When Eric McKenzie arrived at Park Place Bodywerks in Dallas, Texas, to be the body shop director, cycle time at the luxury-brand dealership shop was an astounding 60 days and the collision center was not profitable.
“I was blown away, I couldn’t believe it,” McKenzie says of the shape the shop was in when he started five years ago.
But within one year, using his industry knowledge, financial acumen and management skills, McKenzie helped drop cycle time to 20 days and profits soared to nearly $2.2 million, with annual revenues of about $18 million. Customer service index (CSI) scores increased from around 80 percent to 97 percent. Revenue has grown steadily since, and the dealership recently opened a second shop in Grapevine, Texas.Comments
Auto repair facilities and body/collision repair shops all over the United States are working hard to to end insurance-controlled prices and preferred business requirements through legislature in Massachusetts and Iowa – and allow customers more of a choice in where they receive repairs.
Who should decide prices for auto body repair? Is it the facility itself – who receives training in how to properly restore a car that’s been victim of a collision? Who truly understands the time it takes to perform repairs and the cost and importance of genuine OEM parts? Or, is it the insurance company’s job to police these fees and make sure that these repair facilities receive a specific set amount? Insurance companies feel they have enough experience with auto repair facilities that they know who does the best repairs for the best price.
Of course – everyone is in business to profit. Auto repair facilities claim that in fact, insurance companies should NOT decide pricing. The argument is that insurance companies, in the effort to save money – are forcing body shops to do repairs at specific set amounts of time (even though one job might take longer than another – each project – at least for us – is subjective); and they are also often asked to use substandard, non-OEM and even used parts. Since reputable body shop or collision facilities generally refuse to do this, business is directed to shops that will use substandard parts and adhere to insurance guidelines. Certainly, laws and prices vary by state, but repair shops say if they don’t charge what insurance companies decide are fair prices, they lose business and that unless they are on the ‘preferred’ partner list of the insurance company, then the business goes elsewhere.
What does the consumer feel? See below for an excerpt from USA Today:
Some consumers disagree. About a year ago, Kris Weaver hit a deer with her red pickup. She says she took the vehicle to O’Mara Auto Body in Martensdale, Iowa, a company she had used and trusted. The truck needed a new bumper, license plate mounting, grille and air conditioning condenser
Tom O’Mara, the body shop owner, estimated repairs would cost $1,330. When O’Mara sent the invoice to AAA, the company reimbursed him $1,187. That left Weaver with a $143 out-of-pocket bill.
“It was just a continual battle,” said Weaver, adding she fought until the difference between the total cost and the coverage plus deductible was $25. AAA is an association of clubs across the U.S., and policies vary by club, said Cindy Brough, a spokeswoman for AAA
For more on this debate and the legislature read the entire article on USA Today.Comments
Park Place BodyWerks is a certified auto repair and paint & body shop facility – certified to service the world’s best-known luxury brands.
With our state-of-the-art automotive repair and auto body shops now in Dallas and Grapevine – we can now provide you with the first class service and experience that you have come to associate with Park Place Dealerships – in two separate parts of the metroplex.
We’ll work with your insurance to ensure a smooth repair process.
You can expect more from BodyWerks than from an auto repair shop. We offer a variety of services in Dallas and Grapevine including:
- Collision repair and refinishing
- Custom paint
- Structure repair and frame straightening
- Custom body kits
- Paintless dent repair
- Full detailing
- Free shuttle service