CIECAst Utilizing Technology to Thrive and Not Just Survive in 2020

CIECAst - February 13, 2020
After watching the CIECAst webinar, earn AMi Credit toward an industry-recognized, professional designation and specialty degree! 
The following questions were asked during the webinar and unfortunately, we ran out of time for Mike Anderson to answer them. Thank you Mike for providing answers for our attendees.  
Q: On average, is the collision repair industry lagging in technology adoption compared to other industries? Or are we just catching up? If that's the case, why? Does it have anything to do with the aging demographic of shop owners and managers?
A: I do believe that we as an industry are lagging behind other industries. My comparisons are based on my own personal experiences with other industries, products and services that I personally utilize. I don’t believe that it is an older aging workforce; I believe it boils down to affordability. For software companies such as the information providers to develop products or services that are technically savvy obviously costs X $ and maybe it is that the end users, whether it be shops, insurers or parts vendors, may not be willing to pay what the costs may be. I think affordability from the end user and ROI from technical companies impacts this. Also, I think that our industry is so fragmented, being that some industry stakeholders require a specific estimating system, or parts software solutions, that this impacts our ability to make it cost affordable.

Q: What’s a reasonable profit?
A: It is my experience that an average shop needs to make a minimum of an 8 – 10 % net profit to not have cash flow problems as a stand-alone business. Meaning that if a shop is part of a dealership or the owner has other businesses they may offset the costs of a body shop from an expense standpoint. That is often referred to as an absorption rate in the dealership world. I think a minimum of an 8 – 10 % net profit is necessary. Now as to what is reasonable, I think anything in double digits is achievable.
Q: How are shops making sure they are getting consent from the customer to send a text? Texting laws are very different from email laws.
A: I am not 100 % certain on this; however, I believe that most shops send the customer a text and they have to “Opt” in to continue to receive texts.
Q: It would be awesome if techs had the ability to clock in to work on the CCC phone app, and also clock in per job on the app, and lastly be able to check off each line of the estimate in the app as a form of digital qc/signature/checklist. The only checklist option is currently their printed sheet (that I know of).
A: In regards to CCC, they can do what you ask and it is able to be done electronically and most shops tie it into the payroll process so that if they technician is flat rate they can’t receive draws unless the QC process is completed and you can also customize to determine what check list items you want photos on or just a check box.