HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., May 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Collision repair shops that have earned Gold Class® recognition from I-CAR® are producing significant cost savings for consumers and insurance companies, according to a new I-CAR white paper detailing the Q1 2015 Enterprise Rent-A-Car Length of Rental (LOR) report. Enterprise's data shows that Gold Class shops with well-trained technicians can repair vehicles faster, and as a result, shorten car rental days -- both important factors to reducing total cost to repair.
The analysis examined data for the first quarter of 2015 from collision repair shops in the U.S. with which Enterprise conducts business. Enterprise serves the $35 billion collision-repair industry, comprising over 34,000 facilities. Enterprise compared the market-average LOR for repairable vehicles across all shops in their database versus those shops that have earned Gold Class recognition from I-CAR. Gold Class shops have technicians who earned Platinum® recognition by completing industry specified levels of training, and this contributes to complete, safe and quality repairs that ultimately benefit the consumer.
While the national industry average LOR was 11.5 days, Gold Class shops averaged just 10.2 days, an 11% improvement. Further, the top 500 Gold Class LOR performers turned those repairs around in only 7.9 days, or a 31% improvement. Isolating on the 100 top-performing Gold Class shops, the average LOR drops to 6.5 days for a 43% improvement.
"As repair processes change with the onset of new materials and technology, it is imperative for repairers to be able to adapt to these changes," said Enterprise Rent-A-CAR Assistant Vice President Frank Laviola. "Failure to do so will result in increased repair time and compromised quality. The data shows Gold Class shops beat the overall industry by 1.3 days, and the top shops cut repair time down to almost half of the industry average."
"This new data further supports the significant advantages of Gold Class shops," said John Van Alstyne, CEO and president of I-CAR. "Not only are shops better qualified to perform proper repairs and do so more cost effectively, consumers and insurance companies also are saving money. And consumers also gain peace of mind, knowing technicians with updated industry-standard training are repairing their vehicles, which contributes to complete, safe and quality repairs. This data complements other related I-CAR data that shows the positive impact training has on shop KPI performance, and the further performance benefits that accrue to shops that possess a culture of learning or as I-CAR refers to it, a "Learning Culture."
Reduced LOR means reduced expense for insurers that must provide car rental coverage to policy holders with this provision in their policy. This also means reduced expense for drivers who do not have car rental coverage provisions in their policies, an expense they pay directly.
Knowledge and Training Improve Business Performance
The white paper furnishes details on the Enterprise LOR report and also analyzes the ROI associated with training and the further impact a "Learning Culture" contributes to performance. In research studies involving shops where technicians received I-CAR training, improvements were evident in four key performance indicators:
- Shops improved cycle time (how rapidly they completed safe and quality repairs) by more than 14 percent.
- They improved touch time (the number of hours a technician worked on a vehicle) by nearly 34 percent.
- Frequency of supplements for necessary repairs overlooked in the estimate dropped by 11 percent.
- Customer satisfaction increased 5 percent.
Improvements were even greater than the averages in those shops that approach training strategically, or those shops that possess a "Learning Culture."
"A tsunami of new vehicles enter the market each year, that increasingly include significant new technologies and materials as automakers seek to make vehicles lighter to meet tough new mileage regulations," Van Alstyne said. "It is imperative that the collision repair industry embrace an environment in which learning and knowledge are recognized as strategic assets that must be managed, developed and maintained."
To earn recognition as a Gold Class facility, collision repair facility employees must achieve and maintain a high level of role-relevant training, that addresses industry specified knowledge requirements across each of four key collision-repair roles: estimator, non-structural technician, steel structural technician and refinish technician.
Founded in 1979, I-CAR is a not-for-profit education, knowledge, and solutions organization designed to support the evolving needs of the Collision Repair Inter-Industry. I-CAR is focused on improving the quality and safety of auto collision repair for the ultimate benefit of both the industry and the consumer. www.i-car.com. Visit www.GoldClass.com to find a Gold Class collision repair shop.