Volume 13, Issue 6 - November/December 2011

Repair Round-Up
nwra reports

NWRA on a Mission
by Kerry Wanstrath

The National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) is on a mission to make a difference in the way the repair side of the auto glass industry is viewed. While this process has already commenced, as was evident from my discussions with many of those in attendance at Auto Glass Week™ in Memphis, Tenn., I will say this is only the beginning (see related story on page 22).

The NWRA has some great things in the works that we believe will help separate the wheat from the chaff. Volunteers have been quietly gathering information across several states to document the quality of repairs being done in the field over the last few months. It actually has been unbelievable to see the “standard” by which some operate; if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it myself. The breaks I have seen have not been anything beyond what an average windshield repair technician should be able to repair after some months of experience and training.

Certification Now
Due to this seeming lack of quality in the industry, the NWRA is interested in producing an education, testing and certification program for our members that will stand head and shoulders above anything else the industry has to offer. The NWRA already is recognized as the industry’s leading repair organization, by its work in the completion of the ANSI standard for the Repair of Laminated Glass (the Repair of Laminated Auto Glass Standard). Now we believe with education, testing and certification we will allow our members to certify to the industry that they are operating to a higher standard. This, in itself, should give added confidence to the insurance world that these members, willing to take this extra step, may be deserving of special consideration.

“It actually has been unbelievable to see the ‘standard’ by which some operate.”

Our motive is to elevate the overall image of repair and especially those companies with a repair-first attitude. We also are still quietly gathering data about repair quality across several states that maybe helpful. Repairing first is the right thing to do for so many reasons; it’s good for the consumer, good for the environment, and good for insurance companies. It also is good for the shops, because it creates a sense of goodwill and trust between you and the customer. It is a fact that a customer will come back to the same business for a replacement if he received a quality repair first from that business.

Looking Ahead
Undoubtedly there are technicians and businesses out there who will continue to do poor quality repairs or use repair as a tool for getting replacement work. I don’t think any one person or group can ever totally stop this from happening. My goal is to exploit the benefits of quality, education, certification and also verification of quality to those to whom this matters most—both the consumer and insurers who pay for windshield repair. Are they not both entitled to these?

We plan to aggressively market the certification program to the insurance industry and various third-party administrators, so that you, the technician or shop, can benefit. The NWRA plans to announce the opening date for these programs soon. Find out how you can get involved by contacting the NWRA today at info@nwrassn.org.

Kerry Wanstrath is the president of the National Windshield Repair Association. In addition, he serves as president of Glass Technology in Durango, Colo.

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