11/12/2018 by I-CARFor decades, I-CAR has been recognizing shops with the highest role-relevant training achievement in the collision repair industry: Gold Class. Approximately 35 of these 5,500+ Gold Class shops have demonstrated their commitment for more than 25 years!
Here’s what three of the longest-standing Gold Class shops—each recognized for 27 years—had to say about why they’ve made the nearly three-decade commitment:
Owner—Central Autobody Rebuilders, Saint Louis, MO.
Owner—Downtown Garage & Autobody, Fredericksburg, VA.
Owner and First Technician—Car Crafters, Montano, Albuquerque, NM.
LESSON #1: GETTING THE JOB DONE RIGHT
“Training gives you a certain peace of mind. You know you have better techs who are making sure that the repairs are done properly on today’s vehicles.”—Chris Becker
“We’re very proud to be Gold Class; it brings a sense of ease to the public and helps when you’re bidding for a job. A competitor may be bidding at a lower price, but if they’re not I-CAR Gold Class, then the customer learns quickly that there’s more value that comes with Gold Class.” –George Dobbs
“To anyone who is on the fence about pursuing Gold Class, I just have to ask ‘why you would want to do a repair wrong?’ On any given day, you should be able to defend your shop’s work in a court of law and say that you did it right. If you’re not training, you’re gambling.” - Jim Guthrie
LESSON #2: THE ONLY OPTION IS TO KEEP UP
“So much has changed in the past 4-5 years, and if you’re not up-to-date, that starts to get very unsafe. Things in the industry are changing, and the only option is to keep up, or get out.” – Chris Becker
“You can’t keep doing what you did 10 years ago, or even a year ago, or you’ll be behind. It’s a competitive industry, and it’s hard to find technicians. If you’re not certified, frankly, you won’t grow at all.” – George Dobbs.
“I’ve been in this business for 37 years, and in all that time the industry has NEVER moved this fast. With the changing technology in cars, if you’re not training you’re already behind. In a few years from now…I can’t even imagine how far behind you’d be.” – Jim Guthrie
LESSON #3: AN INVESTMENT WITH A LARGE RETURN
Becker: “You get a reputation around town for being Gold Class. Some years I spend more on training than others, but it is always worth the investment because if someone sends a car to our shop, they know it’ll be fixed properly.”
Dobbs: “It’s a financial commitment that will pay off. Most reputable repair networks won’t even sign contracts with shops that aren’t certified. If you want financial success, start with I-CAR training—that’s number one.”
Guthrie: “For me, getting Gold Class meant that we achieved something special that maybe the guys down the street didn’t have. This continues to set us apart to secure jobs.”
Editors Note: I-CAR’s recently-announced PDP protocol enhancements are raising the bar for Gold Class shops. To learn more about these enhancements, visit I-CARtraintogain.com.