CIECAST Back to the Future of Collision Repair & How CIECA Brings All Industry Segments Together

CIECAST - June 30, 2020
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A Great Day to Have a Collision Loss
Article by Erick Bickett
Written April 17, 1997
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Articles written about this webinar:
Fix Auto USA co-founder: Embrace lessons from COVID-19 adaptation after pandemic
by John Huetter, Repairer Driven News 
by John Huetter, Repairer Driven News
Collision Repair Magazine
The following questions were asked during the webinar and unfortunately, they didn't show up due to a setting in GoTo meeting. Thank you Erick for providing answers for attendees.  

Q: What do you think about the concept of the OEs starting their own DRPs? This seems to be a discussed trend.
A: We certainly have seen the start of this and it is kind of one of those things; be careful what you ask for. We recently had a scenario where an OE challenged us on the method of our estimate and the rates associated. This is typical behavior of claims management mentality, but the tactics used were somewhat old school. This shouldn't be a surprise, but we would not expect the manufacturers to be much more sophisticated in terms of claims handling practices as leading insurers. As I said on the webinar, I think it's much more logical that insurers and manufacturers will team up in partnership on the claims handling side of the transaction. I think scale is also going to be an issue for the manufacturer.
Q: Do you plan to get back into the franchise business?
A: I'm engaged with Driven Brands until the end of 2021. Meanwhile, I'm still operating the Collision Career Institute (CCI), supporting apprenticeships and internships and connecting the industry with education. That project will probably take up most of my time. It is a great way to give back to an industry that has given a lot to myself and my family.
Q: How can an independent body shop survive in a metro area alone without going the franchising route?
A: I don't mean to be an alarmist, but my belief is if you are an independent collision shop in any busy metro marketplace, your best find yourself a niche, out of the mainstream. Competing against large organizations that assemble scale for all resources necessary to operate a collision shop in this changing world will be very difficult.

Q: Do you think touchless claims and customer service are here to stay?
A: Without question. We learned a lot in this last four months and found efficiencies that will help us be more competitive. We are way past the days where the consumer wants a tour of the shop, let alone even going to the shop. Service leaders will drive this initiative into the mainstream.
Q: Do you have any advice for supply chain companies?
A: As I said in the webinar, the best solutions are the ones that are integrated between trading partners and collision repair related solutions. In order for us to shrink the cycle time to as close to touch time as possible, we will need a lot of collaboration between trading partner companies and systems. I would be focused, as a supply chain member, on any solutions that support that goal.