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May/June 2003

Field of Vision
    from the editor

The Best of the Best
by Penny Beverage

“You are the elite—the best of the best.” Who among us doesn’t remember that line from the 1980s classic “Top Gun”? Since that movie came out, the term “the best of the best” has been used to describe the “cream of the crop” in every walk of life.

Today, though, the best of the best has taken on a new meaning in the auto glass industry. In an auto glass installation, quality is everything, and the most important aspect of that quality has become safety in the wake of a number of exposes. While many shops have been practicing safe installation methods all along, the entire industry has taken the heat for these few incidents.

Alas, though, it has become possible for these shops to stand up for safety and express to the world that they and their employees are completing safe installations, with the institution of the AGRSS registration program. At press time, 400 shop locations had made this stand, and you can read about all of them on page 22. These shops show what it means to be the best of the best. These shops have come forward and announced, “We are putting our customers’ safety first,” hopefully setting the stage for the rest of the industry to follow. 

In addition, those of you who wish to join the “best of the best” can do so by filling in the form on page 36.

To read the entire text of the standard, see last year’s May/June issue, page 32.

All of our columnists have also joined in the focus on safety this month. On page 14, Independent Glass Association chief executive officer Tim Smale explains the difference (or lack thereof) in OEM and aftermarket glass and how this can impact the safety of the vehicle.

On page 12, our safety expert, Dale Malcolm, technical services supervisor for Essex ARG in Dayton, Ohio, provides some tips for creating a safe work environment in the shop for both your customers and employees. Orlando, Fla.-based SuperGlass Windshield Repair’s president Dave Casey also takes a look at safety on page 51 but from a different standpoint—that of a windshield repair technician, who must also consider safety in his every move on the job.

Carl Tompkins, Western states area sales manager for the Sika Corp. of Madison Heights, Mich., provides an inside look at AGRSS on page 6, as the chairperson of the AGRSS registration committee. 

Contributing Les Shaver also takes a look at safety with his feature, “Seeking Safety,” on page 22. Shaver spoke to a number of AGRSS registrants for his story to find out how their businesses have changed one year since the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved the AGRSS standard.

You also won’t want to miss our news section, “AGRReports,” on page 18 for the latest in the ongoing Diamond Triumph vs. Safelite suit in Scranton, Pa.

As you read the entire issue, I hope safety will stay at the forefront of your mind and you’ll give some consideration to what an important cause it is. And, hopefully, soon, if you haven’t already, you, too, will join the best of the best. 


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