If you’ve binged on any television lately, chances are you’ve seen the ad – a driver, distracted by someone in the passenger seat, looks up to find the vehicle is about to collide with one in front of it – the driver panics, too late: the vehicle has already responded without the driver, automatically braking and avoiding the rear-end collision.

Advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) are just one in a long string of technology advancements forcing change in the auto body repair industry. While keeping up may seem an impossible feat, ABRA Auto Body & Glass’ message is clear: we’re ready.

ABRA’s confidence stems from its culture of learning. Showing up with a few industry certifications and years of experience, doesn’t make someone an expert: at least not in an industry where technology is moving so fast what worked six months ago, doesn’t work today. Being an expert requires constant learning, being prepared for change, and embracing the opportunity to develop new skillsets. All this learning comes with a price tag, but it’s an investment ABRA is willing to make.

In a fast paced environment, how do you ensure employees are keeping up to date?
Of course there’s individual industry certifications which introduce new skills and allow technicians to master new technologies; however the company feels the easiest way to keep employees trained is to weave ongoing learning into the very fabric of the organization. ABRA is a learning organization, meaning teams of auto body technicians work collectively to learn from each other every day and to identify new and improved ways to accomplish complex auto body repairs. This collaboration comes in the form of daily team meetings, hands-on learning, and performance observation checklists.

What types of on-going training do auto body technicians receive?
While training is important, the company prefers to refer to its approach as talent development. Teams of ABRA managers are dedicated to ensuring the company has the proper people, with the proper skillset, in place in every market. Through its Learning Management System, the management team is able to identify not only technicians, but entire collision repair center teams in need of additional learning opportunities to continuously deliver quality repairs on every vehicle. The learning may be related to new processes, new and advanced auto body repair equipment, or new vehicle technology.

What are the key benefits to a continuous learning approach?
First and foremost the approach directly contributes to company growth. With the company equipped to handle any auto body repair, there is no lack of work for its highly skilled professionals.

Employee engagement is an equally important benefit. With the support of peers, auto body technicians are pushed to constantly hone their skills. And for the times when the entire team is at a loss for ideas? The company provides repair support software as well as access to dedicated, highly skilled, auto body repair professionals who can quickly provide guidance on proper repair procedures, affording the team the opportunity to learn together and deliver a high quality, safe auto body repair. It all contributes to a positive learning environment with auto body technicians reaping their own reward of personal and professional development at every turn.

The company’s reward: an industry leading, highly-skilled team of auto body repair technicians, ready to tackle the repair of ADAS equipped vehicles. As far as the next latest and greatest technology, the company won’t speculate on what it may be but whatever it is, you can bet they’ll be ready before you’re behind the wheel.