ACIS has launched its Priority Repair Programme’ (PRP) that cuts so-called ‘key to key’ repairs – the time taken from the reporting of the accident to an insurance company to when the customer is reunited with the repaired vehicle - by up to 10 days.
For the insurance company this cuts the cost of repair and the need for lengthy alternative courtesy car hire by hundreds of pounds while the participating garages can put more business through their workshops through a culture of changed working practices and teamwork as well as strategic investment, but only where appropriate.
Graham O Neill, CEO of ACIS, said: “It is a complete training plan and there are several elements to PRP that the repairer needs to implement, but ultimately, it is a total solution for body shops looking to reduce cycle times, improve their customer service and their profitability.
“Initial trials with some of the larger repairers around the UK that have implemented it have delivered on the promise.”
One of Scotland’s largest car body repair businesses, John Martin Group Accident Centres, has reduced key to key times across three of its branches by up to 50% in three months through PRP.
The company’s Bonnyrigg, Perth and Aberdeen centres have been working through ACIS’s PRP as part of its strategy to boost throughput and profitability, and meet the requirements of leading insurers.
So far, its Bonnyrigg centre, which has also been taking part in a fast-tracking pilot programme for insurance group RBS, has knocked three days off the duration of the average repair, driving costs down and labour hours up.
Perth and Aberdeen have cut repair times by two days and 3.6 days respectively, through a combination of fast-tracking and other changes in working practices.
Another example of where PRP differs is that the repair teams go to the car rather than the car to repairer which optimises the time and the space in the workshop.
PRP is integrated into a business through a five day programme over a three month period which starts with a Gap analysis – an audit of what is currently in place in the workshop and what is needed to make PRP work within the business.
“It is not about selling more equipment. It is more to do with making our customers more profitable simply by having the ability to optimise their space and expertise to put more work through the same four walls and the same teams,” said O ‘Neill.
“It is the first programme that manages the whole process and measures the outputs forensically as well as promoting good industry practice. The insurance companies like it because it can precisely guarantee a fixed time which reduces repair costs and saves in additional car hire which could be as high as £ 100 per day. The customer is happy because he or she is getting the car back more quickly and the experience is not onerous on them,” he concluded.