Forward Change: One Weekend Effort, One Giant Download, Only One Month Away!

by Jordan Hendler, WMABA Executive Director

You’ve picked up this issue, and you’re right on time! We’re one month and a straight-shot drive away from the Collision P.R.E.P (Professional Repairer Education Program) series coming May 16-18 at the Southeast Collision Conference (SCC) in Greensboro, North Carolina – see page 27 for classes and more information. 

I’m sure you’ve heard about the SCC, now coming soon, and my hope is that you’ve already gotten your tickets, hotel room, education selections, show shopping list, and – if you’re that kind of person – your ’fits selected for each day! (Uniform or business casual works, too.)

All joking aside, our associations work very hard to bring you the best. We care about your experience, because we know how hard it is to peel away from shop and family to attend a conference. But once you do… Well, we know you’ll be forward changed.

“Forward Changed”

I just made that up, because I want to have a way to convey to you what it means to be forever changed, and for the future of yourself AND your business. To me, it means the doors of your mind are opened, maybe even for the first time. Those who’ve been can attest to it, even if they cannot put words to all they feel.

The most successful shops get educated. They train – many for numerous weeks of the year – so they understand more about business management, OEM procedures, advanced repair techniques and any way they can improve the outcome.  The other thing they have in common is their community. Every success story is tied to a support system. These accomplishments came after years of asking questions, talking to the most knowledgeable people and implementing strategies. Strategies that need to be watched, tweaked and even re-imagined. Then, bounced off others.

These are the same people who help others find their way. They dedicate themselves to the connections they make. 

So, “Choose your hard.”

I know it’s difficult to get away for these special events. I look at the effort it takes for repairers to get to the Southeast Collision Conference like the latest pop culture “choose your hard” examples. My adaptations are pretty simple…  

• Creating engaged culture is hard. Replacing employees who quit because of your culture is hard. Choose your hard.

• Having to work around technician training weeks is hard. Talking to customers about why their car wasn’t fixed right the first time is hard. Choose your hard.

• Performing full teardown to create complete repair plans is hard. Frantically ordering parts throughout the repair process while increasing cycle time and stress is hard. Choose your hard.

• Making arrangements to attend SCC, Collision P.R.E.P. classes and getting away from the shop is hard. Not having community, education and a view into the future is hard. 

Choose your own hard.

Come for the tradeshow and education, but stay for the people and even some fun. You’ll never regret giving yourself the opportunity to be found Forward Changed!  

Want more? Check out the April 2024 issue of Hammer & Dolly!