As more states continue reopening the Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) took a closer look at the current landscape of the industry. The association hosted a webinar titled “Back to the Future of Collision Repair & How CIECA Brings All Industry Segments Together,” today that focused on what the future may look like going forward according to Erick Bickett, CIECA founder. Bickett shared his insight about how the collision repair industry has been affected by COVID-19 and offered businesses tips on what companies need to do to prepare and be sustainable for the long-term.
Early on in is presentation Bickett shared what he thought a claim would look like in 2007. According to Bickett there would have been:
- Voice activation for all devices;
- Video conferences verses face-to-face interactions;
- Self-driving vehicles;
- Vehicles that sense collision before the driver;
- Electronic dispatch of first responders; and
- Electronic dispatch of all claims activity.
Most of his predictions became a reality. Now, according to the presentation, technology is beginning to take on a larger role and can be seen through the advancements in autonomous vehicles. “I have a Tesla and I get excited twice a month when my vehicle updates itself, the technology is amazing,” said Bickett. He also noted the more autonomous advancements increase the chances for vehicle accidents decreases. Which directly impacts the repair, replacement and collision industries.
“During the COVID-19 experience we went through several changes and if we’ve learned anything from it, it’s that we can’t go back to our old ways of operation,” Bickett said.
The changes he referenced include:
- Working from home;
- Having an increase in curbside services;
- Implementing technology into the customer experience;
- Eliminating geographical barriers;
- Arranging repairs without having direct interaction with a customer; and
- Leveraging shared resources.
“I think that automation drives predictability and electronic vehicles will enjoy significant growth in the next decade,” Bickett said.
He mentioned he predicts the frequency of larger collisions to do go down in the future, as many electronic vehicle systems might be able to “absolutely eliminate many of the possible collisions.”