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 

Wednesday, 06 January 2021 19:53

Mid-Sized MSOs Talk About Growth Strategies, Views of OEM Certifications

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Mid-sized MSOs talked about where they are---and where they foresee going---during a recent panel discussion. Mid-sized MSOs talked about where they are---and where they foresee going---during a recent panel discussion.


...two mechanical shops in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market, includes many dealer relationships, so OEM certifications have been a priority even if a return has been limited.


“We look at it as a long-term investment. It’s part of our character,” Amberson said. “Some of the high-end [automaker] programs, in particular, take a long time to get a return on investment, if you can get it at all, because some of them are quite expensive.


"But we do measure how many customers say they came to us because of our certification, and that number has grown significantly in recent years. So we know it’s going in the right direction.”


The panelists were asked if their company uses factory or aftermarket scan tools, or remote scanning services. Most panelists said it was a combination, but the MSOs are taking various approaches to what they do in-house versus what they sublet to others.


“We see this as a growing part of our business, and we’ve really embraced this high-tech portion of the industry, ADAS work,” Amberson said. “We’ve tried to develop our own internal expertise in it. So we use a combination of aftermarket and factory scan tools. More and more factory scan tools as time goes on.


"Frankly, we believe it’s less a question of what type of scan tool you use. We believe in high quality ones, whether factory or aftermarket," Amberson continued. "But the more important question is how competent the individual who is using it is. That’s where we put our emphasis.


"Let’s just say you use an aftermarket scan tool, a high quality one. Once in a while you run into a situation where that scan tool may not get into a given module," he said. "We want to have the tech be so competent that they know they have to get a factory scan tool, or another aftermarket one, that will get into that module.”


Ebert said Crash Champions, too, has both factory and aftermarket scan tools, but also sublets some of the work.


“We actually have another company that is ours that does the scanning and calibrations,” he said. “I saw early on that this was going to become a bigger and bigger part of the repair process. So the way we have it set up, the guys in the shop are able to do most of the pre- and post-scans. With the more difficult ones, we have mobile guys in a market with all the factory scanners who are able to do those.”


He agreed with Amberson’s assessment of the need for expertise no matter what scan tool is used.


“As was said, the technician using it makes a big difference,” Ebert said. “When I first went out and spent a bunch of money on tools, I learned real quickly that...