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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, 08 June 2022 14:31

What Role Should a Current Backlog of Work Play in Auto Body Shops’ DRP Decisions?

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A panel discussion during the SCRS Repairers Roundtable included, from left, Jordan Hendler, Kyle Bradshaw, Jill Tuggle, Andy Tylka and Ron Reichen. A panel discussion during the SCRS Repairers Roundtable included, from left, Jordan Hendler, Kyle Bradshaw, Jill Tuggle, Andy Tylka and Ron Reichen.

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A national survey in April found auto body shops on average have a work backlog topping four weeks, and during the Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ (SCRS) Repairer Roundtable this spring, a panel was asked whether that “unique scenario” in the industry should play into a collision repair business’ decisions related to participation in direct repair programs.

Three association leaders and two shop owners responded.

 

Jill Tuggle, who has been executive director of the Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT) for five years, thinks it should play into a shop’s decision.

 

“If there ever was a time that you could test the waters on operating independently of those contracts, it would be now,” Tuggle said. “Because you’re going to get the work. The work is there. You already can’t repair everything you have. If that’s a business decision you have been toying with, now would be a good time to do that.”

 

Other association leaders with longer tenures offered some cautions to consider.

 

“In order to do that, they have to have alternative plans,” Jordan Hendler of the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) said of shops choosing to exit DRPs. “I don’t think you can just sever those relationships. I think you have to have a solid plan for either marketing or getting into OEM certifications. In our association, the most successful members are specialized and OEM-certified in at least five or six brands, minimum. You need to know how you are going to create your own customer stream and own your portion of the market in a smart way.”

 

Some collision repairers have chosen locations with little street visibility, Hendler said, lowering their overhead because they knew direct repair referrals would bring work to the door.

 

“If you just shut those [DRPs] off, you now have no customer visibility,” Hendler said. “There’s a lot of pressure just to get rid of all your DRPs [without a plan] and think you’ll be fine. I think that’s...


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