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Working hard to gain your approval

Approved repairer contracts are a doubled-edged sword: they provide volume work (though levels are rarely guaranteed), but demand stringent controls, lower labour rates and higher discounts.

Bodyshops need them to survive, but they are also the cause of some business failures. Is there an alternative?

David Rathmell, bodyshop manager at north Yorkshire-based Simon Bailes Group, says: “Historically, it was all a very loose arrangement.

The engineer basically gave the work to the garage they liked. Although there are those who won’t want to admit it, this set-up led to fraudulent activity.

“Some control mechanisms were undoubtedly necessary, but lack of margins and lack of investment in the industry shows approved repair schemes have gone too far...”(This article is continued in the July 28 issue of AM.)

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