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Bodyshop Detectives help Automotive Refinish Shops

Published on 2009-09-28. Author : SpecialChem

MÜNSTER -- Innovative products alone are no longer enough to cover the needs of a dynamic automotive refinish market. Customers want more than paint - they expect solutions. That's why Glasurit, BASF Coatings' paint brand, launched consultant training starting as early as 2005. Meanwhile, 31 Glasurit consultants have successfully completed the special three-phase qualification program to become Process Experts, Consultants or Senior Consultants. Another 23 are still in the training phase. The candidates come from Western Europe, but also from Eastern Europe, South America and South Africa. The training has since also begun in Asia.

The training is based on technical and business content. In the first phase, the participants take the exam to become Process Experts, then Consultants in the second phase, and finally Senior Consultants in the last phase. Each of these three phases ends with an exam and a certificate. Thorsten Schlatmann, head of Consultancy Services at BASF Coatings, explained the advantage of this clear training structure: "In this way, we can ensure uniform standards and a high level of competence throughout the entire Glasurit organization." Schlatmann said that the topics covered go far beyond the actual paint product and technical topics. Process-oriented, business and marketing aspects are the core of the training and require specialized expertise. "This professional competence makes it possible to provide sound advice and support to bodyshops," said Schlatmann.

In addition, launching the consultant training was a precondition for starting the value-added services program. The demand for this program demonstrates that it has been well received in the market, with its holistic view of cooperation and of potential areas for improvement. Glasurit has provided individual consulting support to more than 600 bodyshops since the start of the service program in 2005.

Basically, the services offered as part of RATIO-CONCEPT-plus have two aims for the bodyshops: Boosting efficiency (for example, through the Profit-Manager, a Bodyshop Audit or assistance during bodyshop planning, optimization of repair processes as well as business seminars) and generating additional business for the bodyshops. For instance, RATIO-Repair-Shop provides a solution for repairing cosmetic damage. In addition, Glasurit has developed a special guarantee for the paint system, which the bodyshops can use to actively market their services to end consumers. The actual added value measured in terms of greater efficiency or increased sales should be apparent to the bodyshop from the very beginning. A specially developed Value Calculator that clearly shows the amount of potential savings or additional business that can be achieved through the planned measures is used at the very first meeting.

The bodyshops are thus actively supported in increasing efficiency and quality at the bodyshop, tapping into new business segments and setting themselves apart from the competition, activities that have become indispensable in today's fiercely competitive market. This is an enormous effort for Glasurit, although it is of course also in the interest of the paint manufacturer. For Glasurit, the program combines objectives such as greater customer loyalty and not least also the acquisition of new customers. These customers include both independent and manufacturer-approved bodyshops, and some projects were also initiated directly with the carmakers. Success is measured in terms of the concrete measures that are actually implemented from a project, which is why one objective also involves accompanying the bodyshop after the measure has been completed.

A clear trend is emerging nearly three years after the program started. The expectations the bodyshops have for Glasurit with regard to support and consulting are growing. The sharp increase in the acceptance of business consulting, including the writing of business plans, is also noticeable. Deep industry knowledge is vital in order to develop services tailored exactly to the requirements. The offered portfolio has already been very widely diversified and is expected to expand even further in the coming years. At this time, the various services that focus even more holistically on bodyshops are in the preparation phase. In addition to the technical topics, the offering will cover business and marketing topics in even greater detail.

Source: BASF


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