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Overcoming a growing barrier to repair efficiency

The changing world of automotive technology can leave business owners daunted. In such situations there is nothing like calling in the experts

The rapidly changing world of automotive technology can leave some business owners bewildered and daunted, in such situations there is nothing like calling in the experts. 

Overcoming technical issues can be one of the biggest barriers faced by  workshops that prevents them from getting  on with the job of delivering to the customer.

One thing the team at Repairify share with almost every workshop owner and technician, is that they are driven by the fundamental industry objective; to get damaged cars back on the road, safely and efficiently. 


Since launching with their cutting-edge diagnostic tools in Australia late in 2023 Repairify has seen a rapid uptake of their services, a change Repairify Managing Director – International Phil Peace can only see increasing as Australia adopts more and more of the latest technology.

“What we’re seeing is the market evolving extremely quickly in terms of the technology within the vehicles and the speed at which OEMs are developing vehicles,” Peace says. 

“The repair industry naturally needs to follow and understand because they’re repairing those vehicles in which that technology is incorporated.” 

While new cars will often return to dealers for service and mechanical repairs in their first four years of life, body repairs and glass are often directed much sooner into the independent repair industry. The challenges arise when those businesses do not have the appropriate tools to diagnose issues in the latest technology or models or they come up against OEM gateways.

“What we have seen is the growth of secure gateways on vehicles, this means that the vehicles are locked down or you can’t access certain modules unless you are using the OEM tools and that’s really where we’ve helped many organisations find the solutions.” 

And this is only the beginning of a global automotive trend. Repairify’s global operations have shown them some significant precedents in Europe and the US.

“We’re starting to see similar trends in the Australian marketplace and the requirements for more cars to be calibrated or programmed through the gateway. It’s one of the challenges for the body shops today, that they need the latest technology to be able to get the vehicle back on the road. And that’s the reason we exist.”

Image: Repairify

Repairify offers a diagnostic tool, a tablet-based device known as the “All-in-one” which enables the workshop to complete local diagnostics, performed at the car side by a technician from the workshop. But critically when gateways or new technology prevent the technician from going further, Repairify’s services allow them to undertake remote diagnostics with the help of their experts. 

Peace says workshops have a number of options but many of them require extra expense and crucially can inflate the repair time.

“Obviously, you can take the vehicle to a franchise dealer, but the challenge with that is you’ve got to move the car. The dealer often doesn’t really want to do it, and it can take them a few days to book a calibration in. And in each case, you’re extending the key-to-key time, not to mention the expense of towing. Alternatively, you can get a subcontractor into your workshop but often you don’t know what their qualifications are, what insurance or warranty they have or what tool they’re using. 

“With Repairify’s Remote Services, you’re plugging the vehicle in and we’re coding, calibrating and diagnosing the car using the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s tool and our own qualified technicians.”

Peace says an example of the crucial time advantage of Remote Services has come into focus where there are modern windscreen repairs on vehicles equipped with ADAS cameras.

“You can’t afford to move the car from a cost perspective and you can’t afford to move the car from a customer experience point of view. The customer expects to take that vehicle in to have the glass replaced and then drive it off in about an hour or two. We help them because they’re able to use our equipment remotely. We will then program and calibrate that camera over the air for them, with a minimum of delay and the customer can take the car away, safe in the knowledge that that car is correctly calibrated.”

Repairify Australia General Manager Tristan Sender says the benefits for the workshop to have this added flexibility are many, including to workshop revenue as it allows them to retain the allowances insurers have for calibration.

“The beauty of it is that you don’t need to take it to a dealership to have that job done. There’s two major advantages. The first is speed. Key to key time is massively sped up because you basically do it there and then in your workshop. The second is you also keep that revenue directly inside your shop because you can complete the whole job from start to finish. Importantly by being able to access secure gateways using our OEM tools you can keep jobs in house that you would previously have been unable to complete.”

Sender says this streamlined process is beneficial for the whole industry, from the satisfied customer to the insurance company that is covering the cost.

“It’s a win-win situation for the insurance company, body shop and customer. The time that the car is off the road is lower, which is good for customer service and customer retention and time saved results in reduced repair costs. For example, customers have courtesy cars on their policies or can be using not at fault rental vehicles so reducing the repair time can have a significant impact on the total cost. From an insurance perspective there is a massive amount of benefit to having cars fixed quicker.”

 While Australia has a right to repair law introduced in 2022, and this has facilitated the release of OEM information, the difficulty can still lie in the sheer volume of information on new vehicles and evolving technology and the delays this can make to workshops.

Repairify’s success around the world has been built on established and constructive partnership with OEM’s and the contractual arrangements for information are backed up by the global partnerships.  Even more important is they are working toward the same end as the OEMs in ensuring repairers can complete the work quickly with minimal reputational impact to the car brands.

“It’s not work that the franchised dealers particularly want,” Peace says.

“They don’t want an odd calibration that’s booked in at very short notice because it disrupts their work planning. It’s probably not work that they’d normally expect anyway, because it’s gone into a body shop. 

“From an OEM perspective, what they want to do is make sure that the end user is having a great experience. We know that quite a high proportion of people change their car after a crash. So, anything that adds to that negative experience has the potential for that individual to choose to change their vehicle, and potentially to change to another manufacturer, which is absolutely what they don’t want.

“With us being involved in that process, we are making sure that it’s a fast process, making sure that we don’t slow down the repair in any aspect and get the customer back on the road as quickly, and safely as possible. Additionally, using the OEM tool ensures that every module has been checked, and the customers vehicle is returned safely.”

Image: Repairify

One of the first things that strikes you about the team at Repairify is the international flavour of the small, specialised group. There are members from diverse parts of the globe including the UK, Ireland and Mexico as well as wide range of advanced specialisations with OEMs that range from well-known brands like Toyota, Mazda and Volvo through to Bentley, Aston Martin and even Lamborghini. This mix of expertise and backgrounds is no accident but is part of what they offer.

Johnny Restrepo who has a Columbian and Canadian background was one of the pioneers of Repairify’s launch in Mexico, He says across north America, they are dealing with significant volumes daily as technology advances. While in Australia the ADAS technology is less prevalent, he says Repairify want to ensure they have the expertise to meet the demand as it grows.

Restrepo details how all technicians begin with three months of intense training to understand scans, ADAS systems, OEM manuals and recommendations. 

“It seems a long three months, but there’s a lot of material to see,” Restrepo says. “And after the three months, the training is not over, we have a programme of continuous improvement.” 

He explains this is critical for the team to be aware of and understand the latest and ongoing developments from all the OEMS. 

He also expects more workshops will make the initial investment in ADAS equipment.

“Because to do the calibrations you need targets, you need special equipment, so there is a little investment, but in the long run, you’re going to win. Because also, if you have all the equipment, you can also do the calibrations for other shops.”

Repairify technician Sean Quinn, who hails from Ireland, after 15 years of experience with brands as diverse as BMW to Bentley, says for workshops it is about taking control of their destiny in an ever-changing world of OEM technology. 

“Businesses need to remain flexible, and our experts are staying up with industry and doing what we can to help,” Quinn says.

The diverse specialisation in auto brands means the Repairify team can advise customers with depth a single workshop would find it difficult to cover. 

“We have teams of master technicians that are in different areas of the industry in terms of the knowledge that these customers will get in Australia, and it doesn’t just stop with us. We also have teams of experts in America and in Europe, where we have constant communication, in terms of offering decades of industry knowledge.”

Another Repairify technician Brody Sentance says the relatively more common practice of replacing windscreens with ADAS cameras is one of the first frontiers Australian repairers are encountering but he foresees a time when this technology is standard in all cars coming into workshops.

“It’s not only going to be more cars, but the technology is going to get more advanced and way more technical,” Sentance says

“It can be a bit daunting at first. But I think when they see the benefit that comes out of these (Repairify) services, and also the initial customer satisfaction it changes everything. They are getting the use of an OEM tool, and experienced technicians where everyone’s experienced in their brands.”

Bradley Hewson from the UK who has worked on everything from BMWs to Rolls Royces says the technology is the way of the future because it offers what the customers want; comfort and safety.

But the understanding of the customer and what repairs involve can be difficult, even for something as common as ADAS equipped windscreen replacement when it could lead to weeks of delay and frustration.

“And most people will go “What camera? It’s a piece of glass’” Hewson says. “But as we know, when you’re in a trade, it’s very important and crucial from a safety point of view. If they don’t get it right, you’d be driving around with warnings on your dashboard the whole time.”

“And what would you think if someone said, ‘We need to recalibrate your radar so that your cruise control works because I’ve changed your radiator’. You know, 15 years ago people would be saying; ‘What are you talking about?’

“A big learning process that people are going to have to get used to is the fact that once you’ve touched something on these cars, there’s a lot of work that then needs to be done to set everything back to where it was.” 

But these delays can be overcome with the fantastic systems Remote Services provide and ensure correct and safe calibration every time, he says.

“We’re talking international safety features that are recognised worldwide,” Technician Mathew Launt agrees. 

“We’re moving forward, and manufacturers have to apply by these new standards. You can take a bumper off a car with some complex European manufacturers and you need to re calibrate the whole car.” 

He said adoption across the industry had varied both by state and the size of the business but there were always some who saw the business opportunity rather than pushing it back onto dealerships.

“It’s the same as anyone not pushing forwards with electrical vehicles, whether it’s plug-in or ice combination, hybrid. It’s silly not to go forward with the trend, especially as you’re just robbing yourself of money, of customers and repeat work, as well as your own self-knowledge.”

Hewson says the best answer to this technology problem is answering it with the technology to make it accessible and having the experts on hand to simplify it.

“We work with almost every single manufacturer to carry out these repairs, and to stay up to date with all the new software and the new bug fixes, because we’re in contact directly with the manufacturers. For the Australian market it’s absolutely amazing for them to be able to plug one device in and have us sitting on the other end with such a broad capability.”


As Repairify grows in the Australian market it is keen to meet the demands of the various elements that make up the repair industry, whether it is MSO or small independents and add to the efficiency and profitability of each.

“We work with lots of MSOs, lots of repair groups, and we’ve got great relationships with them because they’re very interested in the reporting and the output of the reporting, as well as how they can then drive efficiencies through processes,” Peace says.

“There will also be independent workshops, small sub two, three shop clusters, that will want to use this service because they will invest in the technology,” he says.

This is a sensible and reasonable investment because this is the evolution of many businesses doing services in house and what will become key to repairing any vehicle.

“They’re more interested in “What’s the best way to get the vehicle back on the road?” What we have found is that the industry is now evolving towards the workshops doing it themselves. Three or four years ago, they were taking it to the dealership, or they were outsourcing it to a subcontractor. We’re certainly seeing more and more people doing it in house.

“As vehicles evolve, and the technology grows on the vehicle, if you’re going to repair it, you’re going to have to understand aspects of that technology, otherwise you won’t be able to repair it anyway.”

And Sender emphasises that safety and the liability of the repair workshop will also be a critical factor going into the future whether at individual or larger scale level.  

“We will have large buyers of vehicles from manufacturers such as rental companies wanting certain processes to occur so they can be assured when the cars get back on the road that they have been scanned in the correct manner and by an OEM tool.”

Further advances in technology and the way cars communicate will be the next big technological threshold but what won’t change is the need for the repair industry to stay abreast of it. The offering to a workshop of Repairify’s rigorous training and expertise is the same.

“The whole point is that you have an expert available on demand, that you can tap into to do your work for you,” Sender says. 

This includes whether a bodyshop is using its own diagnostic tool and encounters problems or lacks the experience on advanced models. 

“We will take care of that for you meaning you don’t need to have every skill set working in your shop. The beauty of our All-in-One device is you get a comprehensive local tool that also has remote access to the OEM tools for more complex jobs, and a highly skilled technician available to ensure you can complete your job.”

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