With COVID-19 now enabling many businesses to reflect and renew on how to tackle adversity in the most unique of situations. Many businesses have struggled, while many have taken the challenge to look at improvement, diversification and committing to their staff whilst battling the most destructive circumstances ever. It is not one business suffering, it is many, and this is what makes this challenge one of the most difficult ever.
One thing we have seen is the commitment of the entire industry to assist others in helping to get through together. There may not be the typical win/win outcome everyone strives for but what is being highlighted is the need for all of us to cooperate und understand what we all need to survive. This industry is the sum of all of us together and this crisis is emphasizing this during this most unusual of circumstances.
As the population leave their vehicles at home during lockdowns across the country, the workflow is diminishing with claims down, reduction of accidents and a reluctance for people to be without a vehicle. This obviously will impact on many businesses as they face reduced income streams and ongoing costs in running their businesses. Even though there continues to be assistance from the government, it remains a challenge to remain open, even when no clear light is in sight.
There is so much that can be done internally within your business, not only cleaning and addressing facility issues, but the planning of how your business will be after lockdown restrictions are eased. To sit and wait and do what has always been done, is definitely not the best outcome for any business or employee at this time. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic became a global crisis, the collision repair industry was seeing its own challenge – ADAS.
This has not gone away, it is only not the major crisis most business challenge, and it will be there once normality resumes. The opportunity to learn how this effects your business, your employees and most importantly your customers is here now. The amount of information available for research through I-CAR and other research organisations will provide everyone with an understanding of what is expected. We are witnessing a huge shift in how complete collision repairs are required now to ensure the vehicle performs as designed, and during this time is potentially a great opportunity to prepare.
I-CAR will be releasing many new online courses that will assist in providing an understanding of how to recognise ADAS, how to calibrate and how to incorporate this into your business. We are seeing a large increase in vehicles fitted with ADAS and this will increase every year. In 2020, it will be a requirement for any new vehicle to have Auto Emergency Braking (AEB) in order to receive a 5-Star ANCAP safety rating. This feature has increased from 3% of vehicles fitted with this technology in 2016 to over 85% this year. If you are not aware of the features required for this system to work, now is the time to learn as it will feature in many vehicles entering into a repair situation.
During this period, I-CAR will be offering special programs, both online and virtual for collision repairer stakeholders to access courses that not only cover ADAS but address productivity improvements for collision repairers. These may well assist you in making the right decisions for your business at the other end. There continues to be businesses achieving Gold Class on a weekly basis with many, many more on the Road to Gold as they prepare for the future of collision repair.
There is no one easy fix for the issues this industry faces, and we are not alone as the world changes. What COVID-19 is offering is a chance to look at where your business stands now and what you need to have in place to survive into the future. Preparing a plan to achieve your goals should be a priority now and looking at the type and mix of work you are currently doing and planning how it can be done more effectively, completely and providing ever increasing levels of quality for your customers.
I know the challenge is hard, but you only get out what you put in and right now is the best time to act.
Please stay safe even after the lockdown is lifted.
* The contents of and any opinions contained in this article may not necessarily reflect the opinions of Capricorn Society Ltd.