Field of Vision July/August 2020

This Time, a Year Doesn’t Make a Bit of Difference

By Tara Taffera

I don’t have to tell you that receiving a wrong piece of glass, no matter how or why it occurred, is a terrible inconvenience to an auto glass shop. With the costs that come with these errors, that statement is putting it pretty mildly. And as far as fixing these issues, collectively as an industry, we definitely aren’t there yet.

In January 2019 (go to and click on January-February 2019 then “Finding the Right Windshield,”) I wrote an article and interviewed experts to dissect why this happens, and what the industry is doing to fix it. Many auto glass shop owners and suppliers talked about the growing introduction of products labeled as VIN decoders or VIN lookup tools. While these sometimes can help, they are still not fully addressing the problem. Neither is NAGS, and auto glass shops say manufacturers and distributors obviously play a role as well. And in other cases, it’s the sheer volume of ADAS features, and consumers ignorance about their car’s features that exacerbates the problem.

With all these issues swirling around, AGRR embarked on an industry-wide survey to study the situation—including the top reasons why auto glass shops say they end up with the wrong glass. The results, and comments from auto glass shop owners nationwide, of-fer additional insights. To view all the data and comments, see the feature article on page 16.

I want to share a few ancillary remarks as well, and may do so in a future issue. So if you have insights on either of these, please send me an email at as I would love to talk to you.

“The only parts we have to re-turn are the ‘no shows,’” said one respondent. “We confirm the day before. And if they don’t show, I call them from a cell number and tell them anytime they have a scheduled appointment, especially at a small company, common courtesy is to let us know you’re not coming. We could have taken someone else … Also, they call 17 glass shops, and get them all mixed up.”

Sadly, all the prep work in the world won’t solve that issue. And speaking of prep, another respondent says sometimes this one skill makes all the difference:

“Preparing is probably one of the most important aspects of our job that I feel gets overlooked the most in our industry,” the respondent said. “Whether it is preparing by looking up a VIN for correct parts, doing research on how to deconstruct a car you aren’t familiar with, or just properly cleaning the glass, preparation alone can make all the difference in any job.”

Until a one-size-fits-all solution materializes, that skill can be applied to glass part ordering as well—from all parties involved.

TARA TAFFERA is the editorial director of AGRR magazine/

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

This entry was posted in AGRR. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.