BMW April 2022

Taking a long hard look at all aspects of technology and how it clearly has and will continue to advance our world and our daily lives, one must ask: how many of us, for instance, would be willing to give up our smartphones?

So, with so much advancement in our world – even within the collision repair space – we are still left with the age-old conundrum: is technology outpacing us?

Human pressures

The speed at which these devices now push our connectivity and communications places the human animal under more pressure than ever before. It certainly can enable, but it can also cause serious harm.

Yet, despite all the clear advances made in the technological space within the collision sector, we still witness every day the human weaknesses of both ourselves and the technology.

Our inboxes become overloaded repeatedly, our stress levels go up, the calls never go down, and the demand for more and more speed affects our ability to deliver a consistent performance.

At times the technology can drive the wrong behaviours or distract from its intended purpose. Add to this the desire for more and more data to evidence our performance and KPIs, which can ultimately impede the emphasis for delivering a safe quality repair to all the wrong places. We find ourselves working to a number rather than a standard.

Endless opportunities

With such technology we must never overlook something even more impressive than the tech, something even more powerful than AI or quantum physics, and that’s our imagination. Our imagination can take us anywhere, so why do we rarely use it with the same intensity and capacity as data and technology? Technology most often allows us to only better measure what we already do. Imagination could solve most of our industry’s dysfunctionality if we truly wanted a balanced outcome – one in which the outcomes would match the outputs we seek.

Every one of us could close our eyes and quickly imagine the issues affecting their sector of business and issues they experience every day. With this in mind and given both are mutually dependent – like the insurer and repairer – I would wager more could be achieved by using our imagination to fix things more than technology could and at a fraction of the cost.

Many years back I took my children to Disneyland, and away from the main areas and attractions we discovered a place Walt Disney used for what he termed “imagineering”. This was a place where his best talent and those from all sides of the moving picture industry came together to explore what seemed impossible and make it possible.

Create demand

I bet you can imagine countless areas in which those age-old niggles our industry has, and still repeats every day, could, with the right attitudes, beliefs and willingness, achieve more meaningful progress without the aid of technology. If we fixed it using this method, we could define exactly how the technology we may need to assist and support us could be created.

Will it ever happen? Well that’s up to each of us to create the demand, the desire and the willingness to reach our dreams or at least effective solutions without having to be forced to buy things we don’t really need, to measure something that won’t really change anything.