Smash repair startup’s pivot to fleet pays off
Article published by The SMH and Age on 6th July 2021. Read the original full article here.
A company that offers and aggregates quotes for smash repairs doesn’t seem like an obvious beneficiary of the COVID pandemic, but some quick thinking has helped Sydney-based DingGo not just survive the lockdowns but thrive.
DingGo’s online platform lets users compare quotes from a network of repairers and when business started to dry up on the back of the first lockdown, the start-up switched its focus to the corporate fleet market.
The punt started paying off quickly as DingGo noticed a 61 per cent increase in customers from corporate fleet.
“We quickly adapted to a contactless solution, and we realised we were the only people in the market that can actually deliver a digital solution to smash repairs,” said DingGo founder and CEO Shaun Janks.
“We gave a workplace health and safety solution to the corporate world, things like contactless pickup and drop off, wipe downs, keyless stuff, the fact that payments were all done through our system. We mimicked as much as possible the e-commerce world in the smash repair space.”
Smash repairs is one of the few markets that still operates mostly offline, with customers often picking up the phone or driving around to multiple operators in order to get quotes. DingGo’s goal is to take every element of the process — from insurance to assessments to payments — and move it online.
“It’s just been untouched by the internet revolution. There are so many possibilities and the potential of connecting all the different players,” Mr Janks said.
“We’ve taken something that might have involved a staff member driving around for multiple quotes, emailing that to their line manager to get approval to then handle payments. We’ve completely streamlined that into a few photos off your phone.”
While the company continues to offer its platform to consumers, the pivot to fleet inspired by the pandemic has opened new opportunities. DingGo has raised $2 million in capital to invest in additional technology and capabilities, created a total integration with fleet manager SG Fleet, and is currently running a trial with one of the big four banks. In the last year, DinGo’s fleet sales have grown by around 1600 per cent.
The company makes money by charging repairers a listing fee to be included on the platform. Mr Janks said that in addition to offering repairers a stream of new customers, and saving fleet managers money, both get the benefit of enhanced data and analytics.
“[The data] is helping the repair network improve their performance, in terms of their competitiveness, their speed, and their customer service. But it also allows fleet managers and corporations to make much more informed decisions,” he said.
“Ranging from driver behaviour, to which vehicles in their fleet are cheaper to run, or just giving them oversight of what they’re actually spending in damage repairs. Which informs the bigger decisions on how they manage their risk policy, and how they manage their insurance.”