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Several years ago, the late Beryl Carlew presented the results of his year-long study of direct repair programs (DRP) to the Collision Industry Conference. The study, Commitment to Excellence in DRP, was funded by a collision repair group and several enlightened industry suppliers. They sought to identify and quantify repairers’ perspectives on one of the most hotly debated claim programs of our time: DRP.

The study involved all-day meetings with more than 350 repairers from the U.S. and Canada, and included an analysis of DRP in general, a frank review of specific insurer programs, and a summary of how the participants felt DRP processes could be modified to improve relationships, efficiencies, and customer service.

Whether or not the study had much impact on DRP programs is debatable, but the study remains a thought leadership piece that was likely ahead of its time. Elements of the study’s recommendations can be found in most honest discussions of DRP, and some insurers may have modified their programs to address some of the issues noted as specific to their programs.

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