With nearly 23 million vehicles involved in accidents annually---a statistic that is trending upward, according to Vincent Romans, The Romans Group---body shops across the country are being faced with deciding if they should repair or replace non-structural components during the repair process.
“Sometimes we jump to replace and don’t consider certain things when a repair might be a better bet,” said George Avery, Avery Consulting LLC, during a recent Guild 21 podcast sponsored by VeriFacts.
The podcast focused on the decision-making process in regard to interior parts and plastic repair.
Avery said there are five decision points body shops can consider. First, is if the damage is an appearance issue that doesn’t affect the part, such as a scrape on a transmission case. Next, an analysis is typically done to determine if a repair should be performed. If the answer is “no,” the body shop can then decide to use a recycled part, aftermarket or new OEM.
“It all depends on critical thinking,” said Avery. “Through repetition or habit, sometimes our critical thinking doesn’t work so well.”
As a result, he encouraged podcast attendees to use critical thinking and consider all options and expenses when making a decision.
“The repair procedures are our guideline,” said Avery. “If new is the best bet, there is nothing else you can do. If you think of the mantra ‘fix it right, fix it smart,’ repair certainly has a place.”
During the podcast, Avery talked about making the decision of whether it makes sense to repair versus replace and some of the challenges with estimating, tools, technicians, subletting and overall business decisions.
Many estimators don’t consider repairing the part for a variety of reasons, said Avery. They may be new to the job and unfamiliar with certain repair techniques; they may have had a bad past experience; it could be because of the tools and technicians; or they may not be compensated in a way that a repair is conducive or desirable based on performance goals.
During the Guild 21 podcast, Scott McKernan, president of #1 Vinyl & Leather Repair, and Kurt Lammon, president of Polyvance, were invited to speak about some of the important considerations when making repair versus replace decisions.