It’s No Longer A Matter Of “If”, But “How”
by George Bochenek
ELEVATE Advisor – Diagnostics
In my 12 years working in collision repair, I’ve had the opportunity to work with shops, see the industry change, and look at common issues from different lenses. Recently, I have had more conversations with operators about scanning and diagnostics.
About three years ago, I was onsite with one of my clients to train them on a new feature in their software. They were getting ready to deliver a vehicle – the customer had been called and the vehicle had already been detailed. All that was left was the post-repair scan… and that’s where it all fell apart.
The post-scan revealed an issue with the blind-spot detection module, which needed to be calibrated. They researched the OEM repair procedures and learned that this model required the removal of the rear bumper cover to complete the calibration. You can imagine the feeling in the air when they had to call the vehicle owner with news of the delay.
I asked if they performed a pre-repair scan on the vehicle and they replied, “it was just a bumper job.” But today, and even three years ago, there’s no such thing as “just a bumper job.”
The time has passed on deciding “if” you should scan a vehicle that is equipped with advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features. But you have options as to “how” to perform the scan, and each has pros and cons.
Quick and Inexpensive
Some shops utilize scan tools with pre-loaded software that allow them to perform scans on all makes and models. Typically, these types of tools require a monthly software subscription requiring periodic software updates.
The pre-loaded software is only as good as the most recent update, which in some cases might mean that not all DTCs are captured.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
One shop recently told me they sublet their scans to a nearby dealership so they can receive a scan invoice to include with the estimate. Subletting this type of repair is a viable option for collision repairers who do not want to make the necessary investment in tools, software, and training. The benefit of using a dealership is that they perform the scans for you and have access to the latest software for that OEM.
Of course, subletting any part of the repair process means the shop loses some control over scheduling and the repair cycle time could suffer. Longer repair times typically lead to lower customer satisfaction … and lower customer satisfaction may lead to fewer direct repair program assignments.
A Happy Medium
Scanning service providers often provide the most flexibility for shops. Companies typically offer a choice of OEM or aftermarket scans, and some provide calibration services as well. These service providers employ dedicated technicians who are specially trained to assist your team with performing scans and analyzing the results.
Using a service provider means that the vehicle never has to leave your shop, minimizing the risk of increased cycle time. A service provider provides shops with the flexibility to choose the type of scan (OEM or aftermarket) based upon the type of repair, year, make, model, ADAS features, OEM certification, or insurer’s direct repair program guidelines.
Numerous scanning service providers are now integrated into your day-to-day software, like CCC ONE®. In addition to saving the shop time and effort from tracking down reports and invoices, the documentation can assist shops in getting reimbursement for the work that has been performed. If you’re interested, here’s a list of integrated CCC® Diagnostics partners.
Shops have many decisions to make when defining their standard operating procedures specific to scanning and diagnostics: pre-repair, in-process, post-repair, or some combination of all three? Sublet or in-house? OEM or aftermarket scan? You need to make the choices that are right for your shop.
The choices you make send a message to your customers about your commitment to repair quality and lets them know that getting them back on the road safely is your shop’s top priority.