Fleet News

Internet lifeline for bodyshops under pressure

INTERNET technology could provide a lifeline to low volume bodyshops struggling to survive under the weight of cost-cutting pressure by insurers. Audatex, one of the largest providers of computerised estimating systems, says it is about to revolutionise the motor claims, assessment and repair business by launching a multi-million pound web service that will help slash operating costs, improve efficiency and maintain quality standards.

Fleets will also win from Audatex's promised revolution in terms of swifter handling of insurance claims and faster turnaround of accident repairs.

The first phase of a move to completely automate the claims handling process - from initial notification through to assessment of vehicle damage, approval of repair costs and final invoicing - will begin in October with the launch of a web-enabled version of AudaWorkstation, the system which produces estimates based on manufacturer and Thatcham times.

Three tools - AIDA (Audatex Integrated Dialogue Application), AudaAudit and AudaManager - will be web-enabled for integration with AudaWorkstation.

Audatex plans to become the industry's e-commerce hub, hosting customer websites as an ISP (internet service provider) and offering an integrated suite of applications, including claims management, computerised estimating and bodyshop management.

Managing director Alex Leonard said 'The pressure's on everyone to drive down costs while maintaining quality standards and this is the approach we believe will create the best results for all.'

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