After almost 60 years of partnering with collision repair centers and insurance companies to help customers whose cars have been damaged or stolen, Enterprise Rent-A-Car announced that it is reaffirming its commitment to not only safeguarding the privacy of collision repair data but also to supporting an open data platform in today’s highly competitive marketplace.
“We firmly believe models that create barriers to vehicle and repair data could be detrimental to the industry,” said Mike Hawkins, vice president of business development for Enterprise Holdings Inc., which owns the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand. “That’s because everyone benefits from an open and level playing field when industry service providers and product suppliers are able to innovate by using industry-generated data.”
In 1994, Enterprise created the Automated Rental Management System (ARMS) to help insurance companies simplify the process of managing replacement rental cars for policyholders. Once a claim is filed and a rental reservation is created, the system automatically transmits all pertinent and essential information to a local Enterprise branch office. From there, insurance adjusters can quickly and easily monitor the repair status of a customer’s vehicle, which often leads to a shorter rental length and ultimately rental-cost containment.
In 2007, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent and trademark for the system, reflecting Enterprise’s significant investment in resources and intellectual capital.
Enterprise Holdings acquired CynCast in 2011 after partnering with them for many years to make the replacement rental process more seamless by eliminating manual updates. This acquisition also enhanced communication with local collision centers that repair damaged vehicles in Enterprise Holdings’ U.S. fleet, as well as those operated by the company’s affiliate, Enterprise Fleet Management.
Three years later, Performance Gateway was acquired by Enterprise to further enhance workflow efficiencies and improve communication between industry suppliers, insurers, repairers and vehicle owners.
Today, hundreds of insurance companies and thousands of collision repair centers use Enterprise’s system, which processes millions of transactions every year. The system also provides quarterly reports on length of rental (LOR) data, often considered a proxy for vehicle repair times. The existing system likewise helps collision repair centers evaluate their effectiveness against others in their region to remain competitive.
Enterprise has made it a mission to be a good steward of the data entrusted to it, and to find ways to streamline workflow processes for its partners through access to that data. Moreover, Enterprise recently introduced ARMS Business Solutions (ABS), an even more dynamic and comprehensive system that merges its ARMS, CynCast and Performance Gateway products.
ABS is a comprehensive platform that leverages Enterprise’s long-term experience with partner integrations and allows insurance companies, collision repair centers, suppliers and vehicle owners to access relevant data, regardless of technological preferences. This, in turn, enables industry partners to effectively and efficiently manage networks, workflow, communication and performance across a complex multifaceted claims process. Furthermore, the ABS system helps protect insurance companies, collision repair centers and fleet owners by converting their information from EMS (Estimate Management Standard) to a more secure protocol, BMS (Business Message Suite).
“Our investments have been extensive,” Hawkins said. “However, rather than seeking additional access fees, we have created systems that help the industry reduce length of rental, improve communication and lower claims handling expenses. Transportation needs are changing, and our ability to receive essential information at the outset of a claim through ABS is critical to meeting industry and consumer needs.”
Hawkins stressed that Enterprise – with a significant internal repair volume and trusted relationships with collision repairers, insurers and suppliers – intends to keep collaborating and partnering with businesses that believe in open technology platforms and provide services that help advance the collision repair and claims industries.
“Because we own and repair the world’s largest fleet of new vehicles, we are keenly aware of global changes in automotive technology and its increasing complexity,” he said. “We believe that industry constituents will need more innovative solutions based on access to data – especially during a period of transformation in vehicle technology.”
In addition to providing access to critical data at no cost, industry partners can work with Enterprise to purchase customized reporting services and software through ABS’ system.
“There is growing concern that some data providers are beginning to focus on ways to monetize or restrict access to critical data and even actually charge a fee for access to it,” Hawkins said.
ABS’ approach, on the other hand, enables collision repair centers, insurance companies and fleet owners to remain in control of their data for the long term – a high priority since vehicle technology and associated repair processes are changing rapidly.
“We support solutions that enhance processes, reduce cycle time, increase shop capacity and help control costs for our business partners and ourselves,” said Hawkins.