Customer key for future

The bodyshop of the future must be fully focussed on the customer and making use of all available technology to deliver an efficient and high-tech experience.

This was the takeaway message from the Thatcham’s Repair Focus session entitled ‘Bodyshop of the Future’. Chair for the session, Simon Smith, operations director at Solus Accident Repair Centres and AVIVA representative on Thatcham’s Executive board, stated, ‘The industry as a whole needs to focus on what matters to the customer and then we can be clearer about the next steps. At the moment there is a great deal of emphasis on the repair itself, whilst there is still too much failure elsewhere in the end to end system. This is where we should focus our minds as this will reduce cost and enable us to spread the margins throughout the supply chain to invest in the future.’

During discussions throughout the day there was broad agreement that the investment power of larger groups would inevitably lead to further consolidation of the UK repair sector. Accident repairers will also likely need to look at providing a range of additional vehicle services on top of structural repair, such as re-calibration of safety systems, cosmetic work and associated mechanical work, in order to achieve shorter repair cycle times.