Glue Pull Repair Increases Profitability: Independents, Conglomerates, & Insurers

Glue Pull Repair Increases Profitability: Independents, Conglomerates, & Insurers

For body shop owners and employees, competition is fierce, hours are long, and cash flow may not be there when needed. In addition, consolidation in the industry is presenting new challenges.

Traditionally, when business was slow and profits were down, the only way owners could see to increase profits was to borrow money to expand the shop, buy new equipment, hire more employees, and maybe shell out large sums of money for advertising. The shop’s technicians would try to help by working for less pay or working faster but that’s not a long-term solution.

There are alternatives.

Body shops are in business primarily to fix vehicles that are damaged by accidents or storm damage. If it weren’t for accidents and acts of God, 99% of body shops would be out of business. Who insures against accidents? Insurance companies, of course, and if insurance companies did not cover most accidents, body damage would not get repaired and technicians and body shops would not be operating. In effect, body shop customers provide the work and for the most part, insurers pay the bills.

Owners, Technicians, Insurers, and Customers

Body shop owners need to maintain healthy relationships with insurers, the technicians who work for them, and with their customers.

Owners must walk the line with insurers. They know that insurance companies want to pay out as little possible – but that insurers need to make a profit just as body shop owners do. So, while owners realize this, they have the responsibility of making sure the shop is getting the proper reimbursement for the work it does.

Owners need to maintain healthy relationships with the main people in their shops who are doing the actual body repair work – their technicians. This means paying them a fair wage, providing benefits, and maintaining a great place to work along with the tools they need to get the job done safely, efficiently, and profitably.

Shop owners also have to make sure their customers are happy, that they receive courteous service and excellent vehicle repair.

In addition to these large responsibilities, owners are seeing big changes in the industry, for example, the ABRA/Caliber merger, set to finalize in 2019. More and more, independents and the big conglomerates are in competition for the same customers.

Keco Glue Pull Repair products can help in accomplishing the goals of running a profitable shop and addressing potential problems that mergers and acquisitions might present. Keco Glue Pull Repair products’ innovative method of dent and collision repair addresses time, effort, and money concerns in your shop while producing the same or better quality compared to traditional means. Investing in our tools and training helps enhance profitability by improving the skill sets of your technicians. Proper implementation and training of glue pull techniques can lower the need to increase headcount in the shop while simultaneously improving efficiency. If an independent is weighing becoming part of a conglomerate, it can make the shop more attractive as a potential investment for the corporation that is considering acquiring the independent shop. If an independent shop is losing business to a conglomerate, Keco Glue Pull products and techniques can give the shop a big advantage by making repairs more efficiently and faster with better quality.

Data-Driven Approach to Shop Efficiency

Many shops are adopting data-driven approaches to shop efficiency: measuring and recording every aspect of the operation and applying lean manufacturing concepts. Owners arrange to have auditors scientifically observe and record technicians’ movements and expended efforts so auditors can provide feedback to management on how workers can improve efficiency in completing their tasks. After the auditors record movements and work-related activities, technicians, and managers together map procedures in a joint effort for overall improvement. Lean manufacturing techniques include JIT (Just In Time) inventory, waste reduction, and improved relationships with suppliers so supplies are delivered every time in a timely and efficient manner.

Keco wants to be your “go to” company to help you achieve all of these goals and more.

How It Works

Keco Glue Pull Repair products and techniques allow your technicians to make the repair in less time with less effort, reducing lengthy key-to-key cycle times with fewer remove and replace (R&R) or remove and install (R&I) procedures; and the repair itself takes less time. Overall, billing for fewer parts and more service hours results in a net gain from more frequent job turnover. You also reduce the need for total part replacement, which creates a shorter repair for your customers. 

Glue pull repair allows technicians to expend less effort mentally and physically and to spend less time on repairs compared to the usual approach. So your technicians are happier and can service more vehicles.

A Skilled Job

Body shops sometimes have a difficult time providing the type of excellent service their customers expect with the funds the insurance company pays. The work of the body shop requires knowledge, skill, and patience. Most of the time, you can’t just pull the dent and send the customer on his way. Especially with a large dent or extensive damage, you may have to research the best approach first. Then after you find it, you often have to disassemble parts of the vehicle before you pull the dent. After you pull the dent, you frequently have to apply body filler (sometimes more than one coat), wet sand, apply paint primer, apply the final coat of paint, then re-assemble. Drying between steps takes time.

Insurers don’t want to pay for this time-consuming, skilled-labor process if they don’t have to. But it’s only right that the technician is paid fairly for his or her knowledge, time, and effort, and the body shop can make a profit and stay in business.

Barrett Smith, a writer, and son of a former body shop owner provides excellent background and sound advice about the relationship between body shops and insurers in his article and follow-up article called “Do Body Shops Work for Consumers or Insurance Companies?” In this article posted on the Body Shop Business website, Smith explains that in the past, insurance company representatives were called “inspectors,” and their job was limited to checking out the vehicle after the accident and determining the liability. As insurance providers became more informed, they changed their position and the dynamics of the relationship they have with shops changed. The role of the adjuster was born, and their primary job was to negotiate costs to maximize the provider’s return on each job.

Solutions

The body shop owner and the technician have these goals in common:

  • saving time and effort

  • making more money

  • producing quality work for satisfied customers, and hopefully getting referrals

As a shop owner, when profits are down, it prompts you to look for ways to increase them. Technicians are always looking for ways to make their jobs easier physically and mentally and to perform work quicker and more efficiently.

How It Works

The glue pull repair (GPR) method of dent and hail repair uses strong adhesive glue that allows the technician to pull the dent out with adhered tabs and pulling tools. This eliminates the need to stud weld and reduces the amount of panel beating and sculpting. It basically works like this: first, the technician thoroughly cleans the repair surface. He then chooses the correct pulling component, called a tab, to glue to the damaged area. The technician applies the glue to the tab and places it on the dent. After the glue solidifies, the tech attaches the appropriate dent puller to the tab and with muscle power, pulls the dent flush with the vehicle surface. The tech then removes the glue easily with isopropyl alcohol. That’s it. No stud welding, less body filler needed, and far less paint damage (none for small dents and most hail damage). The full process can be seen in depth at www.pulltopaint.com.

Best Tools for the Job

The KECO Glue Pulling Collision and Hail Manager Kit is the Cadillac of glue-pulling kits. Professionals worldwide use it to for collision repair, to fix large and small dents, and for body and hail damage. It includes:

  • a K-bar beam bridge, a K-bar leverage bar, and a Robo mini dent lifter

  • a 12 oz. slide hammer dent puller

  • a blending hammer; a slapper hammer

  • a cordless glue gun, an adjustable temperature glue gun, and a dual temperature heat gun

  • a warm center offset PDR light

  • knockdowns in sizes ranging from 3/32" (2.5 mm) to 1/4" (6 mm)

  • glue tabs: dimpled hail, smooth, ice smooth dual size crease and flip tabs, flexible and rigid, centipede, and modular

  • various adapters

  • three 10-packs of glue sticks

  • a tool bag for easy transporting and storage

Also check out our Glue Pulling Collision Pro Kit (#2), ideal for collision, large dent, and body repair, and our Glue Pulling Hail Kit Pro (#2), great for small dents and hail and as a starter kit. Any of our glue pulling kits will help save you time and money. Prices start at as little as $450.

Onsite Training

Keco also offers one-day, onsite training at your facility. Our experts walk your entire technical team through the “6C’s of Pull-to-Paint.” The course includes hands-on processes on live repairs, with the result your technicians can be adept at glue-pulling repairs in just one day so your shop can start saving money immediately. Click here for more information.

Take advantage of the money- and time-saving methods that define Keco Glue Pull processes. They offer simple but powerful techniques that not only make work easier for your technicians; the Keco Glue Pull techniques to save time and materials, which mean higher profits for the shop and happier employees who work hard daily to provide the best service and expert repairs that make your shop stand out. Keco Glue Pull products and expertise can be the key to more efficiency and higher profits because they are easier, less energy-intensive, and less costly than traditional body shop methods. Consulting with a Keco representative can get your shop on the road to saving time, effort, and energy while increasing profits.

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