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May/June 2000

A Case for Repair
a new column

 

It’s Up to Us

by David Casey

These are the times that matter most to all of us in the windshield repair industry. Not since windshield repair was invented in 1972 has the business been in such a formative stage and repairers been so important to the future of this business.

In the first days of windshield repair, it was the manufacturers, franchisers and distributors that most impacted the industry.

Now it’s the repairer who has the largest voice and biggest impact on how the repair industry is viewed. The world is taking note of repair. It’s important for every repairer to know how the future of this business is shaped by their actions, behavior and business practices.

The rewards of a growing industry are easy for me to recognize and appreciate, since starting in the business in 1981. The industry has two major publications that report on repair, a trade association in the NWRA, an annual conference with a trade show and a small group of dedicated people who work behind the scenes in the interests of repair. These are great assets to have behind us.

A growing industry also attracts attention that is not always so welcome. Giant replacement companies that offer repair, increased competition from the independents and franchisers and less than professional distributors and government regulatory agencies are all factors that can impact this business on a national and local level.

If repairers expect a bright future for this profession, and I think they should, there are a few steps that can help make the business a better, safer and more professional place to be.

Joining the NWRA is a great first step. It’s inexpensive, the people there work hard for us, and they need our help. Getting certified is another step every repairer should take. Whether you feel it is a perfect program or not, it is a chance to show the rest of the world that the people in this business have, and support, a certification program.

I don’t think the networks or the large replacement companies that offer repair will injure the business in the long term. The only one who can really make us look bad is ourselves. Complacency, cynicism and apathy within the industry are the biggest enemies of this business.

Besides helping to ensure the existence of our only trade association and helping to grow a bonafide certification program, the biggest tool we have for growth and recognition is our behavior on the job. Wearing a clean uniform with your company logo, showing courteous and professional behavior, protecting the customer’s vehicle and giving satisfaction to every customer are the methods we have to use in order to impact the customer’s image of our industry.

It’s not up to “them”—it’s up to “us.”  

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David Casey serves as president of SuperGlass Windshield Repair Inc. in Orlando, Fla., and is a recurring columnist for AGRR magazine.

AGRR

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