AutoBody News: Canadian Collision Centre Uses ALLDATA to Thrive in a Non-DRP
Written by Stacey Phillips
NOTE: This interview was originally published online in September 2019, in the AutoBodyNews.com.
For all of its collision repair information and automotive diagnostics, the crew at Bennett Dunlop Ford Collision Centre constantly calls upon ALLDATA to repair approximately 200 cars monthly.
This dealership group has four locations in Canada and three of these feature body shops, all of which are busy and consistently receive five-star reviews from its ecstatic customers.
Collision Centre Manager Bryan Leier runs the show at Bennett Dunlop Ford in a competitive market that consists of 65 collision repairers serving 300,000 people. Canada does not have a DRP system like in the United States.
Company at a Glance
Shop: Bennett Dunlop Ford Collision Centre
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 23
In Business Since: 1978
Number of Locations: 3
Combined Production Space: 27,000ft2
Contact Information: (306) 411-6612
Everything is run by Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), which was created in 1945 and is a provincial Crown corporation that has been developed over the years into two linked operations. The Saskatchewan Auto Fund is the province’s compulsory public auto insurance program, operating the driver’s licensing and vehicle registration system, and is financially self-sustaining, operating on a break-even basis over time.
Leier has 42 years of experience in collision repair and most of it is as a manager and an owner of a shop, he said. “Like many other people, I began working at a shop as a student for two summers. One day, I found out that a local shop was coming up for sale and with some financial help from my father, I purchased the shop. I did that for 27 years and then in 2002 I had an opportunity to sell the business.”
“Saskatchewan does not have DRPs, so a customer files a claim and they have a choice to have their appraisal done at an accredited shop or at a government claims centre. There is a little bit of jockeying at that point, because once the customer has the estimate in hand, they can take their vehicle to any approved shop they choose. Usually, if we do the estimate, we retain that customer, because we have built a strong reputation for quality and service. Our shop has I-CAR Gold status with all of our journeyman technicians trained to I-CAR Platinum level guaranteeing repairs are done to OE standards.” Body shops that are reluctant to come to the technology party can easily be left behind while early adapters can lap them and capture more repair work as a result.
“ After the John Eagle case, we realized that we need to have full access to every vehicle we repair and ALLDATA has more than everything out there. ”
– Bryan Leier, Collision Centre Manager
One year ago, Bennett Dunlop Ford Collision Centre switched to ALLDATA to accommodate more brands as they were added to their accreditation list. “After the John Eagle case, we realized that we need to have full access to every vehicle we repair and ALLDATA has more than everything out there. SGI wanted us to use it and it’s been a great move. Our estimators pull up the information when they build the claim, so that when the tech starts the job, they don’t have to spend a lot of time looking it up. It also avoids questions about OE vs. aftermarket parts and it enables us to create a game plan when it comes to our repair processes for each vehicle.
Leier’s service writers, painters and technicians can turn their Android and Windows 10 tablets into a powerful, professional scan tool, thanks to ALLDATA Diagnostics, with ALLDATA Collision built-in. With eight of his collision technicians, four painters and two estimators adept at using ALLDATA, Leier touts his crew as one of the finest in the Great White North and proud of what they achieve on a daily basis. “We invest in our people on many levels and it pays off,” Leier said. “We meet for one hour every Thursday to check in and I never have to micromanage them. We let them feel at home and compensate them well and that’s why they like working here.”
When it comes to its diagnostics, Bennett Dunlop Ford Collision Centre saves time and money by counting on ALLDATA. “They provide us with an all-in-one scanner, which means we don’t have to buy a lot of different ones for all of the brands we work on,” Leier said. “We trained our production manager, as well as all of our estimators and technicians on how to use it and it’s the only diagnostics tool we use now. Our production manager and two of our techs are adept at it and that’s why they do most of our diagnostics. Their training is simple; it’s all done through a series of conference calls. We have WiFi throughout the shop, so our people upload the diagnostic information after every scan to be integrated into our insurance claim. We get everything we need on our tablets, so that all of us are on the same page.”
Leier also received exemplary support from ALLDATA and that is one of the main reasons why he’s enamored with the system. “They have an 800 number and they never leave us on hold,” he said. “They have an incredible library service we use when we’re having problems finding information and their Library team always responds quickly.”
Autobody News delivers regional & national collision repair news to auto body business professionals across the US. Read more at www.autobodynews.com,
If you would like to see a demo of ALLDATA Diagnostics, our professional-level scan tool that has the power of ALLDATA built-in and offers full-system, exportable pre- and post-scans, visit alldata.com/diagnostics
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