As one of the largest annual gatherings of automotive repairers on the East Coast, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ)’s NORTHEAST 2016 Automotive Services Show was once again the most logical choice to hold the 2016 East Coast Resolution Forum & Leadership Meeting. The event, co-hosted by AASP/NJ and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), brought together top industry representatives from around the country to discuss some of their particular challenges and share solutions with one another.
AASP/NJ was represented at the meeting by Executive Director Charles Bryant and President Jeff McDowell. For Bryant, informing Forum attendees of actions in the Garden State meant painting an intriguing picture of how some AASP/NJ members are taking the battle for proper reimbursement straight to the legal system. He detailed a recent case where a shop sued an insurer for payments and ended up drastically impacting the carrier’s labor rate structure in the process.
“The insurance company almost tripled its rates on one particular car and doubled it for quite a few other cars that had restricted parts on them,” he said.
These results and similar occurrences give Bryant a glimpse into what he sees as a viable solution for many of the issues his field faces. While the path to securing a long victory is difficult at times, Bryant made his feelings known that it might be the best option repairers have in today’s collision repair field. “After being in the industry for many years, I don’t think the labor rate is ever going to get worked out between the auto body industry and the insurance industry outside of the court of law,” he said.
Bryant was joined at the Forum by many of the industry’s leading representatives including SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg; Ed Kizenberger, Executive Director of the Long Island Auto Body Repairmen’s Association (LIABRA); Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association’s Barry Dorn; Adam Ioakim, Vice President of AASP/MA; Vermont Auto Body Association (VABA)’s Mike Parker,;Tony Lombardozzi, President of the Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (CCRE); Janet Chaney, Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT) and the Iowa Auto Body Association (IABA); Tony Ferraiolo, President of the Auto Body Association of Connecticut (ABAC); and former SCRS Chairman Ron Reichen of the Northwest Auto Trades Association. Overall, the show proved once again to be the perfect venue for the event.
“We already have the biggest players in the industry coming to the show because of our classes and the draw from our national vendors, so it just makes sense to take advantage of that opportunity and discuss how to improve our field together,” says Bryant. “It doesn’t matter what state you’re from, we’re all facing the same struggles. Talking it out as a group helps us come up with solutions we can all use.”
Check out exclusive video of NORTHEAST 2016 at www.youtube.com/AASPNJNORTHEAST. Visit the NORTHEAST Automotive Services Show at www.aaspnjnortheast.com and on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @AASPNJNORTHEAST.
The NORTHEAST 2017 Automotive Services Show will be held March 17-19 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ.