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22 Dec 2020

The Future of Auto Repair – the AI-enabled 48-hour Repair

The 48-hour automotive repair has been talked about in the industry for years – not only to improve operational efficiencies within an organization but also to create an exceptional customer experience. We sat down with Jason Hope, VP of Business Development and Strategy at Boyd/Gerber along with Tractable’s Head of Automotive, Jimmy Spears, to discuss how AI can help expedite the auto repair process. Boyd/Gerber is one of the largest collision repair networks in North America, driving over $2 billion in repairs every year across 700 locations.

“[In the traditional repair process,] sometimes it can take days or weeks to determine the total loss of a vehicle,” said Jason Hope, “from a parts procurement standpoint, we typically wait until we have the vehicle in front of us to be able to understand what parts we need to order and get that process going.” But it doesn’t have to be that way.

“What we have today is the capability to really have an advanced communications platform, and it’s going to be enabled by AI,” James Spears added. With a mobile phone, consumers start the repair process right at the first notice of incident. “We can now empower the insurance carrier, we can empower the consumer with an advanced communications device in hand, that will rapidly change the way that they enter the repair experience.”

Jason shared how AI technology can expedite the repair process: “Leveraging AI at the earliest possible moment to be able to understand if the vehicle is repairable or not, we see as a great advantage to making a decision sooner around total losses. If we have that information upfront about the type of vehicle and the damage to the vehicle, we can actually route that vehicle to the best location possible. So that not only are those repairs taking care of, but they’re taking care of much faster.”

Having AI remotely assess vehicle damage at the start of the process can also eliminate the need for an in-person appraisal appointment, significantly accelerating the repair and improving the customer experience. Jason shared, “We believe that on the customer side, speeding this process up really ultimately reduces the cycle time of the claim and ultimately gets them back to their life faster. Customers will typically bring their vehicle in and it’s at that point, we’ll go through and understand what’s there. If we were able to have this information upfront, we see a potential opportunity to ultimately eliminate the first step of the process. I think what that also enables us to do is have a more prepared and professional conversation with the customer at an earlier point in time than what we’re doing today. And we ultimately see that driving greater trust and confidence much earlier in the process.”

Jason mentioned how repairers can also see an opportunity to improve internal operations using AI: “Another big benefit here is on the parts procurement side. So if we’re able to get a better understanding upfront earlier in the process about what the damage is and what needs to be done, we can actually go ahead and potentially activate our parts procurement process much earlier, and get those parts on site much faster. Ultimately, again, reducing that cycle time, getting that customer back in their vehicle faster, reducing cost, and also reducing the rental.”

Want to know how AI can help you accelerate auto repairs? Reach out for a demo.

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