Industry Reacts to Belron Technical's Application to Create ANSI Standards
February 11, 2010

Many in the industry were surprised yesterday to learn that that Belron Technical has joined the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is seeking accreditation with the organization as a standards developer, and many also are questioning what the company’s goal might be. (CLICK HERE for related story.)

Jim Short, manager of Klein-Dickert Auto Glass in Madison, Wis., had many questions about this possibility and what it might mean for his business.

“Why create their own standard? Will it be created by one company and then pushed onto every other company via their Safelite Solutions contracts?,” asks Short. “Will Belron want to audit every other glass company that bills through Safelite Solutions? “

He also questions the need for another standard when the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) already exists.

“What will be changed from the current standard and can’t that be added to the current standard?” Short asks. “The current standard was created by many people from different segments of the industry, and what will be done by Belron and how? It is sad that a company wants to create a new standard for the whole industry, because they don’t like the current one.”

Wayne Gaudette of Glass Doctor in Raleigh, N.C., agreed.

“AGRSS has been working for more than ten years with ANSI to develop appropriate standards for our industry,” he says. “Yes, auto glass businesses have been asked for their input to help develop these standards. Belron has chosen to take a different direction. Belron can join AGRSS and have input to the AGRSS standards. All businesses with an interest in our marketplace working together will produce the best results for each business and our customers.”

Safelite technical director Glen Moses is a member of the AGRSS Standards Committee. However, Belron US CEO Tom Feeney has said in the past that the company does not intend to participate in the AGRSS registration program that begun last year. (CLICK HERE for related story.)

"Coincidentally, the board of directors of the AGRSS Council Inc. was meeting yesterday and did discuss this issue," said AGRSS Council president Debra Levy. "The Council is preparing comments for ANSI now," she added. (Editor’s Note: Levy serves as a volunteer leader of the Council. She is publisher of glassBYTEs.com/AGRR magazine.)

Jim Houdeshell, manager of Glass America’s location in Johnsonville, Tenn., questions not only the company’s motives, but also the enforcement of any possible standard Belron Technical might develop.

“Who’s going to police them to make sure they are doing what they tell everyone else to do?” he says. “They have an ‘internal’ audit … What ever they develop will be to hurt others not to help the industry. They have their hands in too much as it is.“

ANSI's process requires public disclosure and an open comment period for the public to voice any opinions they might have about such comments. Those with comments should send them to McKim via phone at 717/932-5834 or by e-mail to pegm@ptd.net by March 8, 2010, with a copy to ANSI's recording secretary at jthompso@ansi.org.

What do you think about Belron Technical developing auto glass standards? Please e-mail pstacey@glass.com.

CLICK HERE to discuss this issue on the glassBYTEs.com/AGRR magazine message forum.




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