Programmes for Success, which evolved from automotive refinisher R-M's Programmes for Profit, was developed in response to growing demands from body repairers for assistance in raising profitability.
It is the latest in a line of bodyshop monitoring/assessment programmes – most paint makers offer alternatives – that claim to reduce costs and boost profits. But, according to managing director Paul Buckingham, the R-M system has a crucial advantage over its rivals: it does not require a bodyshop to disclose its financial accounts in order to provide an assessment.
“Providing financial details puts a lot of repairers off – they see this information as extremely confidential,” said Mr Buckingham, whose company is based at Enfield, Greater London.
“However, if they give us their labour rates we can calculate the productivity and margins from each work provider, which means they can concentrate on the best work partners.”
Programmes for Success also analyses the hypothetical impact of various working practices or different equipment on work throughput.
Mr Buckingham said: “If a bodyshop wants to raise its weekly throughput from 30 to 50 cars, the programme can show what equipment is needed to reach the target.”
Dealer groups with several bodyshops can use the programmes for inter-site analysis to ensure consistency throughout the network.
R-M is confident that Programmes for Success will help capture conquest sales from rival paint companies because it takes a “broadened look at the whole of the bodyshop, not just paint – there are many variables that affect the bodyshop”.
Mr Buckingham said: “It will be used as a marketing tool to win new business. If the repairer changes to R-M products the service is free; otherwise an admin fee will be charged. “The programme is not just about saving money, it's also about making more money,” he added. “I'm confident that everyone can save at least 20% on costs and they will also increase profits.”
Take-up from R-M users has so far been around 20% – around 100 users.
“The programme seems to be attracting larger bodyshops or those that are struggling to make money on paint,” said Mr Buckingham. “It is important to follow up and monitor progress to ensure our recommendations are working.”
Programmes for Success also extends to cosmetic repairs, showing repairers when and how to sell the concept to the consumer.