Factoring processes in car repair technologies: Q&A with Arnie Product Owner Satheesh Nunna

Factoring helps vehicle repairers to access the funds they need in order to complete jobs. Arnie Product Owner Satheesh Nunna tells us more.

Vehicle repairers often need access to finance to complete jobs, and factoring is a popular option among many professionals working within the industry.

Satheesh Nunna, Product Owner of Arnie at Yarris, told us more about how factoring works, what features the organization’s software has to support these needs and the benefits it can bring to customers. Factoring is a process where a vehicle repairer asks a bank or a financial provider to provide them with upfront finance in order to carry out or finish work on a repair job.

For example, an insurer will get in touch with a repairer and inform them of a vehicle that needs fixing. The repairer may have cash in hand to order the necessary parts to fix the vehicle or they can instead go and talk to a bank or a financier to secure money to perform the repairs. The repairer will then pay back the financier when the invoice is settled.

This concept is called factoring, and it is not just for the car repair industry, it is available among many service providers and industries. How does factoring typically work in practice? Factoring is not a new concept; it has been in the industry for many years, but most repairers traditionally do this manually.

The repairer provides an estimate to the insurer that fixing the vehicle will cost X amount of dollars, which the insurer approves. Depending on the size of the repair job received from an insurer, the costs could vary from $500 to upwards of $10,000.

Once they get a job to fix a vehicle, repairers talk to a banker, who will ask for certain documents that can take two or three days to process.

The repairer then talks to a factoring company, of which there are about 12 in Australia for this purpose. The repairer provides the approved estimate to the finance company and will receive 100 per cent or X per cent of the total cost of fixing the vehicle. After receiving approval from the financier, the repairer can order the parts to fix the vehicle.

Once he gets an invoice from the parts supplier, the parts supplier’s invoice will be emailed to the financier, who will pay directly to the parts supplier or the repairer.

After several days, the financier approves or rejects the request, so the repairer can’t begin fixing the vehicle in the meantime. Even if they receive approval, they must order the parts and then begin fixing the vehicle.

A job can take a minimum of 10 to 15 days to complete. So, if a motorist is in an accident and needs their vehicle repaired, it takes 10 days to book for an assessment and another 10 days to fix the problems, resulting in 20+ days without a car, and a great deal of inconvenience. Yarris has a system called Arnie, a motor vehicle claims management software application used by insurers, assessors and repairers. One of the key areas of the software is the factoring functionality we developed to be speed up and automate the repair process.

Our aim was to ensure that repairers get instant responses on their factoring requests, instead of having to wait three to four days in a manual process.

We’ve recently made further enhancements to the factoring by partnering with a company called OneTick. We developed an API that sends all the details for a claim onto the factoring company automatically. This includes the repairer’s information, the size of the job and the insurer-approved estimate.

The factoring company then performs a risk analysis and responds back with an approval or a rejection, all in under 30 seconds. Not only does this eliminate a large amount of paperwork, the amount of time taken to receive approvals drops from up to five days down to less than a minute.

To activate factoring the repairer selects an option in Arnie to establish they want to factor a particular job. A checkbox is available, and depending on the size of the job they can wish to factor or not. If they select factoring, then the details will be sent to OneTick.

When we spoke to our suppliers, some of them did not realize they could access the factoring functionality within Arnie. They were doing it manually by filling out forms previously. We have since provided a step-by-step guide video and distributed it to all our repairers to ensure they are fully aware of the benefits available.

OneTick is also now offering pre-finance. Until recently, it was only possible to factor an invoice in the industry. Within Arnie, we provide a pre-finance option, so before the estimate is approved, repairers can confirm with OneTick if finance is available. Pre-finance is a new concept and it is not there in the industry at the moment. Arnie recently underwent a refresh. What benefits did this bring? Out of all Yarris’ products, Arnie is comparatively straightforward and lightweight. We launched the product in 2004, and have made massive enhancements during that time. The technology and functionality have always been excellent, but we felt the look and feel of Arnie had become a little dated in comparison to our other products.

Therefore, our team have performed a complete user interface update to bring a very fresh look to the system. We now use one of Google’s most popular technologies, CSS, to deliver a more modern aesthetic to Arnie. In addition, the system is now fully compatible with a range of devices that vehicle repairers use, including tablets, smartphones, laptops and desktops.

These changes provide more mobility, but they also provide additional functionality. Modern websites utilize pop-ups, instant messages and a range of other features to help users, which had previously not been a part of Arnie. Now, the system has all these features and more, making it more responsive with optimal navigation.

More exciting updates and improvements are planned for Arnie in the coming year to bring additional value to our users.

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