BMW April 2022

Inefficient  processes in the workplace are costing UK body shops and repair businesses an average of one hour per day per employee, according to research released by Audatex. The findings have been launched with the first in a four-part series of insight reports, based on Audatex’s An Extra Hour in the Day research. The research explores the changing nature of the vehicle repair industry and the impact technology is having on businesses achieving their goals.

The findings demonstrate that many UK body shops still heavily rely on manual tasks or paper-based solutions to perform day-to-day processes, which are often both time and labour-intensive and have a high margin for human error. Despite the technology solutions readily available, more than half of body shops still use manual methods of fleet car management (50%), vehicle collection and delivery (60%) and courtesy car management (54%).

The research also revealed that over 90% of fleet car and parts provider processes are performed outside of body shop management systems in a standalone or manual system; 46% still adopt a manual approach to workshop planning, and a software solution is more likely to be used for invoicing (62%) and accounting (68%), yet a third of body shops still perform these tasks manually.

Commenting on the findings, David Shepherd, regional managing director at Audatex UK and Africa said, “Despite the growing investment in technology across the sector, many body shops in the UK are still reluctant to replace their manual, paper-based processes with tech-driven alternatives. This lack of streamlined management processes is not slowing down the industry unnecessarily, leading to prolonged key-to-key time and lower customer satisfaction levels.”

The independent research was conducted by Coleman Parkes in 2018 with 250 independent and franchised body shops across the UK.