The National Association of Bodyshops (NAB) in the UK has released its winter capacity results following its survey which ran through November and December 2014. With the aim of establishing if there is a potential capacity issue within the vehicle accident repair sector, the NAB Bodyshop opinion survey into winter capacity asked a range of questions which covered lead-times to employment issues.
Frank Harvey, Head of NAB commented, “The survey has highlighted a number of points in relation to repair capacity, along with some indications that repairers are beginning to consider the viability of some of the contracts they have in place with insurers and claims management companies.
“It is clear from the results of the survey that any adverse driving conditions that cause a spike in claims incidences is likely to increase repair lead times, heighten demand for courtesy cars, and lengthen repair cycles times. These increases could potentially make already busy repair operations stretch to bursting point.
“Respondents also reported that some clients have not established communication regarding the potential increase in workloads. This absence of such dialogue, along with increase in work volumes, could be the reason why some respondents are considering terminating the less profitable contracts”.
The NAB bodyshop winter capacity survey also explored important questions regarding skilled workers and wage costs.
Harvey continued, “Perhaps unsurprisingly to most of us, availability of skilled workers and the associated employment and training costs remain of great concern for bodyshops.
“As we are all too aware, increased turnover does not always correspond to increased profits, and it is vital that insurers and work providers do not allow payment durations to slip as cash flow is vital to ensure bodyshops can continue to buy the raw materials they need to continue to service consumers repair demand.
“It is apparent that bodyshops are beginning to take a more long term commercial view on their businesses. Clients offering less profitable contracts or operating in an oppressive fashion could find themselves with difficulties in terms of repair capacity.
“Finally, I would like to thank all those repairers that took the time to complete the survey. Their input has provided valuable insight into the current capacity situation facing our industry.”
Please keep an eye out for the next NAB industry survey on training and qualifications, which will launch in early February 2015.