ILC ARTICLE

ARC360 Panel debate overview: Setting the standards


The role of standards and how they must adapt to keep pace with technology was one of the points of conversation at an insightful panel debate at ARC360’s launch event in Leicester, which followed the theme of ‘Gaining Ground Together’.

The panel consisted of Dean Lander, head of repair sector services, Thatcham Research; Andrew Walsh, founder and CEO of AW Repair Group; and business development specialist at Nationwide Vehicle Assistance Ltd, Jeff Mack.

A key figure in establishing and assessing standards across the automotive industry, Dean warned of inevitable and potentially dangerous time-lags.

He said, ‘Innovation goes first and then the standards need to catch up. There is no doubt that BS10125 has a lot of catching up to do, but you have to pick your time. You can’t jump today and then review it again in 12 months. Bodyshops can’t afford to spend £1,000 on assessments every year.’

ADAS and EV

He said that ADAS and electric vehicles are the key changes taking place, and that industry-wide talks are ongoing about how standards need to be updated accordingly, and when.

‘We need to achieve two things; safety and customer delight, not just customer satisfaction. But we can’t keep updating BS10125. We need to find a new way of providing the education, with end point assessments, that provide bodyshops with qualified technicians for today, not five years ago.

‘I think we need to rip the rule book up and break the training and assessments down into tasks, rather than a job assessment. That’s the future of the industry.’

Fundamental

Andrew agreed that training was fundamental and said the approach at AW Repair was not to specialise in one area but ensure their sites continued to have the capabilities to repair a wide range of models.

He argued that the construction of the vehicle itself wasn’t changing too much, and that the real evolution was taking place in the technology within the vehicle.

Andrew said, ‘If bodyshops want to carry on repairing the modern-day vehicle, they have no choice but to invest in the right equipment and ongoing training. We want to repair all our customers’ cars, so our bodyshops will have to have the capabilities to repair a whole host of different brands. We’re taking education very seriously.’

VM involvement

Meanwhile, Jeff argued for much greater involvement from vehicle manufacturers in the repair of their vehicles, saying it was not only the safest but also the most cost effective approach. He argued that the people who understand the vehicles best are the people who build them, and triaging repairs through insurance-approved networks for cost benefits is often a false economy.

He said, ‘I don’t understand why vehicle manufacturers and insurers aren’t working much closer together. VMs have everything at their fingertips, if they only realised it.’

ARC360’s inaugural event was supported by corporate partners: 3M, ACIS, BMS, EMACS, Entegral, Enterprise, Nationwide Vehicle Recovery Assistance, S&G Response and CAPS; sponsors Indasa, Stanners, Symach, Thatcham Research, and The Green Parts Specialists; and strategic partners AutoRaise, NBRA, RepairTalks and Trend Tracker.

ARC360’s next event takes place on 18 March 2020 at the British Motor Museum – book your ticket now.

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