Toronto, Ontario — April 13, 2015 — Next-generation technology can lead to quicker, more accurate estimates and cost savings for those who choose to embrace it, according to Jamie Watters, Director of Product Management for Audatex Canada. Watters discussed the new Audatex Estimating powered by AudaNet at AudaVision Toronto. The event took place at Palais Royale in Toronto.
Watters noted that the next-generation Audatex Estimating uses the latest cloud technology to create more transparency in the claims and estimating process, while providing greater accuracy and improved straight through processing.
The new system strives to present all the needed information in an intuitive, single-screen interface. Using the new system, estimators can attach photos directly to the estimate while it’s in progress. New parts can be ordered directly at the estimate stage, cutting down on time. Perhaps most striking of all, the system presents a 3D model of the part being requested. The image can be rotated through 360-degrees on desktop and mobile devices, allowing the estimator to confirm that the part matches the one being replaced.
Watters also noted other enhancements to the new Audatex Estamating, including quick access to claim information, intelligent search functions, and more advanced claims grouping and worklist management, leading to efficiency improvements in repair order administration and tracking.
Many other high profile speakers took the stage during the two-day event. The keynote speaker for the first day of AudaVision Toronto was Todd James, VP of Industry Relations for Oracle, speaking on the transformative power of digital cloud programs. It was an appropriate topic and an excellent introduction for the next presentation, Jamie Watters presenting “Next is Now,” and filling attendees in on the details and features of the new Audatex Estimating.
A panel discussion was next on the slate, kicked-off by Paul Leerentveld, Claims Manager with The Commonwell. Panelists consisted of Luc Coutu, Vendor Specialist, The Commonwell; Jim Geelen, Claims Appraisal Specialist, The Commonwell; Chris Reddick, Supreme Collision; Cathy Rankin, CSN Precision Collision Centre, and Max Pizzoferrato, Credit Valley Appraisals.
After a brief break for lunch, attendees were back in session for Andrew MacDonald of Tesla Motors, who discussed Tesla’s repair strategy. It was a fascinating look into the processes and practices of one of the planet’s most innovative car companies. MacDonald announced Tesla is partnering with Audatex to use its global estimating system to significantly reduce repair times while maintaining the highest quality standards. He also said the automaker will be using Audatex’s AudaWatch driver communication solution to provide Tesla customers with the best repair experience possible.
The theme of how technology can improve the process was again highlighted by the next speaker, Mark Breading of SMA. Breading discussed digital innovation and transformation in the claims world.
Jamie Watters then returned to the stage for the first of two AudaVision Innovation Sessions. In his presentation, Watters discussed digitizing the claims ecosystem. He was followed by Chad Meyer of Hollander who outlined changes and trends in the parks marketplace.
The final speaker for the day was another keynote, Brian Solis, Principal at Altimeter Group. Solis is a digital marketing analyst, speaker, and author of books such as “Engage!: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web” and “The End of Business As Usual.” Solis emphasized that digital transformation is about more than just efficiency. It’s about “the realignment of or new investment in technology and business models to more effectively engage digital customers at every touch point.”
The second day of AudaVision Toronto 2015 opened with Tony Krajewski of Deloitt, who presented “Insights from the 2014 Global Automotive Consumer Study: Implications of the Shift in Consumer Demands.” This seemed to set the tone for much of the second day, with numerous speakers focusing on the customer experience part of the equation.
A panel discussion followed, with the topic of “Digital Disruption: Redefining the Vehicle Owner Experience with Digital Consumers.” Panelists consisted of Paul André Savoie, President, Baseline; Dennis DesRosiers, President, DesRosiers Automotive Consultants; and Tim Wilson, Head of Industry, Google Canada.
The discussion touched on many parts of the customer service equation, including brand loyalty and who owns any data gathered from services such as telematics.
Watters again returned to the stage to introduce two speakers. Brent Wolsey, Product Marketing Manager for AutoPoint discussed the digital dealership platform and how AutoPoint can help repairers, dealers, and insurers communicate clearly and effectively with each other and the customer.
Next up was Jericha Deaux who discussed the Direct Hit software package from Identifix. Deaux outlined how Direct hit can be used to keep mechanical repairers in the collision facility, reducing the need for subcontractors.
“Specialization is fading,” says Deaux. “Today’s consumers don’t want to go to four different places, they want it done under one roof.”
Direct Hit works by providing users two distinct streams of information. The right hand of the screen shows OE repair procedures, while the left hand of the screen shows solutions gathered from technicians in the field.
For example, if you type in “crash sensor,” it will show you the most common repairs done, including how other technicians solved the problem, the procedures used, codes, and troubleshooting information. Deaux notes that the information provided by technicians is thoroughly vetted by factory-trained technicians before being added to the database.
Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants was the final speaker for the event, discussing changing trends in the automotive world.
“This is going to be the best five to eight years the industry has ever seen,” says DesRosiers.
DesRosiers says that while this is contrary to what some people believe, but that he feels he has solid reasons to believe that the industry is well poised for growth.
In addition to noting that new car purchases are very strong, DesRosiers also discussed the enormous growth seen in used car sales.
“These vehicles are road worthy, and they’re going to be on the road for awhile. That means they’re going to need repair,” says DesRosiers. “The incredible quality that we put into vehicles is creating a driver class that we never had in Canada before.”