Volume 11, Issue 2 - March/April 2009

Field of Vision
from the editor

Validation Equation
by Penny Stacey

In recent months, the prevalence of the terms “validation” and “audit” and “third-party” has been comparable to the use of the terms “bailout,” “stimulus” and “recession” on the national stage. I speak with readers regularly and read what people are saying on our online AGRR/glassBYTEs.com™ Message Forum, and it’s no secret that some question this process as much as they question the stimulus package, the necessity of the bailouts and whether we’re in a recession.

For this issue of AGRR, our annual safety issue, I had the opportunity to interview Paul Burck, president of the third-party validation firm (Orion Registrar Corp.) chosen by the AGRSS Council Inc. to develop a third-party validation program.

As we spoke, I remembered to use the word that outgoing AGRSS Accreditation Committee chairperson Carl Tompkins (of Sika Corp.) often uses—that of “validation” in lieu of “audit.” Why, you may ask? From what I learned in speaking with both Carl and Paul, the program really is designed to validate shops; the program’s goal is to prove shops right—not wrong.

Why then, do some doubt this program? Well, I’m hoping it’s because they don’t understand it. On page 28 of this issue you’ll find the in-depth interview with Mr. Burck. He took the time out to speak with me and to hopefully allay the fears of shop owners and technicians across the United States who are nervous about this program—along with those who don’t understand what it will entail.

The other thing I hear quite often is “I don’t need to register with AGRSS—I know I’m doing it right.” That’s right—you know this, but do your customers? And what sets you apart from the hack down the street who hasn’t had any training?

Absolutely nothing, unfortunately. If you know it, you can prove it.

While the third-party validation program may be new, the concept of validation is what AGRSS has been about all along. The registration program was created to show consumers that this industry knows what is proper—and to validate the industry as a whole. It was created to show consumers who’ve watched the 20/20 expose and other frightful stories about the “dark side” of the industry that there are many, many auto glass businesses available that are conducting proper installations.

So, my question to you is, if you are installing in accordance with the AGRSS Standard (and I hope that every single one of you is), then why wouldn’t you register? Why wouldn’t you support the work of this group that has spent their own time and money to validate the industry?

And, secondly, we should all be welcoming third-party validation; what a chance to prove to your customers that you’re not only registered, but that you’ve passed a validation review with flying colors.

And, if this concept is new to you, please be sure to check out our preview of the Independent Glass Association’s (IGA) Conference and Spring Auto Glass Show™ to be held this Florida in May. The IGA dedicates an entire session to the Standard—and IGA will pay for the registration fees of members who register for the first time by June 30, 2009.I hope to see you there

Penny Stacey is the editor of AGRR magazine/glassBYTEs.comTM

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