Inside AAA's New Auto Glass Program
With the announcement earlier this week that AAA Mid-Atlantic has added auto glass repair and replacement to the array of services it offers, many in the auto glass industry have questions as to how this program will work. Tom McLaughlin, manager of approved auto repair for AAA Mid-Atlantic, took the time out to share the details of the program with AGRR/glassBYTES.comô.
Currently, the business is strictly mobile and will handle a 25-mile area radius from Newcastle, Del. However, McLaughlin advised that the business has a number of facilities at its disposal, should the need arise.
"AAA has a network of approved auto facilities," McLaughlin said. "We have locations throughout the area. We have a lot of advantages that most glass companies don't with our infrastructure. We have a lot of under-roof facilities available to us."
While the program currently is offered in the Newcastle area only, AAA plans to expand quickly.
"We're definitely up and running and looking to grow," said Brian Van Wyk, auto glass manager. Van Wyk previously worked for the Columbus, Ohio-based Safelite Glass Corp. as both a store manager and area sales manager in the Philadelphia area.
McLaughlin added the AGRSS registration is also in the near future for AAA. "We want all the certifications and bells and whistles and all that stuff," he said. "That's the AAA way."
When asked how soon he hopes to register the company with AGRSS, McLaughlin replied, "as soon as physically possible."
Currently, AAA Mid-Atlantic has one technician on staff, one apprentice and another technician scheduled to begin work in a couple of weeks. "We're very active, and we're going to grow this thing as quickly as possible," McLaughlin said.
While AAA does offer insurance, its original purpose was to serve as a not-for-profit company that functions as an automotive services company. Members of the club receive a variety of auto services, from flat tire repairs to tow service. The auto glass replacement and repair services will be offered to members and non-members alike; members will receive a discounted rate.
As for working with insurers with the new auto glass program, McLaughlin noted that AAA will work as a liaison for the customer as any other auto glass shop might. "We will do any leg work that will be needed for the customer as far as seeing if the insurance company will cover the glass, as far as the deductible is concerned," he said. "That's where having an experienced manager is extremely helpful."
To obtain auto glass services from AAA, the company has set up an auto glass line for customers to call, through which a CSR will dispatch services for them in the Newcastle area.
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