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​Investing in Your Business

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I’ve been in AGR marketing for over 30 years and if I can say one thing it is that only about 30% of shop owners / technicians are actively improving their businesses by keeping abreast of current trends in auto glass design and the demands of matching your adhesives, tools and techniques to the job. These are the same ones I see every year at the trade shows, get calls from asking questions about products and actively improving their business by learning all there is to learn about new products.

Things are changing rapidly in our industry; aluminum in the window frame if not the complete vehicle, more electronics / connectors and fastening systems all play a part in making the job of auto glass replacement more technical. Adhesives are constantly changing as well to keep up with the demands of the designers. We will now have autonomous vehicles coming soon, vehicle avoidance devices and cameras all mounted to the glass part. Accuracy and being able to repeat factory sets will be critical with these parts and damage to paint or electrical connectors will be expensive to repair.

Just as the introduction of the cold knife for adhesively bonded glass made the transition from gasket to adhesive easier so did the reciprocal and oscillating power tools help gain access to those hidden beads along the dash area. These transitions defined our growth in following the design changes from the OEM’s.

The most repeated mantra I have heard over the years is “I’ve been doing it this way over XX years and I don’t need to change anything.” I’ve restrained myself (well most of the time) from asking if they still drive the same car or wear the same shoes they did XX years ago. What about your TV, phone, computer, etc., still the same? It doesn’t matter if your talking about primer / no primer, round bead / V bead, pull cowl / stuff cowl, it’s all the same. Old school vs. current technology.

In a nutshell, they don’t want to learn. A good example is when I have been putting on a live demonstration of an adhesive or tool / technique, there are always those in the audience who will look at their wrist watch in a most annoying manner and mention to whomever is close enough to hear “I could have had that out XX minutes ago. They just don’t get what a demonstration is about. Anyone who has found themselves in front of an audience of auto glass people knows what I mean.

I like to remind them of the first time they handled a cold knife and how awkward and difficult it was get the blade started and to move it through the adhesive correctly. Compared that to how easy and effortless it is once knowledge is gained. Sometimes it works and they watch and learn other times it’s better to just walk away.

I think the best thing I can say to them is “it’s not about you, it’s about your customers.” Your customers are the ones who gain from your knowledge. They get a safer installation, they get a cleaner result and they get their car back in as close to OEM specification as when first made. This includes, no damage to the paint system.

In my opinion, we have promoted paint damage over the years by offering pinchweld primers and etching primers. We all know “stuff happens” but rarely do you see a training video out there for ANY product that doesn’t show someone applying a primer to the vehicle because of paint damage done during the cutting procedure. With the new designs, body metals and paint systems this can no longer be the case. Extreme care is required if the proper tool / technique is not used. And if extreme care is required, is your customer being correctly served? A faster technique can only be one that doesn’t require “extreme care”.

Eliminating paint damage from the equation provides many benefits the least of which is your customer’s car not being damaged. No labor for “touching up” the pinchweld as well as no primer required. The job moves faster and you require less consumables for the job.

We will be at the SEMA Show in November. Get your walking shoes on and go to a show and see what is out there to improve your customer’s experience the next time they visit your business.



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