Spies Hecker

The outcome of a recent surveys on just how well repairers from national body shops treated their clients are of concern from the analysis of the reported 15 000 votes counted in the Wheels24 survey. Only 4% of accident sufferers reported support of professional and friendly service on their repair. Another load in the survey of some 42% of clients posted their experience as an absolute rip-off on the deal.

This can only be described as a poor overall result, and that’s being polite! Clients were also asked should they do repairs on their own vehicles that are damaged by a collision and their appetite for that registered with just 2% of the survey saying “yes.” So the final outcome of all this soul searching and introspection was that consumer education is lacking and the repairer is taking the rap for undue delay and in most instances factors beyond our control.

CRA continue to ensure its members explain through mandated code of conduct the authorised repair scope provided and gain acceptance on the repair provision. Handling unhappiness upfront leads to better understanding and ultimately support of honesty and reduced cycle times. This is viewed in terms of top performers in most provinces coming from our esteemed ranks and ultimately occupying over 40% of the top 100 overall performers out of a basket where we represent only around 23% of measured entities.

The recent Sun City Insurance Conference was again a huge event and reflected the tone nationally that the current factors such as business confidence was very low and taking its toll on the economy. Support and understanding of the necessity for insurance is not recognised sufficiently and education on risk needs to be understood.

On the subject of the latest BBBEE rules and regulations, speakers were questioned from the floor, as to support for broad based black empowerment as the current vision or another route to a select few for enrichment. The insurance financial charter obligations for change are demanding compliance from the free enterprise system which we’re supposedly enjoying in South Africa. No recognition is being taken of lack of overall business acumen and skills and the attrition rate of quality accredited repairers results in lowering of standards, increasing unsatisfactory first time repair and frustrated clients. Safety through standards and road safety has been identified as a major factor in the increase of accidents and road deaths lately.

On other matters the reluctance to increase commercial offers on specifically labour rates, at first look seems to fly in the face of what we think are sustainable rates for body repair and against a required 7% labour rate to be introduced in September – through MIBCO regulation.  Secondly the trend to have our work providers supply necessary parts has been tested in the market place as a failure on many previous occasions, but we still appear to have an aptitude to go down this road again. The nature hereof is inherent additional delay, wrong parts received and more often than not damage due to courier incorrect handling.

Support of much needed transformation and support of previously disadvantaged individuals remain a committed priority but only if the stakeholders can agree on the principle of continuity of the industry via accredited standards firstly and then dismantling of volume deals and favouritism affecting even and equitable distribution to the benefit of SMMEs on a broad based related principle. In this regard the implementation of independent grading through Bureau Veritas and as appointed through the transformation and sustainability forum headed by SAIA has a set conformance date of end of September 2018 but appears not to be achievable with compliance averaging only 45% of industry at this point. This places discussions of equitable procurement to compliant accredited repairers on the back foot and not in the interests of positive stability in the short term.

Andrew Marsh – Keynote Speaker for Cape Auto Forum

On a more positive note we are proud to be sponsoring our own international technical guru, Andrew Marsh (at the Cape Auto Forum in Cape Town.) Andrew has a regular column under the heading of Future Tech in Automotive Refinisher magazine – our co-sponsor for the event.   This will cover the Western Cape’s premier automotive aftermarket at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on the 17th and 18th October. This year, Andrew, who is a director of AutoIndustry Insider, has already headed up talks at IBIS in Munich, Germany and the Birmingham Trade Show in the UK. He will unveil the current state of chaos that exists at OEM manufacturers on a talk about the camera implementation in new model variations with the development of 3D designs, night vision and ultrasound dead reckoning sensors.

Along with this will be a look at a host of new radar devices now in use such as Lidar and other long range recognition devices, which all has to be installed post-accident to pre-accident factory fitted condition with the current wheel alignment equipment that have huge calibration issues and need constant attention to compete correctly.

See you at the conference and at our stand too.