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KECO Training

The Importance Of Auto Body Repair Training

Is training important? If you think it is, how can it benefit your business? Researchers like Shelley Frost, who has written a comprehensive series of articles about training, discovered that companies have found training to be beneficial in many ways. Training expands an employee’s knowledge base, it strengthens skills a person may already have, it makes employees aware of safety issues s/he may not know about. Training also increases employees’ confidence in their skills and their ability to perform a task correctly the first time, reducing the chance they may have to rely on help from their supervisors or other workers. Training and education for technicians and skilled employees often helps them home in on career objectives by providing them with a solid foundation in launching and then remaining on their chosen career path.

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Benefits for Owners and Managers

Managers and owners see benefits when they train their employees. With training, a skilled person performs better and more effectively, which translates into a more efficient workplace which further translates into higher profits. Trained individuals are also more likely to remain on the job, which means less employee turnover in the shop so managers and owners aren’t continually on the lookout for replacement workers.

The wrong type of training and inappropriate frequency of training can be negative. Obviously, owners and managers want to provide the specific training their employees need; one size does not fit all, except perhaps in safety or general-practice training. Common sense indicates it’s best to provide classes and education that pertain directly to an employee’s job and career path.

If owners and managers provide too many classes in too short a time, it can be difficult for their employees to absorb the new and important information the class provides. Overtraining can also increase stress on employees with the result that performance and production quality decrease. Another potential hazard is too much theory and not enough hands-on. Brain knowledge is certainly helpful, but without the “grounding” effect of some hands-on, practical application of that knowledge, training can be a waste of time, money and effort.

Body Shop Training

Training in body shop methods can be a big help. In the classroom, technicians learn from the experts while improving the mental, thinking approach to everyday as well as unusual repairs. The techs then take these ideas back to the shop and try them out for themselves. Retaining the notes they took and the literature that was part of the classroom instruction, technicians can refer back to them when they get stuck or need a refresher.

Combining hands-on experience with classroom education give employees the best of both worlds.

With hands-on training, techs not only learn from the experts by watching them do their magic, but they get to try out techniques and approaches themselves with the mentoring guidance of professionals and those with years of know-how to share.

Training often gives technicians exposure to new methods and techniques and allows opportunities to review familiar ones.  It allows technicians to experience for ourselves the “nuts and bolts” of the fascinating, ever-changing world of body-shop repair. But training also gives techs an opportunity to meet and hang out with other technicians, people of “like mind” with whom they can share their daily trials and concerns, and who knows, maybe even make some new friends along the way. Training sessions also allow technicians to have contact with those who have been in the field perhaps years longer than they have so they can absorb some of their wisdom and in effect become like them as body-shop experts and teachers.

The problem is most body-repair classes have been developed by insurers. They teach technicians how to do more work below cost, but this does not provide many technicians directions to where they want to go. Sure, that type of training helps insurers but what about essential new techniques, methods, and approaches? Technicians need to know and apply these in order to not only keep up with the latest but to be at the forefront of the newest techniques and methods with regards to the ever-evolving field of automotive manufacturing. Using them daily in the shop saves techs time and energy, and saves the shop time, energy, and money while helping increase profits. Body shop training that provides all of this is a big challenge. KECO GPR (glue pull repair) classes and hands-on training have developed expert-led, certified classes and hands-on training to meet this challenge.

KECO Training

GPR is a transformative approach to auto and truck body repair, leaving behind the traditional methods of drilling and welding that are invasive and time-consuming. GPR unique tabs-and-glue method, in addition to requiring less time and effort to pull the dent, also leaves most of the paint and exterior coating on the panel, which means far less sculpting, priming, and painting. GPR successfully addresses the aluminum versus steel dilemma that shops face today and also the problems that electronics, sensors, and insulation on and behind panels can create. It is a method that guarantees that technicians will spend less time on repairs, expend less effort, and achieve fantastic results. You can almost see higher profits rolling in the door.

KECO offers three types of training in GPR methods and techniques.

  • Online at pulltopaint.com
  • Regional events at a host site
  • On-location training in the familiar environs of the technician’s or owner’s shop

Online Training

Online training is free and a great resource to learn GPR quickly and to become familiar with the tools involved in making repairs with the glue-pull method. Our online training may serve as the primary training, or techs can use it for continuing troubleshooting and tweaking after an initial classroom/hands-on session. The current online videos feature KECO’s own Jonathan Vandenfontyne who walks viewers through the “Six C’s of Glue Repair,” which is a comprehensive overview of GPR that lays out the basics any technician needs to know. This includes ascertaining the repair the vehicle needs, the type of tab and glue required to fix the dent, pulling tools, and other essentials of GPR. Click www.pulltopaint.com to begin learning about GPR now. 

Regional Training

Regional events are geared toward individual techs or for small shops that want in-depth GPR training but don't have enough guys on staff to justify the cost of on-location training. KECO hosts these events whenever there is enough interest generated in any one area. For example, KECO sponsored a regional training in Oklahoma City in early 2019 and one in Spring of 2019 in Pittsburgh. Regional training classes are open to anyone. Local techs typically fill up the class but trainees are more than welcome to fly or drive to the event. These classes typically cost $800 per tech and group rates are available for two or more technicians who attend from the same shop.

On-Location Training

On-location training is for medium to large shops that would like to train three+ technicians. This is dedicated, hands-on training in the comfort of the tech’s own shop. KECO instructors and students often do real repairs on customer vehicles so downtime is minimized and techs can see first-hand how they can utilize GPR approaches, tools, and methods in the shop. This is a more cost-effective option for shop owners compared to sending three or more techs to a regional event.

Certifications and training provide a number of advantages to help technicians, shop managers, and owners save time and effort in the shop, gain new customers, and increase profits while gaining a competitive edge on their competition. These include:

  • ensuring shops are running at optimal efficiencies
  • helping techs over any learning curves while implementing new tools into the shop
  • increasing the likelihood of success as new tools and techniques become standard in the body shop.

So take your body-shop skills to the next level with our classes. They provide knowledge and know-how taught by master technicians with decades of experience. With our regional and on-site training, technicians acquire in-depth explanations combined with classroom learning and hands-on practice so they can master processes and approaches. KECO students learn about how to utilize GRP tools in the most impactful ways and methods to improve results so shops can deliver unrivaled service to customers and increase profitability, too.

To sign up for training, click here now. KECO welcomes all inquiries.

Article By KECO Tabs

KECO Tools

Staying Competitive in Today’s Body Shop

The automotive industry has changed dramatically in the past 40+ years. Cars and trucks today have features few would have dreamed of in the 1970’s or ‘80s. Electronics alone are a huge innovation but we have also seen plastic body parts, alternative metals in OEM manufacturing such as aluminum, and all-out efforts in body shapes and weights geared towards better fuel economy and greater safety.

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Body repair shops today have to take into consideration these changes, especially with body panels and other body parts: they are no longer just pieces of metal. In addition to body parts being manufactured out of plastic, tempered steel, steel, aluminum or composites, techs have to be aware of insulation and wiring on the back, sensors, and e-coatings on the front.

Techniques have changed, too. Technicians routinely pounded out dents in the past or used stud welding to pull the dent. PDR offered a specialty type of repair many shops farmed out. All of this comes down to traditional shops versus new OEM manufacturing techniques – and what to do about it.

Most Body Shops

The majority of people in our business operate smaller, “mom and pop” shops. These body shops are often family-run businesses that are not necessarily on the cutting edge of technology, but they have their main customers, some who have been loyal for decades and who help keep the shop afloat financially. Mom and pop repair facilities don’t do the volume business-wise compared to regionals or large MSO’s, and like most shops, the owners and managers battle insurance adjusters daily. Naturally, their main focus is body repair so they are not necessarily super negotiators, estimators, or accountants.

To stay competitive and remain in business, owners of family-run shops think that they might have to expand their capabilities by enlarging the shop with new work areas so they can accept more customers, or create separate bays to accommodate different metals. Or maybe hire more people or invest in a major advertising campaign. None of these are cheap.

So how does a shop like this stay competitive in the face of competition and new technology without making huge, business-altering investments?

KECO and GPR

In the early 2000s, technicians began using GPR (glue pull repair) to repair dents and collision damage. Since that time, KECO has moved to the forefront of this technology and is now the premier manufacturer and supplier of GPR tools and accessories.

GPR is not rocket science. Techs use removable adhesive and an attachment called a tab to pull the dent from the front with a pulling tool. Most of the time, GPR creates little paint and finish damage. Actually pulling the dent is similar to traditional dent pulls, so technicians do not expend any more energy and they can use their present pull tools with minor adapters if they choose. But some of the best aspects of GPR are that there is no stud welding, with the accompanying invasive damage that they must be repaired, and GPR works on all metals, steel, tempered, steel or aluminum so there’s no need for separate work areas. This gives body shops a way to make dent and collision repairs quicker and easier and with relatively small financial investment. GPR is a way for small, family-owned body repair shops to remain competitive and at the same time address new technology to improve their profit margins.

Other Advantages of GPR

If a shop is moving into the future by looking at turning over the business to a son or daughter, or perhaps considering selling to a large MSO or a smaller regional competitor or another business owner looking to expand to additional locations within his own market, including GPR in the shop can make it more attractive to progeny or a potential buyer. KECO’s GPR tools and training are affordable options that make the shop able to repair more vehicles, replace fewer parts, and increase efficiency because technicians can do more work with less effort. Combined, these advantages make the shop more attractive to a potential buyer or for handing it down to the next generation.

Tools and Training

KECO’s kits are a great way to begin learning and performing GPR. All kits include the tools a technician needs to either start small in GPR, add on to existing GPR tools that you may already have, or to get all the tools and accessories needed to become super proficient in GPR. The starter kits include a glue gun and various tabs and adhesives for different applications. In addition to these basics, the bigger kits include a larger variety of adhesives and tabs, lights, more repair tools, lifters, and a carrying bag.

Along with ordering a KECO kit, training can be an additional economical method to address a body shop’s financial concerns and considerations. KECO’s free online training is a great way to learn GPR quickly and to become familiar with the tabs, adhesives, and tools involved. Techs new to GPR can use web training as their primary training tool; more experienced technicians can use it for troubleshooting or tweaking their skills and knowledge after taking advanced courses.

On-location classes are for medium to large shops that would like to train three or more technicians with a dedicated hands-on experience combined with personal instruction. On-location training has the additional advantage of working in the familiarity of your techs’ shop. In the classes, technicians often work on customer vehicles, which means less downtime.

We also offer regional training for shops that want in-depth GPR instruction but don’t have enough techs on staff to justify the cost of an on-location class. KECO hosts these events whenever there is enough interest generated in a particular area.

Small Investments = Bigger Profits

KECO is in the business of helping body shops increase their returns. We offer a line of GPR tools and accessories at reasonable costs that allow technicians to work better and more efficiently, yielding fantastic results without invasive stud welding and labor-intensive priming, painting, and finishing. Increased efficiencies and abilities mean the shop can serve more customers in less time, with the accompanying bigger profits. Bigger profits make your shop more financially secure, whether the goal is to get ahead of the competition, to hand down a thriving business to the next generation, or to appear more attractive to a prospective buyer.

Training certainly involves time but it is time well spent. Our instructors share their knowledge and experience with your technicians so they assimilate GPR quickly and thoroughly. We make it easy to learn on your own via our online training materials on www.pulltopaint.com.

Great tools, the right accessories, and expert GPR training gives repair shops the advantage they are looking for. Contact KECO now to start making better repairs and stop stud welding.

Article By KECO Tabs

Robolifter

Glue Pull Repair Increases Profitability: Independents, Conglomerates, & Insurers

For body shop owners and employees, competition is fierce, hours are long, and cash flow may not be there when needed. In addition, consolidation in the industry is presenting new challenges.

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Traditionally, when business was slow and profits were down, the only way owners could see to increase profits was to borrow money to expand the shop, buy new equipment, hire more employees, and maybe shell out large sums of money for advertising. The shop’s technicians would try to help by working for less pay or working faster but that’s not a long-term solution.

There are alternatives.

Body shops are in business primarily to fix vehicles that are damaged by accidents or storm damage. If it weren’t for accidents and acts of God, 99% of body shops would be out of business. Who insures against accidents? Insurance companies, of course, and if insurance companies did not cover most accidents, body damage would not get repaired and technicians and body shops would not be operating. In effect, body shop customers provide the work and for the most part, insurers pay the bills.

Owners, Technicians, Insurers, and Customers

Body shop owners need to maintain healthy relationships with insurers, the technicians who work for them, and with their customers.

Owners must walk the line with insurers. They know that insurance companies want to pay out as little possible – but that insurers need to make a profit just as body shop owners do. So, while owners realize this, they have the responsibility of making sure the shop is getting the proper reimbursement for the work it does.

Owners need to maintain healthy relationships with the main people in their shops who are doing the actual body repair work – their technicians. This means paying them a fair wage, providing benefits, and maintaining a great place to work along with the tools they need to get the job done safely, efficiently, and profitably.

Shop owners also have to make sure their customers are happy, that they receive courteous service and excellent vehicle repair.

In addition to these large responsibilities, owners are seeing big changes in the industry, for example, the ABRA/Caliber merger, set to finalize in 2019. More and more, independents and the big conglomerates are in competition for the same customers.

Keco Glue Pull Repair products can help in accomplishing the goals of running a profitable shop and addressing potential problems that mergers and acquisitions might present. Keco Glue Pull Repair products’ innovative method of dent and collision repair addresses time, effort, and money concerns in your shop while producing the same or better quality compared to traditional means. Investing in our tools and training helps enhance profitability by improving the skill sets of your technicians. Proper implementation and training of glue pull techniques can lower the need to increase headcount in the shop while simultaneously improving efficiency. If an independent is weighing becoming part of a conglomerate, it can make the shop more attractive as a potential investment for the corporation that is considering acquiring the independent shop. If an independent shop is losing business to a conglomerate, Keco Glue Pull products and techniques can give the shop a big advantage by making repairs more efficiently and faster with better quality.

Data-Driven Approach to Shop Efficiency

Many shops are adopting data-driven approaches to shop efficiency: measuring and recording every aspect of the operation and applying lean manufacturing concepts. Owners arrange to have auditors scientifically observe and record technicians’ movements and expended efforts so auditors can provide feedback to management on how workers can improve efficiency in completing their tasks. After the auditors record movements and work-related activities, technicians, and managers together map procedures in a joint effort for overall improvement. Lean manufacturing techniques include JIT (Just In Time) inventory, waste reduction, and improved relationships with suppliers so supplies are delivered every time in a timely and efficient manner.

Keco wants to be your “go to” company to help you achieve all of these goals and more.

How It Works

Keco Glue Pull Repair products and techniques allow your technicians to make the repair in less time with less effort, reducing lengthy key-to-key cycle times with fewer remove and replace (R&R) or remove and install (R&I) procedures; and the repair itself takes less time. Overall, billing for fewer parts and more service hours results in a net gain from more frequent job turnover. You also reduce the need for total part replacement, which creates a shorter repair for your customers. 

Glue pull repair allows technicians to expend less effort mentally and physically and to spend less time on repairs compared to the usual approach. So your technicians are happier and can service more vehicles.

A Skilled Job

Body shops sometimes have a difficult time providing the type of excellent service their customers expect with the funds the insurance company pays. The work of the body shop requires knowledge, skill, and patience. Most of the time, you can’t just pull the dent and send the customer on his way. Especially with a large dent or extensive damage, you may have to research the best approach first. Then after you find it, you often have to disassemble parts of the vehicle before you pull the dent. After you pull the dent, you frequently have to apply body filler (sometimes more than one coat), wet sand, apply paint primer, apply the final coat of paint, then re-assemble. Drying between steps takes time.

Insurers don’t want to pay for this time-consuming, skilled-labor process if they don’t have to. But it’s only right that the technician is paid fairly for his or her knowledge, time, and effort, and the body shop can make a profit and stay in business.

Barrett Smith, a writer, and son of a former body shop owner provides excellent background and sound advice about the relationship between body shops and insurers in his article and follow-up article called “Do Body Shops Work for Consumers or Insurance Companies?” In this article posted on the Body Shop Business website, Smith explains that in the past, insurance company representatives were called “inspectors,” and their job was limited to checking out the vehicle after the accident and determining the liability. As insurance providers became more informed, they changed their position and the dynamics of the relationship they have with shops changed. The role of the adjuster was born, and their primary job was to negotiate costs to maximize the provider’s return on each job.

Solutions

The body shop owner and the technician have these goals in common:

  • saving time and effort

  • making more money

  • producing quality work for satisfied customers, and hopefully getting referrals

As a shop owner, when profits are down, it prompts you to look for ways to increase them. Technicians are always looking for ways to make their jobs easier physically and mentally and to perform work quicker and more efficiently.

How It Works

The glue pull repair (GPR) method of dent and hail repair uses strong adhesive glue that allows the technician to pull the dent out with adhered tabs and pulling tools. This eliminates the need to stud weld and reduces the amount of panel beating and sculpting. It basically works like this: first, the technician thoroughly cleans the repair surface. He then chooses the correct pulling component, called a tab, to glue to the damaged area. The technician applies the glue to the tab and places it on the dent. After the glue solidifies, the tech attaches the appropriate dent puller to the tab and with muscle power, pulls the dent flush with the vehicle surface. The tech then removes the glue easily with isopropyl alcohol. That’s it. No stud welding, less body filler needed, and far less paint damage (none for small dents and most hail damage). The full process can be seen in depth at www.pulltopaint.com.

Best Tools for the Job

The KECO Glue Pulling Collision and Hail Manager Kit is the Cadillac of glue-pulling kits. Professionals worldwide use it to for collision repair, to fix large and small dents, and for body and hail damage. It includes:

  • a K-bar beam bridge, a K-bar leverage bar, and a Robo mini dent lifter

  • a 12 oz. slide hammer dent puller

  • a blending hammer; a slapper hammer

  • a cordless glue gun, an adjustable temperature glue gun, and a dual temperature heat gun

  • a warm center offset PDR light

  • knockdowns in sizes ranging from 3/32" (2.5 mm) to 1/4" (6 mm)

  • glue tabs: dimpled hail, smooth, ice smooth dual size crease and flip tabs, flexible and rigid, centipede, and modular

  • various adapters

  • three 10-packs of glue sticks

  • a tool bag for easy transporting and storage

Also check out our Glue Pulling Collision Pro Kit (#2), ideal for collision, large dent, and body repair, and our Glue Pulling Hail Kit Pro (#2), great for small dents and hail and as a starter kit. Any of our glue pulling kits will help save you time and money. Prices start at as little as $450.

Onsite Training

Keco also offers one-day, onsite training at your facility. Our experts walk your entire technical team through the “6C’s of Pull-to-Paint.” The course includes hands-on processes on live repairs, with the result your technicians can be adept at glue-pulling repairs in just one day so your shop can start saving money immediately. Click here for more information.

Take advantage of the money- and time-saving methods that define Keco Glue Pull processes. They offer simple but powerful techniques that not only make work easier for your technicians; the Keco Glue Pull techniques to save time and materials, which mean higher profits for the shop and happier employees who work hard daily to provide the best service and expert repairs that make your shop stand out. Keco Glue Pull products and expertise can be the key to more efficiency and higher profits because they are easier, less energy-intensive, and less costly than traditional body shop methods. Consulting with a Keco representative can get your shop on the road to saving time, effort, and energy while increasing profits.

Article By KECO Tabs

CamAutoPro Monster Kit

One of CamAuto Pro newest products that was showcased at the 2019 SEMA event is this Monster kit. The biggest and most equipped kit from the Camauto product line. This kit is 120 pieces of ruggedness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GPRNews.ca

The Process For Maximizing Your Paintless Dent Removal Results is Glue Pulling and the future of Paintless Dent Removal.

Let's Talk GPR Glue Pulling Repair and Glue Pulling Dents. 2019 Has Become The Year of The GPR Industry.

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