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Wednesday, 25 October 2017 20:52

Inside Look at BMW’s Repair Program

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Industry repairers, insurers and OEMs had the opportunity to ask BMW executives Marcos Ehmann and Joshua Fahlbush about the company’s Certified Collision Repair Center program (CCRC) during a Guild 21 podcast. 

 

Guild 21 podcasts are sponsored monthly by Verifacts Automotive. 

 

Ehmann has been the business development and sales manager of the Wholesale, Body & Paint and Insurance department for BMW of North America for the past five years. Prior to that, he spent more than 15 years with the BMW Group. Fahlbush joined BMW North America in 2015 and worked with the BMW Certified Collision Repair Center network. He spent 14 years before that in the insurance industry working as a training instructor, field adjuster and supervisor in various markets from the Midwest to New England.

 

During the September podcast, Ehmann and Fahlbush answered questions about BMW’s nationwide network of CCRCs. Autobody News summarized some of the key lessons below:

 

Guild 21: How many BMW certified shops are currently part of the CCRC program? 

 

Fahlbush: We currently have nearly 200 shops that are certified. This includes BMW, mini and BMW i vehicles. 


Ehmann: I began managing the program in 2012 and since then, we’ve grown by almost 300 percent. 


Guild 21: What is the ultimate goal of BMW’s repair program? 

 

Ehmann: We want to help shops cut down as much as they can on cycle time and touch time. All of this leads to a more efficient process and higher customer satisfaction. We also want to implement BMW’s Insurance Partnership Program (IPP) to all of our shops so they have the same standard and highest level of certification. 


Guild 21: Can you tell us about BMW’s Insurance Partnership Program (IPP)?

 

Fahlbush: IPP is part of BMW’s CCRC program. Essentially, it is the highest tier certification level of repair within that program. If a shop meets certain requirements of one of our CCRCs, there is support that we provide related to loaner vehicles. This is similar to what a customer would receive during a service appointment. It’s not a requirement and is strictly optional. It’s up to the dealer to make the decision if they want to add those vehicles in the event that a vehicle has a part on backorder, or to provide a customer with the same vehicle they have in for repairs. 


Guild 21: From the perspective of a shop that already fixes a lot of BMWs, is there any way it can become more legitimate in repairing these cars? 

 

Ehmann: Absolutely. We have many shops that don’t have a certified collision repair center right now. That means they are working with a ‘referral shop.’ We highly encourage every independent shop that isn’t yet in that position to ask a BMW dealer to sponsor them for training. 


Whether you are a CCRC or not, if you’re sponsored by your dealer to attend the classes, they are free of charge. The only thing you are responsible for is showing up. All shops have the same access to the tools and equipment. 


Guild 21: Can you talk about the required training and where it is available? 

 

Fahlbush: In order to be a CCRC, there is a minimum amount of training required. Body technicians, paint technicians, estimators and managers must all attend BMW instructor-led training at one of our centers around the country. This is in addition to the online training required. It’s a heavy load, but we feel it’s the most responsible thing to do in terms of how we treat our customers and ultimately, how we interact in the collision repair space.


We have training available at our headquarters in NJ, at our BMW plant and performance center in South Carolina, and at our two training centers in California---in Oxnard and Ontario. Some training is also conducted in the Midwest at a shared location in Detroit. We are currently in the process of expanding the number of training locations we have.


Guild 21: Do you provide training or support for shops so they can become a shop with a lean focus? 

 

Fahlbush: We do. At this point, it’s limited to the CCRCs. What the field team does around the country is act directly hands-on with the certified centers. It’s a week at a time. This year, we’ve had a big push to get as many of our shops involved. The field team has spent a lot of time working on everything from putting stripes on the floor, to revamping the layout within the shop to really working with not only the manager in the shop, but involving all the technicians and everyone in the shop to isolate areas where there is waste. This will ultimately make the shop more productive. 


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