Thursday @ SEMA
Today was a little frustrating for me, some computer issues, but other than that SEMA was fantastic. I eased my frustration by meeting up with my friends Crystal Stangeland and Margaret Klemmer from Autoshop Solutions Inc where we were able to catch up on some of my clients websites. I learned a long time ago, probably from somebody like John Maxwell or Anthony Robbins that you should only do the things you do well and leave the other things to people that do them well and I must say Autoshop Solutions do websites well. Like any other tool you have in your businesses toolbox your website’s effective needs to be able to be measured. If you don’t think you are getting the most out of your website get a Free Website Analysis and find out where your website stands in the e-world!
Right and Wrong Ways to Repair New Metals
I was only able to attend one SCRS Repairer Driven Education courses today, and due to my computer issues and my desire to get my newsletters out in a timely fashion I almost missed this one. I am glad I made it and I must say Dave Gruskos from Reliable Automotive Equipment Inc. did a fantastic job of keeping my attention. People are talking a lot about adapting to the new metals used in vehicles, in reality the “new” metals have been around since 2000 we are just now beginning to understand how to work with them. One of the things I was able to take away from this class I kind of already knew and that is heat is the enemy to high strength steel. I did learn however, that the white smoke you see when you are Mig-welding is the metal’s corrosion protection properties burning away, probably knew this also, just did not realize the effect. Mig-Brazing solves this because the brass and zinc in the corrosion protection actually works together to preserve the corrosion protection. After Dave told us this he let us know that Mig welding is not the preferred method to repair vehicles, spot welders are the recommended to bond the new metals. The plug welds used to join panels actually weakens the metals and Mig welding is not compatible with the dissimilar metals used in the overlapping construction used in today’s vehicles. There are some manufacturers that do not want you welding on their vehicles at all and have developed a variety of rivets to accomplish repairs. Dave talked about self-piercing rivets and flow-form rivets that have to be punched out, not drilled. You use adhesives in conjunction to the rivets to create a solid repair. He also gave some advice, since the adhesives can cost up to $400.00 a tube, and the rivets are a little pricey also that you should order all the items from the dealer that is providing the replacement panel. When you do that it provides the part number, cost and retail price so you can bill the items correctly through your repair invoice. This course had a lot of information in it and I could not possibly cover it all here but I want to leave you with probably the most important thing I took away. Air bag reaction; air bag reaction timing is measured in milliseconds and the timing is critical to occupant safety. Dave had a couple of videos showing the effects of a slowed reaction in air bag timing. The result was disastrous, the air bag actually deployed late, the occupant’s head (actually a melon) hit the steering wheel and then the air bag deployed. As I said a disastrous result causing frontal lobe damage and then snapping the head back as the air bag deployed. The difference in reaction was caused by the use of a plug weld instead of the spot weld that was used during vehicle manufacturing. Kind of changes the meaning of restoring the vehicle to pre-accident condition, it is not just in appearance, it has to be restored to original function also.
SCRS Keynote Session
The SCRS Keynote Session: Mission Control – Flawless Execution in Business Combat was presented very well by former Marine fighter pilot Patrick “Lips” Houlahan from Afterburner Inc. Lips (yes, he said he got his name from the MASH character) presented a “Mission Planning” process that defines continuous improvement process very interestingly through a flight planning scenario. He told us you have to #1 Determine the Mission Objective, #2 Identify the Threats, #3 Identify Your Available and Required Resources, #4 Evaluate Lessons Learned, #5 Develop a Course of Action and #6 Plan for Contingencies. He took us through a Win process that indicated you first must Plan, then Brief the plan, Execute the plan and then Debrief to determine the results. It is through the debrief process that the stage is set for continuous improvement. Each person gets a say in the debrief, you learn about mistakes that occurred as well as the successes. Lips stated that it is in the debrief that you learn the things you want to keep doing, things that should not happen again and develop an action plan to ensure you grow from the experience. Reminded me of a Production Meeting where you review the production status of the repairs in progress and regroup if you needed. Lips illustrated that the Mission Objective should be; Clearly defined, Measurable, Achievable and Supports the future picture. The Threats should be identified by; Internal or External and by those that are Controllable or Uncontrollable. Identifying your Available and Required Resources should include the Resources needed to achieve the objective, either mitigate or eliminate controllable threats, and categorize your resources into: Training, Leadership, People, Clients and Customers, Fiscal Resources, Systems and Technologies. Evaluation of Lessons Learned is a very valuable step in the plan because it is there that you can review the successes and failures to evaluate the achievement of the objective. People have asked me what makes me a good consultant, I tell them it is because I made mistakes, broke them down and learned from them to develop a new game plan. The biggest step in this is to admit your mistake and do what you need to do so it does not reoccur. I remember making mistakes in the shop, one of the techs would call me out on it and I would admit, Yep you are right, what should we do to fix it, making the tech part of the solution. Great presentation and I certainly did not do it justice in my little recap but I had to share what I saw and hope you enjoyed it.
SCRS Afterburner Party
First I will say “What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas”. SCRS had a closing party in the Las Vegas Hilton, Sky Villas suite and I must tell you it was amazing. It was the suite Elvis would stay at when he came to Vegas. A very large four-bedroom suite that gave you a very picturesque view of Las Vegas. One of the bathrooms had two showers and two of the others had wet rooms with roman tubs and huge showers. The bedrooms had TV’s that popped up from the footboards. It was a perfect networking opportunity as I met several friends that I only get to see at conventions. I could tell you more but in remembering my opening statement let me just tell you is was a great time and I thank SCRS for inviting me.