Repairers striving to improve their efficiency and maximise profits are being urged to repair, not replace, under a new scheme being championed by insurers’ research centre, Thatcham.

Ready2Repair has been designed to maximise repairers’ profits, strip out delays, improve key to key time and delight customers, by encouraging the practice of sustainable repair.

During a typical repair, the first step is damage assessment following which, parts are ordered and the vehicle sits idle in the workshop with nothing being done to it and potentially preventing other cars being repaired. The practice of sustainable repair can prevent this dead time and meanwhile ensures that bodyshops get full value from the existing repair skills within the business. Results from an earlier pilot demonstrate that by choosing to repair rather than replace, key to key time can be reduced by as much as 50% and the cost of replacement parts by a similar figure.

Bodyshop Director at BP Rolls, Paul Smith, one of those who took part in the pilot is a keen supporter of the concept, “Repairing what can be repaired and returning the customer’s vehicle in an efficient manner should be the driver for all bodyshops. Managed correctly and with the right investment in people and equipment, this approach will improve your business, both in terms of customer service and profitability. Our key to key time has fallen from 10 days to 5 days in the last 18 months increasing our capacity to repair more vehicles.”

To support Ready2Repair, Thatcham have specifically developed training in the 4 key areas of Panel, Plastic Repair and Vehicle Damage Assessor. Each course is designed to cover essential repair processes within the chosen discipline and identify appropriate equipment that will enable technicians to repair non-structural areas of the vehicle, rather than waste time waiting for new parts and then fitting them.

Each course is also supported with exclusive access to specially designed repair recommendations, covering the most common repair scenarios on volume selling vehicles and demonstrating exactly where repair, rather than replace is appropriate, achievable and safe.

Lesley Upham, Commercial Director at Thatcham, said, “Ready2Repair is about harnessing and updating the existing repair skills of bodyshop technicians to ensure the business can gain maximum value from every repair job. It’s a very simple concept but brings a range of benefits for repairers, insurers and retail customers in terms of improved efficiency and less cost. The motorist will also gain as their vehicle will be returned quickly, having been safely repaired by fully trained technicians.”