thoughts from the shop
Give Yourself an Edge
by David A. Casey
I have read the phrase a few times on the Internet, “What has the NWRA done for me?” That phrase is usually followed with the comment, “I already know how to repair a windshield, what can they teach me?” Well, I can easily address the first question here and feel that I can just as easily answer the second one in the next column.
The NWRA has done a great deal for every person who is repairing windshields today. Specifically, the NWRA has protected your rights as an entrepreneur, plying your trade, in a number of ways. First, by attending meetings of regulatory agencies being influenced to limit glass repair. Without the NWRA to defend the repair side of the glass business, these well-meaning, but uninformed, committees could restrict your repair area or repair type and cause thousands of unnecessary replacements for unsuspecting consumers. The only representation of the independent repair person to the state of Connecticut, and now Maryland, has been NWRA members who traveled at their own expense to defend the integrity and legitimacy of the glass repair industry. Whether you live in these states or not, the watchdog attitude of the NWRA is serving you now by educating state committees about repair and will again when this issue visits your state.
The fact that the NWRA long ago developed a recognized set of Recommended Practices for windshield repair and, its certification program, goes a long way in showing states and other regulatory agencies that the windshield repair industry does a good job of policing itself. The influence of some parts of the replacement industry will not go away on its own. Not after giving up more than a billion dollars to the repair business over the last decade. The repair industry needs to be diligent to protect itself and the NWRA is the only organized force that is representing the repairer’s rights to these governing entities.
Join the NWRA to support the efforts that are being put forth on your behalf and to show your support in numbers of members to the combat the influences that question your credibility. Join the NWRA to support the efforts of ANSI recognition that will show the relevance and reliability of repair and help to ward off attacks on the technical credibility of repair. Join the NWRA to show that the members of the industry care about having a trade association that will speak up for them.
To answer the second question, “What can they teach me about repair?”, I say, plenty! With the rapid changes in the resin industries and the innovations in repair equipment over the past ten years, it would be pretty closed minded to think that there is nothing new that can benefit your repair system. Systems introduced in the past few years such as moisture evaporation, high speed UV curing, innovative UV shielding and the application of pressure and vacuum are important innovations to help quality and efficient repair. To ignore them and other advancements introduced in recent years could allow you to fall behind the times and allow your business to suffer. membership in the NWRA will keep you abreast of breaking news and informed and current with technical and marketing advances in the repair industry.
The technical and marketing knowledge of the NWRA members, manufacturers and repairers, offer a wealth of ideas and methods that are available to all repairers who join.
Also, the membership of the NWRA isn’t just made of equipment manufacturers and repairers. The membership includes insurance company representatives, networks, tool suppliers and glass replacement companies that have an interest in repair. You can be informed by these people and you can influence these people with your position; but only if you get involved in the industry and become active in shaping the of the business.
The membership is inexpensive and includes regular newsletters, a subscription to Auto Glass Repair & Replacement Magazine and discounts on literature and promotional materials carried by the NWRA. Your membership also entitles you to discounts on your auto glass repair certification and attendance at the annual conference.
showing your customers that you are a member of your trade association will illustrate your commitment to your profession. Displaying the NWRA logo on your literature and uniform shows your customers that you are a professional craftsperson dedicated to rising to the top.
Give yourself an edge and support those that are supporting you.
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