Both the insurance industry and the panelbeating community regularly beart the brunt of consumer anger – much of this they do inflict upon themselves and much not warranted at all.
However, once a year the SA Motor Body Repairers’ Association (SAMBRA) takes time to pay homage to those who have served its members well during the preceding year and Santam walked away with three awards for the 2017/18 period at a function in Johannesburg recently.
It won Insurer of the Year award for the period 2017/18, Green Practices and Service Excellence in the insurance category.
Toyota SA received the top honours for all-round best OEM, RSB Autogroup scooped the Service Excellence award in the Paint Suppliers category and equipment supplier, Gondolier, took the overall Service Excellence award in the Equipment Suppliers category.
SAMBRA, an Association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) represents the majority of motor body repairers in the country. SAMBRA focuses on creating and maintaining industry sustainability and development and the annual Awards is one of its flagship projects.
“The SAMBRA Survey upon which these awards are based, has been conducted each year since 2011 to monitor the business relationship between the insurance and motor body repair industry. It was subsequently extended to also include OEMs, as well as paint and equipment suppliers, each of which makes a vital contribution to the motor body repair industry,” says Jeanne Esterhuizen, SAMBRA’s National Chairperson and President of the umbrella Retail Motor Industry (RMI).
The survey is independently managed and audited by Lightstone Consumer. The survey targets the eligible 880 SAMBRA members nationwide to rate insurers, OEMs and suppliers on the following factors: fair business practices (especially prompt payment which now has a dedicated award), green practices, relationship satisfaction, quality of vehicle damage assessment and repairers’ interaction with claims staff, payment speed, customer service, training programmes, product support and more.
This survey – and its outcome – has become an important yard-stick against which all partners evaluate themselves and their services to panel shops – and ultimately, the consumer. Its value is demonstrated by the fact that an unusually high 50% plus response rate from SAMBRA members nationwide.
SAMBRA National Director, Richard Green, emphasised the body’s current focus was on levelling the playing field to enable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to gain equal access to the industry, especially encouraging partners to ensure prompt payment of all invoices to small businesses as a key priority of their businesses, and to remove any barriers to the achievement of that goal. It was to underscore the importance of this business value that SAMBRA introduced a ‘Best Payer’ award for insurers.
Guest speaker, Dionne Kerr, CEO of Siyakha Consulting, hit an optimistic note saying fixed direct investment into South Africa last year was at a 10-year high, and that local businesses should mirror the confidence of foreign investors by implementing a ‘Buy Local’ and import replacement programme.
“It is now that we need to achieve economic change and build a sustainable and growth oriented South Africa. The South African government creates more incentives and grants on skills development than any other country in the world except Sweden and Norway,” stressed Kerr.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS
1st Place – Best Insurer: Santam
2nd Place – Best Insurer: Old Mutual Insure
3rd Place – Best Insurer: Hollard Insure
Best Payer: MiWay
Most Efficient: OUTsurance
Green Practices: Santam
Service Excellence: Santam
1st Place – Best OEM: Toyota SA
2nd Place – Best OEM: Volkswagen
3rd Place – Best OEM: Audi
Best Training Programme: Audi
Communication Excellence: Toyota SA
Paint Supplier Category:
Overall Service Excellence: RSB Autogroup for RM product.
Best Training: RSB Autogroup
Best Product Support: RSB Autogroup
Equipment Supplier Category:
Overall Service Excellence: Gondolier
Best Training: Bosch Automotive
Best Product Support: Bosch Automotive