Sean (l.) and Jim Guthrie of Car Crafters, a six-shop collision repair business in New Mexico, received a National Auto Body Council “Body Shop Image Award” last fall for developing well-designed facilities that help improve the image of the industry.

Earning collision industry awards and honors can be a boost for your employees, business

Pat Murray said his shop, Murray’s CARSTAR in Des Moines, Wash., has enjoyed a top-place finish for five of the last six years in a Seattle-area TV station’s “Best of Western Washington” customer-voted awards. Murray said that’s something that gives him and his employees a lot of pride, and it also helps the shop gain new customers.

     That’s a recurring message from winners of a wide variety of awards and honors presented within the collision repair industry. They say it feels good to be recognized for a job well done. But beyond that, publicizing the award can get a name out in front of potential customers. It can help honor a key employee, or make a whole team feel like they’re working for a “winning” company. And just doing what it takes to meet the requirements for the award or honor can help boost business professionalism and performance – even if a shop doesn’t win.

     Here are just a few of the opportunities collision repair shops have for recognition.

 

 “Award of Distinction

     Presented by: National Auto Body Council (NABC) (www.NationalAutoBodyCouncil.org)

     What it recognizes: Individuals or groups in the collision industry who selflessly give of themselves for the benefit of others through bravery, philanthropy or selfless acts that advance the NABC’s mission to promote a positive image of the collision industry.

     What the winner receives: Winners are honored at an awards ceremony that for several years has been held during SEMA in Las Vegas in November, and are featured on the NABC website and in other publicity efforts.

     What it takes to win: Past winners were honored for such acts as heroically rescuing a woman and her two small children from a burning car, or for mentoring a 23-year-old man with autism during a seven-week hands-in adult internship program.

     How to apply or nominate: Download the application at http://tinyurl.com/NABCdistinction. The deadline is Sept. 15.

 

Body Shop Image Award

     Presented by: National Auto Body Council (NABC) (www.NationalAutoBodyCouncil.org)

     What it recognizes: Shops that have completed significant improvements to the appearance of the interior or exterior of their facility during the current calendar year.

     What the winner receives: Winners are honored at an awards ceremony during SEMA in Las Vegas in November, and are featured on the NABC website and in other publicity efforts.

     What it takes to win: The judging committee is looking for improvements or remodeling that exemplifies the positive impact an attractive, well-designed facility can have on the surrounding community.

     How to apply or nominate: Fill out the online application (including photos) at http://tinyurl.com/ShopRemodel. The deadline is Sept. 15.

 

Most Influential Women in Collision Repair

     Presented by: Women’s Industry Network (WIN) (www.womensindustrynetwork.com)

     What it recognizes: Women in any role within the collision repair industry who have enriched the industry with their leadership, vision and commitment to excellence.

     What the winner receives: Winners are honored at an awards dinner during the annual WIN Educational Conference, generally held in the spring. Each winner receives a Tiffany’s crystal award and a custom-designed commemorative pin.

     What it takes to win: Nominees are evaluated based on their success in their professional role, as well as industry and community leadership and involvement.

     How to apply or nominate: Download the application at the WIN website. The deadline for nominations has typically been the end of the year for the following spring’s awards.

 

      Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program” (SHARP)

     Presented by: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

     What it recognizes: Small businesses that maintain exemplary injury and illness prevention programs.

     What the winner receives: Among other benefits is an exemption from OSHA programmed inspections for up to two years, with the potential for a three-year renewal.

     What it takes to win: Undergo a comprehensive consultation visit from OSHA, correct any hazards identified, implement an injury and illness prevention program, and have a lower-than-industry-average rate of employee injuries.

     How to apply or nominate: Visit http://tinyurl.com/OSHAsharp to get contact information for the OSHA consultation program in your area.

 

AMI NACE scholarships

     Presented by: Automotive Management Institute (AMI) (www.AMIonline.org)

     What it recognizes: Owners or employees of a shop belonging to the Automotive Service Association (ASA) who display a desire to improve their business skills through management education.

     What the winner receives: $1,000 toward travel and registration fees to attend AMI training during the NACE/CARS tradeshow.

     What it takes to win: Having taken one or more AMI online or classroom courses can’t hurt, but a shop owner’s nomination vouching for an employee’s interest in management education can suffice.

     How to apply or nominate: Download the application at www.AMIonline.org. The deadline for nominations has typically been in mid-June for that summer’s NACE.

 

 “Top 10 Websites

     Presented by: Automotive Service Association’s AutoInc. magazine (www.AutoInc.org)

     What it recognizes: Shops belonging to the Automotive Service Association (ASA) that use their website to improve productivity, enhance marketing and ultimately increase their bottom line by driving more business to their shops.

     What the winner receives: Details about the winning websites are featured in an issue of AutoInc.

     What it takes to win: Sites are evaluated in terms of being mobile-friendly, innovative, visually appealing and consumer friendly, as well as including evidence of social media presence and a “call to action.”

     How to apply or nominate: Apply online by selecting “Top 10 Websites” at www.AutoInc.org. The deadline for nominations each year is generally in July.

 

 “Gold Class Professionals

     Presented by: I-CAR

     What it recognizes: Collision repair businesses that have achieved a high level of I-CAR-recognized employee technical training.

     What the winner receives: The designation is required by some insurers in order for a shop to participate in that insurer’s direct repair program. Gold Class shops also receive a kit of marketing materials to help them inform consumers of their commitment to training and professionalism. They are also listed on an online searchable database and receive discounted prices on I-CAR training. I-CAR has published two studies that found shops that achieved Gold Class status saw improvements in sales, touch time, cycle time and customer satisfaction.

     What it takes to win: One or more employees in each of four roles in the shop (estimator, non-structural technician, steel structural technician and refinish technician) must meet the specified level of training for that role. All other employees directly involved in the repair of vehicles must have six or more hours of relevant training each year.

     How to apply or nominate: Check out the details at http://tinyurl.com/I-CARgold, or call I-CAR (800-ICAR-USA) to ask about its “Road to Gold” assistance program, which can help you navigate the somewhat complex requirements.

     Looking for more ideas for award possibilities? Many industry vendors – AutocheX, VeriFacts Automotive, etc. – have awards programs. Also watch for awards and distinctions offered by state or local governments; a number of shops, for example, have been honored for their recycling and environmental efforts. And check local and national business associations and publications for award possibilities. Nearly all of those award programs choose winners from businesses of all sizes, so don’t assume that your company is too small to win.

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.