Reacts to Belron US AGRSS Statements
Many industry representatives, including AGRSS Council Inc. president
Cindy Ketcherside, have expressed concern about statements made
by Belron US executive vice president Tom Feeney at the Independent
Glass Association's (IGA) Annual Conference in Las Vegas last week
and company spokesperson Jenny Cain yesterday on glassBYTEs.com.
When asked last week during a presentation about his position on
AGRSS, Feeney advised Belron US didn't intend to register because
it doesn't support third-party validation. (CLICK
HERE for related story.)
Yesterday, Cain advised glassBYTEs.com/AGRR magazine
that company officials believe that its own training and certification
program, SafeTech, "takes the [AGRSS] Standard as adopted to
a higher level."(CLICK
HERE for related story.)
In response to these statements, Ketcherside notes there seems
to be confusion about the actual content of the Standard and what
"The comment Tom Feeney made at the AGRSS Conference, as well
as the subsequent statement issued by Belron/US, lead me to believe
there is tremendous confusion within the Belron US organization
of the actual document ANSI/AGRSS 002-2002, the industry's Auto
Glass Replacement Safety Standard and the AGRSS-registered company
program," she says.
She also speaks to the involvement of Belron US in the development
of the Standard.
"The disturbing part of these statements is that AGRSS is,
and has always been, a full industry-wide effort, including individuals
from the Belron US organization who helped write the Standard and
develop Phase I and Phase II of the AGRSS-registered company program,"
Ketcherside adds. "It belongs to our industry as a whole without
partisanship or politics. It was developed to help advance our industry
in auto glass installation that complies with the Federal Motor
Vehicle Safety Standards."
Finally, Ketcherside says she hopes that Belron US will remain
a part of the effort-and perhaps even become a registered company
in the future.
"As the largest provider of auto glass services in this country,
we would like Belron to be part of the effort to create a healthy
industry," she says. "Having Belron US embrace, rather
than discount, AGRSS registration would be one of the strongest
and most effective leadership statements the company could make
in the United States. Having seen Belron's leadership role in other
countries, we are extremely surprised at its parochial view of the
AGRSS Standard and the AGRSS-registered company program."
IGA president Dave Zoldowski, who also serves as president of an
AGRSS-registered company, Auto One in Brighton, Mich., and a member
of the AGRSS Standards Committee, also expressed reservations about
the company's stance on the AGRSS-registered company program.
"After reading Belron US spokesman Jenny Cain's response to
Tom Feeney's comments at our IGA Conference in Las Vegas May 2,
stating that Safelite's SafeTech program takes the AGRSS Standard
as adopted to a higher level, it makes me ask a question: 'what
does the company have to hide?'" Zoldowski says.
He adds, "Tom Feeney's statement that [Belron US] support[s]
AGRSS but [doesn't] support audits is like asking a fox to watch
a henhouse. My hands-on experience with our own company and the
challenges that we went through getting our four corporate stores
and 11 franchise locations AGRSS -registered tells me [Belron US]
must have issues with self-audits, let alone third-party audits."
Zoldowski also notes that, as a regional chain, his company is
in the process of preparing for the third-party audit and the challenges
it will present.
"We currently have eight installers with expired NGA certifications
going through IGA certification," he says. "We have 10
more scheduled to go through IGA certification next month. Our Mainstreet
and Quest POS systems are being updated to allow us to collect all
the required data online versus the separate records we are now
keeping as part of being an AGRSS-registered company."
Zoldowski says he also can see how difficult actually becoming
an AGRSS-registered company would be for a large, national company
such as Belron US.
"Since the majority of Belron's replacements are mobile, just
insuring safe drive-away time is a challenge, let alone [the company's]
structure of affiliates and the data collection and inspection process
the AGRSS-registered company program requires," he says.
"Third-party audits keep honest people honest," Zoldowski
IGA has been a proponent of the AGRSS-registered company program,
even paying for its members' registration fees in certain instances,
"IGA is very supportive of the AGRSS-registered company program.
In fact, IGA will even pay for our members to become AGRSS-registered
if they meet certain educational requirements," he says. "But
Safelite's refusal to be part of this industry-wide effort is a
serious blow to safety. If you say your program is better than the
AGRSS program, wouldn't you want to show you meet the AGRSS program
requirements first? It just doesn't make sense that you wouldn't
unless you couldn't."
What do you think about this issue? CLICK
HERE to discuss on the glassBYTEs.com/AGRR message
Need more info and analysis about the issues?
HERE to subscribe to AGRR magazine.