Monthly archives of “September 2016

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asTech2 Remote Vehicle Scanning and Diagnostics

Collision Diagnostic Services of Texas has developed the second generation of their asTech remote scanner. Learn more about the asTech scanner. This equipment is priced currently in the $2,500US range making it affordable to any progressive repair shop and allows that independent shop to remotely connect with OEM scan equipment, which is definitely not affordable for that independent shop.

Perhaps if a shop did 90% Toyotas or Hondas they could afford the cost and training for equipment for that one brand, but if they are repairing almost all brands the total cost would be prohibitive and the training very complex.

The asTech2 unit is connected to the vehicles OBD (On Board Diagnostic) port and communicates over the internet with the CDS offices in Texas, where a group of trained automotive technicians works with the full range of OEM scanners to diagnose the vehicle electronics.

astech-scanner-09-16

A pre–repair scan aids significantly in damage diagnosis and the post repair scan does two things; the first is to verify that all systems are working; the second is to reset and recalibrate components to ready mode after repairs are completed.

Before the availability of this technology vehicles would have to be driven to the dealer for many code re-sets. This would add a day to the repair process, or if there were no dash lights on the re-set would simply not be done. It is easy to imagine that the very useful (and rapidly becoming mandatory on new cars) pre-repair scan would very seldom be done if it required taking the car to the dealership before work could even start.

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Stuck in the Past with the Future Looming

 

In a Verifacts Guild 21 Web Conference on September 8, Sean Carey of SCG Management Consultants gave an excellent overview presentation emphasizing that the cars of 2040, driverless or otherwise, will be vastly different from today. Manufacturing will be different, insurance will be very different and the repair procedures will be equally different.

Then the very logical point was made that it won’t happen in 2040, it will be a progression which has very much started and even by 2020 there will be significant changes.

2040 is a long way out and many of us may not need to plan for that, but 2020 is less than 4 years and the active participants now, whether drivers or industry operators will be very much involved in 4 years. Methods being used today by repairers and insurers will not be even close to acceptable.

As I have written before there are a lot of honest and intelligent people working on the business models and protocols that will be needed to insure and repair these cars correctly. These people will get to the right place and these business models will be developed and implemented.

However they are definitely not at the right place now and operations both with repairers and insurers are still dominated by culture that is firmly stuck in the past.

Today we still have many repairers who will not invest in equipment and training and we still have front line insurance people whose job it is to say ‘we don’t pay for that’ or ‘nobody else is asking to be paid for that’ and my favorite for this week ‘you are only trying to bill for that to pay for your new equipment.’

Neither that repairer nor the front line insurance adjuster will get in trouble if a car is given back to the owner with damage conditions that have not been diagnosed, much less corrected. 10 years ago if a car had no dash warning lights on it could be assumed to be ready to go. Today most repairers and front line insurance adjusters still use this no light conditions as verification of a complete repair, even though it is known that in today’s cars many error codes and deficiencies do not trigger a dash light.

The rules at September 10 2016 discourage looking for these codes. It is easier and more profitable for most people to not rock the boat.

“…..operations both with repairers and insurers are still dominated by culture that is firmly stuck in the past…..”

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Next Accident Ready Leadership

Who will react best to the rapid changes that have overtaken the repair industry?

This is a question which leads to more questions as the relationships within and between organizations will have significant bearings. For example, looking at the category of independent shop owner, the owner can have a very firm belief in the concept, but if his front office staff and technicians are not fully engaged he won’t get far.

Here is one list of some of the players involved who will have a role in the development of Next Accident Ready protocols. The lack of explanation of the role of each in the process is intentional in order to keep the conversation as open as possible.

All of these groups and people are in competition with others in their category and there is always a tension between categories. All have varying personal and business motivations and objectives.

The Front Line Insurance Adjuster.
The Senior Claims Person at the Insurance Company.
The Front Line Shop Estimator
The Repair Technician
The Independent Shop Owner.
The Independent Small MSO (Multi Shop Operator), with from 2 to 6 shops.
Larger MSOs
Banner Affiliates
Banner Head Office People
OEMs
New Car Dealers
Certification Providers
Educators

And, very importantly;

Vehicle Owners