Collision Repair Industry Faces Major Issues in 2013 - BodyShop Business

Collision Repair Industry Faces Major Issues in 2013

At the April CIC meeting, two main topics were discussed: OE repair standards and reimbursement standards.

I hope all of you are having a good year. As I write this column, we’re at the halfway mark. Where is 2013 going?

In the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to be with many of you at industry and association events. It’s always great to meet with you and hear what’s going on in our industry. Suffice it to say, we here in the collision industry are never short on issues.

At the April CIC meeting, the important issue of OE repair standards and which ones would be used and accepted by the industry was discussed. This is a very sticky situation with many different points of contention. One of the major ones is what to do when there are not standards for a particular repair. Responses to this question varied back and forth, and it’s still not decided.

You all know that I have a 30-year OE background, so you can pretty much guess where I stand on this issue. For everyone involved – you, the insurer and the vehicle owner – we need a specific set of repair standards. These need to either be created by those who built the vehicle, or there needs to be an agreed upon procedure on what to do when there is not a written repair process. There can be no middle ground on this issue. You, the repairer, are dead in the liability seat if not.

Agreement on standards will be good for the industry. They will reduce shoddy repairs, make vehicles more safe, reduce overall costs and get you out of the liability seat if you follow them.

The second thing that came up was the issue of consistent reimbursement for materials used. There seems to be a wide variation in what shops are paid for job materials and supplies. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for what’s paid. This, too, needs to have an agreed upon standard.

So where does this leave all of us? In the driver’s seat! Let me finish before you think I’ve gone mad.

There are roughly 45,000 collision repair facilities in the U.S. Alone, the voice is small for each one, but together, you’re very loud. You need to get involved in these issues, be heard and be part of the solution. Go to CIC and industry events and make your thoughts and wishes known. Use your associations like ASA, SCRS and others to be heard. These are your associations, and they’re there to get things done industry-wide for you. Your first step is to be part of solving the issue. Today is the day to get started.

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