DAC Group calls for new standard

Tony Ward of DAC Group told delegates at IBIS Ireland 2017 that the time has come for the industry to come together to introduce a non-structural standard.

The repair or replace debate is a recurring theme, and Tony said that for bodyshops who aren’t manufacturer-approved there was no definite answer.

To prove his point, he showed delegates a range of images of vehicle damage, asking them by a show of hands to vote for repair or replace. There was no consensus in the audience, underlining Tony’s point that there was no consensus in the industry, which is creating an inconsistency in repair.

Tony argued that there is no non-structured training available to non-approved bodyshops, and questioned where technicians were meant to go to improve their skills. He said the developments in technology is making this ever-more critical, with confusing language (who understands the differences between SMART, rapid repair, fast track, cosmetic, and non-structural repairs) and conflicting priorities (customer journey, key to key times, profit).

He said the confusion bled beyond bodyshops into the wider industry, with the tech in cars making correct triage difficult.

 

To address this, he said there needs to be a non-structural standard with an agreed set of guidelines, adding that it needs to be fluid and updated quarterly, not annually, to remain up to date, and that manufacturers need to contribute to the standard and support it.

‘The training of this standard needs to be accessible to everyone, and bodyshops needed to invest in that training,’ he added.

Underlining the need for this, he pointed to research that suggested cosmetic repairs will increase from 25% of all repairs today to 57% by 2025 – ‘although I think that’s more likely to be 2020 or 2021.’

By contrast, moderate repairs are expected to shrink to 33% by 2025 and severe repairs to just 10%.

Tony concluded, ‘So it’s important you invest in your business, but in the right way.’

IBIS is only possible thanks to the support of headline partners AkzoNobel and Audatex, and partners Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Synergy.