Collision repair facilities can typically increase profits by raising prices and/or working to become more efficient, according to Mark Olson, CEO of VECO Experts (Vehicle Collision Experts, LLC).
“Raising your prices can sometimes be difficult,” said Olson. “There are a number of ways to achieve efficiency in your body shop and have a predictable high-quality repair outcome.”
VECO Experts provides onsite assessments and repair inspections at body shops across the country to ensure manufacturers’ processes and materials are followed.
Olson shared 10 steps to provide quality collision repairs as part of Dave Luehr’s Elite Body Shop Solutions webinar held in April. Luehr, the founder of Elite Body Shop Solutions, hosts monthly webinars to help collision repair shops reach their business goals and achieve their true personal potential.
Olson’s “10 simple steps to collision repair success”
1. Pre-health check scan (post and electronic reset /calibration) on every car
2. Procedures at time of estimate
Olson stressed the importance of knowing as much as possible about a vehicle prior to the repair and including the information on the original estimate. He recommended accessing repair information from the I-CAR Repairability Technical Support Portal (https://rts.i-car.com/); information providers, such as ALLDATA and Mitchell; OEM 1 STOP (www.oem1stop.com) and position statements from the car manufacturers.
3. Procedures given to technician or sublet vendor during the final repair plan meeting before beginning repairs
4. Procedures followed
“This is where the disconnect often comes in,” said Olson. “We have to follow the procedures, and this requires a culture shift.”
He used the example of technicians welding.
“Even great techs will say, ‘I took 20 welds out; I’m going to put 20 back in.’ Well, sometimes they are going to want 30 back in or a slot weld or a MIG braze," he said. "We may repair the vehicle differently than it was built originally.”
When repairers tell Olson that they have been doing it a certain way for more than 30 years, his response is that if you want to repair cars with 30-year-old technology, work on cars that are 30 years old. He recommends looking closely at the following procedures: weld count, electronic reset, corrosion protection, sectioning locations, parts removal/location, etc.