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Repairer Driven Education 2023 sessions available digitally, Register for this year’s SEMA sessions

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Announcements | Education
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Repairer Driven Education (RDE) sessions led by national experts from the 2023 SEMA Show are now available to watch digitally. 

The seven recordings dive into timely industry topics and can be purchased with a $199 Digital Full Series Pass or individually for $49. 

Digital access allows businesses to share educational content with staff who couldn’t attend the event held in Las Vegas in November, a Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) release says. 

Topics covered in the sessions include: 

SCRS members receive a 20% discount on the purchase of the series.

Registration is also open for the upcoming 2024 SEMA Show Nov. 5-8 in Las Vegas.

This year’s SCRS RDE sessions welcome back speakers from the aforementioned videos, including Kena Dacus, Decus Auto Body and Collision Repair owner and general manager; Josh McFarlin, AirPro Diagnostics president and COO; Mike Anderson, Collision Advice co-owner and president; Tim Ronak, AkzoNobel senior services consultant; Tony Adams, AkzoNobel business services consultant, and Danny Gredinberg, Database Enhancement Gateway administrator. 

First-time speakers will include Sheryl Driggers, Collision Advice co-owner; Taylor Moss, OEConnection Repair Intelligence Team manager;  David Ghodoussi, Opti-Coat CEO, and Kris Burton, Rosslyn Auto Body owner. 

SCRS says this year’s sessions will feature: 

“Creating an Extraordinary Customer Experience”


This interactive experience will challenge your perspective on customer service and equip you with practical strategies to revolutionize how you interact with external and internal customers within your repair shop. Learn how prioritizing a healthy organizational culture and recognizing your team members as internal customers can lead to a seamless workflow and exceptional external customer experiences. Gain valuable insights from successful collision repair shops that have transformed customer interactions into genuine relationships. Discover practical methods to improve processes, integrate technology for efficiency, and implement employee training techniques for outstanding results. Engage in collaborative brainstorming sessions to address industry-specific challenges. Share your insights and ideas while building a sense of community and innovation among attendees.

“Crafting a Collision Repair Powerhouse through Process and Technology”


This session will talk through ways to gain insight into several challenging and complex processes, including customer experience, repair processes, sharpening the saw, and financial processes. Lastly, technology. As both vehicle technology and collision repair tools evolve, it is critical to understand what is on the horizon and how a collision center can leverage the latest and greatest to stay up to date with the shifting landscape.

“Unleashing Paint Department Efficiency”

Jason Garfoot, 3M Collision senior application engineer 

People have the tendency to overcomplicate paint shop efficiency.  This session will build on the idea of how to maximize paint booth cycles and paint department process to create a production-driven approach to planning and executing on repairs. There are massive gains you can achieve by rethinking refinish department processes.

“Cracking the Code: Understanding AI and the Invaluable Role of Human Intelligence”


In the ever-evolving landscape of collision repair, AI takes center stage. Explore the true essence of AI, demystify its role in the industry, and uncover the unmatched value of Human Intelligence (HI). This session will provide an insightful discussion that goes beyond the surface, navigating the collision of technology and expertise. Discover how AI shapes the future of collision repair and why HI remains an irreplaceable asset in achieving unparalleled success.

“How to Catch Talent and Keep It”


Having trouble finding or keeping good employees? Workplace expectations have changed. This session will work with the audience to discuss ways to make your shop, and our industry, more appealing to the workforce as the technician crisis continues to grow. Strategies will include:

    • Hourly pay vs. commission 
    • Benefits package
    • Climate controlled workspace
    • 4-Day work weeks
    • Provided tooling and training
    • Clear career pathing

“Negotiation Best Practices, with inspiration from ‘Never Split The Difference'”


This newly revised Negotiation Best Practices session, draws inspiration and outlook from the book “Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss of Black Swan. Learn to understand and employ empathy, complete an audit of all the possible negatives in the situation, and how to handle when they say you are the only one or that no one else charges me for that.

“Collision Repair Marketing for the Digital Age: Engaging Gen Y and Gen Z Customers”

Nick Schoolcraft, Phoenix Solutions Group president

This session will offer industry professionals and shop owners a deep dive into the buying habits and preferences of younger generations related to collision repair. We’ll focus on:

    • Understanding Gen Y and Z’s unique consumer behavior
    • Developing customer-centric, digital-first marketing strategies tailored for these groups, and 
    • Applying these insights to foster business growth

“The Business of Processing a Total Loss Vehicle — A Job Cost Approach”

Ronak and Adams 

With used vehicle values falling again while the repairable severity dollar increases, the frequency of vehicle damage value that exceeds the insurance total loss threshold is on the rise. With more vehicles becoming ‘uneconomical to repair,’ the amount of resources invested by a repair business to determine damage on modern vehicles is also increasing; requiring considerable time, space, and expertise to carefully disassemble a vehicle, store its components and assess the extent of damages. 

This session will discuss business models for adequately identifying and capturing the invested resources and effort. If you are interested in a discussion around how repairers ‘job cost’ the administration and processing of a Total Loss vehicle outside of a DRP contract, this session is for you. 

Topics include:

    • Administration
    • Towing
    • Documentation
    • Scanning
    • Storage
    • Disassembly and accounting for the time
    • Hazardous waste disposal
    • Data Privacy
    • Safety

“Revolutionizing Collision Centers: The Impact of Interconnectivity, Data, and Innovation Inspired by the NFL”

Jeff Wildman, BASF Automotive Refinish OEM and industry relations manager and Phil Knapp, BASF Automotive Refinish consulting solutions manager 

While not a direct roadmap, the NFL’s emphasis on interconnectivity, data, and technology is improving player safety, player performance, and an understanding of every facet of the game, aiming to create a better football experience for fans, players, and teams. Jeff Wildman and Phil Knapp of BASF Automotive Refinish discuss the similarities in how the automotive industry is undergoing a transformation with the integration of connected automobile technologies, contributing to enhanced vehicle safety and an increasingly interconnected world that improves the passenger experience. These innovations significantly impact every aspect of a collision center, underscoring the importance of data-driven decision-making. In a collision center, informed choices based on real-time information, such as analyzing data on repair times, customer satisfaction, and resource allocation, become crucial. This approach enables collision centers to optimize operations, enhance efficiency, improve the customer experience, and ultimately elevate overall performance & profitability.

    • Understand how to stay relevant, adapt to market changes, and build a more resilient and successful business.
    • How to use the data & resources already in your business to identify cost-saving opportunities, streamline processes, and adapt to changing market demands.
    • Be prepared to navigate economic uncertainties more effectively and maintain operational resilience.

“Repair Planning with Precision”

Gredinberg, panel to be announced 

Documentation is the foundation in building a fact and evidence-based repair plan. This session is going to engage with attendees and proven industry experts that will offer a unique perspective on using technology and defined processes to navigate overly complex repairs, procedure documentation and consumer communications. Rethink repair planning! 

“Industry Realities of Restoring ADAS Safety Systems and Consumer Confidence through Calibration”

Moderated by Andy Dingman, Calibration Technologies cofounder and partner, panel to be announced 

Vehicle safety ratings focus on two key aspects: crashworthiness — how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash, and crash avoidance and mitigation — technology that can prevent a crash or lessen its severity. 

As vehicle owners become more reliant on active-safety-system-equipped vehicles, the consumer expectation following a repair will rightfully assume that these systems are restored to work in the same way as they did prior to being damaged or affected. But having an ADAS system impacted by a crash adds to the complexity of the repair, and the claims process, and the industry is navigating the challenges of getting it right. This panel will lead an interactive conversation with panelists to explore how businesses can ensure calibration services can meet and exceed consumer expectations, can comply with automaker repair documentation, and can provide security and peace of mind to your customer and your business. Together we will discuss the most common ways calibrations are being performed, debate whether all the current practices are meeting, exceeding, or falling short of the expectation, and discuss how the industry can do better to rise to the challenge of delivering on a successful restoration of active safety systems.

“The Benefits of Ceramic Coating for Your Customer and Your collision Center”

Ghodoussi, Opti-Coat and Andrew Batenhorst, Pacific BMW Collision Body Shop manager 

Ceramic Coatings are the latest technology for car paint protection that lasts for several years. They will provide better chemical resistance, scratch resistance, and UV protection for urethane or other clearcoats. They protect the paint from oxidation and chemical etching, making maintenance much easier. While aftermarket coatings increase resale value and open opportunities to additionally provide services to your existing automotive repair customer, they also add increased tasks to the repair and restoration of previously coated vehicles. This session will explore how to evaluate and account for ceramic coating in the repair process; and ways to discuss options and opportunities with your customers. 

“AI is Here: How Others are Leveraging AI Interactions with Automotive Consumers”

Ryan Taylor, BodyShop Booster founder

In this fast paced and interactive class, you will learn how artificial intelligence can be an asset to your business. Many shops feel buried under administrative work! AI can be like your ultimate sidekick, drastically reducing your workload while improving the customer experience, if used properly. 

    • How AI can improve your customer communication, From phone calls and text messages to website interactions, scheduling and even repair updates.
    • How AI damage detection can help send more and better work to your shop.
    • What companies are doing regarding Ai estimates and what you can do to adapt to the coming changes? 
    • What to expect from OEM’s and connected vehicles powered with AI
    • Insurance companies around the world are using AI from first notice of loss to directing the repairs.
    • You will also get to interact with a phone & texting AI that has been trained to assist customers.

“Lateral Tension & Push Tools are taking GPR to a New Level”

Chris White, KECO Body Repair Products owner and Danny Hacker, KECO Body Repair Products technical sales representative and master Gull Pull Repair (GPR) trainer

GPR is the fastest growing technology in dent repair. This session dives into the developing options in less-invasive repair technology that expands in capability every year. It also will bring the latest and greatest in GPR technology to the classroom as they explore lateral tension & advanced knockdown processes.

“Efficiency Unleashed: Rethinking Roles in Collision Repair”

Barry Dorn, Dorn’s Body & Paint owner, Kris Burton, Rosslyn Auto Body owner and 

Michael Bradshaw, K&M Collision vice president. 

This insightful seminar is designed for shop owners, managers, and estimators in the collision repair industry. IT offers a comprehensive approach to maximizing shop efficiency through strategic role segmentation, and covers: 

    • Fundamentals of Role Segmentation: Explore the concept of role segmentation and its critical impact on enhancing shop efficiency.
    • Cross-Industry Success Models: Learn from successful strategies in other industries like manufacturing and healthcare and how to adapt these for collision repair.
    • Technological Evolution and Specialization: Delve into the importance of specializing in evolving vehicle technologies, including ADAS and electric vehicles, to stay ahead in the industry.
    • Implementation Strategies: Get practical, actionable steps for introducing and optimizing role segmentation in your shop, aimed at improving workflow and overall productivity.
    • Preparing for Future Trends: Equip yourself with the knowledge to adapt to and leverage future trends in the collision repair industry, ensuring long-term business growth and innovation.
    • Transform the way your collision repair shop operates for a more efficient, skilled, and adaptive future.

The IDEAS Collide Showcase

Join SEMA attendees for the IDEAS Collide Showcase — a one-of-a-kind event featuring multiple fast-paced presentations designed to stimulate thought, innovation, and resolution of business challenges with thought leaders both in and out of the industry. Audience members will be intrigued by individuals and topics seeking to rattle the status quo with ambitious ideas that could transform the industry and your business.

“Blend Outcomes in Black and White: Using documentation to Drive Informed Conversation about Blending”

Aaron Schulenburg, Society of Collision Repair Specialists executive director 

During the 2022 SEMA Show, SCRS) released the results of a “blend study” conducted in coordination with AkzoNobel Vehicle Refinishes, Axalta Coating Systems, BASF Automotive Refinish, PPG Industries, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes and audited by DEKRA. The study compared the difference between the time necessary to perform full refinish on the exterior of a new and undamaged panel to the time needed to blend the same panel. The results concluded the blending took more time, not less, than full refinish.   

In this free session, learn how the study conclusions made way for information providers to conduct their own research, and the resulting outcomes and changes to their systems. Understand how the response and documentation from the IPs can provide opportunities to document variations in the refinish process and provide both painters and repair planners a foundation for more informed conversation surrounding the application of refinish for color match. 

The education series will conclude with three OEM Summit Sessions on Thursday 

SCRS has announced that the sessions will shift to the afternoon, taking place 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

It indicates that the OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit is designed to put collision repair businesses in a room with innovators in automotive structural design and technology. The event features three unique sessions, each will highlight ways in which the development of modern vehicles has influenced vehicle repairability. 

Individual topics for each session are unveiled closer to the show, and past events have delved into topics such as alternative fuels, safety technologies, vehicle design, construction, and material makeup.  

Each session will focus on emerging trends and collision industry preparation so that the industry can benefit from better insight into how vehicles, materials, and technologies are evolving, and what that means in the repair process.

SCRS Sky Villa Afterparty

The premiere collision industry networking event during SEMA Week, in one of the most special and historic suites on the Las Vegas strip! Aside from education, networking is one of the key benefits attendees gain from attending events such as the SEMA Show. This famed evening event provides unique experiences in some of the most sought-after suites in Las Vegas. The afterparty has become a fixture of the Show for high-profile individuals within the collision repair communities from across the globe, providing guests with a well-earned opportunity to let their hair down and enjoy an evening amongst friends after a week of exploration and education. 

Tickets are limited, and early registration is encouraged.


Photo of 2023 Repairer Driven Education classroom during the 2023 SEMA Show/SEMA.

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