Beginning Jan. 22, BMW will offer an online restricted parts ordering platform for all collision repair shops.
BMW Certified Collision Repair Center (CCRC) National Manager Jonathan Inzano and DEKRA Collision Operations Manager Nicholas Saltamanikas held a webinar Jan. 11 to go over the steps to using the platform. A bulletin will be released before the platform goes live that will provide the website address and more details. A recording of the webinar, instructional videos, and written guides will also be available soon. An instructional session about the platform will be held at the CCRC Conference in February.
A grace period will follow the launch date wherein the email orders will still be accepted. BMW will share when the email option will end.
First, each shop needs to register as a new user and pay $499, plus tax where applicable. The cost is paid yearly.
Once registration is complete, an email will be sent with an activation link. At that time Saltamanikas recommends adding the email address to your safe senders list because all future notifications will come from that address.
After activation is complete, parts can be ordered. There are a couple of ways to request parts be ordered.
One uses CCC’s Secure Share network. First, click on “input part request” then select a dealership within the network. The delivery address should be the dealership’s. Saltamanikas recommends providing a direct email address to someone at the dealership rather than the general inbox for the Parts Department. The email address will be used to ask any questions, deal with order issues, and provide order notifications.
Next, enter the VIN, which can be done by copying and pasting or by uploading a photo of the VIN on the door jamb, dashboard, or windshield sticker. Click “decode VIN” and a prompt for CCC Secure Share will appear. Saltamanikas said this allows DEKRA to communicate with the shop via CCC to obtain a complete copy of the estimate and parts list, which is “useful and time-saving,” but not necessary.
After the PO number or the customer’s last name is entered, for the shop to keep track of the order, the request has to be validated.
Here, BMW’s requirements to submit a parts request will be shown, including vehicle photos, OEM repair procedures, the estimate, and the parts list. Once the screen says “proceed” and everything is in green, the request is ready to be placed, and “submit request” can be clicked.
If there are errors, the user will see red or yellow. For example, Saltamanikas said if repair procedures are entered for a different vehicle than the one parts are needed for, a notification would say something along the lines of, “Please check repair procedures. Vehicle doesn’t match estimate.”
Lastly, post-repair information has to be filled out, as required by BMW to validate that the vehicle has been repaired and what the vehicle looks like. Upload photos showing the four corners of the vehicle and the previously damaged area under “actions” then hit submit.
Once the part request is approved, the dealership will get an email from DEKRA that tells them who the body shop is that’s ordering, the PO number, and a list of part numbers with descriptions.
DEKRA has talked to Audatex and Mitchell about offering something similar to Secure Share through their estimating systems; however, neither has anything right now that would work for the ordering platform, according to Saltamanikas.
Users who aren’t on Secure Share will start a request by clicking “estimate upload.” This allows data to be imported into the system. From there, photos, parts lists, and repair procedures are uploaded for validation. Those who complete a manual entry should ensure the part number is correct, Saltamanikas said.
Inzano said orders will be placed on the same day they’re created except for shops on the West Coast. Due to the time difference, especially if it’s late in the day, the orders likely won’t be submitted until the next morning, he said. Upon approval, every part request will be time-stamped.
During the webinar, one repairer asked what the benefit would be of using the platform rather than ordering directly from the dealership. Inzano said the benefits include quicker ordering, approval, and delivery as well as allowing BMW to continue to expand its restricted parts program.
“The ordering process today was when we were at a smaller scale where it’s pretty much email-based ordering,” he said. “It works, but it’s really designed for a low-scale program. As our plans [are] to expand the program, that obviously needs to change to platform-based where everything’s tracked; everything is documented and you’re able to get these orders placed and approved in a very quick fashion.”
Featured image: 2023 BMW M340i xDrive, European model shown. (Provided by BMW)