We can argue about whether global warming or even the current political candidates are here to stay, but complexity is here for the duration. Today’s vehicles are complicated and getting worse. Of course, all the complexity is driven by safety and our never-ending quest for the latest cool features. None of those are going away, so neither is the myriad of wiring, computers and software that make it all possible.
With change, there’s always an opposite or opposing force involved. In our situation, it’s the need to change how we repair vehicles with all this new stuff. The latest example of this is pre- and post-repair scanning. It’s very controversial at this time, the titans are battling it out and the shops are left in the middle.
The manufacturers are saying it needs to be done. They designed and built it, they should know. As you might guess, the insurers are saying, hold on a minute, we need parameters on when it needs to be done. They’re paying so they don’t want to scan unnecessarily. Of course, guess who’s in the middle. Yep, you guessed it, you! In this classic tug-of-war, the shops are caught in the middle. Scan like you’re supposed to according to the people who designed the vehicle, but don’t get paid for it. Sound familiar? Sadly, it’s a very familiar story in our business.
You as a shop owner and businessperson have a decision to make. You can elect not to scan and leave yourself open to liability, or you can do the scan and not get reimbursed for it. Not scanning also can lead to an unsatisfied customer when something that used to work pre-crash might not work post-repair.
There are three options for you as a shop: 1) don’t do it, 2) buy the equipment and invest in the training to do the scanning, or 3) create an arrangement with local dealers or an independent to do the scanning for you and sublet it out.
The first option is dangerous for several reasons. The second makes sense if you’re committed to the future and have the volume to support it. You may find there’s an opportunity to recoup costs or generate additional revenues once you have the equipment. The third scenario of subbing it out is OK, but it will impact your cycle time.
This is likely not the first time we’ve faced an issue like this and is surely not the last. Whatever your decision is, I urge you to make a decision and not put the vehicle owner in harm’s way.
See you at SEMA!