During the Collision Industry Conference meeting in November 2011, I-CAR®, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, received a joint request signed by representatives from SCRS, ASA, AASP and Assured Performance Network, requesting I-CAR to support various OEM repair procedure initiatives in connection with the requesting organization’s associated position statement that OEM repair procedures are the recognized industry repair standard.
Over the past seventeen months, I-CAR has worked towards defining processes, capabilities and resources to enable the organization to support the request in a manner that aligns with the organization’s vision, mission and duty to represent the interests of the Inter-Industry with neutrality, and for the collective unbiased benefit of the Inter-Industry.
Despite the significant effort put forth by the I-CAR Board and Staff, given the organization’s duty to the Inter-Industry, and the reality that there are open disagreements on the related topic of standards across the Inter-Industry, the I-CAR Board of Directors decided that I-CAR will not proceed with implementation of a solution in response to this request as originally presented. The I-CAR Board of Directors enacted this decision at its March 7, 2013 I-CAR Board of Directors Meeting by unanimous consent of those board members in attendance at the meeting.
In terms of the organization’s duty to the Inter-Industry, on the basis of neutrality, the following three points were important in the Board’s decision:
• The need for I-CAR to represent the best interests of the industry in an unbiased manner, avoiding the possible perception that I-CAR may be catering to the interests of any particular industry sub-segment(s) to the possible disadvantage of others.
• Potential difficulties constructing and managing the requested “Council” that met both the needs of the requestors and I-CAR’s Inter-Industry charter.
• The fact that although OEM procedures are widely recognized as the industry baseline for repairs, and I-CAR points to OEM procedures as such, there are opportunities to define recommended repair processes that would support and/or supplement OEM procedures given the span of possible repairs, consumer and insurer interests; while maintaining an unwavering commitment to complete & safe repairs.
The I-CAR Board of Directors thanks the requesting organizations for bringing forth the request. As I-CAR identified early on, much of the proposed solution that was developed builds on work that I-CAR already does to serve the industry. And certain elements of the solution are closely linked to I-CAR’s strategic initiatives for 2013 and beyond. Thus, seeing value in certain elements of the proposed solution that would benefit the Inter-Industry, the I-CAR Board will work with staff to reframe and evaluate these elements as independent projects for implementation as follows:
• I-CAR recognizes an opportunity to expand its technical processes and resources to better support the industry’s interest to improve repair procedures and related repair process definition, and to provide real-time repairability technical support for the industry. This was a key part of our proposed solution and remains under consideration.
• OE Linking Pin—I-CAR maintains technical relations with OEM’s today. Our plan was to further expand this activity linked to expansion of our technical processes and resources, and this remains under consideration.
• Technical ISAC’s—I-CAR runs ISAC’s (Industry Segment Advisory Councils) today, our plan was to expand these to include an OEM Technical ISAC and various technology focused ISAC’s, and this remains under consideration.
• Repairability Summits – I-CAR runs Repairability Summits today, our plan was to expand these, and this remains under consideration.
• Knowledge Portal – The primary goal with the knowledge portal was to provide enhanced Inter-Industry accessibility to the knowledge required to perform complete and safe repairs. There were 5 key elements to the knowledge portal, each adding unique value; therefore, each element will be considered on its own merit.
• All related initiatives will be subject to further Board review considering alignment with I-CAR’s charter, impact versus Inter-Industry defined needs, prioritization versus other I-CAR initiatives, and funding requirements.
I-CAR’s goal is to be of greater service to the Inter-Industry while being true to its Inter-Industry charter. The Board and Staff of I-CAR remains confident that these initiatives hold great promise as steps forward for both I CAR and the Inter-Industry.