HSG Launches Pro Glass Alliance; Focus is on Combined Purchasing Power, Customer Service
September 27, 2011

HSG Code Blue, a third-party glass claims administrator, has launched a new division, called the Pro Glass Alliance, with a goal of combining purchasing power among independent shops. A meeting was held recently in Memphis, Tenn., launching the concept, and a follow-up webinar was held today and attended by more than 50 representatives.

"To put it in short, we feel like our industry is under siege," said HSG president Paul Gross in introducing the concept. "The competition is very limited today and our customers need more and better options than we currently see."

The Pro Glass Alliance, Gross said, is "open at no cost to anybody who meets our criteria." Pro Glass vice president and general manager Dan Mock told glassBYTEs.com™/AGRR™ magazine that the program is currently available to what HSG refers to as its Tier 1 network locations.

"We're really trying to build an A-team of glass shops," says Mock.

Gross said the Pro Glass Alliance is designed to offer the advantages of a large company to smaller ones.

"These solutions are going to deliver better customer service experiences and a better overall outcome for the industry," he said. " … I think in order to compete head-to-head we have to create a differential service opportunity. Additionally we're going to have to address this notion that your largest competitor is buying millions of pieces of glass and urethane more than you."

He added, "We believe there's an opportunity to harness that same buying power through a buying co-op."

Referrals also will come into play, said Gross. "We've got to make sure that increased referrals is a key part of this process," he said.

"Furthermore, we need to make sure that we have things such as higher standards for marketing resources, for instance."

Gross said that although his organization has no formal relationship with the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS®) Council Inc., "AGRSS registration is a critical part of this."

"We want to encourage everyone to become an AGRSS-registered participant," he said.

All of this comes back to a focus on the end customer, said Gross. "What we're doing is focusing on the customer-to be completely fair that is where this particular competitor has succeeded. They've had a significant focus on the customer," he said.

Gross said audited financials will be provided to participating shops for the buying co-op portion of the program "to make sure it's being [conducted] at an at-cost basis."

One question that came up during the webinar was this: why would a third-party administrator organize such a program?

"That's a very fair and natural question," said Gross. "Without this our business model is going to be weaker because there's not going to be a strong independent retail community … We're not going to have anybody to give the referrals to."

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