15 Jun 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

Counting the cost?

Cars and vans that come off the production line in 2022 are jam packed with technology that is used for entertainment and safety. In the world of collision repair, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are mission-critical technology that must be minded closely.
This technology has been designed to protect the driver and passengers as well as other road users. However, if the vehicle is involved in a collision, whether that be a minor ding or something bigger, these systems need to be recalibrated.

The recalibration of these systems has created a gap in the market that businesses are looking to fill. As we know though, to do the job there is a price that must be paid, and it comes in two distinct forms. The first is that of a one-off investment in the necessary tools, services and training for staff, which can be recouped over time. Recouping the initial financial outlay will come from each job, but what businesses must remember is that if the price being charged is too high, there is the possibility that customers might look somewhere else for the service.

The second is if the business does not have these tools on site, the vehicle will either need to be booked into a dealership to be recalibrated or employ a third party to do the work. This will lead to an increase in key-to-key times by an average of three days, as the business cannot guarantee the work will be done there and then, plus any additional costs will have to be passed onto the customer.

The current economic climate, however, is leading many businesses to look at alternatives, and one of them is a pay-as-you-calibrate model, which Repairify launched at the end of 2021. This option has been developed to enable bodyshops to have access to digital ADAS equipment with no upfront cost. This, in turn, reduces the financial burden and allows repairers to pay as they use the equipment based on the number of calibrations they perform in a specific time period.

An example of the benefits businesses can reap are highlighted by Pete Sadler, Commercial Director of North East Accident Repair who told us: “Our business has gone from doing one or two calibrations a month to three or four a week, so it was clear we needed to invest in a solution that best suited our needs and requirements. The benefits of the pay-as-you-calibrate initiative are that it enables us to equip the group with the very latest digital technology without the need for a large capital investment upfront, which is crucial in the current environment we all find ourselves in. It has also meant we have increased our revenue, reduced our key-to-key times, and provided customers with the peace of mind to know that our technicians are doing the calibrations correctly.”

We know that the need for calibration services is here to stay, and this will lead to businesses needing to invest in the requisite tools and services to do the job. These costs can place an undue burden on a business, but we want to be in a position where we can provide a solution that allows all businesses to be able to offer cost-effective remote diagnostic services to their customers