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Southern Automotive Journal
March 2024 Issue

Click here to open the SAJ Issue

The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA)
With Keynote Speaker Mike Anderson


By: Brian Medford
The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) ended 2023 with a great night of food, camaraderie and learning. Dinner was held at the prestigious Governors Gun Club in Kennesaw, Georgia and attracted collision industry professionals from around the region. The night’s and a well known expert in the collision industry.
The meeting kicked off with Michael Good, Executive Officer of ADAS & GO, talking about what brought him to the ADAS calibration business when he identified a need in the industry. "ADAS in a parking lot doesn’t work. It’s more than just screenshots and clearing codes." says Michael. Michael says his goal is to help body shops get back to the business of being a body shop and offload some of their ADAS calibration workload to his company. ADAS & GO also graciously sponsored dinner for the meeting.
While most dinner meetings tend to have a lull after the meal as people sit and digest, key speaker Mike Anderson wasn’t going to let that happen. Mike kickstarted the crowd and kept a brisk pace through his entire time speaking. With one of the liveliest presentations in the industry Mike laid out what it is going to take for shops to "Be Extraordinary" in the coming years.
"What got you here today, won’t get you there tomorrow" in terms of shop growth Mike explained. Changes in employee work scheduling and talent acquisition need to be in the forefront. “If you aren’t offering a 4-day work week or flexible work week by now, you are behind” says Mike. In one example Mike showed how a regional fast food restaurant was offering better pay and benefits than a sample body shop, pointing out that shops aren’t competing with each other for talent but also businesses outside the industry.
Embracing technology was also part of Mike’s overall message. Shops need to have the ability for customers to book appointments online and send messages after shop hours. Mike pointed out that the bulk of automotive accidents happen when shops are closed, and having the ability to capture that initial contact is key.
Mike’s advice for shops questioning whether they should continue to renew their OEM certifications is an emphatic yes. He then walked through how vehicle ownership models are changing. For example Care by Volvo offers vehicles as a subscription service. Working on those types of vehicles will require an OEM certification, but can also be a potential revenue stream. Mike also encouraged shops to market themselves as OEM-certified whenever possible to help build trust in consumers.
One of the more interesting points Mike touched on was customer service, but not in a way that most people think. He went on to describe how when a customer calls your shop they are most likely feeling emotional. After effects from being in an accident, dealing with insurance, and all the other associated stressors put the customer in a delicate palace. Front line shop associates “need to understand the feelings of the person on the other end of the phone“ stressed Mike. It is important to help reduce customer anxiety level so trust can be built.
Mike covered many more topics and left attendees with a lot to think about going into 2024. For those who were unable to attend but would like to hear what he has to say about the industry visit collisionadvice.com for more information.
In closing GCIA is looking to host 3-4 meetings in 2024 with the first meeting to be held in mid March. Becoming a GCIA member is a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of the Georgia collision market. For more information on joining GCIA visit www.gcia.org.


Ted Hayes, Hayes Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram CIECA, Wins the I-CAR NABC Jeff Silver Award from BodyShop Business, CIF, CREF, I-CAR, NABC


Van Alstyne said one of Hayes' shops has been Gold Class since 1991. He said Hayes invests in training for staff and views employees as "extended family" — and many have responded by spending more than 25 years there. Hayes also offers job shadowing and provides high school and college collision programs with spare parts and sheet metal.

Russ Verona Memorial Award: Dalton Collision/Jerry Dalton

I-CAR CEO John Van Alstyne said a shop must be Gold Class for five years straight, and the owner and staff must actively promote Gold Class and training to the industry. He said Dalton Collision "far exceeds these criteria," and its flagship facility has been Gold Class for more than 20 years — longer than any other in the state.

He said Jerry Dalton "energetically" promotes the value of Gold Class to insurers, industry members and customers. Dalton also sits on advisory boards for two technical colleges and donates supplies for students, according to Van Alstyne.




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