by Bob Beranek
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It is that time of year again when the college football bowl season begins and the NFL starts their road to the Super Bowl. During the season, our teams raise our hopes through inspired plays and then deflate some of those hopes with bad performances (with the possible except of the Carolina Panthers). We have cheered when our teams played well and cried when they fumbled the ball. We understand that wins and losses are part of the game.

We have been part of another competition lately that many of us didn’t even know we were in—“The Recalibration Bowl.” The glassBYTEs.com™ article on Monday reporting that Belron has found a way to calibrate Advanced Driver Assist Systems in the shop has brought ambivalent reactions. On one side, we as an industry have found a way to provide our customer a way to drive a safe vehicle immediately after their windshield is replaced. That is a good thing. On the other hand, of course, the provider of that valuable service is our industry’s biggest competitor, and that presents a dilemma that may put some of us behind the eight ball.

We have to give credit where credit is due. Belron used its ingenuity, vision and action on an issue that concerned us all. They did the job. Like in football, the team with the better players and game plan usually wins and “Team Belron” won this one. Team Belron, with its global presence, financial resources and dedicated research and development team, put together a game plan that looks like it might be a winner. The consumer thanks you and congratulations.

However, sometimes when the chips are down and the game is on the line, the smaller team (call them “Team Independent”) develops competitive advantages in their own right, and still win.

What does your replacement team do better than the competitors in your area? Maybe your system of supervising and managing your team provides better quality control. Do you excel at scheduling efficiency? Are your customers aware that your technicians are certified, and what that means to the safety of their families?

Team Independent may be smaller, but that may allow for better and faster reaction times than the behemoth they compete with. Team Independent are local and usually the fans’ favorite—the crowd noise can be deafening. They are there when you need them and can provide service when others won’t or can’t.

Just like the football games coming up this Holiday Season, the “Recalibration Bowl” will be fun to watch but don’t bet on the results. As Tony D’Amato said, anything can happen “on any given Sunday.”

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from my family to yours,

Bob Beranek