I hope you all had great holidays and are off to a good start in 2018. I hate to give a weather report, but as I write this, Old Man Winter is certainly working in our favor. Sub-zero-ish temps and powdery white stuff can sure help a year get off on the right foot. So that’s good news for all of us. Please, let’s just fix them right!
I guess that is what brings me to the topic of this column. I think by now we’ve all read about the unfortunate situation in Texas. Everyone has had time to digest all the different information and/or facts, if there are any, and form their own opinions. I do not intend to draw any opinion here or judge anyone. It is clearly a very unfortunate situation, and many have been affected by the outcome and the incident itself.
I believe, as with most business issues, the incident is merely a symptom of the real problem. I’ve learned that when I’m trying to get at the root cause of a situation, it is necessary to follow the dollars. In the end, like it or not, money is the main motivator and deciding factor for most actions in business. Since collision is such a huge business, dollars are at the heart of most actions, policies and, sadly, incidents such as this one.
I recently read that more shops are being paid for administrative time to research OEM repair procedures. I’m very glad to hear that, but the percentage of shops getting paid is still what I consider very small. Why wouldn’t a shop be compensated for this? After all, they have to do it. They spend resources doing it, and it applies directly to that repair. They even have to spend money to obtain access to the data, so why would they not be paid for their time?
I also stumbled upon a site that lists the results of a “Who Pays for What?” survey. Really? A site that shares what other shops are getting paid for? Why is that needed? Because the entities paying for these repairs are not being clear and are not paying properly for the repairs. Again, follow the dollars here and realize that the payers for the most part are profit-driven companies that are more concerned with making profits for stockholders than they are with getting vehicles repaired correctly.
I’m preaching to the choir here a bit, but it needs to be said. Shops need to be fairly compensated for the work they do and have access to the data required to do an approved repair. They and all of us owe that to the customers who are counting on us to make those cars safe and enjoyable to drive again.
Rant over. See you in February!