Getting the Most from Your Vendor Relationships
by Peter Bishop
Director, Market Solutions
I was out for a bike ride last week before winter sets in, and many of my neighbors have their Halloween decorations out. For all the jack-o-lanterns and bales of hay I saw, there were more than a few skeletons on front doors, porches, and even some perched on rooftops looking down at me as I put in a few miles.
So why is this in a column about collision repair? I’m glad you asked.
I was in a shop about two weeks ago when the manager said, “Peter, this program (CCC) has really become the backbone of what we do here.” That was great to hear, but it didn’t really hit home until I saw those skeletons while out on my ride. We don’t often think about our backbones (or the rest of our skeletons), but they’re there for us to help us do what we need to do.
Coordinating Your Partners
In your shop, you likely deal with a lot of different vendors – paint or parts suppliers, accounting software, car rental companies, insurers, and more – and each of them probably have their own software and processes for doing business.
Your front-office staff likely has specific knowledge on how to work with each group to run your day-to-day operations, but as your shop gets busier with more vehicles at different repair stages, the challenge of managing all these relationships and processes can be daunting.
That’s where your shop management software comes in. From vehicle flows to vendor management, your software plays an important part in bringing all these disparate groups together to make sure, for instance, you get the right parts at the right time so you can complete a repair at the agreed-upon price, and your customer can return their rental car on time. How difficult would that coordination be without software to keep it all straight?
The Choice Is Yours
A big part of my role is growing our network of parts suppliers and other partners to help you seamlessly run your shop. The lynchpin of a great network is choice. Beyond your choice of parts suppliers or paint vendors, there are many more complex decisions to make such as what types of payments to accept, whether to join a DRP or rely on walk-ins for jobs, or whether to perform an OEM or locally-hosted scan, and so on.
CCC believes the choice of vendors and partners should be up to you, so we offer multiple integrations in each of these areas to give you that choice.
The Network Improves Efficiency
You might be saying, “So what? I’m the one who decides what vendors to use. Why does CCC even matter in all this?”
The CCC network is about more than just the collection of vendors you work with. The real power lies in the automations and efficiencies found in CCC ONE that help you coordinate your partners to make your life easier.
Receive DRP assignments with a pre-written insurer estimate already in CCC ONE, or get assignments via CCC Open Shop even if you’re not in a carrier’s DRP network. Order parts from multiple suppliers in CCC ONE in a single shopping cart. See diagnostic scans from network providers automatically in the correct CCC ONE workfile. Manage billing and payments using the same platform to prevent double work.
Beyond the efficiencies of the examples above, the right software platform can also help to reduce errors. Electronic parts-ordering in CCC ONE can lead to fewer returns, and those with CCC® Repair Workflow shop management have the added benefit of electronic vendor invoicing to cut down on manual data entry.
A Network to Rely On
The CCC Network reliably operates in the background on your shop’s behalf, and the steps to really leverage it are quite simple:
- Check the CCC ONE Action Center. Bulletins from your insurance or OEM partners, new parts suppliers you can order from, and much more can be found in the Action Center at cccone.com
- Recommend New Parts Suppliers. Don’t see one of your suppliers in CCC ONE when you order parts? See if they’re in the CCC Parts Network, and if they’re not, let us know.
- Use an Integrated Scanning Partner. See the current list of providers in the CCC Diagnostics Network. Performing scans with one of these partners is a great way for your shop to save time and effort on this important step in each repair.
There’s no need to be spooked by creepy skeletons this Halloween season – they’re just like your shop: a hundred different (but very important) pieces being held together by the backbone of CCC software. It’s important to keep your network healthy and fresh.