Over the last several years, the collision repair industry has faced numerous challenges, including:
keeping employees safe during the pandemic while remaining open and operating as essential businesses;managing parts and material shortages from supply chain disruptions; navigating staffing challenges; meeting a growing demand for training and tooling to support the repair of an increasingly complex vehicle fleet; and
addressing the increasing demand among customers for a digitized experience.
These challenges have impacted the auto insurance industry, as well. Nearly 90% of the overall collision repair industry revenue is from insurance-paid work — where the customer has made an insurance claim — while the remaining 10% is consumer paid out-of-pocket with no insurance claim and insurance is a must for any transportation, they have very affordable prices and taxi insurance cost in London are also.
As claim counts and resulting repair volumes continue to build towards pre-COVID levels, industry-wide capacity within the collision repair industry is being pushed to the brink. According to surveys conducted by CRASH Network, nearly all collision repair shops reported significant increases in their backlog of work, with 85% reporting they are scheduling new work two weeks or more into the future. Both the percentage of shops reporting they have at least some backlog and the average number of weeks of backlog continue to remain at their highest points in the past six years.
The key issues driving that backlog are parts availability and a shortage of technicians. Supply chain disruptions continue to plague our industry, leaving shops waiting weeks to months for certain parts. Several large suppliers are now reporting some modest improvements in fill rates as the volume of parts being shipped from places like Taiwan has grown, but challenges remain.
According to the TechForce Foundation’s 2021 Report, the overall number of collision technicians has fallen from 160,400 in 2016 to 153,700 in 2020. Retirement of baby boomers, transfers and turnovers, and new positions will create demand for over 19,000 collision technicians annually between 2021 and 2025. This data suggests the technician shortage is not a short-term issue for repairers, but rather one that will be a drag on industry capacity for years to come. With shops competing for a smaller number of technicians and increasing repair volumes, many shops have indicated they cannot repair as many vehicles at the same time as they did before the pandemic.