Wednesday, 14 September 2016 20:30

MSO Symposium Looks at International Business Models, Slow-Down in Consolidation


International Perspectives Shared

This year’s MSO Symposium was open not just to those from MSOs but also larger single-location shops (those with annual sales in excess of $3 million) as well.

The event included a panel discussion on collision industry business models around the world. Panelists were asked, for example, for countries where they see insurers and collision repairers working particularly well together. Jonas Gunnarsson, a vice president of Car-o-Liner, said his home country of Sweden would fit that description, but also the Middle East country of Dubai.

“If you have a collision in Dubai, you come to a place where you have sort of a supermarket: the police are there, insurers are there, workshops are there, inspections are there, rentals are there,” Gunnarsson said. “A one-stop shop. It’s working very well.”

As insurance increasingly becomes a global enterprise, the panel was asked how they see the collision repair industry responding.

Dan Hogg, the chief financial officer for Fix Auto World, said he sees increasing interest among insurers for expanded partnerships.

“Conversations we’re having with some of the European insurers indicate they are interested in us expanding into other countries so they can take advantage of the benefits of the network in those countries where they don’t feel they’re getting an adequate solution,” Hogg said.

He noted that Fix Auto has expanded into four new countries in the last 18 months.

“Our problem is we can’t expand fast enough,” he said. “It does take time to ramp up.”

The Fix network hasn’t signed a global arrangements with any insurer, but Hogg said that is a long-term objective. The network in each country operates somewhat autonomously – each chooses its own management system, for example – but data from all such Fix shops is fed into “the Fix hub.”

“So from an insurer perspective, we’ll be able to report on a consolidated [global] basis,” Hogg said.

He also voiced a concern often discussed within the United States but that he sees in most markets in which Fix operates.

“From a network perspective, our shops pursue OEM shop certification where it makes sense for their business, but I tend to think that the remuneration for obtaining those certifications is lagging behind the actual cost of doing so,” he said.



John Yoswick, a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988, is also the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com). He can be contacted by email at jyoswick@SpiritOne.com.

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