The crash repair market can help drive an improvement in UK productivity in the mid to long-term, according to the boss of distributor of added value services to the bodyshop sector.
Graham O’Neill, CEO of Warwick-based ACIS, which as well as supplying paint and dry consumables to the accident repair industry also develops web-based technology to drive bodyshop efficiencies, said: “Over the past 20 years, the crash repair market has been bent out of recognisable shape in terms of consolidation of the market that has seen 12,000 bodyshops being reduced to just 3,500.
“This is not necessarily a bad thing as changes in working practices and greater efficiencies are imperative to the evolution of the sector.
"Culture change and web-based technology is driving a reduction of key to key times and cost.
“The rise of smart technology and rapid treatment of scuffs and scrapes are boosting margins in the short term, while bigger repairs are being managed in a completely different way in many forward-thinking bodyshops.
“Today’s paints are more environmentally-friendly and often have the technology to require less drying time, which means reduced energy costs. The end result is that there is a better customer journey because insurance companies will have secured improved key-to-key times, the delivery of faster car turn around and a reduction in the costs of courtesy cars, for example."
O’Neill added: “This industry is therefore at the vanguard of what the Chancellor wants to see happening across the industrial landscape.
"Productivity drives growth, better wages and a more efficient economy. Businesses like ACIS are helping bodyshops to help themselves, not only to survive, but to thrive through greater productivity.”