Issues With Processing Hail Damage In The PDR Business (Part Four & Summary)
In Part Three, we looked at David Pinto’s experience with shops switching PDR companies halfway through a job. We also looked at how insurance impacted the process and Matthew McDonnell’s own worries about customers feeling like they don’t have a choice when taking their vehicles to shops. In Part Four, we will be looking at a few things you can expect at this year’s Collision Industry Conference (CIC) meetings.
According to Autobody News’, John Yoswick, CIC participants should expect problems with “Opt-OE” and “Alt-OEM” to be discussed in further detail. Back in 2016, they were two of the most common topics at CIC meetings. This is because, at the time, the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) pointed out some of the inconsistencies of the “Opt-OE” and Alt-OEM” terms. In essence, the conversations elaborated on how they were unclear to customers. However, they also stated that creating invoices or estimates for customers using those terms could not happen without providing information about specific parts and their warranties.
Despite the points made in 2016, the use of these parts hasn’t slowed down. According to Yoswick, an executive over at Farmers Insurance said they paid for roughly 200,000 “Opt-OE” parts in 2018– which ended up being only 50,000 less than the number of used parts they paid for in the same year.
Recently, the BAR stated that parts need to be identified as reconditioned, rebuilt, used, or new (regardless of whether they were OEM or non-OEM). Back in November of 2018, Assured Performance’s, Scott Biggs emphasized the importance of inter-industry associations, such as CIC, tackling the issue of “Alt-OE” and “Opt-OE” parts.
He continued on and said, “Are we going to let another body figure this out, or are we going to get our heads together and come up with a better plan and start pushing it out to the legislators or regulators? We talked about this literally two years ago, but nothing has been done about it. So we waited for the BAR to do it. We can do better. This ought to be one of our principal objectives to address.”
Industry standardization of particular terms is an absolute must. Do you find parts designations and requirements confusing in your business? Do you agree with Scott that organizations like the CIC should lead the charge to tackle the problem? Share your experience and opinions in the comments, and maybe your input can inform the discussion.
According to Autobody News’, John Yoswick, SSF Imported Auto Parts’ Ken Weiss hammered in the importance of standardizing part-type definitions.
“We have three estimating platforms and several parts procurement portals, and they all call the same parts something different. I push our parts to a third-party administrator, and it’s like sausage: I have no idea how they will come out on the other end. And I’m not necessarily happy with how they come out,” Weiss said.
The next CIC meeting for 2019 will be in Nashville, TN, from April 17 – 18. If you’re interested in more details about CIC, you can check out their website, here, for further information. Beyond that, there will be several tours organized along with the CIC meeting– with locations such as the Nissan Assembly plant.
So, what the takeaways from all of these industry leaders and topics? Things need to be standardized in the PDR business. There shouldn’t be a debate between technicians about whether a dent is nickel or dime sized (it’s fairly easy to find out). Beyond that, PDR business’ should handle supplements from start to finish. If you’re required to provide some information to your competitors by a customer, there’s no incentive for them to do it in a timely manner. However, while it’s great for PDR businesses to have relationships with insurance companies, it can sometimes cause customers to feel as though they never had any other option.
At the end of the day, there are many problems those in the PDR business must handle on a daily basis. There are headaches and frustrations, but the industry push towards standardization and focusing on customer needs will hopefully make life a little easier. We will wait and see what comes from the discussions here, and leading up to the CIC this year.