I read with interest the piece “Insurers face supply shortage as bodyshops decline” (News, 25 October). It has been widely recognised in the past that the skill required to repair parts has been lost as people no longer want to be associated with vehicle repair when there are better career prospects outside the motor industry.

But more recently there has been a change in the market. Skilled staff from other countries, together with training and apprenticeship centres have re-introduced the skill level into the bodyshop sector.

There is still a way to go, however, as vehicle repairs are increasingly complex , in some cases requiring complete specialist repair facilities.

ACM ULR, the claims management arm of the BGL Group, adopts a philosophy of “repair rather than replace” whenever possible.

This approach creates savings for the insurer, a fast return to the policyholder and benefits the environment.

In many cases repairing rather than replacing a part which is part of the vehicle’s structure is better for the vehicle as original factory welds and seams remain in tact.

Our strategy is to contract with independent repairers rather than large franchised groups. We have adopted a partnership approach with 150 hand-picked, “best of breed” repairers who are contracted to deliver a superior level of customer service within strict service level agreements. The deployment of a vehicle repair is done through our state-of-the-art system, which provides a fast and efficient electronic notification to the nearest repairer properly equipped to deliver the work required.

Our experience is that there are plenty of highly skilled repairers out there, and those that truly deliver great service will remain.

Bob Perry

managing director

ACM ULR

Part of the BGL Group