Auto Glass Conference Coverage:
Anyone who has ever doubted the tangible benefit of being an AGRSS-registered company need only to have attended this morning's "Best Practices Panel" to have learned the real-life benefits of AGRSS-registration.
The panel featured Tim Born, owner of Glass Doctor of Rome, Mike Dundich, regional manager for Glass America, and Jeff Olive, technician (and Auto Glass Olympics Gold Medalist) of Glasspro. It was moderated by David Rohlfing, president of Glass America.
"AGRSS registration provides uniform accountability," said Olive. "It is a measuring stick and the difference between people who say they follow the AGRSS Standard and those who prove it."
"AGRSS registration gives me a tangible marketing tool," said Born. "We take the time to tell customers we are AGRSS-registered and we send them right to the AGRSS website (http://www.safewindshields.com). They can see right there that our company is listed.
"There have been many, many times when we are not necessarily the lowest price, but we get the job because we are registered and listed on the website," he continued. "We have had agents call us up and say 'well the guy down the block says he does the same thing,' and I tell the agents to go look on the website. Because if the shop is not listed, they have no proof."
"We promote AGRSS registration to our sales force, in our CE courses-and even the agents are interested," said Olive.
"It's had other side benefits," added Dundich, "Our worker's comp claims are down; our worker's comp rates are down and our warranty rates are down-all since we have become AGRSS-registered."
Dundich's location also underwent a test on-site validation in preparation for the new validation program. "The audit was a great learning tool," he said, adding, "it helped us tremendously. Our certification program gets the tech trained and AGRSS makes sure they use what they learn every day."
The seminar also included a discussion of training programs such as the association's www.myglassclass.com and offered some additional hints to those in attendance.
Among these was the need to have someone in the company from whom techs can feel comfortable asking technical advice. "You need someone they can call when they have a problem who has urethane on his hands, who doesn't wear a suit and who isn't responsible for giving them a raise. Otherwise it doesn't work," said Born.
One of the most surprising parts of the discussion was the resurgence of jobs companies are seeing that arrive with windshields already replaced with butyl tape or silicone. "I got a job in last week, a Cadillac, that had been installed using black silicone," said one panelist. "Never thought I'd see that in this day and age, but I did. It's more common than we think."
The conference continues this afternoon with a luncheon and address by Tom Feeney of Safelite, and then it moves into the history books.
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