Collision Repair Industry Meets in Nation's Capitol to Discuss Hot Topics
July 29, 2009

Increasing public recognition of the importance of a particular service; steering; dealing with OEM parts; and working with insurers-these are all topics of concern to many in the auto glass industry. It seems none of these are far from the minds of collision repairers' either, as evidenced by several meetings being held this week in Washington, D.C., as part of I-CAR's 30th anniversary conference.

The combined collision industry event kicked off with a trade show yesterday, along with an open board meeting (and several closed meetings) of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS).

The association, which has several affiliates across the country and several regional chapters, heard from executive director Aaron Schulenburg, who offered an update on the group's activities. Among these, he noted that he was recently contacted by Adam Bibler, an economist with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for information about the collision repair industry. The group compiles statistics and information about various industries to distribution throughout the United States-particularly to high schools and guidance counselors assisting high school seniors in choosing a career path.

"One of the things that impressed me was the positive light in which the industry was portrayed," said Schulenburg of the final product.

Schulenberg also recently participated in a roundtable on original-equipment manufacturers at a meeting of the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers. The group asked him to gather the top-10 issues that collision repairers encounter in which more information from the OEMs would be beneficial.

"That's in our opinion very big for the repair industry," Schulenburg said.

He added, "Their difficulty is knowing where they're needed most."

The marketing committee also offered an update. The committee recently voted to re-word the group's tagline, which now reads "SCRS: repairer-driven."

The Independent Glass Association (IGA) also made a presentation at the meeting.

"The IGA has a lot of synergies with what collision repairers face," said Schulenberg in introducing IGA director of operations Katie Hodge.

"The major issue we're facing at large is steering," Hodge explained.

She added, "This might be something you deal with as well," and was greeted with chuckles from the group-and much agreement from those in the room. Hodge told the group about the IGA's steering data collection service and other anti-steering efforts.

Stay tuned to™ for more information from this week's events.

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