PREPARED BY EDDIE LONGWORTH, DIRECTOR
An Independent View
In the course of my work as a claims and supply chain consultant I inevitably encounter – and sometimes advise suppliers who are seeking to develop their business proposition for the claims market. I also come across a vast range of businesses with whom I have no formal connection but who, it seems to me, have something interesting to say and whose proposition should be heard.
This series of Supplier Review bulletins are intended to highlight just those businesses who fall into the latter category. In a fast-moving claims and supply chain sector it is difficult to separate the background noise from the genuinely worthy contenders for your attention. I hope that these independent and objective briefings go some way towards helping you separate the wheat from the chaff.
CHALLENGING THE STATUS QUO
It used to be said that ‘you could never go wrong by buying IBM’. This philosophy reflected the then-dominant market position of IBM in all things computing, and purchasing directors were inclined to play it safe.
Of course, we all know that this situation has changed, to the point today where IBM is still strong and powerful – but not omnipotent. So the analogy with the current UK market for vehicle repair estimating systems is obvious. A
strong, embedded, and apparently, immovable incumbent is being challenged by the new kids on the block.
Not only is there a full-frontal assault on the damage assessment market there is also the existential threat of new technologies making the current process of estimating partially or even entirely redundant.
This paper examines the offer and opportunities posed by one of those not-so-new kids – GT Motive. A business that asserts a presence in 28 countries throughout the world and is seriously challenging the more established player in the market. The question posed is relatively simple.
Could you ever go wrong by ditching the incumbent supplier and trusting GT Motive instead?
A WORKING SOLUTION
There seems little doubt that the core estimating system offered by GT Motive does actually work. Insurers, leasing
and claims management companies around Europe are already using the system with a reputed 5m estimates p.a. being processed. Famous names amongst the client roster include LeasePlan, Arval, and both Allianz and Axa in Spain. A total of 80 insurance and leasing companies.
Direct access to OE parts prices and an entirely on-line offer suggests that the system is always up to date, accurate, and readily available from any location that has web access.
The company asserts that OE prices are updated daily (somewhat more frequently than other systems) with new
vehicle models being added bi- weekly.
However, the technicalities of the system, impressive as they are, is only one part of the solution that GT Motive needs to provide. The embedded competitor has worked hard to establish a perception of invincibility and being the default system of choice, so it is these issues that GT also needs to address if they are to be truly successful.
The recent co-operation with a leading UK repair network hints at the routes that GT are developing. By making it easy and relatively painless for insurers to establish new API links into the system few barriers, if any, to substantive change. Ultimately, the battle will be won and lost based on mitigating the risk of change and GT seem to understand the challenges ahead.
Successfully Managing Costs
Every claims department lives or dies by its ability to manage costs. The pressure to reduce both indemnity
spend and expenses is never-ending and any new estimating system must live up to that challenge. In this
respect, GT seems to hit the mark.
Claiming a 96-98% car parc coverage the GT Motive system can certainly do
the job needed of it. Whether that be insurers demanding accuracy, or repairers seeking comprehensive information. In the right hands, the system has the potential to be a useful tool for the claims department seeking to manage costs.
The estimating solution GT Global has been independently validated as a credible alternative to the current solution for the UK repair sector, using the same data in a more modern and connected solution’
David Vella. Executive Director, UK & Ireland
Existential Threats Abound
Aside from the sometimes-crushing weight of the traditional competition, it is also worth asking whether the future of collision repair lies in the use of any estimating capability.
Is there not an existential threat in the form of AI-led analysis of repair needs and methods? Historically,
insurers turned to the mandatory use of estimating systems by their approved suppliers to control costs and the quality of the repair.
Nowadays, more and more insurers are employing video and image analysis of damaged vehicles to achieve those same ends. Not to be found wanting, GT Motive has created GT Fusion – a system that partners with external partners to secure the same functionality. What the entire implications are for the future of estimating as a whole remains unclear but it would seem that GT is determined not to be left behind in this particular race.
Agility & Speed of Response
The creation of GT Fusion and similar initiatives is not a bad response, you might think, to a rapidly changing world and maybe a symbol of the speed and agility that seems to characterize this business. Being an embedded competitor clearly has massive advantages but the sheer size and complexity of such an enterprise leaves space for a business, such as GT, that responds rapidly to change and opportunity.
The jury is still out on how, exactly, the whole concept of estimating will develop. Certainly, the days of using such systems merely as a potent weapon of supplier control are well and truly over. Instead, the estimating tools available and the accompanying operational processes need to be positioned as an integral and outward-facing part of the customer experience, just as much as they are about managing indemnity costs.
‘Technology is evolving so rapidly, it’s hard to be the best at everything, and we believe strongly in giving our customers choice rather than locking them into a full technology solution from only one provider’
Demerie Hill. Executive Product Director
Open Platform Architecture: a Key Advantage
It is clear that GT Motive recognise the scale of the task ahead. Perhaps they have also learned from past marketing mistakes and so instead of seeking a head-on collision with incumbents they have chosen to create a distinct offer built around collaboration and an ‘open’ platform. In other words, they have chosen to use their estimating system as a platform of partnerships with both new and established technology providers, which clients can access as they wish.
Thus, instead of waiting for GT themselves to build capability in, for example, video imaging, the business is actively seeking partners who already have that technology available. The same is true of other solutions now becoming a default requirement in the world of claims management.
Theoretically there is no limit to the partners that can brought on board and there are massive advantages in this
approach. The speed and variety with which new solutions and capabilities can be made available to clients suddenly
makes the GT offer considerably more interesting than that of just ‘another’ estimating system. Existing partners include Inspekt Labs and Click-Ins, with others in the pipeline.
GT Motive is not the first open platform system, but it is the first to use a core estimating capability as the foundation of the offer, If, as we surmise, this estimating capability is as good as, and more likely better than, incumbent suppliers then the addition of an open and collaborative ecosystem offering speed to deploy and a variety of additional solutions has the potential to be a compelling story.
At the very least, you should talk to GT Motive about the offer they are now making in the market. A combination of a highly effective core estimating platform and, to my mind, the Open Platform approach to developing new applications has to make it worth a conversation.
If you have need of a new solution because you do not yet have a legacy system in place, then GT Motive should be high on your list of considerations. Those insurers and others who might not think that they enjoy such freedom of maneuver could well be surprised at the options available to them.
In making these suggestions I do not seek to decry the leading incumbent supplier. However, if we had all stuck to the dictum that ‘you could never go wrong by buying IBM’ then all of us today would be stuck with rapidly aging and uncompetitive machinery.
The world is moving on and GT Motive should be on your radar
Eddie Longworth, Claims Transformation
For details of how I may be able to help you to develop your claims and supply chain operations please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also visit my website at www.jelconsulting.co.uk