Toronto, Ontario — At a business level, collision repair facility owners often view the services of PDR businesses as being in direct competition to their own services.
This isn’t the attitude seen within the businesses that focus on providing PDR services. In those organizations, the consensus view is that the two sectors are fundamentally different, and that both could benefit from an increase in co-operation.
In a series of interviews with representatives of Canadian Hail Repair, Hail Specialists, DCC Hail and PDR Canada, Collision Repair has allowed the PDR sector to make a direct pitch for the importance of bringing PDR and classic repairing into alignment.
“PDR is a game real game-changer. Working with PDR firms can bring in business to collision facilities, improve cycle times, and improve a business’ relationship with customers and auto insurers,” says Domenic Serra of PDR Canada. “It is a win-win-win.”
While some businesses do maintain dedicated PDR-trained technicians on staff, many others do not. When hail strikes, it can be difficult for these repair facilities to offer competitively priced hail repair solutions.
Collision repair facilities can promote PDR on dents that are not related to collision repair to increase sales,” says Ricky Chin of Hail Specialists. “They can offer discounts on dent repair while having collision repair done. Most vehicles have door dents on them, it is more convenient for clients to have the dents fixed while their vehicles are in the body shop than to bring their vehicles in just to get some small dents fixed.”
Like Chin, Devon Fenton of DCC Hail believes that the business case for working with a subcontracted PDR firm is one that many firms would be wise to consider.
“I’d encourage collision industry representatives to not view PDR as the enemy. Partnering with an established PDR company and potentially incorporating some of the collision repair PDR methods available can really help a shop increase their bottom line,” says Fenton.
Bing Wong of Canadian Hail Repair also makes the case for subcontracting PDR work and says that subcontracted services have significant advantages over hiring in-house PDR technicians full-time.
“Your best option is to partner with a reputable PDR company that has a strong mix of work and a large team of technicians,” says Wong. “If you train your own staff they will leave as soon as your work dries up or as soon as there is a major hail storm.”
Fenton also points out that this relationship between the collision facility and PDR service provider can be a two-way street.
Just like good body shops, established and reputable PDR vendors don’t massively discount their work but will provide better repairs leading to repeat clients,” says Fenton. “PDR companies with DRP relationships may also have the ability to drive work to bodyshop partners.”
“In fact, I have started to see some of our collision partners advertising the fact that they offer PDR services for hail damage,” says Serra. “They know it is what drivers are looking for.”