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3M buys LeanTec, touts combination with RepairStack will improve inventory & digital solutions for shops

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Business Practices | Collision Repair
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3M on Monday announced its acquisition of LeanTec’s technology assets. LeanTec, according to 3M, is a provider of digital inventory management solutions for the automotive aftermarket in the U.S. and Canada.

3M stated in a news release that the buyout demonstrates the company’s commitment to the “connected bodyshop,” which is one of its “active digital platforms that integrates data capture and analysis with material product platforms, capitalizing on emerging needs and trends.” The term “connected bodyshop” is used to “describe a new level of digital tools and connectivity that enable and streamline shop operations, capitalizing on data analytics, predictive tools, integration and automation,” according to 3M.

“Businesses across industries are looking for innovative ways to harness the power of digital transformation – and body shop owners are no exception,” said Dave Gunderson, president, 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division, in the release. “This acquisition adds new levels of data integration and insights that will allow body shops greater visibility of their business operations, operational efficiency, and a better customer experience.”

3M noted that body shops need to “keep pace” with digitization to efficiently service vehicles as they become more and more sophisticated with sensors and digital features.

LeanTec’s technology complements 3M RepairStack Performance Solutions – a hardware and software system that helps ensure materials needed for safe and reliable repairs are available on hand, streamlines the blueprinting and billing process, and gives real-time insight into business performance, the release states.

“Customers can implement 3M RepairStack Performance Solutions whether or not they are buying 3M allied products today,” a 3M spokesperson told Repairer Driven News. “This system can provide the ability [to] trace material usage at the repair order level, promote compliance of the repair, get reimbursed for any brand of materials they use, and gather real-time and actionable insights into business performance to help improve the overall shop performance.”

With LeanTec technology, 3M will now be able to “deliver a more connected, digital bodyshop solution” via RepairStack in three key ways:

    • Technicians will be able to track and organize materials for repair orders while automating reorder from distributors through a universal, brand-agnostic inventory management system;
    • Provides enhanced performance analytics, including real-time snapshots of shop performance and metrics tracking that “would otherwise be missed on the shop floor;” and,
    • Ensures product is logged and usage is captured in alignment with given repair procedures to digitally integrate repair order invoicing and automate it “to allow the technician team to focus on the repair.”

“As technologies come together, this technology acquisition will help build on the inventory tracking and usage analytics so proper inventory levels are kept in the shop and materials are captured on the repair order,” 3M told RDN. “For example, if the repair requires corrosion protection, the system will allow technicians to scan the product and account for the use on the repair order, enabling full breadth of products to be tracked.  It can also provide interaction opportunities with existing software programs for two-way integration with repair order systems (i.e., body shop management system including CCC One Workflow). ”

For more information on 3M’s connected bodyshop digital platform, 3M asks repairers to fill out an online form here then a digital specialist will provide a walkthrough analysis.


Featured image credit: jetcityimage/iStock

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