By Stephen Regan
While only a few months old, ASA of Mass and Rhode Island has been working hard to serve the needs of mechanical and collision repair shops in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In my meetings with shop owners and managers, along with other industry stakeholders, I have been very encouraged by their support. There is clearly a need and desire for an association to take a leadership position in the region. I am confident we can be that leader.
However, out of all the discussions, one question stuck with me. A shop owner asked, “Why do I need to join a group like ASA?” The question is important because it came from precisely the kind of person who would most benefit from joining our group.
Why should a shop join a regional ASA affiliate like ASA-MA/RI? If I could sum it up in a simple statement it would be:
“Only the strong survive.”
There is no doubt the automotive repair industry is undergoing a tremendous disruption, brought about by rapidly changing vehicle technology, evolving economic conditions, and a never-ending struggle to find the right balance between key players (such as OEMs, Equipment Suppliers, Insurers, and the consumer). One result of this upheaval is many shops simply cannot afford to keep up with the cost associated with these rapid changes.
In a conversation with a long-time friend and shop owner she noted that at least ten smaller collision repair shops in her part of the state had shuttered their doors in the past year. Mechanical shops are not immune from the trend, either, as a significant investment is necessary to keep up with advanced computerized diagnostics and technician training.
Unlike some of the national MSOs and OEM-supported dealer shops, many repair shops lack the time or money to keep up with all the changes on their own. Attaining the knowledge that a shop requires to remain competitive requires guidance and support from outside sources. Which is where ASA MA/RI comes in.
Our primary role is to serve as a resource for our members who need help in managing the wide-ranging requirements of a successful repair shop. We have the resources and connections to help you solve problems ranging from employee training, to safety issues, to equipment evaluation, to financing options. Plus, we’ll also keep you informed about legislation and industry trends that may impact your business.
Consider the ASA to be your shop’s workout gym – a place to get stronger, healthier, and better able to cope with the challenges you face on a daily basis.