Mike Anderson is a former shop owner, industry advocate and writer with over 30 years of experience in collision repair. He’s president and owner of CollisionAdvice, a full-service autobody collision consulting company. Anderson’s also a highly sought-after speaker who regularly presents at SEMA, NACE and a
number of other industry events. Anderson sat down with GM Repair Insights to share his thoughts on subjects like repair procedures, parts identification, and a recent court ruling that could have a major effect on how you do business.
GM Repair Insights: What do you feel are the major trends currently driving the industry that will directly impact repairers?
Anderson: There are three I would highlight.
The first is scanning. Conducting pre- and post-scans, which GM has a position statement on, is the only way to make sure all the features are working properly. The days of quality control of inspecting the vehicle—high beam, low beam, left turn signal, etc.—is not enough anymore. The only way we can truly know all the features work properly is with scanning.
The second is greater clarity for identification of one-time use parts. This can be difficult for shops to determine since OEMs use different symbols and terminology for these parts or simply aren’t clear enough. The good news is John Eck, who represents GM on the OEM Round Table, is leading the charge for improvement in this area. This is really going to benefit shops, insurers and the vehicle owner.
The third thing to consider is that data is king. Whether it’s financial, cycle time, customer service or estimate data, data always tells you a story. That data tells you to do one of two things: celebrate or go look. If I’m performing well, then I believe in celebrating with the team. If we aren’t doing well, we need to roll up our sleeves and go look for solutions. In this world today, with all that data that is available, it’s critical for shops to know how to understand and use data.
GM Repair Insights: One of the criticisms of the repair industry over the years has been a lack of unity among all the players—shops, insurers, OEMs, other vendors, etc. Is there more unity now?
Anderson: Absolutely. When I came into the industry in 1985 and would go to industry events, you’d rarely see the OEMs there. Today, the OEMs are making presentations, sitting on committees and reaching out with statements, announcements and social media. It’s a very exciting time. Before you’d have the shops out butting heads with insurance companies. Now shops know the OEMs are backing them up and standing up for them. When the OEMs get involved and provide clarity, it gives the shops hope. Sometimes that’s all you need.