The Nebraska Auto Body Association 2017 Annual Meeting was held December 2nd at the Hilton Garden Inn in Lincoln, Nebraska. About 55 people attended this successful meeting. “We would like to have seen more shops in the room,” said Dave Yard, President of the NABA, “attendance may have been light due to the fact we did not have a major industry speaker.” Sadly, that may be true, however, those that did not make it – really lost out.
This meeting was an experiment by the NABA Board. They had reached the decision to get everyone involved in these meetings and exchange information and ideas. A listening meeting. It exceeded expectations for everyone in the room.
The meeting opened up with introductions, and always, the Pledge of Allegiance and anti-trust statement. The day started with the video of Texas Attorney Todd Tracy’s first industry presentation at the Auto Body Association of Texas Trade Show last September.
Tracy is the attorney that won a 42M lawsuit for a couple that were seriously injured in a second accident as the result of an improper repair from a previous accident. NABA was the first group to see this video, courtesy of the Auto Body Association of Texas Executive Director, Jill Tuggle and association president, Burl Richards. This was thanks to James Rodis of Woodhouse, working with them and not letting go of the idea. It was a great conversation starter for the rest of the day. Dave Domina, Nebraska Attorney, then spoke to the group about the law and how this lawsuit in Texas may affect shops in Nebraska and around the country. He reviewed procedures and the Elements of A Tort that juries use to make their decision. His message was a realistic look at the importance of collision repairers to follow OEM Recommended procedures and do the right repair. Domina is a champion to the collision repairer and recognizes the challenges our industry is facing.
Trevor Emahizer, Aurora Body Shop, past president of the NABA, showed a power point presentation about how to write an estimate and get paid for procedures, showing statistics that prove it really does pay do the right thing. Following this, Jake Aufenkamp, Woodhouse Motors, talked about ‘not included procedures’. Next, “Doing The Right Thing”, a panel discussion of all segments of the change in our industry. Panelists, Matt Hodges, Green Light, mobile diagnostics, Ron Gill, Tri-State Equipment, new Technology and material , Curtis Goachers, Mitchell Proper Repair Procedures, Troy Kimble, shop owner, brought enlightening and important information that encouraged audience participation.
The afternoon educational program was ‘Estimating’. This was an audience participation session that was modeled after the NABA Estimating Roundtable. The roundtable was an experiment by the board to meet and openly discuss estimates.
Nine (9) people at a roundtable digging deep and candidly honest. The NABA Board, Dave Yard, Tyler Tracy, James Rodis, Dave Yard, Jake Aufenkamp,Troy Kimble, Scott Meintz, Todd Barnard, and Doug Keller were the panel that led the discussion.
What did the NABA learn after this meeting? That it was obvious that there are people that really want to learn. How important education is and how difficult it really is to come by. They will be offering Estimating Round tables around the state in 2018.
The NABA has been struggling as many associations do. They are hoping to get more involvement in 2018. Starting in January, the NABA Board is going to open every other monthly Board call open to members. An association takes a lot of people to make it work, and it was found that many people in the room want to be on the calls.
At the end of the meeting, our next generation of warriors left right away. Some to the Nutcracker Suite Ballet in Omaha, and more to take their children to a Christmas parties. Yet, they took the time out of their weekend to build a better future for our industry. It may be good if other parties in the industry would make a commitment as well.
The Industry Take Away: We must research and perform repairs as per the OEM regardless of the time to research the procedures because NO ONE has 42 million dollars because they were lazy or uninformed. Harsh words- our new reality.
NABA board is making a statement to collision repairers in the state. Wake up and smell the roses.