Opinion | Commentary - Collision Repair

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Despite change, safe repairs need to remain the primary goal

Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 06:00
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“Almost every successful person begins with two beliefs: The future can be better than the present. And I have the power to make it so,” said David Brooks, author, political and cultural commentator.  

It’s an exciting time in the collision repair industry. I truly believe that the future can be better than the present in our industry. Autonomous vehicles, advanced safety systems, advanced steering and suspension systems, heated seats, this list could keep going with all the many personal convenience items that are on our vehicles, but I only have a limited space. The point is that we are professionals and we need to repair the vehicles back to pre-existing condition. This may mean stepping outside our comfort zone and doing some things that we are not accustomed to doing. This can create some new challenges that we can either embrace or reject. Embracing these challenges and doing what it takes to provide value will benefit our businesses, our consumers and our industry. However, with all these changes happening there is one primary goal that still stands. Collectively as collision repair leaders and insurers, complete and safe repairs should be our central goal.

Unfortunately, this thought process is not always the case. All too often our industry is allowing the almighty dollar to trump safety instead. We do not need our own greediness upstaging complete and safe repairs, just because we think we know better. In this industry we need to make sure that we are providing value to our customers. But what is value when it comes to repairs? 

Most people reading may think they are providing value to their customers, but if you are not following OEM specifications (notice I did not say recommendations), then you are not providing value — period. Unfortunately, too few people are taking heed right now to the forward thinkers and promoters of this new standard. The truth is if you don’t follow OEM repair standards, then you will be holding all the liability for the job that you perform. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but this has been said repeatedly, and yet there are people in our industry who still don’t want to listen. 

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