MAKING A DENT
WHY PDR PROVIDERS ARE THRIVING EVEN AS THE TECHNIQUE GOES MAINSTREAM
The paintless dent repair (PDR) sector was once known as a specialized service, reserved for out-of-house PDR experts. Not even PDR is an exception to the ever-changing nature of the collision repair industry. In fact, its transition from a specialized service into a mainstay service of progressive auto repairers everywhere has been rapid. That said, many facilities feel that the advantages offered by working with a PDR provider still outweigh the advantages of bringing those services in-house.
Part of the reason that these third-party services remain successful is that, while the basics of PDR are now being taught in mainstream collision repair training programs, few providers have taken the technique significantly far beyond the basics. When hail strikes, it can be difficult for these repair facilities to offer competitively priced hail repair solutions.
“Collision repair facilities can promote PDR on dents that are not related to collision repair to increase sales,” says Ricky Chin of Hail Specialists. “They can offer discounts on dent repair while having collision repair done. Most vehicles have door dents on them, it is more convenient for clients to have the dents fixed while their vehicles are in the bodyshop than to bring their vehicles in just to get some small dents fixed.” Like Chin, Devon Fenton of DCC Hail believes that the business case for working with a subcontracted PDR firm is one that many firms would be wise to consider.
“I’d encourage collision industry representatives to view PDR companies as partners. Partnering with an established PDR company and potentially incorporating some of the collision repair PDR methods available can really help a shop increase its bottom line,” says Fenton.
Bing Wong of Canadian Hail Repair also makes the case for subcontracting PDR work, and says that subcontracted services have significant advantages over hiring in-house PDR technicians full-time. The relationship between collision facility and PDR service provider can be a twoway street.
“Just like good bodyshops, established and reputable PDR vendors don’t massively discount their work, but will provide better repairs leading to repeat clients,” says Fenton. “PDR companies with direct repair program (DPR) relationships may also have the ability to drive work to bodyshop partners. In fact, I have started to see some of our collision partners advertising the fact that they offer PDR services for hail damage,” says Serra. “They know it is what drivers are looking for.”