Across the board, organisations face pressure to optimise operations, reduce costs and increase efficiency. Companies dealing with car damage repair handling are no exception: in a survey by Verizon Connect, 44% of fleets rated increasing costs as a key challenge to daily operations.

Today, the process of repairing car damage is disparate, involving many different stakeholders who all have to coordinate repeatedly with one another. Not only is this time-consuming and inefficient, but it can also lead to miscommunication, adding further costs or compromising repair quality.

One solution to address these challenges could be joining a digital ecosystem. Fundamentally, an ecosystem is a collection of services and channels working together to provide a seamless experience for the user. Globally, ecosystems are on the rise and could unlock an additional $100 trillion of value over the next 10 years, according to a report by Accenture.

How a digital repair ecosystem increases efficiency

Within the car repair industry, an ecosystem brings together companies, drivers and body repair shops in one central platform. As a result, the entire process is simplified, helping reduce repair costs and lower cycle times. Specifically, a digital repair ecosystem facilitates damage intake, streamlines communication, optimises repair allocation and offers real-time insights.

1.  Easy damage intake

Traditionally, assessing damage almost always requires a physical inspection before the body repair shop can determine the necessary repair. This used to make sense, as drivers typically don’t have the required knowledge to assess the damage themselves and describing it accurately by phone or email can be difficult. However, this approach is inefficient, as a physical inspection adds considerable time to the repair, resulting in higher repair cycle times. In addition, indirect costs are generally higher as well due to longer vehicle downtime.

By centralising damage information in one place, a digital repair ecosystem can reduce the need for manual input and physical inspections, making the intake process faster and more accurate. For example, general vehicle information can be automatically retrieved from a database based on the license plate or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) entered by the driver or manager. Thanks to this complete report, body repair shops get a much clearer picture of the damage and often don’t require a physical inspection at all: in the last 12 months, 87% of damages handled through Fixico’s platform did not need a physical inspection. By optimising the damage intake process, a digital repair ecosystem can cut down on direct and indirect repair costs, as well as cycle times.

2. Streamlined communication

Across the board, interactions between stakeholders are increasing. A study by Google shows that 51% of CIOs report an increase in the number of close working relationships with external stakeholders over the past 3 years, and 63% expect an increase in the coming 3 years.

Car damage repair is no exception to this trend: repairs need to be closely coordinated between managers, drivers, and body repair shops. Traditionally, this is done mostly manually, by phone or email. While this approach works, it’s time-consuming and error-prone: repeated manual communication can easily lead to miscommunication, which can delay the entire repair process.

A digital repair ecosystem tackles this issue by centralising information, meaning any updates are visible in real-time to all parties. Instead of calls, managers can keep drivers up-to-date with automated notifications using their preferred channel, such as SMS, Whatsapp, or email. This real-time insight also enhances managers’ handling of repairs: they are alerted immediately if there is an issue with the repair and can intervene quickly and easily to address it. As a result, repairs are shorter and more cost-efficient as managers have complete control throughout the process.

3. Optimal repair allocation

Nowadays, using a one-size-fits-all approach for allocating car damage is no longer suitable. As vehicles get more advanced and include various lightweight materials, driver assistance systems and electric propulsion, they require specific tools, skills and certifications to repair, all of which need to be taken into account when allocating the damage. As a result, companies have to inventory their repair networks’ capabilities, which is time-consuming and difficult for large, cross-border networks.

Joining a digital repair ecosystem eliminates this need and unlocks access to a vast, diverse network of body repair shops, making it easy to find the most suitable one for every damage. Based on the type of damage and the business’s strategic priorities, repairs can either be tendered in a closed network, where body repair shops place quotes under competitive pressure, or steered to a specific repairer that matches the requirements. This ensures that repairs are completed faster and more cost-effectively than with the traditional repair handling process.

4. Detailed and intuitive reporting

By aggregating all information into a single system, a digital repair ecosystem enables easy access to insights and reporting. Indeed, managers can leverage data from other stakeholders, such as drivers and body repair shops, to get a broader picture of the process.

By combining data from multiple sources, an ecosystem can provide clear answers to complex questions, like how satisfied drivers are with a given repairer or how a body repair shop performs on a specific type of repair compared to others in the network. Because of this broad scope of data, managers can quickly pinpoint areas for improvement and take concrete actions to increase efficiency. The efficiency enabled ecosystems can be an important driver of growth: according to an MIT report, companies within an ecosystem achieved 27% higher revenue growth and 20% larger profit margins than their industry average.

Joining an ecosystem

A digital ecosystem can help increase damage repair efficiency by bringing together interactions between stakeholders into one comprehensive and easy-to-use platform. As a result, drivers can benefit from a coherent repair journey, while managers have full control of the process, are kept up-to-date in real-time and can easily leverage data from various sources to identify areas of improvement.

Fixico offers companies the opportunity to join Europe’s leading and fastest-growing repair ecosystem. By connecting drivers, repairers and companies in entirely new ways, Fixico’s platform helps companies reduce costs and cycle times by up to 30% while preserving repair quality and boosting driver satisfaction.

Request a free demo and unlock the potential of digital ecosystems for your business!