PUERTO RICO — Mike Anderson threw a lot of stones, literally, as a child — one even knocked his own father out. But as an adult, Mike has thrown a lot of stones as well.
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“I threw a lot of rocks. I judged people who did not run their business the way I did,” says Anderson, with CollisionAdvice.com at the 2014 CARSTAR National Conference in Puerto Rico. So engrained in the industry, Anderson traveled the country to train, consult, run 20 groups and more for 341 days — last year alone.
“As an industry, we throw a lot of stones. I’ve learned you can’t judge by whether a shop is a DRP or not. You can’t judge by whether a shop is part of an MSO or an independent. You can’t judge a shop by whether they use aftermarket parts or not. You need to judge by safety and quality,” he says.
Anyone who has seen Anderson speak would understand the crowd’s reaction — a resounding, “Amen!”
Anderson correlates unsafe shop repairs to the 2003 explosion of the space shuttle Columbia that killed seven astronauts. The shuttle explosion, caused by an O-ring failure, was blamed on NASA’s “broken safety culture” — an attitude often found in collision repair at shops who focus more on KPIs than proper repairs.
Safety should always trump launch data, cycle time, budget and severity, Anderson says. “We should always focus on service, speed and accuracy.”
To provide service, keep your customers informed. Communicate and follow up after repairs. “Are you doing this? The other MSOs are,” Anderson says.
Maintain speed by fixing cars fast. But keep in mind that fast does not mean providing poor repairs. Make sure your management operations are effective, as administrative delays impact process speed. Technology can also boost speed — texting customers rather than calling is one simple, and current, way to save time.
Focus on eliminating supplements and meeting your promised delivery date to ensure shop accuracy.