DuPont Partners With Repair Shops

by Katy de Vries

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – DuPont is launching a body shop program with the stated aim of creating a national listing of quality repair shops for truck manufacturers to consult.

The list would be available on a specially-created Web site, and would include shops that meet DuPont’s criteria.

The new service was launched at a seminar organized by DuPont in Mississauga, Ont. Nov. 12, entitled Roadmap to the Future.

“By keeping in close association with a network of quality shops, a company can enhance their image and create an identity, which in turn will help market the business,” said Vince Drouillard, Ontario commercial finishes representative for DuPont Canada.

The program is a partnership based on a shop’s commitment to a higher standard of quality workmanship, according to Drouillard. And it’s a way shops can market their services.

“Trucks are on wheels and have greater exposure, shops aren’t,” Drouillard told repair shop owners. “So it’s up to you to make it happen within your own company. We can guide you and give you some ideas but it’s ultimately up to you to choose the image that you want.”

A shop must meet DuPont’s standards in order to be included in the national listing.

“We have shop evaluation criteria, we make sure our shops are safe. We go in and look at safety, training, shop area, equipment and procedures and products. It’s a lot to look at just to get a can of paint on a truck, but it is necessary,” said Drouillard.

The seminar also included information on how to harness the power of the Internet. DuPont business development representative, performance coatings, Daniel Boivin, has developed a system that provides a company with a Web site and an electronic business card all in one. These are linked to a national listing.

“This is a cost effective way to give branded assurance of quality to your customers and it adds to the image factor as well,” said Boivin.

The Web site is a standard template so the company can just provide photos and content and has the freedom to customize it to a certain degree, said Boivin. There is a link to the DuPont Web site and the client can link it to other sites as well.

“Right now, 10 per cent of all the certified shops in the program are using this and hopefully by the end of 2004, we will have all shops involved,” said Boivin.

The cost for this service, said Boivin, is around $2,000 depending on how the site is personalized, but the partnership pays for itself if a customer can find you on the Internet, he added.

Meanwhile Robert Curry, national claims manager for Desjardins General Insurance Group, pointed out that insurance providers and repair shops are dependent on each other. Curry foresees insurance companies becoming more involved with buying parts directly.

“If a client gets referred to a repair shop, they have more customer satisfaction and that has shown lower insurance premiums, so partnerships between insurers and repair shops make sense,” said Curry.

“It’s a new concept but seems like it could be a win-win situation. Changes are happening and there are options for solutions out there but the route has to be working together. We need quality collision repairers as much as they need us and if we are a group that thinks progressively, we will get ahead,” said Curry.

DuPont’s Assurance of Quality commercial refinisher program will be officially launched in 2004.

For more information contact Marianne Vogt at 905-619-6026.n

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