The Hard Facts of Collision Repair

Fact vs Fiction: A reality check into parts delays

In an industry driven by unrelenting pressure to perform, it's no surprise that default answers to performance-related issues continue to echo across the collision repair landscape. But are these really hard facts or are they simply hard problems that can be solved with the right approach? It's time to delve deeper and challenge the status quo, reassessing the real obstacles in collision repair.

One of the most commonly-cited excuses in the industry is "Parts Availability." Repairers often blame parts delays for all the issues in their business. Yes, part backorders are a real problem, but are they solely responsible for the industry's lengthy cycle times and poor customer satisfaction scores? The data suggests not.


The Reality Behind Parts Availability

Based on data segmenting repairs by size, parts availability issues potentially contribute to delays in 50% to 60% of repairs. These delays predominantly affect larger repairs requiring more parts, which naturally increases the likelihood of part delays. Below is a chart showing a typical breakdown of repairs by size, and their associated Touch Time and Cycle Time performance. This sample covers 45,000 insurance repairs and represents a typical market mix.


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Of these 45,000 repairs, 2,310 (5%) have $0 in parts and 8,750 (19%) have less than $500 in parts. We can make a fairly safe assumption that approximately 1 in 5 repairs should experience either very minimal, or no, delays based on parts availability. What would it mean to process those repairs in a more efficient manner?


The Impact of Efficient Handling

If those repairs with a value between $0 to $500 in parts were handled more efficiently, the overall performance metrics for the industry would see significant improvements. Efficiently managing these repairs will produce:

  • Reduced Cycle Times: Quicker turnaround for a large volume of repairs can substantially reduce average cycle times.
  • Improved Customer Satisfaction: Faster repairs mean happier customers and higher customer satisfaction scores.
  • Increased Throughput: Efficient handling allows for more repairs to be completed in the same timeframe, boosting overall productivity.
  • Enhanced Profitability: Reduced delays and increased throughput directly contribute to higher overall gross profit.


Myth Busting

Here is an example of an outcome when the status quo is not accepted as a hard fact. Visit Loewen’s Leap Forward to see how this top-performer achieved great results. 




Beyond Parts: Identifying Industry Bottlenecks

Reframing "hard facts" as "hard problems" that can be solved offers a powerful framework; by identifying and addressing the true bottlenecks, collision repairers can become more efficient, more organized and more profitable.

AutoHouse is committed to challenging and reframing these perceived hard facts. We’ve launched the AutoHouse Academy as a forum and resource centre tailored to forward-thinking collision repairers. We’d appreciate your input and thoughts at


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