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Diagnosing the core issues for mechanics

The rapidly changing world of automotive technology can leave some business owners bewildered and daunted.

In such situations there is nothing like calling in the experts to overcome technical problems so workshops can get on with the job of delivering to the customer.

One thing the team at Repairify share with almost every workshop owner and technician, is that they are driven by the fundamental industry objective; to get damaged cars back on the road, safely and efficiently.

The problem

Since launching with its cutting-edge diagnostic tools in Australia late in 2023 Repairify has seen a rapid uptake of their services, a change Repairify Managing Director – International Phil Peace can only see increasing as Australia adopts more and more of the latest technology.

“What we’re seeing is the market evolving extremely quickly in terms of the technology within the vehicles and the speed at which OEMs are developing vehicles,” Peace said.

“The repair industry naturally needs to follow and understand because they’re repairing those vehicles in which that technology is incorporated.”

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While new cars will often return to dealers for service and mechanical repairs in their first four years of life, body repairs and glass are often directed much sooner into the independent repair industry.

“What we have seen is the growth of secure gateways on vehicles, this means that the vehicles are locked down or you can’t access certain modules unless you are using the OEM tools and that’s really where we’ve helped many organisations find the solutions,” Peace said.

This is only the beginning of a global automotive trend. Repairify’s global operations have shown them some significant precedents in Europe and the US.

“We’re starting to see similar trends in the Australian marketplace and the requirements for more cars to be calibrated or programmed through the gateway,” Peace added.

“It’s one of the challenges for the body shops today, that they need the latest technology to be able to get the vehicle back on the road. And that’s the reason we exist.”

Image: Repairify

The solution

Repairify offers a diagnostic tool – a tablet-based device known as the “All-In-One” which enables the workshop to complete local diagnostics, performed at the car side by a technician from the workshop. But critically when gateways or new technology prevent the technician from going further, Repairify’s services allow them to undertake remote diagnostics with the help of their experts.

“Obviously, you can take the vehicle to a franchise dealer, but the challenge with that is you’ve got to move the car,” Peace said.

“The dealer often doesn’t really want to do it, and it can take them a few days to book a calibration in. And in each case, you’re extending the key-to-key time, not to mention the expense of towing. Alternatively, you can get a subcontractor into your workshop but often you don’t know what their qualifications are, what insurance or warranty they have or what tool they’re using.

“With Repairify’s Remote Services, you’re plugging the vehicle in and we’re coding, calibrating and diagnosing the car using the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s tool and our own qualified technicians.”

An example of the crucial time advantage of Remote Services – Peace said – has come into focus where there are modern windscreen repairs on vehicles equipped with ADAS cameras.

“You can’t afford to move the car from a cost perspective and you can’t afford to move the car from a customer experience point of view. The customer expects to take that vehicle in to have the glass replaced and then drive it off in about an hour or two. We help them because they’re able to use our equipment remotely. We will then program and calibrate that camera over the air for them, with a minimum of delay and the customer can take the car away, safe in the knowledge that that car is correctly calibrated.”

Repairify Australia General Manager Tristan Sender says the benefits for the workshop to have this added flexibility are many, including to workshop revenue as it allows them to retain the allowances insurers have for calibration.

“The beauty of it is that you don’t need to take it to a dealership to have that job done. There’s two major advantages. The first is speed. Key to key time is massively sped up because you basically do it there and then in your workshop. The second is you also keep that revenue directly inside your shop because you can complete the whole job from start to finish. Importantly by being able to access secure gateways using our OEM tools you can keep jobs in house that you would previously have been unable to complete.”

Sender says this streamlined process is beneficial for the whole industry, from the satisfied customer to the insurance company that is covering the cost.

“It’s a win-win situation for the insurance company, body shop and customer. The time that the car is off the road is lower, which is good for customer service and customer retention and time saved results in reduced repair costs. For example, customers have courtesy cars on their policies or can be using not at fault rental vehicles so reducing the repair time can have a significant impact on the total cost. From an insurance perspective there is a massive amount of benefit to having cars fixed quicker.”

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