Yearly Archives: 2013


The Jig is Up; One Shop Says “NO” to the State Farm Agreement

Hammer & Dolly – December 2013

One Shop Says “NO” to the State Farm Agreement

November 11, 2013 was a big day for the Taylor family in Taylor’s Auto Body Shop in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was the day they made the decision to say “No” to signing the new State Farm® Select Service® agreement for their business based on the impending implementation of the PartsTrader system and potentially other vendor requirements.

The Founders of Taylor’s Auto Body Shop, Doug and May Taylor, were present at the Collision Industry Conference meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada during the time of their negotiations with the insurer and had heard all of discussions that took place there in relation to insurer mandates. They did have legal counsel perform a review of the agreement and the recommendation was to not participate under the existing guidelines..

May found the situation they were in particularly upsetting, saying, “We felt bullied. It did not make any difference that we have such a good relationship with the agents and did a large volume of work for them.  In the past twelve months, there has only been one customer complaint and that was because of some old damage. It just showed to me that State Farm does not care about the customer service or quality of repair.”

She continued with, “When we returned from CIC and SEMA in Las Vegas, we found that the insurer was pushing us to sign or not and to make the decision that day, either way. It was then that we realized that we needed to separate ourselves and change our business model accordingly. We have always been a company who markets directly to our existing and potential customers, but we will be focusing more attention to gaining and retaining our clientele in the future. I believe that this is an opportunity to educate the consumer about the repair process and why they should choose us.”


Thoughts of the Executive Director

We can now all stop wondering when the new State Farm agreement will arrive that includes the parts and materials procurement system and now start wondering what the aftermath will be. For those of you who are a part of the Select Service program, you are now more than likely operating under the new agreement, unless you’ve made the decision to not sign. Those of you who are not signing, it’s time to understand what the term “reasonable and/or usual and customary” means.

What kills me is that 99% of the shops who sign do not have the document reviewed by legal counsel. Probably because after doing so would result in a “Seriously?! Who came up with this stuff?” from the other end. And because most of you know that’s bound to happen, then you just figure, “well, they’re just going to tell me I’m better off without it, but I don’t think I could afford to do that so I’ll just go along with it because if I don’t someone else will anyway.” I know this internal dialogue sounds at least vaguely […]

By |December 1st, 2013|Categories: Executive Director, News|Comments Off on The Jig is Up; One Shop Says “NO” to the State Farm Agreement

Getting Out There and Giving Thanks

I am thankful that I get to work with so many Rock Stars. Or maybe they could closer be described as Superheroes. These are absolutely remarkable people who stand up and stand out; heads and shoulders above the rest.

In the past 60 days I’ve been immersed in the work we’ve done with education and legislation for our membership and community. Getting to spend more time with Aaron Schulenburg, Mike Anderson, Toby Chess, Ray Gunder, Barrett Smith, Brent Geohagan and every single first responder who came to the WMABA-organized member-hosted Emergency Vehicle Extrication classes made it clear to me that there are extraordinary people doing seemingly ordinary things each and every day.

Before I talk about those amazing individuals, I want to say a “thank you” to our own amazing men and women to serve on the WMABA Board of Directors (page 43). They tirelessly work together with me and our staff, which is away from their business or family, to help make our area collision industry better. They are truly selfless, and you should take the time to thank them for looking out for you!

SCRS’ Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg is supported by a solid Board of Directors made of our country’s finest shop owners and managers, and standing on those stilts of steel he continues to impress with his charismatic and direct way of affecting positive change for our industry. This includes the always improving Repairer Driven Education hosted by SCRS at the SEMA Show each year. Truly a one-stop shop for getting the best educational and business building experience that the automotive industry has to offer. WMABA is so proud of our affiliation with SCRS. If you want to make next year a hit then buy your ticket to Vegas for next year’s show!

Ray Gunder, Barrett Smith and Brent Geohagan are what I lovingly refer to as David, his slingshot and the rock, in that order (from the David vs Goliath story of the Old Testament). Ray has been truly blessed to have such success through perseverance coupled with the team of wonderful and skilled folks around him. They are a point of light in a usually grim world. They give others uplifting and helpful advice at the expense of their own businesses, which is truly unselfish. Their story shows that they are the better men up against giants.

Mike Anderson and Toby Chess are two of the best instructors our industry has, in my humble opinion. After having Mike teach his estimating seminar in late August (see in October issue of H&D), having Toby come out the following month is just overwhelming. These two men care so much about you knowing how to fix cars properly and with the tools to get paid for it, that they offered their time to us at no charge. I hope the next time we have education of this caliber in our area that you take advantage, because opportunities like these are not always available a second time around.

As WMABA explores avenues for community […]

By |November 30th, 2013|Categories: Executive Director, News|Comments Off on Getting Out There and Giving Thanks

URG Opposes Usage of PartsTrader

The below press release came from URG opposing the usage of PartsTrader in its current form. We encourage you to send this on to your parts vendors for their information and consideration.

United Recyclers Group Opposes Repairer Mandates by Insurers

Contact: Don Porter
Phone: 512-887-3422
Fax: 512-887-3423

October 10th, 2013 – Austin, Texas – The United Recyclers Group (URG) Board of Managers are announcing their decision not to endorse the use of the online parts procurement tool developed by Parts Trader. This comes in response to the recent announcement by State Farm Insurance mandating the nationwide use of this tool by their program repair facilities.. “Mandatory usage of PartsTrader in its current form does not serve the needs of the auto recycling industry, the collision industry, or vehicle owners,” says Don Porter, URG Executive Director.

“We are committed to working with State Farm, the nation’s largest auto insurer, to resolve the concerns of URG members,” says Don Porter. “Our members question the value of paying a parts procurement business like PartsTrader with the hope of their parts being included and selected when recycler’s parts data is provided to insurers and collision repair facilities. This model increases the cost of repair parts provided by recyclers, and this cost will ultimately be passed on to consumers.”

Repairers and recyclers have developed long standing business relationships based on mutual respect, integrity and the quality of parts and services provided. URG opposes the mandatory use of any procurement tool which may weaken or potentially sever this relationship. The cost of parts and quality of service go hand in hand when a collision repair facility selects recycled parts. Mandates take away the freedom a collision repairer currently enjoys when selecting an auto recycler as a business partner. URG members feel that part selection and acquisition should not be based merely on the cost of the part, but also on the quality of the part and business acumen of the recycler who will ultimately supply the part.

URG believes online technology solutions help drive efficiency in the parts procurement process and create value. URG’s creation of URGNet, an interactive recycled parts database, is a product of that belief. Parts data from more than 500 URG auto recycler members provides users of different online parts programs with direct and immediate access to comprehensive recycled parts inventory, availability and pricing. Keeping recycled parts available, affordable and competitive in today’s business environment were major considerations in URG’s decision not to endorse Parts Trader.

With over 500 members, United Recyclers Group, LLC (URG) is the largest group of progressive auto recyclers in North America. URG members work together in many innovative ways to improve and modernize the automotive recycling industry.

For more information, go to the United Recyclers Group website at Or call 303-367-4391.


By |October 30th, 2013|Categories: News|Comments Off on URG Opposes Usage of PartsTrader

Petition by IABA No Insurer Mandated Programs


Read the below special industry notice from the Indiana Auto Body Association and support the petition. WMABA urges you to support what many other industry groups, associations and businesses have vocally opposed! 

To make change happen requires action, but it often begins by smallest of actions.
History has shown that changes begin, not by the war to end all wars, but by the individual battles that define the injustice, and dedication to the need for that change by those willing to accept the challenge.

Today the Industry is faced with one of its greatest challenges that many feel is so important that it will require all the efforts of our Trade Associations and their members, as well as everyone else within our Industry.

The Industry news is filled with State Farm’s Part Trader commentaries, but even though in itself is a fundamental infringement upon our industry, the issue is also greater than just this one program.

This issue is about programs that insurers are now mandating that change our well establish business relationships, place the vehicle owners in jeopardy, and interfere with the free market system.

It is also about the aggressive pressure property casualty companies are placing on repairers for their monetary gain, placing the vehicle owners in risk, and tortiously interfering with collision repairers’ businesses.

Take the time to sign our petition to the State and Federal Attorney Generals, Legislators, and the Federal Trade Commission. We will utilize this show of support to do whatever it takes to take back control of our Industry.

Just Click the Extortion Poster Below to go to our petition.
In case the link above does not work: 

By |October 29th, 2013|Categories: News|Comments Off on Petition by IABA No Insurer Mandated Programs

I’d Do It My (Mike’s) Way

Mike Anderson (of Collision Advice) is exciting. And the Doctor says it’s highly contagious.

Whether you take it as passionate, moving, electrifying, or emotional, it doesn’t really matter. Any way you slice it, Mike is “excited” about teaching others and helping them to succeed. And he’s really great at it. If you knew him from the days he owned Wagonwork Collision you probably see him as a peer. Now, you’d see him as much more than that. No matter how great of a shop owner he was, he’s an even better teacher.

Spending a day with him is fun. He jokes a lot (mostly about himself) and sometimes screams out “I love this stuff!” I mean, he literally screams it out and usually when the audience is distracted and they all jump out of their seat; myself included. He makes the topics he discusses – usually very serious – more light and enlightening. In my opinion, it makes it easier to digest and retain it, as well as envision practical application. It’s very empowering.

It isn’t always an easy subject matter. As a former shop owner of a completely non-DRP business structure, he talked about his mental transition through his consulting experience into more of a “fix-it-right” mentality. Whether shops are independent or DRP-dependent didn’t matter to him as much as quality of repair. And on that point, I couldn’t agree with him more. In my years with WMABA, I’d come to that realization through working with many different types of shops. I also don’t care what your business model is; just that it includes doing a safe repair for the consumer.

Digging further down into the meat of the meeting, he went into supplement ratios and complete teardowns and how they can affect the cycle time and profit of your business. Joel covered them earlier in the cover story, so I think you’ve got that part down.

What I want you to grab a hold of from Mike’s seminar are ways of improving customer relations. Such as that 68% of people prefer text updates to phone or email. Do you think it would be wise to look into that? He also cited a survey that says consumers put trust, empathy and direction above price, which was down in 6th place! So, do you think that setting clear expectations on the front end of the repair process to establish trust, and taking the time to listen to the customer about how the accident took place would gain empathy? Wouldn’t that make you 1st and 2nd in their book, even over the insurance company?

Another way to improve customer relations and establish a long-lasting relationship is through communication. Sounds a lot like a family, right? If Mike’s right, your customer could forget about you completely in 18 months, so you need to get in front of them on a regular basis. Do you have a Facebook page with regular updates? Do you ask them to give you an email address to send them a newsletter? Have you […]

By |October 28th, 2013|Categories: Executive Director|Comments Off on I’d Do It My (Mike’s) Way

How to Keep Up: Online and On the Hill

Legislation and Website Changes Sharpen Association Focus

Legislation has been a public focus of WMABA in the last few months, and it will no doubt stay top-of-mind until next session closes in 2014. There is no slack of pace to see that parts procurement issues are emphasized to our Delegates and Senators for benefit of the repairer and consumer constituents they serve. Your job, as has been said in our cover story, is to go out and get to know them.

New WMABA Website

During the legislative session our association has been working tirelessly to also announce our new website redesign. Shortly following rebranding through a new logo, the Board worked with Rob Hall Design in Richmond to build a new website on a new platform. Showcasing an entirely new and more interactive format, the changes have been focused on repairer and consumer education. Also an opportunity for engagement through comment sections, complaint forms and a vast variety of information and links to find resources to better repairer businesses.

The goal of the new website is also to support the activities that we do such as meetings, legislative agendas, education, and other membership initiatives. We are so excited to continue to mold it into a go-to resource for our local industry!

2013 Golf Outing

This month is the announcement of our Annual WMABA Golf Outing, that supports our education fund – Jerry Dalton Memorial Education Fund. This fund is set up to give scholarships for tools or schooling for our area kids and is a valuable part of keeping our technician pool alive in the future.

If you want to support or play, you can go to the website under events and get everything you need. We suggest putting in your application as soon as possible as our recent outings have sold out.


There is a lot of activity in the area of standards. With discussions coming from the Collision Industry Conference meetings, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) with whom we are affiliated, as well as the recent – albeit negative – announcements by I-CAR it seems to be everywhere we turn.

The feeling I have after reviewing and researching much of this is that it all boils down to vehicle repair safety for the consumer. What is the safest approach to repair the damage to pre-accident condition? Processes and procedures and classes and recommendations are all out there now. The bigger question becomes WHO should be in charge of creation of any repair standard? My adamant opinion: the repairer and the vehicle manufacturer.

Repairers are often dismissed as to their capability to self-govern. This is why […]

By |April 29th, 2013|Categories: Executive Director, News|Comments Off on How to Keep Up: Online and On the Hill

Read the WMABA Newsletter – March 2013

March 2013 Newsletter

Here is the latest WMABA Newsletter for your review. Including the top story: 2013 Maryland Parts Legislation

Make sure you read my ED Message and check out the MUST-READ industry news links that we’ve included. There is a lot of information here, but it is all very important to your business.


Jordan Hendler, Executive Director

By |April 4th, 2013|Categories: News|Comments Off on Read the WMABA Newsletter – March 2013

WMABA Takes Lead on Maryland Parts Legislation

March 13, 2013; Richmond, Virginia – Attention has recently been focused on the 2013 Maryland House Bill 1375, introduced by Delegate Mark N. Fisher (R-27B) which would inhibit insurers from specifying the use of aftermarket parts for the first five (5) years of the vehicle, and would prevent carriers from requiring the use of any specific process or vendor for the procurement of parts or materials. The Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) assisted Fisher in crafting the language that was used to introduce the bill, and strongly support the efforts to see it passed into law.

“When Delegate Fisher began working with us through his constituents, he indicated a need for consumer protection legislation relating to the use of aftermarket parts,” says Jordan Hendler, Executive Director of WMABA. “We aided his efforts to introduce this bill in this session by providing guidance and information on the subject matter, outlining the issues currently faced by our membership. We support the Delegate’s pro-consumer viewpoints, and agree that the language will offer added protection for our member’s customers in the state of Maryland. Additionally, we firmly believe that it is outside of the business of insurance to specify any process or vendor in the repair process, and this legislation will provide much-needed protection in this area, given growing advancements of insurers mandating parts procurement practices.

Insurers in other areas of the country are increasing their involvement in the repair process by mandating processes in which parts are located and purchased, which will eventually reduce the existing free marketplace. Our organization strongly agrees with the bill sponsors that Maryland representatives ensure the health of a marketplace free of undue manipulation that only serves special interests; and that it is imperative to protect Maryland consumers from allowing the insurance industry from taking such controlling measures, which only benefit their bottom line.

If you would like to support the association in their efforts and find out how to help, please call or email the office today. Maryland repairers are urged to contact their legislators in support of this legislation. Financial contributions are also greatly appreciated.

About WMABA: The WMABA is a regional collision industry association, currently covering the areas of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC whose mission is to serve the best interests of collision repairers through leadership, education and initiatives that strengthen the professionalism and business conditions for the professional collision repairer. If you would like to find out more information about WMABA and its activities, you can contact Executive Director Jordan Hendler (Phone: 804-789-9649 or Email: or visit its website at:


Contact Information:
Jordan Hendler, Executive Director
Ph: 804-789-9649 / E:

By |March 17th, 2013|Categories: News, Press Releases|Comments Off on WMABA Takes Lead on Maryland Parts Legislation