How brand certified car repair reduces costs in the ecosystem
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Brand certified car repair: until recently this was mainly used for specific top car brands. Since the tech component in ‘regular’ cars such as Volkswagen and Citroën is getting more and more complex, the need for brand certified repair for these type of cars is on the rise. Responses vary from ‘makes sense’ to ‘expensive’ and ‘interesting, but how’. Because developments in brand certified repair are progressing rapidly, we asked Harry and Danny Bekkers from the ‘Bekkers Autoschade Groep’ to share their insights. Primarily they are known for the car repair of top brands such as Bentley, Porsche and Maserati, but they also do large volumes of repair for regular brands.
What are the benefits of brand certified repair for them and how do they use this to lower the repair costs in the ecosystem?
“For us, working according to the brand specifications of a manufacturer is becoming more and more important for all types of cars because cars are getting more complex. ADAS systems and complex technology first find their way into the most expensive top cars. Now this technology is also available in regular cars. Basically we apply the same rules for brand certification for the top and regular cars in our workshop”, says Danny Bekkers.
Brand certified car repair has two main benefits
1. First time right: efficient repair and less extra repair costs
“With certified repair we are much closer to the direct source of all technical information: this is embedded in our professionals who know exactly what they need to do – and what not.. – and where to get extra information when faced with something that does not occur that often.” One of the effects is that repairs are more efficient than when mechanics immediately need to consult external sources to repair a more complex damage correctly. “We also notice a high rate of first time right repair, ultimately reducing the total repair costs.”
2. Cost control in the total ecosystem
“Our vision is that you need to have a long term mindset in repair. Because cars are getting more complex it is so important that we reduce the chance of an incorrect repair continuously, and hence the chance of a consequential damage. Minimal technical deviations can have a great impact.” This also saves costs for a possible counterparty and recovery costs – let alone bodily damage. Important for insurers and leasing companies, but also for the customer who will end up paying a higher premium if the repair costs keep rising.
Brand certified repair requests investments in equipment and people. “You will also get a different type of mechanic”, Harry Bekkers explains. “The technical knowledge needed for many brand certifications causes the average education level to rise. I think this can also contribute to a renewed interest in the repair industry for young people.”
The justified question now is: How can body shops reduce the needed investments and not eliminate the mentioned benefits? For Bekkers, three key elements are essential to achieve this:
1. Increase volume
It is absolutely necessary to realize more volumes on specific brands or types of repair to efficiently improve technical knowhow and keep it on par. “You would also prefer your open heart surgery to be done by the cardiologist who does ten a day instead of just one a week”, says Harry Bekkers.
2. Invest smartly in equipment
Bekkers’ experience is that often equipment used for brand X can also be used for brand Y. “Analyse the requirements for every brand and only buy the highest qualified equipment needed. This way you can use one tool for a wide range of brands.” Having a clear game plan for which brand recognitions you actually need, reduces the total investments.
3. Start with the toughest brand
“When a mechanic masters the most difficult brand, other brands are way easier to repair. Information is also much easier to interpret. This way other courses for brand certifications go much faster, cost less in terms of both funds and time and you can use knowledge quicker for more repair cases”, concludes Danny Bekkers.