By Michael Burke
Executive Manager, Motor Claims
Right now the motor repair industry is struggling to keep up with demand for repairs, particularly for panel beating and collision repairs.
We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of cars on our roads, more congestion on our highways and we’re seeing the impact with higher levels of motor claims.
There’s no one solution, but one of the options we’ve been successfully trialling is the introduction of S.M.A.R.T repair.
S.M.A.R.T stands for Small to Medium Accident Repair Technology. S.M.A.R.T shops are essentially panel beating workshops, but they use efficient workflow systems and advanced repair technology to perform high quality, fast repairs.
S.M.A.R.T have invested in a range of innovative technologies and processes to dramatically reduce standard repair turnaround times – such as infrared paint drying technology – it means a customer’s car can be ready in approximately a day or two, rather than a week.
We want to ensure that our customers receive a high quality, quick and effective service. S.M.A.R.T is a truly innovative way to turn motor repairs around faster for our customers while maintaining high quality workmanship.
S.M.A.R.T workshops can only take in small to medium repair jobs – there are specific criteria that repair jobs need to meet to be eligible for a S.M.A.R.T. repair. For example, there can’t be mechanical or significant structural damage to the car.
If a customer’s car is eligible for a S.M.A.R.T repair, our team will usually try and refer them to S.M.A.R.T or another industry-leading repairer, depending on location. That’s partly because it’s often fastest way for that customer to get their car repaired and back on the road.
Being able to send those low impact repairs to S.M.A.R.T also frees up the rest of our collision repair network for more substantial jobs, so it benefits all our customers.
About eight years ago Jim Vais, the Founder/Director of Capital S.M.A.R.T approached Suncorp Group with a proposal to partner.
There are now 37 S.M.A.R.T shops over there in Australia, repairing on average 100 cars per week at each site.
AA Insurance partnered with Capital S.M.A.R.T in 2015 opening the first New Zealand site in South Auckland. For Suncorp New Zealand, the natural next step was to offer S.M.A.R.T repairs to Vero Insurance customers in New Zealand. In late 2016, we opened our pilot shops in Albany, Auckland and Hornby, Christchurch.
The benefit for customers is huge, both in terms of the speed they get their car back, the quality of the repairs and – because S.M.A.R.T relieves a lot of administrative pressure - the level of service our team can give them when their cars go through that system.
If you’re interested in finding out more about S.M.A.R.T repairs, check out their website here.