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How has COVID-19 affected your business and how have you adjusted?

COVID-19 is dominating the news cycle, our professional and personal conversations, and changing the way in which we conduct business. Globally, we are faced with unprecedented challenges having to operate in an environment that is hardly business-as-usual – ‘Accident claims management in the new world’. We are now well over six months into the new world, a world where we saw working practices, business streams and markets change in ways we could never have imagined, and we are now starting to see a new normality. For Innovation Group it is enabling our leadership team to adopt lean business practices, allowing for increased capacity to explore new business opportunities and to be increasingly flexible in our services.

What problems have your customers experienced during COVID-19?

For fleet managers, the requirement is to keep their drivers on the road to continue delivering essential services and much needed supplies. Driver support post incidents has become a major focal point to ensure driver welfare is provided and to ensure operations continue with as little disruption as possible.

What innovative solutions have you developed to assist fleet practitioners?

We recently launched our new digital platform, Gateway in Australia. Gateway’s progressive, pioneering technology and advanced functionality are set to completely transform and revolutionise the experience of the fleet manager and their team of driver’s. Gateway links clients, fleet managers, drivers, insurers and repairers in real-time through its responsive, easy to use web, tablet or mobile application. Gateway’s live search function enables drivers to instantly look for qualified rescue, repair or salvage specialists in their area, at any time.

Claim tracking, live video collaboration, repair progress status updates, dynamic data analytics and personalised notifications are all handled effortlessly by Gateway, speeding up claim resolution.

What feedback have you received from your customers?

Client feedback has overwhelmingly validated our vision of enhanced customer experience, reduced cycle times and real time repair progression updates. The commitment of our claims teams to take on remote working to provide essential support to our fleet partners without compromising on quality and service levels, has been inspiring and humbling to say the least.

Is there a specific product or feature you believe makes a fleet managers life easier?

Finding ourselves in the ‘New Normal’ we had to look at doing things differently and adapting to the changes brought about by the global pandemic. When dealing with vehicle damage quotes and assessments, a new approach had to be envisioned which offered a safe option for repairers, suppliers and assessors to conduct business. And, it never was a technology challenge but rather a change in mindset.  Enter Virtual Connect – our new live video tool where no human contact is required with our assessors and repairers conducting live video calls with anyone at any time, even whilst lockdown’s or travel restrictions are in place. Reduced cycle times by reviewing damage through the customer’s phone and immediately compiling estimates before, and sometimes without an onsite vehicle inspection are just some of the benefits.

What are some of the ongoing challenges that you think will affect the automotive industry moving forward?

There are two challenges that we need to focus on to support the smaller independent automotive repair and service businesses. There have been initiatives to set up a national scheme for the sharing of vehicle repair and service information, to specifically give Victorian vehicle owners and automotive service businesses a fairer deal. The purpose to give independent automotive repair and service businesses access to the same vehicle information as dealer-aligned workshops. This will level the playing field for smaller operators, boost competition in the automotive repair market and save Victorian vehicle owners time and money by giving them a greater range of repair and service options. Ongoing support including financial backing to help improve fairness for Victoria’s small businesses, helping them to grow and thrive.

For more info about how Innovation Group can benefit your fleet operations, click here.