Tuesday, 07 April 2020 19:16

Special Edition April CIECAst Focuses on How Collision Industry is Addressing Challenges Created by the Coronavirus

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Anderson noted there have been some layoffs but said “Most shops are trying to hang onto their employees because they believe there will be a lot of work once we get through this.”


Addressing what shops are doing during this crisis, Anderson listed some suggestions: spray booth maintenance and filter changes, pressure washing shops, servicing equipment, chasing receivables from management systems, setting up online accounts and evaluating finances.


He also noted a lot of shops are taking advantage of online training opportunities and reviewing standard operating procedures (SOPs) from vehicle manufacturers to strengthen their team for what comes after the COVID-19 crisis.


Anderson said this crisis provides insight into the future of the industry as claim count declines due to ADAS.


“A lot of sales cover a lot of sins, and sales were up last year because severity was up, but car count is decreasing," he said. "It’s important to focus on capture rate, and this forces everyone to build best practices that will benefit them in the future.”


Predicting that insurance claims will also be handled differently in the future, Anderson foresees more investment in technology and more trust in data and analytics. If the government offers incentives to boost new cars sales once this situation is resolved, he anticipates a quicker reduction in car count as more vehicles on the road will be equipped with ADAS, reducing accident frequency.


“There is a silver lining,” Anderson said. “The entire industry will be reset and likely rely more on technology. There are exciting times ahead, so stay positive.”


The penultimate presenter was Day, executive vice president and general manager of Mitchell International Auto Physical Damage, who examined the now, the next and the new normal as she offered practical advice on how to not only survive but thrive during this challenging time.


Now, the automotive and collision repair industries have been deemed essential businesses, but as such, “We face special responsibilities and challenges,” Day said. “Our goal is to keep customers safe while continuing to operate our businesses.”


Emphasizing the importance of slowing the spread of COVID-19, Day explored how the Internet and virtual claims handling has made this crisis significantly different than any other the nation has faced, allowing many workers the opportunity to work remotely and many businesses the ability to operate virtually. She reminded attendees when it comes to the global economy, “We are all connected.”

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