Trevor Ward, head of Customer Service Mazda Southern Africa has introduced a revitalised and updated body repair programme for their range of models. The Midrand based company has taken a long hard look at how to make it easier to comply with their standards of repair and the simplified approach is already reaping benefits. They have now already appointed 300 collision repair centres in the new package.

Step change

“For a long time with all the approved programmes running in South Africa there as been way too much duplication on standard inspections from independent companies. Their checks and audits are a costly add-on for any body shop. If you take a long in-depth view of the operation, what’s really changed the business in a drastic way has been the introduction of the Consumer Production Act which is an all-embracing piece of legislation to protect the consumer at all times on any transaction.

“So the new approval programme is now simply based on our service providers from CRA, RMI and SAARSA in the Cape signing up as our field representative on all and any repair problems that might arise and/or need dispute resolution. They already have and enforce a quality standard of repair both in major structural and non-structural types of collision damage repair. In their efforts they have now all signed up on our process partnership in body shop repairs across the Republic. This agreement and the new repair programme came into operation in April and May this year for accredited members of the three major trade associations that we have recognised.

“Only one area of colouristics controls the new Xyrlic pearl colour formulas that our latest models are being painted in have been given to BASF Coatings for training in application techniques as they are a major supplier of OEM colour at Mazda in Japan. This will assist spray shop operations to get a right first time colour match on the new shades of pearl paint.

“We at Mazda feel that a much more simplified approach to body repair was needed for far too long. Programmes have been equipment centred and not focused on end customer quality delivered. We know that many South African repair centres are world class in the way that they approach the damage repair cycle. So now it’s all in the hands of the trade associations to deliver guaranteed customer quality of repair using our genuine body repair parts. We have increased our stock availability to 95-97% first time pick which is an industry leading position. Along with this over 52 Mazda parts and sales branches will always be able to assist on fast parts deliveries in repair situations.

“With our new IT system in place we’re able to track every single day trends and forecasts for parts needs. Our latest models will also use the newest forms of body repair technologies so we have to be able to introduce the new methods going forwards with the brand. We are very upbeat about the Mazda approved repair body shop programme and at hands-on level things are looking good with this unique system of management for collision repair standards of customer service,” concluded Ward.