fbpx

PROCEDURALLY SPEAKING

When all else fails, follow the instructions

Column by STEFANO LIESSI

As stated in many ways, the only constant in life is ‘change.’ With technological advancements, we see a monumental amount of change around us, and the collision industry no exception.

So, what do we do to enable our day-to-day life to accommodate these changes? We change along with it. A pretty simple process…or is it? I have been in the collision industry for 40 years—and with that comes much change. Changes to equipment, changes to methods that use the advanced equipment, and changes to some of the ideologies encompassing our environment. These changes have been implemented gradually to enhance how we accomplish our day-to-day routines. It is without argument that it has been beneficial to us in general. The implementation of technology in our industry is growing. However, it is growing at an ever-increasing rate of speed, a speed that is getting increasingly more difficult to keep up with.

If we were to draw a graph of technological advancements over time, it would have an ascending scale that resembles an Olympic ski jump. Over the last 20 years, advances in vehicles, industry practices, and repair practices have increased so rapidly that keeping up has become a challenge.

For so long, we have become complacent with how we perform our duties to service the industry and our clients. The traditional approach to estimating and repairs has, in all manner, never truly changed; we still try to accommodate the half-hour to one-hour time block, take pictures, submit a preliminary, then adjust with supplements, technicians repair as per the status quo, all while arguing justification back and forth. All said, a somewhat redundant exercise in futility.

While all this is taking place, the OEMs have been pushing forward with advancements at a rate of speed equivalent to an F1 racer. They are trying to accommodate government mandates with fuel economy and safety, as customer demands involve more conveniences and luxuries. As it stands, we are no longer working on a ’72 Cuda; we are working on a 2022 rolling laptop.

Ergo, the status quo will no longer cut it. So, what can we do?

Make a change to follow the plan—the repair plan—with a procedural thought process. As we fall behind on keeping up with the advancements, we put ourselves into a predicament that involves liabilities and quality standards. The OEMs have realized they are utilizing advancements critical to safety standards to the degree of precision. If not repaired correctly, the effects would be catastrophically detrimental to the customers. Enter OE procedures: your ticket to stressfree liability, and your instructional portal to correct repairs the first time. Then why is it so hard for us to utilize these procedures? Is it because it’s too hard to find them? Are they difficult to understand? Or… has the status quo set a firm hold on us?

Regardless of your thought on why, the fact is, they are crucial to a proper repair, period. Access to the OE procedures is an incredible benefit to the repair process, but this change automatically implements other changes. The standard ‘estimate’ will become a faint piece of history as we know it, and the application of direct repair planning will overtake that ideology. Accounting for every step will be part of the repair plan, meaning the thought process of ‘eating’ a supplement, research time, or operations will be frowned upon. You cannot skip steps or ‘hide’ them; in doing so, you gain liability in the event of a legal issue. The question of repair or replacement is all answered for you. Having access to the OE procedures also tells the planner what steps, what order, what parts, and what additional operations are involved in the repair you face, including but not limited to; Initializations, calibrations, road tests, repair verification processes such as equipment set up and testing (welding), the list goes on. Procedures are changing our procedures for the good of the customer.

Some industry participants are less than accepting of this new reality; after all, the status quo has benefited them. Time is running out, and these individuals will apply pressure in any way they can to slow the change. Sadly, many will continue to bow down to pressure, accommodating ridiculous demands through less than favourable agreements. Here is a fact; it takes what it takes to place the vehicle back into an indemnified position. The OEs are laying it out for you, and you must make educated decisions on the implementation of supplied data. It will not be up for debate or negotiation; it is up for a change of practice. In my opinion, and you are entitled to my opinion, the OE procedures are an industry game changer, so much so that they could make significant monumental changes if you embrace them and utilize them. There is no room for complacency and the status quo anymore; change is upon us; embrace the opportunity.

WE ARE NO LONGER WORKING ON A ’72 CUDA; WE ARE WORKING ON A 2022 ROLLING LAPTOP. SOME INDUSTRY PARTICIPANTS ARE LESS THAN ACCEPTING OF THIS NEW REALITY; AFTER ALL, THE STATUS QUO HAS BENEFITED THEM.
SHARE VIA:
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter
Email

Sign-up for the Collision Repair daily e-zine and never miss a story –  SUBSCRIBE NOW FOR FREE!

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.