Having acknowledged the historical differences in a traditional relationship between insurer and automotive bodyshop, and that a decline in claims and shrinking market can put this relationship under additional strain, Nationwide and Groupama resolved to work together to create a more productive and collaborative working relationship.
Traditionally, insurer-repairer relationships have tended to involve the insurer telling the repairer what to do. However Groupama and Nationwide are working together to share best practice and strategy from their respective areas of expertise. Both teams say they have benefited from their greater understanding of the other company’s systems, processes and priorities.
The primary focus of the new, pragmatic approach, is on speeding up the repair time by reducing key-to-key time – the time Nationwide take possession of the keys to the vehicle, to the time the keys and car are returned to the vehicle’s owner – thus positively impacting the customer’s experience of both parties involved.
Nationwide and Groupama have created a reward mechanism designed to provide a commercial incentive on improved performance in key-to-key time and the incentive is triggered at two levels.
Since the incentive started in January, 58% of Nationwide’s network of repair centres have achieved a key-to-key time inside 10 days, one third of which are inside six days it is claimed.
Nationwide Network Services’ managing director Steve Thompson said: ‘The impact this programme has made in such a short time is both encouraging and satisfying, after such a frank investigation with Groupama into the problems faced and the changes both companies would need to make. The importance to Nationwide now is to learn from the process and further develop our open and honest relationship with Groupama.
‘Nationwide Repair Centres have always tried to repair cars as quickly and efficiently as possible, but with any process where there is more than one influencing party, delays can occur that are beyond our control. By actively working with another party to minimise those occasions we have consistently delivered strong results.’
Darren Wills, claims director Groupama Insurance, said: ‘Groupama and Nationwide have employed a very different, collaborative approach to the insurer-repairer partnership which has proven to be much more beneficial for both parties. As a direct result, Groupama has made dramatic improvements to its customer experience, due in large part to the new, engaged and mutually rewarding relationship with our automotive repairer – Nationwide.’