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What Impact Has COVID-19 Had on the Repairs Industry?

repairer cuts old silencer on car by angle grinder

According to the Department for Transport Road Traffic Estimates Report, road traffic trends indicated that the billion vehicle miles (BVM) driven was 21.3% lower in 2020 than it was in 2019, as car traffic dropped by 24.7%, van traffic by 9.1% and lorry traffic by 5.7%.

The report found that in 2020, motorways traffic dropped by 25.3%, ‘A’ roads by 23.2% and minor road traffic by 17.2% – all a direct result of both local and national lockdowns.

For the repairs and estimatics industry, this dramatic drop in activity caused long-standing implications, affecting everything from technician bandwidth to unmanageable costs.

But what if the industry could take all those challenges faced, and turn them into opportunities for the future instead?

MOT extensions

Challenge

During the first lockdown that came into effect in March 2020, the government announced an automatic six-month extension for all MOTs due from 30th March.

Whilst this was welcomed by many to navigating vehicle safety and isolation restrictions, it quickly became a problem for repairers, as they saw testing centres and garages become overwhelmed with over-capacity bookings. This resulted in a large build-up of outstanding tests which, for business who rely on their fleets being back on the road as quickly as possible, was a major concern.

Opportunity

As more and more garages have reopened their doors following lockdown restrictions being lifted, drivers and fleet managers can now prioritise booking their vehicles in as soon as possible. Not only to ensure they leave themselves plenty of time, but also to help the repairer themselves source the correct parts and assets needed to carry out any repairs.

Lack of parts

Challenge

Shortly after the pandemic began making global headlines, supply chain issues became a further problem, affecting so many more industries than just automotive.

Difficulties in sourcing parts had a knock-on effect on customer experience, where speed is of the essence for short claim lifecycles and quick repairs. But, due to external factors in those supply chain delays, quick turnaround times simply were not sustainable.

Opportunity

Being able to keep customers updated and making them aware of what they can expect from the get-go, can transform the overall claims experience in turbulent times.

The right estimatics platform can help business do just that. It works by managing the costs and relieving the pressures for brokers and bodyshops alike. In other words, whether an insurer demands accuracy, or repairers seek comprehensive information, a SaaS based estimatics platform with direct access to all manufacturer data will give repairers access to most current part pricing, providing the most accurate quote at any time.

Continuous costs 

Challenge

Looking back, it’s easy to forget that pay per use pricing wasn’t always an option.

COVID forced many business to close, or at the very least left them with a drastically reduced demand for appointments, and less need for their estimating solutions. And yet, even amidst a global pandemic, paying high monthly premiums seemed like it was the only way to do business.

Opportunity

Now, the repairs industry is adapting, and businesses are looking for different solutions to help them stablise their costs, in a way which supports them. The first step to this being, finding the right tools.

A SaaS based estimatics platform has no monthly subscription fees, cheaper costs and no hardware installation costs, as well as a ‘pay per use’ transparent pricing structure.

Something the industry craved at the time of the pandemic, and now sees as essential 24 months later. 

How can repairers protect their businesses from the next pandemic?

With GT Motive, we offer the very latest references, labour times and spare parts prices in our cloud-based estimating solution. This allows our customers to instantly access the exact right data they need, from any location and any device that has web access.

But that’s not all.

We’re constantly updating our data points to ensure our entire supply chain, from bodyshops to brokers, have the most precise data, always. For example, new vehicle models are added bi- weekly to our OEM prices, with data being updated daily in our solution. This helps us to offer a 96-98% car parc coverage, making our system a highly reliable tool for a claims department.

Keen to find out more?

Request your free GT Motive trial today.

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