AGRR Magazine

Seminars Underway at Auto Glass Conference

The National Glass Association’s (NGA) Auto Glass Conference began with an explosive start yesterday when Mitch Becker set off six different airbags to demonstrate some of the new technologies auto glass replacement technicians should know about when working on newer vehicles.

“Your world just got a whole lot different,” Becker told his audience as he explained that airbags and other protective systems are becoming more and more complex.

The topic of airbag safety and its impact on the AGR industry is not new for the NGA Auto Glass Conference, but this year’s presentation prompted an audible buzz when Becker described how a broken clip that previously might have simply been replaced or ignored completely may now require a complete panel replacement due to the design of the airbag system underneath. Becker, who works for ABRA Auto Glass, also cautioned that with the new airbag designs and placements, an errant hook tool in a technician’s back pocket could puncture a car seat and possibly an airbag or two inside.

In addition, Becker pointed out that if an auto body repair shop receives a vehicle in which one or more airbags have been deployed, the shop is not to allow the vehicle to be driven off the premises, as that vehicle is considered unsafe to drive. He noted that this is an issue the AGR industry has not yet addressed fully.

Wrapping up his seminar, Becker deployed six different kinds of airbags to illustrate the difference in how each looks and performs.

Immediately following Becker’s presentation, attendees moved next door to hear Sika Corp.'s Carl Tompkins’ presentation on using the phone to make business more profitable.

He explained to his audience that customer service representatives (CSRs) are as valuable, if not more so, than anyone else on a company’s team. As first contact with the public, Tompkins stressed the importance of good phone skills in a CSR and the need for a cohesive, concise and helpful script. He even provided an example to use as a potential guideline for CSRs to help “seal the deal.” His advice included instructing CSRs about how a windshield is installed, teaching them the importance of proper installation and making sure they know about industry standards so that they can share that information with customers.

Seminars wrapped up this morning with Glen Moses’ presentation on new glass technology as exhibited at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

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