Driving a safer, more equitable and transparent sector

Driving a safer, more equitable and transparent sector

Driving a safer, more equitable and transparent sector
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Having shown incredible resilience, drive and grit over the past year, SAMBRA will be renewing its efforts in 2023 to drive a safer, more equitable and transparent motor body repair sector.

VSD publication

SAMBRA will continue to work tirelessly on the demand for publication and implementation of the VIN numbers of all written off vehicles in a write-off register available to any member of the public wishing to research the purchase of a used vehicle. Over the last four years we have applied substantial resources to ensure that members of the public, used car dealers, banks and others involved in the purchase and sale of used vehicles can protect themselves against the purchase of a previously written off vehicle.

SAMBRA will continue to work tirelessly on the demand for publication and implementation of the VIN numbers of all written off vehicles in a write-off register available to any member of the public wishing to research the purchase of a used vehicle. Over the last four years we have applied substantial resources to ensure that members of the public, used car dealers, banks and others involved in the purchase and sale of used vehicles can protect themselves against the purchase of a previously written off vehicle.

As a result of the sustained pressure a major milestone was reached last year when the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) and the Insurance Crime Bureau (ICB) eventually agreed to take steps to opening its salvage database to the public.

SAIA presented its business case to the SAIA Board on 1 December 2022. We are now urgently waiting for SAIA to confirm time frames for implementation.

SAMBRA is committed to working collaboratively to ensure smooth implementation and agree on fundamental changes that may be needed following the publication of the register. As discussed at our conference last year, first and foremost, the industry will need a formal post-accident inspection process by qualified professionals. It is worth considering that between the Vehicle Testing Association (VTA), SAMBRA and other players, an infrastructure already exists which could be utilised albeit, in the VTA space, it may need investment in skills and more advanced equipment to do the required checks.

Fairer business

This year we will also be tackling several initiatives focused on pushing back against unfair business practices as well as rolling out several initiatives to enhance member profitability and provide members with the tools to remain sustainable in the current business climate.

VDQ Qualification

The VDQ is an approved occupational qualification and registered on the country’s national qualifications framework. Several subject matters experts have subsequently been engaged and worked tirelessly to ensure that assessment tools meet the requirements of the QCTO.

SAMBRA eagerly awaits the final go ahead by the QCTO, following submission of final documents (EISA & RPL assessment tool) by the merSETA.

The qualification combines a blend of technical and non-tech components. The outcome of the VDQ curriculum is twofold. It provides insight into firstly what it will take to repair the vehicle’s damage, and secondly, how much will it cost to repair the damage.

SAMBRA is determined to drive this campaign as it sees it as an industry game changer.

Opening the panels

The introduction of the Competition Commission’s Guidelines for Competition on 1 July 2021 changed the motor body repairer Industry. For some time now the South African Motor Body Repairers’ Association (SAMBRA), has been advocating for greater accessibility to insurer panels by the motor body repair industry, as now provided for in terms of the Guidelines to Competition in the South African
Automotive Aftermarket (“the Guidelines”).

Whilst broad consensus appears to have been achieved at industry level, an unexpected challenge in the insurance value chain surfaced last year in the form of the vast network of insurance intermediaries that appear not to be conforming to the overriding, and agreed-to, Insurer service level agreements with the motor body repair industry.

We will continue to drive a strong agenda to eliminate any restrictive panels imposed by these intermediaries.

The recommendation and instruction in the Competition Commission Guidelines to increase transparency, accessibility and improved consumer choice in the service, maintenance and repairs of Motor Vehicles are very clear so there is no reason for any restrictions on how work is distributed or for “limited panels”. Any deviation will need to be logged with the Competitions Commission.

A toolbox for better business

Access to new trends and information in our dynamically changing sector is key to the future sustainability and success of our member businesses. Our business management project, which was launched last year, is ongoing and remains a focus of SAMBRA. Effective business management requires consistent exposure to best practices.

We are very proudly launching a free SAMBRA SOP Toolbox for our members this year. The toolbox, which is specifically designed for accredited members, has three pillars for customer facing, workshop and administration operations and is intended to support members with an array of useful and critical information and insights which they can implement in their workspace. It will assist members in running their businesses more effectively. A service provider to develop the toolkit has been appointed and we look forward to keeping our members updated on progress.

A time to celebrate excellence

This year we look forward to once again joining hands with Lightstone to recognise and celebrate excellence in our sector.

Over the years the awards ceremony has become a highlight of the MBR calendar honouring top vehicle insurers and OEMs, as well as paint and equipment suppliers, for excellence in service provision to SAMBRA members.

The annual SAMBRA Survey upon which these awards are based, was inaugurated in 2011 and each year since has monitored the business relationship between the insurance and motor body repair industry. It was subsequently expanded in 2015 to include OEMs, paint, and equipment suppliers, each of which are vital stakeholders in the motor body repair industry.

The survey targets SAMBRA members nationwide to rate the insurers, OEMs, and suppliers on the following factors: fair business practices, prompt payment, green practices, relationship satisfaction, quality of vehicle damage assessment and repairers’ interaction with claims staff, payment speed, customer service, training programmes, product support and last year a new factor was brought in, Covid Support.

The survey results have become an important gauge against which all partners evaluate themselves and their level of service to motor body repair businesses – and ultimately, the consumer. Its value is demonstrated by the unusually high response rate from SAMBRA members nationwide.

The 2023 Awards will run alongside the SAMBRA conference, details of which will be released early this year.

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