General Motors' Customer Care and Aftersales division is launching the GM Collision Repair Network for qualified dealership collision repair centers and independent body shops in the U.S.
The automaker expects to roll out the network in early 2019. First, dealership centers and independents have to enroll, and submit to an audit of their facilities, training and equipment.
GM is partnering with Mitchell International Inc., of San Diego, to administer the network, said Jack Rozint, vice president of sales and service for Mitchell's Auto Physical Damage business unit.
"Mitchell's software will be used to process the claims in the program," Rozint said last week in a phone interview during the 2018 NACE Automechanika trade show in Atlanta.
Any U.S. collision repair center can apply for inclusion in the network through an enrollment portal, Mitchell said.
Besides processing claims, Mitchell's software also supports estimates and performs quality-control checks. The system also makes sure customers are "properly communicated with," and also measures customer satisfaction, Rozint said.
"It has a lot of capability. Integrated repair procedures — specific to the vehicle being worked on, and the equipment on that vehicle — will be pulled up and presented to the person doing the repair … and make sure the vehicle is repaired per the OE repair procedures," he said.
A key feature is that once the network is up and running, customers can use OnStar to locate qualified centers that belong to the network, GM said in the statement.
"Repair facilities in the network should experience a more streamlined collision repair process, including reduced time spent on diagnosing and pulling repair procedures," GM last week said in a press release.
There's a list of requirements for qualified repair centers on the GenuineGMParts.com website.
Besides technical training and equipment, centers must have been in business for at least five years, with a verifiable credit rating and service history. Centers also must measure customer satisfaction using a third-party service provider, and detail vehicles inside and out before customer delivery, according to the website. a