Shop Life Columnists

The Community of Collision Repair

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Our specialty at FenderBender magazine is to feature real shops and the people who operate and staff them. We do that so often from issue to issue that it starts to feel automatic at times.

This month, I have to pause to recognize how grateful we are at the publication that we can call up various industry stakeholders, and they will share their stories and knowledge with us, free of charge, in order to help readers learn strategies and share challenges. That generosity can’t be overlooked.

That’s especially true for this issue. We first learned about Bryan Miller’s story last year from another news outlet, then from the Collision Industry Foundation’s work to generate some assistance after Miller was terribly burned in a shop accident. As an industry publication, we considered covering his story, but that’s only part of the equation. The real contribution comes from Miller himself, who was generous with his time and shared an account of his recovery that was incredibly honest and impactful. The result is this month’s profile story.

Truly, we aren’t alone in this industry. By telling his story, I hope Miller finds a larger community of support. Perhaps some additional assistance will come his way. Maybe it will serve as a general reminder to others that shop work can be dangerous and safety is paramount.

Elsewhere in the magazine, you’ll find coverage of some of the top-level issues that collision repairers face. The idea behind this piece was that you’ve likely read lots about the effects of COVID-19, the challenges in hiring, or Right to Repair. This month, we’re highlighting some of the other challenges affecting shop operations and what’s being done about them. You’ll read about challenges to labor rate practices, adoption of advanced technologies, and inflation’s impact. Again, no one shop is alone in fighting these battles.

Through those and the other offerings we have this month, I hope you’ll find a deeper connection to the community that has grown up around collision repair work. You’re an important part of that—thank you.

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