From BodyShop Business
PROSSER, Wash. The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) announced the addition of the recently formed Alabama Automotive Repair Industry Society of Excellence (ALARISE) as a new affiliate association.
Alabama had gone five years without an active association when a group of shops in the market area began to discuss the prospects of forming a new association. In March 2011, collision repairers in the marketplace began to work together with a number of interested paint suppliers and parts vendors to form an organization that could best serve the needs of the Alabama collision repair industry. The repairers were motivated in part by an industry conference held in February of 2012 featuring SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg, who emphasized the importance of collision repairers working together to get things accomplished and what it really means to be an industry professional. He also brought up the subject of insurance-mandated parts procurement programs.
"Everyone in the room understood the challenges facing the industry, but hearing about the parts issue showed the magnitude of those challenges and made clear the importance of a unified industry voice in overcoming them," said ALARISE founder Steve Plier. "We started moving forward to organize an association, completing the basic and necessary paperwork filing with the state and hammering out our bylaws."
Along the way, SCRS provided feedback and information. "We basically used [SCRS] as a model for our emphasis and approach," said Plier.
ALARISE says its goal is to improve the professionalism of the industry. Also, to emphasize education, not just for collision repair shops but for the consumer. The association also plans on exposing members to effective business principles and processes, and also developing apprenticeship programs that will help address an acute technician shortage in the state.
In December, ALARISE released a consumer awareness commercial on local cable television channels emphasizing the right of the vehicle owner to elect a body shop.
"We need to focus our message with the consumer in mind, making clear our commitment to them," said Plier. "Our potential customers have to see us for what we are a legitimate industry willing to do whatever it takes to provide a high-quality product and the best possible service. SCRS will be a great help in this area because of their high visibility and great reputation. We are extremely excited to be affiliates."
Added Schulenburg, "This is a monumental moment in the formation of this new association in Alabama. The collision repairers of Alabama and their customers will be well served by this energetic, forward-thinking group, and I think they will receive tremendous value from the networking opportunities they will have with our other affiliates. Their vision and creativity in addressing the issues that affect our constituents make them a welcome addition to SCRS."