Australian Autoglass Industry Alliance (AAIA)

By on November 30, 2016

LEANNE MARNELL, Secretary of the Australian Autoglass Industry Alliance (AAIA) reports on how it grew out of industry circumstances where independent autoglass businesses did not have an industry voice.

In many ways the industry circumstances which drove the establishment of the AAIA are not unlike those which drove the establishment of the CMPA. Independent businesses seeking to compete with large corporates are easy picked off but being part of a collective balances the scales considerably.

Information provided by an active association on issues such as the provision of industry information on regulatory changes, Occupational Health and Safety and Worksafe issues and a range of other topics and opportunities also allow independent businesses to keep abreast of industry developments they might otherwise miss.

The AAIA joined the CMPA as both organisations have similar business aims in that they exist only to assist independent businesses. It is the AAIAs hope CMPA members will also support independent autoglass businesses when they require windscreen repairs or replacements in their vehicles and plant.

The AAIA are currently the preferred repairer for a number of national fleet and plant operators and have put together an excellent track record over the last four years for a timely and competitive repair service.

Unregulated Industry

The autoglass replacement industry sector is unregulated. This provides autoglass businesses a ‘red-tape’ free zone which can be viewed as a good thing, but on the other hand encourages sub-standard work, which in the event of a collision puts the safety of ‘none the wiser’ drivers and passengers at risk.

Windscreens are generally seen by mums and dads as something which keeps the wind and rain off your face. More alarmingly, some vehicle owners do not see the problem with a handyman fix using silicone purchased from the local hardware store.

Technologies associated with vehicle windscreens nowadays include heating, antennae’s, head-up-displays, automatic rain sensing, crash avoidance and lane departure warning systems, acoustic and solar glass. Windscreens now do much more than keep the weather out.

The consequences of an incorrectly fitted windscreen are nowadays in a league far removed from those innocent years of not so long ago.

Modern Vehicles

Modern vehicles are now manufactured with a range of light weight and high strength materials, where (a properly fitted) windscreen is designed to improve the structural rigidity of the vehicle by up to 40%.

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Graphic provided by Henkel Australia

Graphic provided by Henkel Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airbags and Rollovers

The passenger side airbag uses the windscreen as a backboard to provide the passenger with protection against being thrown into the dashboard. An incorrectly fitted windscreen which leaves the vehicle in the event of a collision compromises the protection the airbag is designed to provide. Driver’s side airbags generally inflate from the steering wheel and do not rely on the windscreen, but drivers are not in the clear with respect to an incorrectly fitted windscreen.

The structural integrity of the vehicle is critical in the event of a rollover accident. Windscreens glued in with silicone (or an inferior adhesive) do not pass the common sense rule nowadays. Windscreen adhesives nowadays ensure the windscreen remains bonded to the vehicle in the event of a collision or rollover accident and importantly, assists in preventing the roof collapsing in on occupants.

 

Graphic provided by Sika Australia - car being lifted by only its windscreen

Graphic provided by Sika Australia – car being lifted by only its windscreen

It’s your safety that matters

Customers should ask their repairer for evidence the adhesive they are using will return their vehicle to the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) specifications. If the repairer cannot provide this, or has a well-rehearsed tale about their OEM product but no paperwork, it may be prudent to thank the repairer for their time and effort but explain that your family or workmates are more important to you than a questionable repair job.

 

 

 

 

Skilled Repairers

Like the CMPA, the AAIA has foreseen the importance of small businesses having skilled and technically competent employees to underpin safe and productive workplaces. The AAIA has secured on behalf of members, a substantial Australian Government grant to subsidise the training of autoglass technicians in the nationally accredited Certificate III in Automotive Glazing Technology. This training is now underway in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.

Consider the AAIA

The last few years has developed into a difficult business environment for independent autoglass businesses where large corporate repair networks have stitched up insurance and fleet repair work agreements, which they then sub-contract to independent businesses at a price which equates to something just below that of subsistence. Customers and insurers get no price relief and why insurance companies and fleet operators continue to sponsor this business model is a mystery. On the other hand growing insurance premiums are no mystery.

Insurance policies do provide a choice of repairer and quarry owners/operators are encouraged to consider the AAIA for their vehicle/plant autoglass repair needs – in other words use a local independent business. Quite apart from the local service they can provide, these independents will be able to provide a very competitive repair service as they are not encumbered with the costs associated with the endless meetings and long lunches which come with large corporate structures.

The AAIA is Australian owned, operated and based in Knoxfield Victoria. It is run as a not-for-profit organisation by members for members and members are business owners who recognise continuing to invest in their own business will only pay a dividend if customer service and workmanship are first class.

The AAIA has an excellent footprint in regional and rural Victoria where a member can be on-site at any quarry on the day and work undertaken comes with a warranty which covers the period the customer operates that vehicle or plant.

The AAIA operates a 24 hour 1300 phone number service and a central billing service to book, allocate and invoice work on behalf of customers and members.

The AAIA can offer CMPA members a 10% discount on the list price of any autoglass repair work and this comes with the warranty on materials and workmanship as noted above.

Contact the AAIA on 1300 4 autoglass (1300 428 864) or 0421 189 357 and speak with Leanne, visit the AAIA web site at www.aaia.net.au or email us at admin@aaia.net.au

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