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  • The Trials of the Collision Industry

    Wednesday 29 December 2021

    At this year’s SEMA I was involved in several discussions ranging from consolidation to labor rates to paint prices to insurance company interactions. Some of the conversations were deep while others were fleeting because of frustration and helplessness. A couple colleagues and I facilitated “The Ebb and Flow of the New Normal” as part of the SCRS Repairer Driven Education series which opened more opportunity for discussion of the trials we are facing in our industry. I believe the most reflective discussions was around labor rates. I say reflective because I feel those in the discussion actually thought about their current rates and why they are what they are. One person stated, “the insurance companies need to give us a raise” which opened the door for me to start asking my series of “why” questions to determine why they felt it was the insurance companies’ position to offer a raise. I think that waiting for an insurer to raise labor rates is comparable to standing in front of your collision center waiting for an accident to happen. Every price in your business should be calculated using your costs multiplied by expected gross profit. Parts, paint, sublet and most importantly labor rates should all calculated based on your costs. I discussed this in depth in a previous ABRN article, Increase Reimbursements by Managing Skillsets, but I will offer a quick recap here. Every skillset in your business has a different cost to main... read more

  • Shop Foreman

    Tuesday 05 October 2021

    The Automotive Management Institute (AMi), the industry's leading nonprofit provider and collaborator of administrative and management education for the mechanical and collision automotive sectors, is pleased to announce the development and launch of a new professional designation focused on the technician in a leadership role: AMi Accredited Shop Foreman. The new designation is designed to provide training focused on the unique requirements of the foreman/mentor role. The accreditation represents ten months of industry work to identify and develop requirements, based on interviews and subject matter expert input. AMi President, Chuck Searles, states, "Often, mentors in the shop environment receive technical training and that’s it. To be successful as a leader, they have to pick up the rest as they go. The shop foreman accreditation fills that gap with soft-skill courses from AMi approved industry training providers.” This new designation requires multiple categories of training, including shop management basics; coaching, mentoring, team building, and five all-new courses focused on the shop foreman role. For more information about AMi's Shop Foreman Designation and requirements,click here

  • Chuck Searles Joins AMi as New President

    Wednesday 02 September 2020

    NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS, Sept. 1, 2020 - The Board of Trustees at the Automotive Management Institute, the industry’s leading provider of management education for automotive service and collision repair professionals, is pleased to announce that Chuck Searles has been selected as the organization’s new president, effective immediately. Searles will succeed Jeff Peevy, who left to return to I-CAR as VP of Technical Products, Programs and Services in late July. Searles brings to the position a wealth of knowledge in the industry. He has been an active part of the automotive service and training community for almost 28 years. His career began as a Dealer Service Technician in 1992. During nine years as a Service Technician Chuck was employed by three different Dealers in two different states, Alaska and Arizona. This diversity helped expand his skillset and knowledge base, which eventually led to a Technical Service Support position with Nissan North America in 2001. Over the last nineteen years he has served in four different Nissan training roles; Technical Training Instructor, Sales Training Senior Planner, Technical Training Operations Manager, and Technical Training Instructional Design Manager. “I’m honored and excited to serve the Board of Trustees and the ever-expanding client base as President of AMi,” Searles said about his new role. Searles can be reached at [email protected] "We are ever so pleased to announce Chuck S... read more

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