Thursday, 30 July 2015 19:22

Car-O-Liner and AudaExplore Hold Seminar on Trends in Fixed Operations

Written by Victoria Antonelli

The presentation began with an industry flashback to 40 plus years ago.

Pulling and heat, mild steel, paper estimates, and a non-existent internet were just a few of the hang ups older generations can remember dealing with on a daily basis.

Now, more than ever, time drives efficiency on the shop floor. Every new collision repair system is designed with decreasing cycle time as the top priority.

Time is Driving Efficiency

To ensure that other tasks don’t slip to the wayside while technicians are rushing to clear and refill the bays, Dave Scribner, Car-O-Liner technical director, Dan Trahey, manager of technical training at Car-O-Liner, and Gordon Henderson, vice president of collision repair services at AudaExplore, have some suggestions for body show owners:

  • Increase insurance count
  • Invest in employees
  • Invest in training
  • Attract, grow & retain the best technicians

Surveys conducted by the Collision Repair Education Foundation and I-CAR every three years “confirmed the need for a continual supply of qualified entry-level technicians, while also showing changes concerning business operations and the collision repair technician workforce.”

Tools that can aid in accomplishing the above goals include:

  • Increasing the profit margin
  • Driving CSI improvement
  • Driving industry leading KPI’s
  • Creating uniform and positive customer experience
  • Expanding related add-on services



According to the business statistics side of the previously mentioned survey, in the last six years “the industry has experienced a market size reduction of 3,047 shops (7%) to a current count of 40,488 shops.”

Other significant points of change according to the Car-O-Liner and AudaExplore presentation include:

  • Digital measuring & validation
  • Body tolerances decreasing
  • Much less pulling, more replacement
  • HSS, aluminum, carbon fiber evolution
  • Bonding and riveting
  • Measuring, universal anchoring and “fixturing” required on more vehicles
  • Increasing OEM certification programs
  • OEMs driving more repair procedures
  • Stand alone 3D measurement
  • “Triage” estimates
  • Upper and lower measurements
  • “Before” and “after” validation

The reps from Car-O-Liner then discussed how math data provides for a more complete damage analysis, and how insurance “robotics” can lead to a faster repair decision.

After that slide, Henderson took over the PowerPoint to cover latest industry trends:

Luxury Specs on High End Vehicles

  • Computer-driven efficiency
  • Collision avoidance tech
  • Focus on infotainment
  • Increased complexity
  • Semi-autonomous safety

Due to the high percentage of accidents caused by human error (90 percent), the driver assist technology trend is becoming the most prominent. According to Henderson, OEMs are planning on reducing accidents by 80 percent through the implementation of these programs. AudaExplore data shows that by 2020, 80 percent of vehicles will be cognitive automated, bringing manual assistance down to 20 percent. As recently as 2014, these statistics were reversed.

So, what can be done to stay ahead of the game, or even just keep up with it?

According to the PowerPoint presentation, use predictive analytics to:

  • Leverage thousands of data points
  • Provide guidance and support
  • Increase operational consistency
  • Every dollar that flows to the bottom line starts with the estimate

Improve the customer’s experience by:

  • Provide automated, electronic updates on the status of repairs on their terms
  • Increase kept informed and net promoter scores
  • Reduce waste in phone-tag

Lastly, the Scribner, Trahey, and Henderson encourage shop owners to:

  • Embrace change in order to thrive
  • Invest in people, training, equipment certifications
  • Change how we engage with consumers
  • Mindset of operating a growing business
  • Leverage software and technology

General Certification Requirements

***graph/charts from Car-O-Liner / AudaExplore PowerPoint slide

Read 1904 times