Fixico's mission to digitalise the damage repair process is catching on in the market. Their growth compared to the previous year is impressive (+300 percent!), the number of leasing companies that have been onboarded is also considerable (including the largest part of the top 10 leasing companies in the Netherlands), and it serves large fleet owners (Deloitte, SAP, Danone and Ballast Nedam). Founder and CEO Derk Roodhuyzen de Vries on process optimisation, damage allocation and the blurring of the once so clear-cut line between maintenance and damage repair companies...
Their rapid growth has, amongst other factors, ensured that Fixico finished 13th in Deloitte's Technology Fast 50. And Fixico remains ambitious: every quarter it expands to a new country and within three years it plans to be Europe's leading platform for car damage repair management. A platform, because Fixico is not a damage repair chain, Roodhuyzen de Vries clarifies at the beginning of the interview. Fixico is a technology company, with a platform that has already handled millions of euros worth of claims. In recent years, the share of rental and car-sharing providers, leasing companies and fleet owners has increased significantly.
Meanwhile, more than 200 business customers, including the largest leasing companies in 9 countries, use the platform in various ways. Because of the scale Fixico has achieved since its inception in 2014, it has created a huge bucket of data with insights into the claims industry and the vehicle repair process. "We have visibility into the repair process, including the type of repair for specific vehicles and even repairs done in a certain time period. In addition, we have dynamic data on repair costs, lead times and driver satisfaction. Insights that help not only leasing companies, for example, but also body repair shops. Because of the arrival of electric vehicles (EVs), and vehicles becoming increasingly complex, not every body repair shop can handle all the repair work just like that," says Roodhuyzen de Vries.
The CEO explains: the traditional repair process is mostly time-consuming, inefficient and relies on outdated processes that have a negative impact on the final repair cost, lead time and quality. The entire process has not yet been able to benefit sufficiently from digitisation which would benefit both the body repair shops and, for example, their clients, the leasing companies. For years, the latter have organised their controlled damage flow in the same way: they make (price) agreements with a certain chain or network of body repair shops and then send all damages to these companies on a distance basis. This is often irrespective of the type of damage, the brand, the occupancy and whether it is an electric or conventional car.
This 'one size fits all' model has had its day, says Roodhuyzen de Vries. "The way of allocation used to be fairly simple, but modern cars are becoming more sophisticated and therefore repairs are more complex. A bumper of a certain model can differ from another version of that same model. If you drop that car off at a shop that doesn't have the right equipment, you're entering a huge logistical and operational game that increases costs and leads to an enormous increase in lead time. With insights, we make the match as to which damage repair company has the right equipment available for a specific damage. We combine static data with historical performance data on availability and, for example, customer satisfaction per region, city and company. This is good both for the lease company and the body repair shop!
The controlled damage flow and the way of working do not have to be turned upside down immediately, emphasises Fixico. The digital car repair platform can also be used purely for data to help lease companies with insights into damage and repair companies. For example, they can focus more on customer satisfaction and quality, things that Fixico also keeps track of, or whether or not there is a replacement vehicle available.
More than 2,500 bodyshops are now connected to Fixico. A lease company’s network can also be connected to the Fixico platform. When using their own network, one can simply maintain their own SLAs and better monitor compliance through the Fixico platform, digitalise reporting and handling, and increase control. A pilot of the platform usually ensures that companies quickly see the benefit. Roodhuyzen de Vries: "A pilot is set up fairly quickly. And if one sees that some 20 to 30 percent more efficiency can be achieved, a next step almost always follows. Of course, the repair process affects a core element of lease companies, so they are cautious. But process optimisation and cost savings have always appealed to the leasing industry."
The current dynamics in the mobility industry play into Fixico's hands, says the CEO. In the emerging car-sharing sector, for example, the company has already made considerable strides, most recently by partnering with Share Now. Matchmaking is what Fixico does: bringing together the needs of the customer and the repairer. In other words: Fixico ensures that customers make data-driven decisions for the best solutions for their claims. And the customer ultimately decides. "That makes ROB departments more effective and efficient by allowing them to optimise the process for each individual claim without costing them more time."
In time, Roodhuyzen de Vries wants to broaden the Fixico platform to facilitate the current developments around EVs and new mobility parties in this playing field with their go-to-market and after-sales strategy. "This is hardly an issue at the moment, but with the advancement of electric cars, a new landscape is emerging with new players and needs. This is especially true with EVs, where the service part can be split into battery-specific and general maintenance and repair. Here, Fixico can for example facilitate new EV car manufacturers without an extensive aftersales network by deploying the extensive and existing European service network. Damage repair remains a necessary service, also for future self-driving EVs. With a small investment in people and resources, the current damage network can continue to develop and also provide general service and maintenance for EVs. Why not? They are better equipped for it than maintenance companies that would have to do damage repair on top of it. Eventually you will have access to a service organisation with a comprehensive service network for new mobility companies and OEMs and their EVs. We see the market eventually moving towards that."