John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).

He can be contacted at john@crashnetwork.com 

Tuesday, 15 November 2016 20:16

Retro News: November 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011

Written by


10 years ago in the collision repair industry (November 2006)

Some level of standardization, guaranteed work and other changes to insurer direct repair programs (DRPs) could give repairers the ability and incentive to offer such things as 24/7 customer service and new performance guarantees, a recent study of the industry concludes.

“Look at the investments and the innovation we in collision repair have brought to the relationship so far – and we don’t have one guarantee that a car is going to show up tomorrow,” industry consultant Beryl Carlew of Carlew & Associates said at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Las Vegas in early November, where he presented the results of his firm’s research. “Do you think for a minute if we had the work to the door, we had metrics that we knew we could exceed, and we were rewarded for that performance, that we wouldn’t entertain…the dreaded 7-days-a-week, might even entertain 24-hours-a-day as an industry opportunity.”

Carlew’s presentation at CIC was based on a nationwide gathering of input from shop owners around the country. More than 380 collision repair business owners participated in meetings held in 20 North American markets to gather ideas and opinions on improving DRPs.

Carlew discussed a list of more than two dozen problems shop owners currently see with DRPs. That list included concerns that DRP guidelines and the “weight” given to various key performance indicators (KPIs) change frequently with little or inadequate written notice to shops; and that discounts and other concessions are required without any guarantee of how much work the DRP will bring to the shop.

The 130-page report that resulted from the meetings also offers a series of recommendations to improve DRPs. It suggests, for example, that:

• all guidelines and the weighting of various KPIs for a particular DRP be posted to a secure website, along with established timelines for when notices of changes will be posted;

• shops be allowed to use a “blueprinting” rather than “estimating” system, dismantling the vehicle sufficiently to determine all parts and repairs needed prior to beginning repairs; and,

• if a particular part, regardless of type, is not available within 24 hours, the shop be allowed to instead use a part that meets quality standards and is more quickly available.

With such changes, Carlew said, shops indicated a willingness to accept more detailed performance contracts, such as contacting consumers by Noon of the day following receipt of an assignment, seven days a week. But offering additional services or discounts, he said, should be based on rewards for performance and most importantly, an assurance of work.

“How can a carrier walk into a shop and say we’re looking for DRP partners who can handle 100 cars a month, and at the same time say, ‘We cannot guarantee you volume,’” Carlew said.

– As reported in Parts & People.