Phoenix Serves as Hot Venue for Auto Glass Conference
Phoenix and the auto glass industry have always formed a prickly pair. The first National Auto Glass Conference ever held in Phoenix nearly erupted into a fist fight in 1991 when Joe Kellman, then president of Globe Glass and Mirror, told the then mostly independent group that they would need to “work harder than they ever had to survive.” Kellman was just about booed out of the room when he said that an insurance-driven industry was well on its way to becoming a reality.
The conference returned to Phoenix in 1994 amid a great schism between the repair industry and the event sponsor, the National Glass Association. Out of that rift and meeting, the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) was born.
So it was not without irony that the conference’s return to the Phoenix area was again marked with the thorns of controversy stemming from the same alleged windshield repair safety issues. While the issues were the same, the groups involved were different, as this time the NWRA took issue with the Independent Glass Association (IGA) (see page 40 for related story). As a venue, Phoenix makes for hot temperatures in many different ways.
A complete report of the event, held in Scottsdale, Ariz., just outside Phoenix, September 10-13, follows.
The words of the keynote speaker, Larry Winget, kicked off the conference and resounded throughout the crowd for the three days following his comical but heartfelt speech. As he doled out advice for auto glass businesses, he insisted that the crowd roar, “You bet!” to every question he asked—compelling everyone to listen closely.
In addition, industry experts presented a variety of seminars for the auto glass shop owners and technicians in attendance.
During “How Does the ANSI/AGRSS Standard Affect an Auto Glass Replacement Shop?” owners and managers of companies registered for the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) had the opportunity to see themselves in lights during a short video about how AGRSS registration has helped their businesses. In addition, AGRSS chairperson Cindy Minon-Ketcherside of JC’s Glass in Phoenix, AGRSS treasurer Bob Birkhauser of Auto Glass Specialists in Madison, Wis., and insurance subcommittee chair Steve Pierick of Binswanger Glass discussed the history of AGRSS, where it is headed and how and why shops should register.
“I truly believe that we have to step beyond saying we’re in the glass business,” said Minon-Ketcherside, ever passionate about the AGRSS cause. “We’re in the safety business.”
The three also encouraged attendees to tell other shops about the standard so that not only more will register, but also so that it can start getting more attention from others, including insurers.
The committee currently is working on a massive outreach to insurers, particularly through its Speakers Bureau and other efforts to encourage insurers to take note of the standard.
In “Succession Planning: Blueprint for Success,” Margery Engel Loeb, Loeb & Associates LLC, discussed family businesses and how to plan for death or other unfortunate circumstances. She warned family business owners—almost half the audience—to plan for such events to avoid un-thought-out last-minute decisions.
“As soon as you think everything is running right, change is going to come,” the Texas native told attendees. Some of the changes she mentioned, in addition to death, were marriage and divorce, health problems and even midlife crises.
In “Leveraging Your Value,” Carl Tompkins of the Sika Corp. explained how businesses can provide added services in lieu of dropping their prices to gain customers.
“You have an option of using value-added selling or being the low-cost provider,” he said. “Any price is too high if the product [or service] doesn’t work.”
The NGA also held a member forum during which it introduced the new vice president for auto glass, Leo Cyr. The main topic of discussion on the agenda is NGA’s plan to get legislation passed across the United States that compels auto glass installers and repair technicians to become licensed tradespeople, as is now required in Connecticut (see July/August 2003 AGRR, page 14). Cyr will head the effort.
“The NGA will introduce its licensure bill in as many states as possible,” Cyr said.
However, the association was met with concerns from many in the industry who said that more training is needed before a licensure program will work.
Ryan Bledsoe of Hummingbird Auto Glass of South Beach, Ore., shared this opinion.
“I’m afraid the cart is going before the horse,” he said. “I believe the industry needs a hands-on school.”
Chuck Lloyd, an attorney for Livgard and Rabuse LLC in Minneapolis and an AGRR columnist, presented his seminar, “Fundamentals of Billing and Collections from a Legal Perspective.”
One of Lloyd’s newest suggestions is to bill for labor; he used the hospital argument to stand behind his opinion.
“If you get stitches, do they charge you $40 for labor and thousands of dollars for the stitches?” he joked. “No!”
Echoing Tompkins, he added, “It’s value-added service—use it.”
The Curtain, Please
A number of companies introduced new products during the show. Read on to find out about a few of them.
Dinol Goes Absolute
Dinol AB introduced D-9000, which it calls “The Absolute Urethane.” According to the company, the urethane, which is designed for use with Dinitrol D-528 or Dinitrol D-520 and Dinitrol D-530, is high-modulus, non-conductive, cold-applied, solvent-free, high-viscosity and fast-curing. The urethane can be applied on the glass or pinchweld and has between a 45-minute and one-hour drive-away time, depending on the weather and the existence of side airbags. The urethane is available in a 10.5-ounce cartridge or a 20-ounce foil wrap.
www.DinolAGR.com or call 435/654-0111.
AEGIS Unveils Leak Detector
Madison, Wis.-based AEGIS Tools International had a new product on-hand: the Ultrasonic Leak Detector (PWR2020). The tool is able to detect leaks in the urethane for both the windshield and backlite, along with working with sunroofs, door seals and car trunks. The operator simply places the ultrasonic sending unit inside the vehicle and move it along the glass and body seams to detect even the most minute leaks.
www.aegisweb.com or call 888/247-6000.
A.N. Designs Offers Quick-Release Lever Knife
A.N. Designs of Torrington, Conn., is introducing its UltraWiz® Quick-Release Lever Knife (3007-K). The knife has a unique, patent-pending blade-holding system, which allows the technician to place an UltraWiz blade on the knife at any height in the handle. A simple touch of the knife’s lever then changes the position of the handle on the blade, even while it is still on the urethane, allowing the technician the ability to adjust the height of the cold knife to avoid interference from a pinchweld or encapsulation. In addition, a foam-covered pull cable is positioned low on the handle and attached inline with the blade to provide better control, according to the company.
www.ultrawiztools.com, or call 860/482-2921.
Dow Automotive Introduces BETAPRIME™ 5500SA
Dayton, Ohio-based Dow Auto-motive Aftermarket introduced the BETAPRIME 5500SA 1-Step Glass & Frit Primer in single application sticks. BETAPRIME 5500SA single-step glass and frit primer is for use with all Dow Automotive primed to glass adhesive systems. It replaces the two-step glass priming process of U-401 Glass/Frit Prep # 1 and U-402 Glass/Frit Primer #2, as well as BETAPRIME U-459SA 1-Step Glass & Frit Primer. Dow says the major benefits of BETAPRIME 5500SA are a lower cost per installation, the ability to complete one-step glass/frit priming, a 24-hour active life and a six-minute dry time.
BETAPRIME 5500SA is packaged in cases of 468 each (12 sticks per carton, 39 cartons per case).
www.dowautomotive.com or call 800/453-3779.
Glass Technology Offers Headlight Restoration System
Glass Technology of Durango, Colo., has developed a headlight restoration system that will allow the user to complete a restoration in ten minutes or less as a good add-on sale for an auto glass shop.
The restoration can occur in a shop environment or, based on its battery-powered system, in the field. The system utilizes a unique two-step approach, using a battery-powered applicator and special polishing discs, along with a sub micro solution, to restore various Plexiglass™, polycarbonate, Lexan™ and acrylic headlamps to their original factory like condition.
www.gtglass.com or call 800/441-4527.
Crystal Advances Extractor
Crystal Glass introduced the Extractor Max 18, which is equipped with the original wide blade of the Extractor in a new 18-volt cordless kit. The Max 18’s increased power allows more strokes per minute than the original Extractor. The kit comes with one battery, two blades, a carrying case and a CD-ROM training video.
www.extractortools.com or call 780/408-8556.
Night Watchman Has New Literature
Night Watchman of Roseville, Mich., introduced a new brochure, which contains information on its extensive line of sunroof and t-top products. The company offers sunroof panels in three quality grades (new, reconditioned or used), t-tops with inventory dating back to the 1970s (also available in new, reconditioned or used) and Corvette panels for replacement tops on the 1978 to 1982 model Corvettes (also available in new, reconditioned or used).
www.nightwatchman.net or call 800/322-8867.
AMJ Gets Direct
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based AMJ Logistics Inc. unveiled the mobile edition of its auto glass repair and replacement system, eDirectGlass™, developed in Microsoft .NET and made available for Microsoft XP Tablet PC edition and third-generation cell phone devices. eDirectGlass is an automated application that includes first notice of loss, point-of-sale, customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning.
“Retail glass shop professionals have been expressing a need for mobile solutions that keep them informed and help complete administrative tasks in the field. The Tablet PC is a perfect platform to marry with eDirectGlass to deliver an all-in-one solution,” said Gary Hart, chief operating officer for AMJ Logistics during a press conference held at the show. “Now that eDirectGlass runs on the Microsoft XP Tablet PC platform with third-generation wireless mobile connectivity from carriers such as Sprint or T-Mobile, our customers have the flexibility and power to take their business down a positive and profitable path.”
www.edirectglass.com or call 480/346-1112.
|Dale Malcolm Wins Len Stolk Special Achievement Award
The National Glass Association surprised Essex ARG’s technical services supervisor Dale Malcolm with its annual Special Achievement Award at the National Auto Glass Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. The award was renamed this year in honor of Len Stolk, an auto glass pioneer who passed away in 1999.
Malcolm, who has been in the industry since 1979, was both honored and surprised.
“I couldn’t be more honored,” he said. “I’ll try not to get choked up.”
Malcolm was doubly surprised when he found out his wife had flown in from their home in Dayton, Ohio, for the event.
Mitchell Promotes eGlassClaim™
Mitchell International, the San Diego-based company that owns National Auto Glass Specifications International (NAGS), was on-hand to promote the newly named eGlassClaim (formerly eGlassMate). Mitchell says the software automatically creates an efficient direct business relationship with insurance companies, provides potential for quick receipt of payment, keeps invoice data in-house (so vendors and competitors don’t have access to it) and gives glass shops and insurance companies an interface to the claims process.
www.mitchell.com or call 800/551-4012.
Gold Glass Group Unveils T101B Universal Moulding
The Gold Glass Group of Bohemia, N.Y., demonstrated its newly developed T101B universal moulding. This product is a wider version of the popular T100B design. The cavity moulding T100B fits many of today’s windshields including the 96-03 Dodge Caravan. According to Joe Gold, the T101B was introduced because many customers felt a wider version would expand the application range greatly.
www.gggcorp.com or call 800/448-5188.
Shat R Proof Corp. Unveils New Primerless-to-Glass Adhesive
The Shat R Proof Corp. of Bloomington, Minn., introduced its SRP101EZ primerless-to-glass adhesive. The SRP101EZ features fast, safe drive-away times and a high viscosity, according to the company.
“The SRP101EZ is a leap forward for the SRP Totalseal line of auto glass adhesives,” said Keith Beveridge, vice president and general manager of Shat R Proof Corp. “The SRP101EZ will offer the industry a safe, easy to use primerless adhesive with industry leading drive-away times all in a competitively priced package.”
www.shatrproof.com or call 800/728-1817.
GTS Adds Electronic Notice of Loss Function to eXpress System
Portland, Ore.-based GTS Services has introduced the latest addition to its eXpress system, the ability to provide electronic first notice of loss and coverage verification via the system, which it calls eNOL. The newest capability is offered as an easy upgrade to those using the system, without them having to purchase all-new software and equipment.
The eNOL function allows glass shops to maintain their relationships with the insureds, provide fast and easy coverage verification and claim initiation upon first contact with the customer. In addition, with the ability to complete an entirely electronic transaction, there is no need for the insured to call the glass claims administrator (or vice versa) in most cases.
Along with this new capability, express provides eDispatch, which electronically dispatches jobs to the glass administrator, and eOrdering, which allows the shop to order glass directly from its supplier so it can check the parts availability as soon as contact with the customer has been made.
www.gtsservices.com or call 503/684-5066.
LYNX Launches PowerSync™
Pittsburgh-based LYNX Services® LLC launched its new PowerSync Recognition Program. The PowerSync program recognizes industry-leading auto glass retail and repair businesses that use information technology to streamline the glass claims process for their customers. Glass shops in the PowerSync Program can connect electronically to LYNX Services and auto glass suppliers and they receive a PowerSync brand and identity tool kit to support their sales and marketing efforts.
PROSTARS Unveils Star Quality Program
Pittsburgh-based PPG PROSTARS unveiled its Star Quality customer service training program. PPG says the program is designed to equip its shops’ customer service personnel with important product and industry knowledge, give them the tools and skills to educate car owners and provide them with a better understanding of a potential customer’s thought process. The program will utilize both instructor-led and in-shop formats to suit individual preferences and learning styles. The training will emphasize both driving sales and improving service from the first point of contact and is available to PROSTARS participants.
www.ppgprostars.com, or call 913/661-2685.
3M Unveils Single-Step Auto Glass and Frit Primer
The St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M Company has introduced a new single-step auto glass/frit primer. According to the company, the primer does not need an activator, can be used on encapsulated glass and can be used to touch up scratches on the pinchweld. In addition, 3M says the primer promotes adhesion of urethane to the automotive glass and frit, promotes adhesion for automotive paint primers, protects urethane from harmful ultraviolet rays, prevents corrosion on the pinchweld and promotes urethane adhesion to encapsulated plastic parts.
www.3M.com/automotive or call 800/328-1684.
Unelko Develops Products to Fight Rain
The Unelko Corp., which is based in Scottsdale, Ariz., introduced a brand-new range of products for fighting rain, ice and dirt on windshields. The products, called Rain Clear, Ice Away, Ultra Clean, Glass Scrub and Fog Clear, are all designed with a unique effort in mind: to improve visibility and driving safety, and could serve as an add-on sale for an auto glass shop. Rain Clear is designed to sheet rain away as it falls, while Ice Away is designed to prevent ice from freezing on the window. Unelko says Glass Scrub removes water spots and other grime, while Ultra Glass simply cleans the glass and makes it “streak-free.” Finally, Fog Clear is supposed to eliminate and prevent interior fogging and steaming of windows.
www.unelko.com or call 480/991-7272.
|Sika Offers New Brochure
The Sika Corp., which is based in Madison Heights, Mich., released a new, colorful, hi-tech brochure, which includes all of its latest products, including its hot-applied urethanes, SikaTack®-ASAP, SikaTack-Ultrafast II, and its cold-applied urethanes, SikaTack-Drive, SikaTack-HighModul and Sikaflex® 220+. In addition, Sika’s Super Kits, which include its SikaTack fast-curing urethane, Sika Activator pads and Sika Pimer-206 Stix, are also highlighted, along with its UniFit™ universal mouldings, which it created in conjunction with REHAU Incorporated of Leesburg, Va.
www.sikaindustry.com or call 800/548-0496.
Marcy Releases Scratch Prevention Tape™
Marcy Adhesives, of Columbus, Ohio, unveiled its scratch prevention tape, which can be adhered to the windshield as it is being moved and stored to protect it from scratching.
The tape stays in place, but is easily removable when necessary leaving behind no residue, according to Marcy Adhesives. The company recommends covering the edges of the glass by a minimum of 2 inches and rubbing the tape in place so there are no bubbles. The tape, which Marcy also says bends easily around corners, is available in orange, clear and blue, and a hand dispenser for it is available as well.
www.marcyadhesives.com or call 800/962-TAPE.
PRP Unveils Gator Grip
Precision Replacement Parts (PRP) of Monroe, Wash., introduced the Gator Grip PVC line, a universal moulding manufactured with the company’s Sure Grip adhesive system. The company says it holds the tightest corners without rolling off the glass. The line includes eight PVC universal mouldings with Sure Grip, six EPDM rubber universal mouldings with butyl, two PVC underside mouldings with pressure-sensitive adhesives and one PVC cavity moulding with Sure Grip. Precision says the new mouldings are extremely flexible in all climates, apply to glass easily and are equipped with a length stabilizer to eliminate shrinkage.
www.prp.com or call 800/367-8241.
Dimensions Has the Power
Dimensions Unlimited of St. Paul, Minn., a glass industry newcomer, displayed its range of power inverters, including the DUI-12/400N. The inverter can produce 400 watts of power up to 3.3 amps. The inverter weighs 14 pounds and is 12.5 by 6.5 inches to fit easily into a technician’s vehicle. For additional protection, the unit features automatic low-battery shutdown, automatic electronic short circuit/overload shutdown, automatic over-temperature shutdown, output circuit breaker, remote on/off switch hookup and a full-year warranty on parts and labor. The inverter can be used with any 120-VAC, 60-Hz single-phase equipment within its power rating.
www.dimensionsunlimited.com or call 800/553-6418.
Glass Connection Offers Distribution Capabilities
Glass Connection, which is based in Gardena, Calif., displayed its distribution capabilities and recruited new customers. The company says it has a well-stocked warehouse and can distribute nationwide with its excellent packaging capabilities and competitive pricing structure.
www.gtglass.com or call 800/441-4527.
Import Glass Ships Worldwide
Import Glass Corp., based in City of Industry, Calif., exhibited at the show to display its capabilities as a worldwide auto glass distributor. In addition to windshields, the distributor provides tempered parts, gaskets, truck windows, adhesives and other supplies. The company currently has five warehouses in Southern California and can ship throughout the world.
www.impprtglasscorp.com or call 626/336-0059.
Are most planning to attend next year? You bet!
Mike Martini, who works for the Sentinel Group, a glass distributor in Charleston, S.C., attends every year, and said he found this year to be a successful conference.
“It was a good event for me,” he said.
Next year’s conference is slated for September 8-11, 2004, in Tampa, Fla.
Penny Beverage is the editor of AGRR magazine.
© Copyright 2003 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.