Our fall Conference is officially behind us and overall I believe it was a great success. We had over 200 people attend the Friday Trade Show and about 160 people at the Saturday morning SGI presentation.
All of the sessions were recorded and will be made available to our members but I would like to give you all the Reader’s Digest version of the weekend:
Thursday, September 9th – We had absolutely perfect weather for our 72 golfers to take part in a fun Texas Scramble. Special Thank You to Enterprise Rent A Car for supplying the shuttle service to and from the hotel, they went above and beyond the call of duty!
Thursday evening, we had a nice dinner followed by Don Pogoda interviewing Lloyd & Sandy Giles who recently retired front the Auto Body business after 50 years! Their children were even able to join us via ZOOM as we paid tribute to this wonderful couple.
Overall Thursday was all about fun and fellowship, thanks to all that participated, especially suppliers that provided golf bag treats and prizes. Enterprise had a couple of their managers travel around on a golf cart and supply refreshments that were much appreciated.
Friday, September 10th
We started the day off with David Luehr from Elite Body Shop Solutions speaking about the 7 Keys to Elite Level Performance
1. Create a continuous workflow mentality.
2. Understand the Theory of Constraints.
3. What gets measured, improves.
4. Know your Optimum WIP and schedule to it.
5. Stop writing estimates – write repair plans.
6. Only place production-ready cars in your system.
7. Create a system that doesn’t require a production manager.
In a nutshell, the goal is to keep your production technician’s hands on the vehicle.
Don Pogoda proved to be an exceptional storyteller and he shared his experience with the Game of Work. Besides making work a fun activity he pointed out that we need:FeedbackScorekeepingGoal SettingConsistent CoachingPersonal Choice The takeaway is that the more we make work like a game the more “fun” and productive we can be.
The afternoon consisted of Vanessa Wilkin from Enterprise speaking about their online rental car management system, Jean Luc Sauriol from AsTech speaking about their new hybrid scan tool and the option to do Dynamic Calibrations on ADAS systems and Jen Fox from Auto Electric explaining their new line of AED units and how they can be incorporated into your shop’s safety program.
Saturday, September 11th
Sticking with tradition we kicked the day off with SGI speaking about their new and ongoing initiatives to improve our working relationship with their organization. Ryan Smith explained their overall plans moving forward while Ciaran Downes and Jessica Hill Flaman spoke in more detail about the issues. Ciaran talked about the appraisal and technical side while Jessica focused on the adjuster side of the relationship.
The gist of their conversations was that they are aware of our “pain points” and they are working on solving them.
Bob Jaworski, the chairman of the AIA Executive Board, spoke on the role that AIA plays on issues like Right to Repair and of course I-CAR Canada that is currently hosted by their organization. Bob has extended a membership in AIA to SAAR and I will get more information that I will forward to you in an upcoming newsletter.
Craig Alvaro from 3M spoke about their Festool vacuum extraction system and actually gave one away to a lucky Bill Fonstad from Ideal Auto Body in Estevan.
Lee Campbell and Leslie DeBoice from SunLife Financial gave us a rundown on the ARA Group Insurance plan that is available to all SAAR members. Essentially this plan is generally cheaper than most plans and has a higher spending threshold than most plans. Lee also talked about Critical Care insurance and warned that in the next few years this product may no longer be offered by insurance companies – I highly encourage you to check it out!
Scott Kucharyshen and Jeremy Shaw from Sask Polytechnic shared their COVID teaching adjustments and surprisingly they have come up with numerous efficiencies using technology to facilitate distance learning. In addition, they will soon be trained to offer Betag Advanced Metal Repair training that qualifies for the Canada Saskatchewan Job Training Grant.
After lunch Paul Martin, a popular Regina business analyst spoke to us for the better part of an hour straight about the coming Saskaboom 2.0. If there is one video that you must see, this is it! We were all spellbound for the entire talk!
We had a few technical issues but wound up the afternoon with a presentation from Leanne Jefferies updating us on the Certified Collision Care OEM program then finishing with Tom Julius and an update on Car-Part Pro and its integration with Mitchell’s Cloud Estimating software.
Watch for the videos once we get them edited and loaded on our web space.
Finally, the simple truth about ‘Value’
 Whatever product or service you sell, your market is over-served and under-differentiated.  There are too many other businesses selling what you’re selling and most of you look alike, sound alike and charge about the same price.

Ultimately, customer ‘ownership’ and business profitability is about creating, delivering and communicating compelling value that ‘grabs’ your target customers, clearly differentiates you from your competitors, makes you ‘famous’ and grows your bottom line.  Customers demand value and every business promises it…but there’s a huge lack of clarity about what ‘value’ really is.
Let’s keep it simple; there are only 3 kinds of Value…Functional, Emotional and Financial Value.  That’s it!
We deliver Functional Value when we…sell extraordinary products, services and experiences that actually work for our target customers.are open or available when our target customers need us.provide the information, coaching and encouragement that they need to wisely choose and effectively use what we sell. Be their ‘Caring Coach’.create policies, systems and processes that make us easy, efficient and consistent to do business with.Next is Emotional Value.  Most businesses struggle with this one.  They think it’s some airy-fairy thing that can’t be defined…and they’re dead wrong!
Quite simply, you deliver Emotional Value when your customers feel better about themselves and the world every time they do business with you, and every time they use what they bought from you.  That’s it! If you’re not delivering Emotional Value, you’re not ‘connecting’ with your customers on an emotional level, which is where most buying decisions are actually made, or strongly influenced.
How could you deliver more emotional value at every ‘touch-point’?  How could you make prospects and customers feel smart, valued, respected and safe?  How could you brighten their day with simple acts of kindness, joy and gratitude?  Whatever you sell, people come to you for that, plus joy!  Never underestimate the power of joy. It may sound corny, but it will make a huge difference in their day.  People will always remember how you made them feel. Financial Value is #3. Most businesses put it as #1, but it has to be #3, because it’s a function of the previous two. If you’re getting beaten up on price, it’s a sure sign that you’ve failed to create and effectively communicate some other compelling value.
You deliver financial value when your customers believe that they paid a fair and competitive price for all the functional and emotional value they got from you.  If you don’t deliver extraordinary functional and emotional value, there’s no price low enough to be good enough.So, the question is, are you delivering the compelling combination of functional, emotional and financial value that makes you the clear ‘wise choice’ for your target customers?  If not, what needs fixing in your business, who will fix it…and by when?
Then, when you’ve done the work, you need to effectively communicate your compelling value story in everything you do.  There’s no point being the best if you’re also the best kept secret. If you’d like a little coaching help with this important process, I’m easy to find at donald@donaldcooper.com.  
That’s it for this week…
Stay safe…live brilliantly!      
Donald Cooper
 Here is what Mike Anderson of Collision Advice says about test drives, “If you don’t test drive a vehicle, and your customer discovers a tire out of balance, that’s one thing, but if a safety system doesn’t get calibrated because you didn’t test drive a vehicle, that’s critical.”

Body Shop Business stresses the importance of post-repair/calibrations in this online article, https://www.bodyshopbusiness.com/video-adas-and-your-shops-reputation/

Brake and Front End magazine and Mitch Becker outline why post-repair/calibrations are critical here: https://www.brakeandfrontend.com/test-drives-more-than-you-think/?

Our company’s patent-pending Test Drive CoPilot™ platform (www.testdrivecopilot.com) is the world’s best way an auto, collision, glass and truck repairer can properly perform, manage, document and get reimbursed for “not-included” pre and post-repair and calibration test drives.

Want to learn more? Visit www.testdrivecopilot.com, give me a call at 855.953.7483 or send us an email at sales@autotechcelerators.com to setup an online meeting to discuss the best way we can help your business properly perform, manage, document and get reimbursed for test drives.

Even if you decide this is not the right time to implement our Test Drive CoPilot™ platform, PLEASE do your business a favor and implement a formal post-repair QA/Test drive process for ADAS equipped vehicles to ensure you are delivering a vehicle that has been repaired properly and safely.
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The ARA Group Benefits plan has proven to offer significant savings and stable renewals. The association group plan is insured by Sun Life and is one of the largest in Canada, covering over 3,000 employees and their families. All revenue generated by the plan is used to support the automotive industry through the ARA. What is the difference of an association plan? The ARA employee benefits plans are self-administered by the association which runs as a not for profit. This means that members of the plan can use more plan for less cost than any other plan available outside of the association. For example, the ARA can obtain a target loss ratio (TLR) of 85%. This is 15-20% higher than most employee benefits plans offered in Saskatchewan. What is a target loss ratio? It is essentially the percentage of premiums paid that can be used towards benefits. Most plans offer a TLR of 70%, while the other 30% goes to administration costs, commissions, etc. Since ARA self-administers, it can increase your TLR by 15% meaning employees can use more of the plan without the worry of seeing an increase in premiums the following year. What does this all mean for SAAR members? Well to start, it is the opportunity to participate in one of the largest, longest running and most stable association plans in Canada. You have the chance to get more out of your group benefits plan while saving money along the way. So far, we have seen a 5-25% savings in premiums along with many improvements to current benefit plans. We encourage you to take full advantage of this opportunity. How do I get on the plan? First, we would gather information and supply you with a quote. We will provide you with a comparison if you currently have a plan. We will also help you to analyze your plan to ensure you have the coverage you and your employees need. If you feel satisfied, we will implement the new plan the following month. If you wish, getting a quote is free and only takes about 10 minutes out of your day to supply us with the proper information. If you wish to obtain a free quote and comparison, please feel free to contact one of our team members and we will happily help. We look forward to working with you! Leslie DeBoice                         Lee Campbell                             Ken Campbell306-649-4000 x.111               306-649-4000 x.104               306-649-4000 x. 103leslie.deboice@sunlife.com  lee.campbell@sunlife.com  ken.campbell@sunlife.com