An announcement is expected within weeks and marks the first work agreement for the Repanet organization, set up 18 months ago to aid bodyshop members’ businesses with marketing, consultancy and winning support from work providers.
The deal will add three or four jobs a week to bodyshops’ workload, at favourable labour rates, and is the first step in Standox’s bid to create a quality brand that will appeal to insurers, fleets and accident management companies.
Longer term, the paint supplier believes Repanet will evolve into a European brand offering a “seal of quality” to work providers looking for coverage across multiple countries. It will also use the concept to convert non-Standox users to its refinish products.
In the UK, 46 Standox users have joined Repanet, paying the €1,000 (£675) membership fee. The company expects numbers to rise to 100, but says there is no upper ceiling on the total.
A national steering committee promotes sharing of best practice and liaises with Standox on any issues.
“We are lobbying on behalf of members at national level and eventually at international level,” says Ralf Rauschning, director of Repanet International.
“Repanet makes bodyshops more effective and competitive, and can open doors, but bodyshops must decide themselves how to use it and which customers they wish to serve. “We want to be ready for when insurance companies start to look for a European-wide network. That’s probably two or three years away.”
The full European network, across 12 countries, is 500 and is expected to rise to 560 this year. Meanwhile, Standox has merged its consultancy and training operations under one service programme called Standox Consulting, intended to emphasize that the company is more than simply a supplier of paint.
It will also embark upon a new image campaign in autumn, described by Standox brand manager Julio Salcedas as a “big bang”.
He adds: “It will make a major contribution to underlining and enhancing the image of Standox as a premium brand in the automotive refinishing market.”