The Importance of OEM Certifications

The Importance of OEM Certifications

In 2012, there were just 350 OEM-certified collision repair shops in the United States. Just five years later, that number increased more than tenfold. OEM-certified repairers now account for more than a third of all collision repair work revenue performed in the country.  If your facility is not currently certified by any OEM-certified repair programs, you might consider weighing the costs and benefits of enrolling in one.

Keep reading to learn more about how OEM programs can help your business.

OEM Programs Provide Resources

Vehicles have grown more complex. The specialized repair procedures, knowledge, and equipment required to properly repair aluminum, high-strength steel, and other advanced materials can be intensive. Partnering with an OEM can help ease the process of repairing the vehicle the way the manufacturer specifies.

Consumer Confidence

Customers who may hold onto the outdated notion that their wrecked vehicle “will never be the same” are comforted in knowing their baby is treated with kid gloves by a shop that cares about continuing education and performing the highest quality repairs, with the endorsement of the company that built it.

Shops that promote their OEM program participation in their marketing materials report that the certifications are a strong selling point with their customers. This can improve the shop’s capture ratio. It also inspires confidence in insurance companies providing shop referrals, those shops report.

OEMs’ Needs Vary

Just as you’ve likely found to be the case with insurance companies’ direct repair programs, auto manufacturers repair needs will vary by the shop location. As an example, as of late 2018, Mercedes-Benz had about 280 shops in its network, and hoped to raise that number to as many 420 shops, said Mike Anderson of Collision Advice. He said in the event of an accident, Mercedes is using its roadside assistance program to connect its customers with certified shops in the event of an accident. But Nissan, with about 1,500 shops in the program, had 400 shops applying for the remaining 150 spots.

Consult Experts

Participation in an OEM program is a big decision.  If you’re considering an OEM program, the experts at Gipe Auto Color can help.  Representatives have expertise in process evaluation, development of standard operating procedures, inventory management, performance data analysis, and targeted improvement strategies including OEM certification strategies. If you use a computerized management system, you can run a report that shows the breakdown of your most popular car makes.

You can also check with your state department of motor vehicles to see if they offer a list for sale that shows, for example, how many newer (and thus, aluminum) Ford pickups and SUVs are registered in your area, so you can get an idea of what your return on investment can be.  Then you can decide if that brand’s OEM repair network might make good business sense.

Gipe Auto Color Can Help

Gipe Auto Color is a PPG Platinum Distributor, meaning it sells exclusively PPG Refinish, which works closely with all major automotive OEMs to ensure its paint refinish systems are approved for use in collision repair programs. OEMs want refinish products to deliver a paint finish as close as possible to the factory original. PPG refinish products go through a series of technical tests to guarantee they meet approval criteria including color accuracy, product performance, distribution networks, customer service, technical support and more.

Utilizing an OEM-approved PPG refinish system means you can serve your customer base with confidence, knowing you can bring their vehicles back to pre-loss condition or better. PPG products have been proven to meet the needs of the most complex OEM factory finishes and collision repairs.

About Gipe Auto Color

With over 50 team members and 9 locations serving Kentucky, Southern Indiana, Southeast Illinois, and Northwest Tennessee, Gipe Auto Color is one of the largest PPG™ Platinum Distributors in the region.  We have seven dedicated tech reps certified in all PPG™ automotive refinish product lines.  Their primary duty is to help customers apply PPG™ coatings using techniques that ensure maximum performance day in and day out.

Our service does not stop in the paint shop. We offer assistance in process evaluation, development of standard operating procedures, inventory management, performance data analysis, and targeted improvement strategies with an emphasis on customer profitability.

For expert assistance with PPG software, online tools and resources, call 502.966.2384  Monday through Friday between 8am and 5pm.