you to put your shop on this program.

Hats off to SGI management for listening to the industry!

Be sure to check out our website’s Buy & Sell posting board

Why OEM Certifications Matter for Collision Repairers 

Another great article from Jennifer Paulino Director of Marketing for CARSTAR Canada

Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) repair guidelines have moved to the forefront of the industry in recent years. 

A variety of reasons have affected OEM repair guidelines in industry discussion. For instance, prominent lawsuits, new legislation, OE manufacturer concerns in protecting their brand and even customer safety have all caused repair guidelines to grace industry publication headlines. Above all, the most influential reason affecting its importance is technology.

Vehicles are smarter than ever before. In the past, only luxury or foreign brands had innovative features embedded in their vehicles. However now, nearly all manufacturers have their vehicles (some even in base models) packed with the latest technologies. In other words, incorporating these features into vehicle design has become mandatory for most brands. Because they are competing in a market with rising technological demands from consumers.

This is why keeping up with OEM repair guidelines has become so crucial.

Click here to learn more!

Saskatchewan has quite the history with the 3M Corporation. I can remember Bill Stanzeleit being the rep in our area and he has become a great friend of mine. Rick Berg, another Saskatchewan boy, did such a great job for 3M in the province that they made him a national manager and moved him to London Ontario. Unfortunately, Rick passed away unexpectedly in 2010 (I can’t believe it was that long ago!).

Rick was a great communicator and a wonderful ambassador for 3M, so the company commissioned an award in Rick’s memory which is awarded annually to a 3M sales representative that exhibits the highest level of performance and sales professionalism in the Automotive Aftermarket Division.

The winner is a sales leader that exhibits strong ethics and leads by example with passion and energy Brett MacNeil from Winnipeg is that guy for 2020. Like Rick, Brett goes above and beyond to help the body shops in his territory and he is a well deserving recipient! Congratulations Brett! 

While we are at it, why don’t you check out this quick video of the 3M Accuspray paint gun?

Well worth the 3-minute look!