www.cieca.com: the Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association - BodyShop Business

www.cieca.com: the Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association

As technology improves, service providers (this means you) will have to advance technologically to satisfy customers. Are you ready for the future of electronic commerce? Visit the CIECA Web site to help move your shop into the 21st century.

For the past few decades, experts have argued about when the 21st century would actually start. Some believed it would start in the year 2000, while others said it wouldn’t begin until 2001. Either way, it’s here now, and a new century means new ways of doing business, new competitive strategies and new technologies.

To help lead you into this new century is the Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA), made up of several volunteer committees containing members from all areas of the collision repair industry. According to Roger Cadaret, executive director of CIECA, the purpose of the association’s Web site is to be “the premier source of electronic commerce information for collision repair and related industries.”

Why should you show any interest in e-commerce? First of all, because your competition likely is. In most businesses, there seems to be a contest to use the latest tools in the best way before your competition. Also, customers now expect their service providers to be technologically advanced, and they’ll give their business to someone who can immediately tap into information about their vehicle.

For more reasons to consider learning about e-commerce, go to www.cieca.com, click on “Projects” and then on “Value Proposition.” Here, you can learn about some of the benefits of using CIECA standards and find detailed information on several of them. For example, the Vehicle Damage standard is designed to report vehicle damage estimates, and the CIECA implementation guidelines can be used to estimate repairable damage and to report total loss damage. Another example is the Parts Procurement standard, which will someday address all aspects of locating, buying and paying for repair parts and other materials electronically. Why buy electronically? To bring more efficiency to the parts and materials process and inventory control.

To keep up on what’s going on with CIECA and to download the latest CIECA newsletter, click on “Current Events.” From there, go to “Quick News” to see what new projects each CIECA committee is working on. One of the most recent projects focuses on the impact Internet companies are having on the collision industry.

Whether you want to believe it or not, electronic commerce may very well become the norm for the collision industry in the coming years. To prepare yourself, log on to www.cieca.com and familiar yourself with what’s going on out there now.

“CIECA takes its role of helping to educate the industry very seriously,” says Cadaret. “We believe that easy access to facts like why standards are needed and how they’re being used, as well as a general understanding of electronic commerce, are critical to everyone today.”

Writer Emily Canning is an intern with BodyShop Business.

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