|AT A GLANCE|
|Action Collision Specialists|
|Name of shop|
|Glenwood Springs, Colo.|
|John Stock and Steve Burns|
|2, plus a satellite location|
|Number of shops|
|Years in business|
|Number of employees|
|Number of DRPs|
|Square footage of shops|
|Number of bays per shop|
|Average repair order|
|Average weekly volume|
|Vehicles per week at main location|
|Vehicles at all locations combined|
|Frame machines used|
|Estimating system used|
Obtaining the latest in factory certifications is set to become a prime prerequisite as the industry moves forward, according to Burns. “The OEM manufacturers are taking back control.” Expect OEM-approved parts and procedures to offset a current insurance carrier-driven emphasis on rendering the cheapest and quickest fixes, he says.
“We’re the new niche, and we’re up with the high-end cars,” says Burns. All of Action’s staff is actively upgrading their levels of certifications to include nameplates like Tesla, Land Rover/Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Audi and, of course, the aluminum-embracing Ford F-150 pickup.
“Everyone thinks that if you go out and buy a rivet gun you’re ready to go, but it doesn’t work that way. You can’t even buy the rivets if you’re not a certified shop,” he says, describing how Action is being sent work from a collection of car dealers and shop owners who have yet to reach the required heightened levels of repair expertise.
“We’re in the driver’s seat right now – we’re getting paid for what we do. It’s a whole new ballgame.” The shop has no direct repair program (DRP) affiliations, nor does it want any. It charges, and gets, $120 per hour for body/paint and $150 per hour for structural/mechanical/frame, amounting to a net profit margin of 48 percent to 55 percent.
As for insurers attempting to drive down the price, “They’ve said some things, but they all pay it. I say to them, ‘Where else are you going to get it fixed? This is it.’”
Burns cites examples in which unprepared shops have cut corners to the extent of delivering faulty and unsafe results. “If you’re not certified to do these types of repairs the customer suffers, but he or she may not know it until it is too late.” Today’s bumpers, for instance, contain sensitive crash avoidance sensors and other electronics that mandate replacement rather than an attempt at bodywork. “If you try to ‘repair’ it,” he cautions, “it won’t be calibrated right.”