A bodyshop management system (BMS) is a crucial tool for any repair business. Its ability to provide an overall view of the progress of each department is vital to ensure the business remains profitable.
However, repairers are not always aware of how much their BMS system can do for them. Alternatively, many businesses are frustrated by the fact they cannot electronically invoice insurance companies via their BMS.
Instead they have to come out of the system and send the invoice either by email, post or use accounting software, such as Sage.
However, a spokesman for the Association of British Insurers said it is up to individual insurers as to what efficient IT systems they put in place.
He added: “Insurers will always look at ways to work with bodyshops so invoices are paid as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“There are no industry moves to standardise this because it is up to companies to deal with these payments as they see fit and insurers have different systems and budgets.”
To get round the issue, Audatex last year introduced AudaInvoice, a web-based system which allows bodyshops to electronically invoice insurers who agree to use it.
Allianz was the first insurance company to use AudaInvoice while Royal Sun Alliance and one other insurer also accept the system.
Audatex said Axa is also interested in using the software, although it cannot be integrated into any BMS systems.
Sharon Wiggins, communications director for Audatex, said: “Bodyshops pay 95p per invoice. This is justified because they save money getting the invoice out of the door and are generally being paid quicker so their cash flow is improved.