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Stacey Phillips

Stacey Phillips photoStacey Phillips is a freelance writer for the automotive industry based in Southern California. She has 20 years of experience as an editor including writing in a number of businesses and fields.


She can be reached at sphillips.autobodynews@gmail.com. 

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 22:10

Industry Leaders Share Insight About Future of Industry During 3M ‘Shop Talk’ Panel Discussion

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“This situation has forced shops to adapt to technology really quickly,” said Anderson. “I think that shops that have younger, tech-savvy millennials are going to dominate and come out strong.”


However, Anderson cautioned shops to ensure they are looking at procedures and recommendations from a credible source.


“There’s no such thing as a certified YouTube technician,” he said.


Felder said shops should expect to see more changes in the claims handling process and insurers will likely struggle with how to hire and train field staff.


“Insurers are going to be struggling how to support that,” she said. “In the meantime, shops are going to feel the brunt of it and need to learn how to navigate through this because they ultimately want to get the car repaired.”


The panelists were optimistic about the future of the industry and encouraged shops to reflect on the positive changes ahead.


Looking forward five years, they predicted shops will continue implementing and following no-touch processes as a result of COVID-19. At the same time, businesses will be faced with how to best deal with safe and proper repairs, as technology continues to evolve and cars have an increasing amount of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) features.


“There is a lot of positive that is going to come out of this,” said Anderson. “Shops need to prepare themselves to work on speed and efficiency. Anything you can do to help shops gain efficiencies is going to benefit everybody.”


Felder said shop owners need to take a close look at their business plans.


“There are businesses in this country that have solid business plans focused on the consumer, and those shops are doing OK,” she said. For businesses that focused on volume, she said, when volume is interrupted, it affects cash flow.


“There were some exposed weaknesses in the industry and I’m personally glad that we are going to have a chance to talk about it and work with shops to reinvent some things,” said Felder. “There are exciting things ahead for us.”

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