Using technology to expedite better damage control

Tracking the condition of vehicles is critical for automotive rental businesses but it can also be time consuming and fraught with complexity when carried out using paper-based systems. That’s all set to change, however, with the introduction of M INSPECT, a vehicle inspection app for use on smartphones and tablet devices from PurCo.

Avoid turning a drama into a crisis

There’s only one reason to track vehicle condition and that is to place the responsibility for any damage onto the correct person, incident and situation. Whether it’s a minor scratch, picked up in a parking lot while the car is rented, or more serious damage caused by an accident, everything must be logged, recorded, documented and stored - expeditiously and accurately. No one wants to turn a drama into a crisis, where cars are concerned accidents happen, insurance claims ensue and for the vehicle renter, damage recovery is set in motion. It doesn’t have to be arduous and take up too much valuable time but it often does, especially for complex accident damage that has to be recorded and assessed by different parties in the recovery process.

Using paper, each party records information using separate forms, which are then collated and entered into disparate computer systems by different data entry operators. This takes time, creates multiple records and is vulnerable to mistakes and data conflicts.

Vehicle inspection app that works with or without wireless

M INSPECT is a cellular app, specifically designed for vehicle inspection by app developer for the fleet and mobility market Moblyx and brought to the US by leading damage recover specialist PurCo.

M INSPECT enables auto rental company employees to carry out a range of vehicle inspections (safety checks, return inspections, hand-overs and so on), with or without a live wireless connection. Interactive vehicle diagrams within the app allow damage to be recorded. The app also enables the recording and storage of supplemental images and videos. Every vehicle in the system has a record and all damage information is automatically stored alongside that data and with dates and accident (or incident) details. If no wireless connection is available at the time of recording damage, information is securely stored on the device and automatically downloaded to the central computer system as soon as wireless becomes available.

“Technology is one thing and we’re proud of our track record of providing dedicated software applications specifically for the auto rental sector. The vast knowledge and expertise PurCo has of managing the damage recovery process, in combination with our technology, makes for a cogent offering.” Says Gary Jefferies, sales and marketing director, Moblyx.

M INSPECT’s inspection process and content can be tailored to a variety of inspection types, such as regulatory or compliance checks, vehicle handover or collection, daily walk arounds, yard inventory condition checks and so forth and it supports all vehicle types. The app retains recorded damage, from one inspection to the next, until a repair is completed or insurance claim settled. The app also supports eSign, the capture of a digital signature from the customer, and it will email a signed copy of the inspection report to each party.

Advantages of using a smartphone app for vehicle inspections

The advantages of using a smartphone app for vehicle inspections is that it puts everything into the system in one go, there’s no need for rekeying and that makes the process quick and accurate. Plus, it’s more secure, no chance of bits of paper getting lost or misplaced. It keeps everything tidy – each party in the process gets the same information and can access the same record, which keeps disputes to a minimum and digital signature capture keeps it all legal and compliant.

David Purinton, PurCo’s president, talks about the value of cellular technology for damage control: “For auto rental companies, keeping assets in the best condition is a prerequisite for profitability. Anything that simplifies and streamlines that process is a plus. Customers want reassurances that, should anything happen and they end up in the unfortunate position of being responsible for vehicle damage, the reclaim process will be straight-forward and fair. M INSPECT provides our auto rental customers with the technology to do this.”

The PurCo approach

PurCo is the USA’s largest, independent vehicle rental claims management company and president David E. Purinton has over 25 years’ experience in the auto rental industry, working in regional management for two national car rental companies. He’s also been influential in on-site computer software training for the auto rental industry and understands the many benefits of such technology for dynamic businesses.

There are no upfront costs or monthly fees for M INSPECT, as is consistent with PurCo’s pricing policy over the years, the solution is paid for on a per-transaction basis, which is highly cost-effective.

The right technology solution, combined with cold, hard experience means that damage recovery can be expedited judiciously and to the benefit of everyone involved in the process. It’s also a way for auto rental companies to stand out from the crowd in a tough and competitive market.