Time Will Tell
This letter is in response to the article on page 41 of your July/August 2005 issue written by an angry and bitter David Casey. He claims all windshield replacements are shoddily done in no more than 30 minutes (“I have watched hundreds of windshields replaced on car lots and auto rental locations and I have seen the ramifications...”).
He should realize some windshields do take around a half an hour because of the skill and experience of our techs, the fact that they have done some of these cars numerous times before, and also because some, like a Cavalier windshield, cut out very easily and do not have many parts to remove and replace to ensure a safe, high quality replacement.
Most replacements, however, average an hour or more.
Premier Auto Glass
Mission Not Yet Accomplished
I have seen many hurdles come and go in the good old auto glass industry since I started in 1969. That’s life, they say.
I worked on getting legislation passed in Illinois in 1992 which said the insured may choose the auto glass company of his or her choice, based on fair and competitive pricing in the marketplace.
I founded the Independent Glass Association (IGA) in 1994, which has a mission statement that is fair for all.
(Our mission is to unite the efforts, interests, and ideas of our members. We offer marketing, billing, and purchasing programs and promote a high standard for consumer safety, quality, service, and fair trade principles. We encourage a healthy, competitive, and free market environment and the independence of each member.)
I also founded the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS)™ in 1997. It has a mission statement that is good for all:
To make every auto glass replacement safer by: developing and maintaining standards for the replacement of auto glass, educating and accrediting the industry, and promoting awareness of the AGRSS Standard to the insurance industry and the driving public at large.
I would like to encourage, and challenge the leadership of IGA as well as AGRSS, NWRA and NGA to come together and convene meetings to develop the credentialing and awareness program to the insurance industry, and in some similar form, which LYNX has proposed.
Naturally this language will be of/by, and for the auto glass industry.
This is a much needed process for continuing the vision for AGRSS.
LYNX officials have stated that the cost to accomplish this phase is a bit heavy for AGRSS but I would suggest that with proper notification to all of our industry, that we will accomplish the task.
It will lift the burden off the backs of all third-party participants, and be so much more effective for our industry, when our own trade associations complete the task
Please, join, participate, call, write, go see the leadership of all our organizations, and cheer them on to completion of this great process.
Many people in the industry have contacted AGRR as well as commented on the AGRR Magazine Industry Forum concerning aspects of the recently introduced METRYX™ registry service of LYNX Services.
Many of the concerns centered around three main points. We asked LYNX officials to respond to these concerns. The questions and the LYNX responses follow.
Q: This appears to give LYNX Services a lot of proprietary information about individual shops and their businesses. It seems as though too much information will be focused in one place and the market data could be open to abuse by other PPG Industries’ operations. How can service providers trust this registry tool?
A: LYNX Services has operated for more than 10 years in a sensitive position with respect to information, such as pricing, that glass service providers rightfully consider confidential. LYNX Services will continue to uphold its position of trust and its procedures for confidentiality in order to make the registry and the programs it supports a success.
Most of the information on the registry is information that service providers want to promote and disseminate to the consumer/customer. LYNX Services will perform this stewardship in a responsible and professional way. The information that is confidential and pertains to accurate administration of the registry will be used only with responsible third parties to validate data entered on the registry. We have invited the participation of AGRSS, IGA, NWRA, NGA, as well as a number of other suppliers of training such as sealant makers SIKA, Dow, etc. and training providers such as Performance Achievement Group and Auto Glass Consultants. This is not the entire list, but it is representative. Each of these will be included on the registry, with a check box for a glass repair or replacement company to indicate the kind of training that the company or the technician has completed. In turn, each of the companies has agreed to help in validating the data on the registry by reviewing on a monthly basis the names of the companies/technicians that have registered as having completed training. In this way, these third parties provide oversight to help validate the registry information. This validation will be done through confidential means established with each cooperating third party.
Q: LYNX Services is asking for confidential information that had not been shared before, such as technician driver license and last four digits of that same person’s social security number. Who will have access to this personal information and how will they use it?
A: This data and other information that pertains only to the administrative capability to manage the accuracy and viability of the registry will be accessible only by password secured users with direct responsibility for glass programs administration. It will be treated, like pricing, as confidential information of the company and will not be disclosed except as previously noted in the verification of registry data.
Q: There is concern that a third-party administrator is not entitled to have this information. If the goal is to monitor service, there are other ways to go about it than collecting this information. Why not make AGRSS™ registration mandatory? Or track customer satisfaction with shops?
A: LYNX Services has created the METRYX Industry Services Registry in response to needs expressed over the years by both the auto glass retail service community and the insurance community.
Many constituents of the industry, such as AGRSS, NGA, the IGA and others have advocated steps to promote professional standards within the industry. But few have the resources to create and maintain the registry, or are in a position to incorporate the information into work processes, so that it may be utilized by customers. LYNX is simply taking appropriate steps to meet the needs expressed by many in the insurance and auto glass industries, and is seeking the cooperation and support of organizations like AGRSS, NGA, NWRA, IGA and others to make the concept a sustainable reality.
There is no universally accepted level of credentials as yet adopted by the industry as the single and sole measure of qualification or professionalism.
AGRSS standards are perhaps the best example to date, having earned ANSI recognition. METRYX is cooperating with AGRSS, and with numerous others who are providing training and professional development for the industry.
METRYX is a mechanism to record the completion of that training and other verifiable achievements. Whether or not the completion of any available training leads to improved or significantly better service is not known at this time.
Ongoing customer satisfaction surveys will continue with the added ability to compare results among auto glass service providers that have trained technicians with those that do not. In time, technician training may very well become a requirement for continued program participation. Industry demands will likely lead to continuously improving technician training materials and curriculum from both current, and yet unknown sources.
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