After several years of planning, due diligence, high level discussion with insurers and a pilot with repairers, GT Motive in partnership with Mitchell International is coming to the UK.
The meeting of Heather Grant, Auto Body Professional with managers and fellow directors of GT Motive and Mitchell was occasion to discuss the ambitious plans to bring their estimating and claims management solutions to the UK.
The estimating system uses manufacturer times, AZT Paint calculations and links to Thatcham methods. It also covers over 97% of the UK car parc. “It’s a graphical system so the learning curve is short”, said David Morris, Business Development Manager, GT Motive. “In addition to body parts, we have a deep level of mechanical parts as our systems are also used by maintenance and mechanical garages. Furthermore, when you look at the job overlap, it’s very transparent, you see line-by-line, sub-operation codes showing what has been included or overlapped.”
“We’ve been through several UK benchmark projects and are now in pilots with selected workshops and insurance companies” added David. “We anticipate achieving production level in the fourth quarter. With over 5.5m calculations per year within the world of GT, its a mature estimating system. To bring it to the UK required the localisation of local parts prices, part numbers and some adaptation of vehicle names. We also had to implement some UK specific features such as vehicle registration lookup.”
GT Motive is a leading supplier of estimating and claims management systems. Founded in 1971 and based in Madrid the company is used to process around 30% of all motor insurance claims in Spain and around 70% of all service maintenance authorisations. They employ 255 people, have an R & D Centre in Galicia, and a turnover of €13m. The company has expanded across Europe and has offices and customers in the UK, Germany, France, and Portugal and a data research centre in Spain. GT Motive has licensed distributors and clients in Italy, Belgium, South Africa, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Turkey. It also has customers in Ireland, Greece and Scandinavia.
Mitchell International is the largest provider of estimating and claims management software in the US and has a long and illustrious history. Next year the company will celebrate its 70th anniversary. It was founded by Glenn Mitchell who was a parts manager in a local dealership. He created extensive lists of automobile parts numbers, prices and descriptions to help his parts counterman in looking up parts for body shops. As knowledge of these lists spread by word of mouth, Mitchell began receiving calls from other car dealers, body shop technicians and even insurance adjusters, requesting his specific and well-documented repair reference manuals.
Mitchell’s headquarters are in San Diego, with offices throughout North America. They employ around 2,250 employees and turnover this year will be over $500m. The company has been owned by private equity firms for many years. They are into the third generation of private equity ownership, KKR (who used to own Alliance and Boots in the UK).
Three years ago Mitchell acquired a controlling interest in GT Motive in partnership with EINSA Group, the original parent company of GT Motive. “Our intention is to own it over the next few years” said Alex Sun, CEO, Mitchell International. “We are very focused now working with the team to educate the market on what our capabilities are. It is helped by the estimating system but with us wrapping what we would call advanced workflow capabilities for insurers or collision repair shops. We’ve been fortunate that within the first year and a half of going live we found our first significant client in Spain (atop 5 insurance company) and that is a combination of consuming all those solutions and our intention is to pretty much model that in the UK. I think initially the focus needs to be giving the marketplace some confidence that the estimating system is robust and compelling, both from a feature standpoint as well as functionality and then hopefully either satisfying the innovations that a lot of people want or igniting some interesting conversation to satisfy that need. I think as in the United States, the collision repair industry in the UK is going through some interesting times and it is exciting to be participating in that.”
Angel Martínez, CEO, GT Motive, adds that they have been listening to the market for a very long time. “What we heard from the market is first we need a technically capable alternative from a corporation which is financially stable. The market is asking for a better value proposition in terms of price and benefits and that is just regarding the estimating solution” he says. “We are also bringing new technology from Mitchell called WorkCenter to serve insurers and simplify life for the network, reduce cycle time, intelligent work deployment etc. The UK needs the right, most up-to-date technology.”
Alex Sun endorses that view. “The insurance companies are looking for much more innovative ways in the processes, to engage much more with the customer, to engage with their value chain” said Alex. “What will motivate them is access to new and more innovative ways to take FNOL, to triage claims, better ways to assign work, better ways to audit and review on the back end and also better ways to ensure that the customer was ultimately satisfied with the experience. You have to have a competency in estimating, in valuation work, but in the end being able to meet advanced workflow needs is critical. We have built our company on that premise. It won’t be quick but I think if you are going to do this you have to be in it for the long haul. I have been pleasantly surprised by the almost universal warm embrace of our intent. I’ve been here many times over the last two years and without fail every single interaction I have had has ended with ‘we are looking forward to hearing more and embrace the notion of another party innovating in the market’. That part is very exciting.”