Driving Safe & Proper Repairs

Dec. 1, 2023
Allied materials are now specified more than ever in approved materials lists or within procedures themselves.
The collision repair industry is transforming at an unprecedented pace. Advancements in vehicle structure, joining techniques, powertrain technology, and ADAS present new challenges to collision centers daily.
With rapid consolidation across the industry, a significant percentage of collision centers are turning to OEM certifications for incremental differentiation in training, marketing, recruiting, and capability. Achieving OEM certification is no small feat, as a repairer must satisfy many requirements of which include, but are not limited to, general business, customer service, technical training, and equipment requirements.

Document compliance with OEM repair procedures

One area not currently required, but should be considered, is compliance to OEM repair procedures along with allied materials that are recommended by the OEMs. As a certified repairer, you’ve checked the boxes to become certified, made investments in your people and facility, expanded your marketing capabilities, and are hopefully driving additional business through the shop thanks to your certification. But how are you measuring the product quality and the safety you’re delivering to your customers every day? Are you ensuring proper and safe repairs on every vehicle that is repaired in your shop? Enter OEM repair procedure compliance and documentation, or as some would call it, OEM-certified repairs.
Most OEM certification programs include gratis access to an OEM’s service site to research repair procedures, position statements, welding/joining guidelines, and much more. However, there remains a significant gap in the percentage of shops that research and follow OEM repair procedures on the repairs they complete. This is likely due to a host of reasons: time, familiarity with OEM sites, training, cost to access the information and the overall challenges associated with having to navigate several different systems for research, estimating, and invoicing. So, how can the industry connect their OEM certifications and daily best practices to deliver the safest, highest quality, and profitable repair possible?

What is an 'OEM-certified repair?'

While there’s currently no industry-approved definition of an “OEM-certified repair,” researching every repair, building a repair plan, and repairing to the plan are critical factors to delivering repairs the OEM would acknowledge as safe and proper. Investing the time and energy during the estimation process to pull procedures, thoroughly document guidelines, material requirements, and charging for the appropriate times for research and not-included operations can drive your overall repair standard and profitability. Over the past decade, OEMs have become much more explicit in the allied material callouts within their procedures; adhesives, seam sealers, anti-corrosion coatings, and foams are now called out more than ever before in approved materials lists or within procedures themselves.
For example, let’s say we focus on structural adhesives. How would a shop document when, where, and how much adhesive was used? Consider something that helps shops track and capture costs of supplies during repairs. Software streamlines many of the previously manual tasks of inventory management, blueprinting, and billing. Automated scanning and invoicing precisely captures inventory usage, and helps ensure all project procedures and materials are recorded. This can help leverage your OEM certifications, drive OEM repair procedure compliance, and ensure delivery of safe and proper repairs to every vehicle that comes your way.

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