Aug. 14, 2015—Charles Bryant, executive director of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ), has written an open letter to the collision repair industry in New Jersey. The letter urges the use of the Variable Rate Survey created by Sam and Richard Valenzuela of National Auto Body Research (NABR).
Bryant, an industry veteran of of 40 years, questions why shops throughout the country have not reacted quicker to this tool through which body shops can input their current labor rate and what they believe their labor rate should be without insurer interference.
“I just don’t get it,” Bryant writes. “Like many others in the collision industry across the country, I fight for the betterment of the industry on a daily basis. Like myself, collision industry advocates across the country all attempt to determine what the biggest problems are and then look for solutions for those problems. Based on my own personal experience and all of the research from as far back as I can remember, I can safely conclude that the number one problem in the collision industry is directly tied to the artificially suppressed labor rates.”
In the letter, Bryant goes on to explain the advantages of the VRS system and why it is important that all shops take part in the survey.
“There are two levels of participation. One is to subscribe to the Variable Rate System and pay a monthly fee to be able to go in and do virtually countless searches in a market based on the shop’s location and the shop’s training, certifications, and equipment. Included in the monthly fee, subscribers will receive a calculation of labor rates based on their actual cost of doing business. Shops now have a valid method of determining a fair and reasonable labor rate range for their services and finally actually supply documentation to support the rates charged, all of this included in the monthly subscription fee. The other level of participation is to simply go in and enter the shops rates in VRS Real-Time Labor Rate Survey without actually subscribing to the system. This is free! The shop can then view the State and Regional market rate ranges without incurring any cost at all.”
“This is an opportunity for the collision industry to address and solve the number one problem of the industry. I am calling on the Collision Industry to wake up and don’t write off this opportunity. It only takes a few minutes to fill out the VRS Real-Time Labor Rate Survey…so if you are a shop that is still not willing to take advantage of this great opportunity then all I can say is, shame on you!”