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‘Working Together’ for the Good of the Vehicle Owner

One of the themes of the overall collision repair industry that now always comes up at conferences is ‘we are all working together for the good of our mutual customer, the vehicle owner’

I have called out this theme as disingenuous before, but here is another look at why it can be viewed as insincere or even outside the rules.

There is no denying that there is tension between the different players within the any industry.  Everyone would rather have more than less and if the supply is finite then the only way to get more is for someone else to get less. There is nothing dishonest or sinister about that, it is a big part of how business works. But the tension between parties and the competition to get as much as possible is a reality and does not quite fit with ‘we are all in this together for the good of our mutual customer.’

Importantly one significant party that does not have a voice in the discussion is the collective vehicle owner, while it is that collective vehicle owner supplying the finite resources. Whether this is by paying for a repair directly, or more commonly by paying an insurance company to cover future repairs it is only the vehicle owner paying.

If the parties in the repair industry are competing for their share of the money that is coming only from the vehicle owner, it certainly starts to look suspicious if they pretend that ‘we are working together for the good of the vehicle owner’ without including that vehicle owner in the discussion.

Fortunately, and counterintuitively, despite the fact that people like to start conferences with the ‘we are all in this together’ phrase this is not how the industry works. Without the real involvement of the vehicle owners the result is arguably better for the consumer if each active party is looking after their own interests than if these industry parties were working together to split the pie while leaving the vehicle owner out of the conversation. 

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