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When General Motors launches its certified collision repair network later this year, body shops have told the automaker they’d like to see a program with “teeth.” It looks like GM has taken those suggestions to heart.
“We are looking at a comprehensive program that is going to take into account a lot of aspects that aren’t measured today with OEM certifications,” said John Eck, collision manager, GM Customer Care and Aftersales, during a March 17 presentation at the 2018 NORTHEAST Automotive Services Show in Secaucus, N.J.
The automaker’s certification program will measure shop practices such as performing pre- and post-repair scans, pulling and using OEM repair procedures, performing necessary recalibrations and conducting quality-control checks, according to GM.
Those and other key performance indicators (KPIs) will be part of a score for each network shop. Shops will be able to see the KPIs that comprise the score, “why your score is where it is” and “how you can influence those to drive your own score as a shop,” Eck explained.
When collisions occur, GM customers will be able to view shop scores through the automaker’s OnStar platform to help them decide where to take their vehicle for repair.
“We’re looking to take control of the process with the customer at FNOL [first notice of loss],” Eck said. “ … We want to educate them and empower them with the information that they need to have their car repaired at a shop that they’re comfortable with.”
GM marketing specialist Rebecca Lauterbach noted that GM won’t provide plaques or other “fixed assets” to network shops, “because it’s a dynamic program.”
“It’s going to be based on metrics,” Lauterbach said. “There could be a shop that’s on the program one day, and a month later they’re off the program.”
However, GM will provide “digital assets” such as logos for network shops to include on their websites, she added.
GM sees the program’s training requirements as another point of differentiation. The program will require network shops to have I-CAR ProLevel 2 certification, “with the intention to go to ProLevel 3 by 2020,” explained Rachel Rodriguez, wholesale collision representative for GM.
“We’re also looking at ensuring that the shop has the correct processes in place for the technicians to complete a safe and proper repair and making sure that not only are the technicians completing the training for the repairs but also that the work is going to the technicians who are trained for the work,” Rodriguez added.
GM will be “pushing very hard” for its dealer body shops to get certified, Eck said. However, the program is open to independent body shops.
Unlike some OEM certification programs, GM won’t make dealer sponsorship a condition for eligibility, Eck told BodyShop Business.
“We want to be an open platform to allow for anybody that wants to participate in it,” Eck said.
GM hasn’t finalized all the program details yet. Eck noted that GM “literally just inked the deal with Mitchell” to handle network management for the program. GM representatives encouraged collision repairers to check genuineGMparts.com for program updates.
Eck, however, emphasized that GM has a clear vision of “where it is that we want to go with this and a clear path as to how we’re going to get there.”
“Everything we’re doing and everything we want to do is about our customers, and it’s about a focus on safe, proper repairs for GM vehicles that not only will protect the vehicle owner but also the brand loyalty and integrity that we work so hard to maintain with Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac,” Eck said.