The following is reprinted with permission from a recent issue of the Lip Service Collision Industry Newsletter, which is published by Dennis Liphardt. He is the retired executive director of American Subcontractors Association (ASA) Michigan and was publisher of the association's magazine.
July 11, 2005
@#$#*&#(*^%% NO MONEY #@^(^%$@^*&
Commentary by Dennis Liphardt
Is it an anti-trust violation? Could it be called monopolistic? Is it fair? Is your privacy protected? Is it just another squeeze by big business? Oh, I'm sorry, you don't know what I am upset about do you? I thought the title might have given you some clue, but I guess it is sort of vague isn't it? Well, I have to think about this, do I want a big company like PPG to be mad at me? It's a big decision if I tell you what's on my mind you might be upset too and then a whole lot of people might just do something about it and then this big company will really be upset with me. Oh, the decisions one must make in life! Oh what the heck, here goes.
Everybody is familiar with Lynx Services right? You know the friendly people who have done so much to mess up the glass industry (as if it could be messed up any more than it is). Likewise everybody knows that Lynx Services is owned by PPG and of course PPG is the manufacturer of glass. Okay I know everybody is with me so far. Now let's take a look at what is being proposed by these folks that is going to make you mad.
Lynx Services would like to set up a glass installer registry. The registry would be sold to insurance companies and, get this, Lynx would like glass replacement companies and their trade associations to pay for the registry. How kind!
Lynx has assigned a name to this program, it is called the METRYX Industry Service Registry which also scares me because I don't see glass anywhere in the name. It is more than likely that they have further plans to develop METRYX in other segments of the industry. Perhaps control of collision referrals.
Lynx intends to gather information on individual glass installers to include: number of bays or mobile units, the capacity of the facility, pricing information, liability insurance information, names and social security numbers of certified technicians, VIN and license plate numbers of mobile units. They are not asking for financial information or the number of times the owner of the business makes love to his wife each week, but we might expect that information to be required in the future.
Heavens, I remember a couple of years ago when an insurer asked their DRP partners for the social security numbers of each technician in their shop. The industry reacted as you would expect and the insurer backed off the request. Now we have Lynx Services asking even more questions. Tell you what folks, there is a privacy issue here and glass shops should be very careful before they even consider sharing this information.
Lynx's White Paper stated; "Lynx Services will utilize the METRYX registry in the administration of glass claims for insurance clients. It will provide insurance clients with access to the registry in order to enable the insurance company to better understand the capabilities and service capacity of its contracted auto glass service providers." Yep, and everybody will be treated fairly right? Bull! If the insurer requires Lynx, then everyone else is out of the process. PPG makes the glass, determines through Lynx who the installers will be, settles the claim and assigns the loss to an installer. PPG/Lynx controls the whole process. Who will be making the money in this process? Will it be you? I hardly think so, but you can bet that PPG and Lynx will have full pockets.
Glass installers have almost lost all control of their business, now this could be the final straw that breaks the camel's back unless they look at this program very closely and are prepared to fight back if need be.
There even used to be a little money in the glass business for collision repairers. Not anymore!
Call centers and claims staff cost insurers a ton of money. I fear that if METRYX is successful in the glass business you will see similar programs used for collision referrals. If our industry doesn't work with insurers to control claims costs you can bet companies like Lynx will be knocking at their door.
No reproduction, in print, electronic or any form without the expressed written permission of
Key Communications Inc. 540-720-5584.