Due to the constant developments within the automotive industry, cars have become more advanced than ever before. In turn, this has made repairing car damage a lot more complicated. Besides having to find new ways to prevent higher costs and increased cycle times, companies now also have to recognise whether or not a body repair shop is even capable of repairing their car damage in the first place.

This article, based on our whitepaper: 'How fleets can reduce costs by allocating repairs more accurately',  explains the importance of network assessment and highlights what companies should look for.

Inventorying the networks' capabilities

Every vehicle and damage differs from one another, and more and more repairs are starting to require a distinct approach. As a result, lots of body repair shops have started narrowing their focus by specialising and investing in training, equipment, and facilities. Therefore, it has become essential to be aware of the capabilities within your network. By being able to tap into repairers their specific strengths, it becomes easier to determine if a repairer meets the requirements to repair a certain car damage.

Body repair shops that are specialised in certain materials, types of damage, repair methods, or makes can perform those repairs more efficiently than those who are not. Moreover, a number of vehicles nowadays require only original replacement parts (OEM) to support their functions. OEMs are often supplied exclusively to brand-certified body repair shops. Safe to say, a simple scratch on a bumper isn't always that simple anymore, and there are many benefits to knowing where to allocate certain repairs to.

Companies can start allocating repairs more accurately when they have an up-to-date inventory of the capabilities within their repairer network.

How to categorise repairers in the network

Managers can carry out the essential network assessment in two steps, provided that they receive assistance from technology.

Know your vehicles
Companies should identify the number and types of vehicles they have, and look at other company-specific requirements such as a maximum distance between driver and repair shop, available extra services, required certifications and/or brand-affiliations.

Vehicle-specific requirements can be matched with those body repair shops in the network that meet the required criteria. This way, each repair can be allocated to the optimal body repair shop.

Gather knowledge of the network
The second step of this process is to identify and keep track of qualifications, specialities, and certifications within your repairer network. This can be done by contacting body repair shops directly, visiting the shop, and assessing their facilities through online information, and customers’ testimonials.

Look to technology
Accurate and up-to-date network assessment does not seem feasible without the help of technology, especially for companies that have a large number of diverse vehicles and are active in multiple locations. However, with the integration of a digital repair handling solution, inventorying network capabilities can be fully automated and leveraged at will.

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About Fixico

Fixico is Europe’s leading digital car repair management platform. On a mission to reshape the industry’s ecosystem, Fixico connects drivers, businesses, and body repair shops in entirely new ways. Its digital expertise and pioneering approach improve the repair handling process from every perspective; drivers experience an effortless repair journey, businesses increase operational efficiency, and body repair shops optimise their workshop utilisation. Fixico gives access to a marketplace with a network of over 2,000 body repair shops across six countries. A group of world-class investors backs Fixico, and its services are trusted by more than 100 leading fleet-, lease-, rental- and insurance companies.