David Friend is the owner of Mobile Tech and Wilmington Hybrids, from Wilmington, NC David has two locations. an ADAS Calibration shop and teaches ADAS calibration in his dedicated training center. Listen to David’s previous episodes HERE.
Matt Lachowitzer is a husband, father of 3, avid Minnesota Vikings fan, and owner and founder of Matt’s Automotive Service Center. A Herman, MN native, Matt started this company as a two-bay shop back in 2009. He has expanded the company into 6 locations with beautiful, state of the art facilities all over the Fargo-Moorhead area. Matt enjoys being a pillar in the community, giving back in any way he can, and providing knowledge and education in the biggest ways possible. As a result of being a continuous educator and an amazing pillar in the community, Matt won Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015 through the Fargo-Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. When Matt’s not working, he enjoys fishing, riding ATV’s, watching football, and traveling with his family. Check Matt’s other episodesHERE.Jim Carpenter is the owner of Quality Auto Body.Key Talking Points:
ADAS calibrations require a continual investment is newer equipment
You may not be able to work on every single make or model
Aftermarket equipment is a compliment to OE toolingThis is yet to be an exact science but OE tooling is best to lean on
Get paid for your investment. Get your pricing that includes your investment in facility, tooling and equipment
Insurance companies make their money by not paying out. A body shop problem getting paid or their money worth for ADAS calibration
Every make/model is different. Chevy vs Audi will require more time and different equipment. Charging the same for a Chevy vs an Audi will not make you any money.
Insurance companies see no value in training, certifications. Too many want it done cheap and fast to get their client out of a rental. There is a safety factor here. You need to consider a moral factor to do the job right.
You need to know where to get OE service information
You must want to understand technology in order to do calibrations.
You need to read and comprehend. It takes math and science to do a good calibrations
Markets will not bear an ADAS Calibration shop on every corner
You need to research how many ADAS Calibration shops in your market
You will need to develop a business plan to you can see the return on investment over time
Promoting your new calibration center will require door to door, flyers and even a campaign into the marketplace. Promote your new services to glass shops a great source of work.Just because the post-scan is good doesn’t mean the ADAS component of the vehicle is fully functional
Consider if the vehicle is not drivable there will be a tow involved to bring it to your shop
A big responsibility is to be sure the vehicle is functioning 100% within spec. It needs to behave properly when it leaves your shop.
Moving forward David feels the OEs need to help us verify if the vehicle is fully functional after calibration. Full autonomous will require that.
Access to information for ADAS calibration will be important to the future of calibrations
You need the right type of environment for a calibration center
Matt purchased a new facility to create his ADAS calibration center and put it under a separate entityHe is looking for opportunities from body shops, small dealers and mechanical shops that require calibrations
He is offering pick up and delivery services
David says there are some great aftermarket tooling however he cautions that nothing will replace OEM
David holds ADAS training and recommends paying to get OE service information
Insurance companies are squeezing all aspects of the repair process. They are also crunching ADAS calibration costs to providers
When calibration isn’t rooted in a collision, you must get the correct price based on individual time and equipment invested.
Is menu pricing is used you may lose money
Insurance company denies and you’ll need to defend your price
Technical service bulletins need to be reviewed. Matt hears that at the OE level there are challenges in ADAS systems working or shutting down. Still in the twilight of ADAS calibration
David believes that a pre-scan should include a pre-inspection
The brake system is no longer just a brake system it is part of an entire system that needs to play nice with all other components like ADAS. Every sensor can lead to the braking system
Invest in training of your people
Depending on the state, the person who gives the keys to the vehicle owner is on the hook for the safety of the vehicle
An ADAS equipped car saved David’s life because it did what it was designed to do. Repairing a vehicle, by getting the ADAS system re-calibrated has given him a new perspective. Don’t cut corners.
A special thanks to David Friend, Matt Lachowitzer, and Jim Carpenter for their contribution to the aftermarket.
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