Driving Toward OEM Certifications

From the Sidelines to Center Field: OEM Certifications

If you’re considering OEM certifications for your collision repair facility, take a good look at your playing field, what your competitors are doing in your market and how OEM certifications can make you the winning team.

The playing field in the collision repair industry is changing, and the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have moved from the sidelines to center field. If you want to be a winning coach and an excellent repair provider, you need the strongest offensive and defensive weapons working for you. That’s where OEM certifications come in.

An Evolution

With three CARSTAR locations in Sidney, Troy and Piqua, Ohio, I’ve watched how we repair vehicles evolve. I want to be on the forefront of delivering the highest-quality repairs, so I’m always looking at training and certification programs that help our team be their best. OEM certifications are a part of that game plan today.

My opinion of OEM certifications is that they’re a good thing. They provide access to the way that each manufacturer wants their vehicle repaired. After all, the OEMs are the engineers and the best resource of information for their vehicles. Another advantage of having OEM certifications is that it lets your customers, insurance companies and the OEMs know you have the training and equipment needed to repair their brand of vehicle per their standards.

Developing a Game Plan

The first step in getting your OEM certifications is conducting an assessment of your facility, your team’s training and the vehicles in your market. We focused our resources on identifying the right OEM certifications we needed, then mapped out how we were going to constantly improve our processes and performance to earn them.

As a starting point, we evaluated the vehicles in our city and what we repair most frequently. As each OEM certification program requires an investment and specific brands of equipment, you want to make sure your efforts go toward a brand of vehicle you repair often to help justify the cost and earn a return on your investment.

You have to look at it like you’re investing in the future of your business. I think that, in the future, all OEMs will want certified shops to repair their brand of vehicles. This helps ensure the repair is done properly and keeps the customer happy and loyal to the OEM’s brand.

As it stands today, we’re Honda/Acura ProFirst certified and working on our Ford and GM certifications. These certifications have made it easier to get the information on how to repair the vehicle properly.

Insurer Negotiations

Another benefit of OEM certifications is that they provide a documented repair plan and required parts and procedures. When you provide this to an insurer, it can eliminate any gray areas on repair standards and what will and won’t be covered. Sometimes you have to use your negotiation skills, but the OEM repair standards are very clear about what is expected in the repair.

We’re fortunate that our insurance partners are like us and just want to do what is right for our shared customer. At the end of the day, our customers are trusting us to repair ther vehicles properly, and that’s what we’re going to do every time.

Summary

If you’re considering OEM certifications for your collision repair facility, take a good look at your playing field, what your competitors are doing in your market and how OEM certifications can make you the winning team. It’s the best game plan for succeeding in the collision repair industry today – and tomorrow.

You May Also Like

Are Collision Repairers Their Own Worst Enemy?

It’s always been easy for repairers to see insurers as the bogeyman that causes all of their problems, but insurers are merely taking advantage of repairers’ lack of business knowledge and acumen.

Perhaps I’m showing my age by referencing an old cartoon character named Pogo, but when I hear shops complain about these abuses, one old Pogo strip comes to mind where he says: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” 

The Bogeyman

It’s always been easy for repairers to see the property casualty insurance industry as the “big bad bully” or bogeyman that causes all of our problems. And while some claimspeople do conduct themselves in an egregious manner, insurers for the most part merely take advantage of the opportunities the collision industry provides them. Insurers don’t generally create the opportunities; insurers simply take advantage of them for their own benefit.

Are You Ready to ROCK in 2023?

Do you know a “rockstar” in the automotive aftermarket? Then it’s time to nominate them as a Vehicle Care RockStar!

BodyShop Business 2022 Executives of the Year

This year’s Single-Shop award winner is Michael Bradshaw of K & M Collision in Hickory, N.C., and the Multi-Shop winner is Matt Ebert of Crash Champions.

Conducting Collision Business: It’s a New Day

The goal is not to declare war against insurers; it is to declare independence for your organization so that you’re able to provide the highest level of service to your true customers.

Don’t Be Quint: Embrace ADAS and Modern Vehicle Equipment

We can avoid a fate similar to Quint’s in the movie Jaws if we embrace ADAS, technology and training.

Other Posts

Welder Woman: Forging a Trail with Fire

Jaime Shewbridge is the first woman to have won the 2020 I-CAR Instructor of the Year award and the 2021 Welding Instructor of the Year award — and she’s not done yet.

It’s Time to Talk About Money with Young Body Techs

It’s time that we as leaders start to educate our young technicians on how to manage, grow and save money.

Boosting the Value of Your Business

If you have more than five years before you plan to exit your business, there are many things you can do to increase its value and decrease your asset gap.

Running a Family Collision Business: Stay in Your Lane

In a family business, it’s important to divide the duties and respect each other’s lanes.