Volume 9, Issue 1 - January/February 2007

Hitting the JACKpot

NWRA Holds Conference in Las Vegas

The National Windshield Repair Association held its Fall Conference at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas in conjunction with the NACE show and other Auto Glass Week events in November.

The two-day event opened with a welcome by NWRA president Paul Syfko of Glass Medic America. 

Rob Rust, Quest Software, opened the educational program with a presentation on how electronic technology can empower a business and make it more professional. He discussed the nuts and bolts of EDI. “The most important point I can make is that if you’re not using electronic technology, you’re throwing away money because of what you save in efficiency and costs,” he told attendees.

Matt Lawson, Delta Kits, said that his presentation would follow up on Rust’s point about looking professional. “Professionalism concerns how you look and how you present yourself to others,” he explained. He agreed that electronic technology gives a business professionalism.

“The first impression you make on the consumer is important,” Lawson said. He introduced Jeff Olive, Glasspro, as an example of how to dress to make a good first impression. Olive, who was well groomed and attired in clean, neat clothes, said that he thinks about the first impression because he knows that the consumer is going to judge him and his ability to do a good job by that first look.

“You have to set the customer’s expectations,” Lawson explained. “Let them know what they can expect from the repair.” He also advised doing a walk around with the consumer to point out any damage which is already present on the vehicle. “It all lends to the experience,” he added.

Working with LYNX
In the session that followed, Fahmy Mechael, vice president business development, discussed how to work with LYNX Services. He discussed the range of insurance programs that LYNX handles and the similarities and differences between them. It manages three programs: One for State Farm, one for Allstate and LYNX Insurance Clients for all other insurance companies. Each program is unique.

There are differences in deductible waivers, damage qualification and payment amounts. There are also differences in repair parameters. Some clients have stronger criteria for what should be considered repairable, he explained.

He also discussed enrollment in the METRYX registry, the company’s service profile and invoice and payment methods. “METRYX gives a repair company the opportunity to register for the 40 insurance clients that LYNX manages with only one registration,” he explained. “The efficiency is that you register once for all the programs that LYNX manages. This streamlines your business practices.”

Mechael said that in the last year LYNX has developed a system in which it monitors the amount of conversions from repair to replacement by a shop. If this conversion rate seems “out of line,” the system picks up on that. “Also, for repair we try to favor repair-only companies for this work,” he stated. He also said that the company is working on setting up a program for online invoicing for repair-only. It expects to have it active by the middle of this year.

The final presentation of the day was by Rory Most of Glass Technology and Chris Boyle of Glas-Weld Systems on innovations in windshield repair. Most discussed the evolution of repair from the traditional method to the dry vacuum method. Boyle talked about the work his company is doing on developing a method to keep the windshield at the optimum temperature for repair by either cooling it or maintaining a high temperature to avoid causing stress. The company expects it to be available within six months. “It will allow you to make repairs at cold temperatures that you were not able to before,” he stated.

The education program on the final day of the NWRA Fall Conference included a discussion of the technical aspects of a repair by Syfko, an update on the Repair of Laminated Auto Glass (ROLAGS) and Auto Glass Replacement Safety (AGRSS) Standards work by Deb Levy of the AGRSS Council, the importance of customer service with Bob Beranek, Auto Glass Consultants, and roundtable discussions in which attendees could discuss topics of concern with their peers.

The event ended with a lunch, sponsored by Safelite Solutions, where members of the NWRA board of directors discussed the association’s new programs and services.

Among the changes in existing services for NWRA members are the expansion of the insurance program, the addition of a Fall Conference, updating of the discount credit card program, redesign of the website and increase in the newsletter to every month publication.

New programs being added include an online technical database, call-in technical support, legislative information, benchmark/ratios survey, a new consumer website, a consumer lead referral program, standards dissemination, an insurance outreach program, the development of insurance brochures and leave-behind, an insurance slide show and insurance rumor control and factual informational updates.

New services for NWRA supplier members include a lead generation program, a Suppliers’ Council and joint marketing efforts. 

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