Improve Cycle Time with CollisionLink Shop
Griffin Voorhees is parts manager at York Collision Repair Center (York, Penn.), part of the Apple Auto Group, with an average monthly car count of over 275.
How long have you worked with OEC and CollisionLink Shop?
I believe it was right around the time I switched over to the Collision side that CollisionLink was being introduced in our dealerships, but I didn’t start using CollisionLink until the beginning of 2019. So a little over a year now.
What is the most useful aspect of CollisionLink Shop?
There are many useful features that CollisionLink offers us. Price-matching OEM parts is huge, and it’s a tremendous time saver. There is accountability on your vendors when you order electronically--everything is documented and saved in there. So there is no more, “He-said, she-said, the parts were never ordered” song and dance. Every order can be archived in CollisionLink so there can be no refuting it.
But I would have to say the thing I find most helpful is part accuracy. Once we have sent the estimate to the dealer, we are able to click on the VIN and often get vital information about what the vehicle came equipped with from the factory. We even have access to paint codes and other valuable data.
Moreover, as cars become more advanced and the manufacturers offer more options, it becomes more and more challenging getting the correct parts the first time. Wrong parts kill cycle time and overall customer satisfaction is diminished when you can’t get them back in their cars on time. All of this affects rental days, insurance companies, referrals, literally everything! When there are sometimes eight or more options on a part it’s easy to overlook a feature and select the wrong part. When I send an order through CollisionLink, the dealer checks the parts by VIN and sends back all of the correct information. I can see what should have been selected and make the changes on my estimate accordingly. This ensures we order and quote the correct parts up front. I believe this is by far the greatest asset to CollisionLink.
Does CollisionLink Shop make your job easier? Does it help improve efficiency/productivity?
It has definitely made my job much easier. I wish more vendors would use it. As far as an ordering and price-matching platform, CollisionLink is the gold standard.
Although I am in my early thirties I was trained in this business by old-school guys and we primarily worked off of the fax, email and phone call orders. I wasn’t thrilled about the prospect of having to learn a new system when I was working a system that wasn’t broken. As the saying goes, it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but I was pleasantly surprised when I started using CollisionLink at how easy it was to operate. Once I discovered the benefits firsthand, using it as the primary tool for parts ordering was a no-brainer.
I have also been training a new hire who comes from outside the business and he was able to pick up on the system very quickly.
CollisionLink Shop helps us catch errors early in the collision repair process. We’re experiencing a few growing pains in this process, but it’s been incredibly beneficial to the shop as a whole. The technicians have learned the product and completely bought in and the quality improves all the time. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
How's the customer service? Do you ever need help or support?
I have only needed to call support once or twice. We had just obtained a new computer system and were having issues getting our estimates to export into CollisionLink, which was really an issue with our computers not being set up properly. But the Support team at OEC was fantastic--they were able to remotely access my computer and walk me through the steps to get it up and running in a timely manner.
And what's next for York?
Right now we are in the middle of the “next phase,” if you will. When I started in collision in 2014 we were a medium-sized shop with two or three estimators, four or five techs, two painters, a detailer and a parts guy. We have since purchased another collision center within the last two years and merged the two shops into one brand new state-of-the-art facility. So our staff has more than doubled and we boast a roughly 20,000-square-foot shop well over the length of a football field. We have a fantastic team of dedicated employees who rank second to none. I honestly feel like the sky's the limit and I look forward to seeing what we are capable of accomplishing in the days and years ahead.