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 every other segment of our industry jumps into every advisory council and Board seat they can – to influence the repairer industry (and many times to their own selfish benefit).
I admit that our industry representatives are usually roped and tied into participating on a Board of any kind, but this time I believe it is never more important for our industry to step up and take the bull by the horns and own their own “Standards”. Again I admit that we may not know all the directions that it can go, but at the end of the work day the repairer is the liable party for the repair and it should be their expertise that approves anything they must knowingly abide if it deviates from OEM Procedures or one does not exist.
So, as an association we continue to support the stance (in congruency with SCRS and AASP) for any discussion of a standard that the repairer is the only expert in exception to the maker. Period.