Tag Archive | "dent & ding roundup"

Dent & Ding Roundup for P&A Providers


Dent and Ding isn’t a new category for F&I by any means, but in recent years it has seen a surge of growth, according to our experts — Steven Apicella, president of dentGuy Network Inc.; Aaron Cooper, national director of F&I, Dent Wizard; and Troy Good, vice chairman, Dent Zone.

All three pointed out that the segment’s growth has brought a renewed emphasis on service. Providers who private label their services expect the end users — both dealers and consumers — to associate the product with quality repairs and service, so they will be more likely to want to use it again.

That being said, each of them approaches that mission in a different way. dentGuy Network and Dent Zone each use licensed technicians, although they go about finding them in different ways, while Dent Wizard prides itself that all of their technicians are full time Dent Wizard employees. Along with varying methods paintless dent repair that each of them has developed, the different approaches to service give providers a real choice when making the decision on who to partner with.

Appearance protection has continued to expand into other areas, like windshield replacement, or wheel repair, but dent and ding continues to be one of the category drivers. As a stand-alone product or as part of a bundle, end-consumers see the value of dent and ding, and providers who want to offer a wide range of services are finding that private labeling is a great way to get a quality product to add to the mix.

Click on each of the company names below to access the Q&A from each of the three companies, so you can see, in their own words, what sets them apart from the rest.

Dent & Ding Roundup

dentGuy Network Inc.

dentGuy Network Inc.
Steven Apicella, President

Please give me a little bit of your company history, and how you became involved in the Dent & Ding product category.

dentGuy Network or “DGN” has successfully supported and enhanced appearance protection programs, including the Dent category, for over a decade. DGN focuses on providing an unparalleled service solution for Third Party Administrators (TPAs) by leveraging a premier network of technicians and proprietary claims management technology.

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Dent Wizard

Dent Wizard
Aaron Cooper, National Director of F&I

Please give me a little bit of your company history, and how you became involved in the Dent & Ding product category.

Dent Wizard was founded in 1983 by people who were innovators in the tools and processes behind paintless dent removal, today known as PDR. Today, with more than 1,500 employees working in the U.S. and Canada, we provide on-site cosmetic reconditioning services and products to the automotive industry through our relationships with dealerships, auto auctions, rental companies, body shops, insurance companies and manufacturers. We’re an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, a leading global private equity investment firm.

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Dent Zone

Dent Zone
Troy Good, Vice Chairman

Please give me a little bit of your company history, and how you became involved in the Dent & Ding product category.

Dent Zone Companies Inc. is the auto industry’s original and largest provider of dent and door ding protection for new and pre-owned vehicle leases and purchases. The company is a privately owned corporation with its headquarters in the Las Colinas business district in Irving, Texas. Dent Zone offers Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) and all auto reconditioning services throughout the United States and Canada.

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Dent Zone


Troy Good, Vice Chairman

Please give me a little bit of your company history, and how you became involved in the Dent & Ding product category.

Dent Zone Companies Inc. is the auto industry’s original and largest provider of dent and door ding protection for new and pre-owned vehicle leases and purchases. The company is a privately owned corporation with its headquarters in the Las Colinas business district in Irving, Texas. Dent Zone offers Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) and all auto reconditioning services throughout the United States and Canada.

Dent Zone founder Troy Good began his career in 1986 in the automotive aftermarket industries. It became clear to him that there was an unmet demand for a dealer based aftermarket PDR program. In response to this demand, Dent Zone was established in 1991. Throughout the 90’s, the company continued to build relationships in the PDR industry and began creating our current network of technicians. With an established network in place, Dent Zone created a catastrophic division repairing hail damage for the top insurance companies.

In 1999, Dent Zone was the first to create and market a PDR service contract. Since its inception, Dent Zone has helped standardize the PDR industry and continues to be an effective and positive agent of change in the PDR arena. The company has played an important role in heightening customer awareness of PDR and driving the industry toward nationwide compliance with this product.

With an established network of technicians and the creation of a PDR service contract, Dent Zone then set out to become a licensed contract administrator in all 50 states as well as Canada. Today, Dent Zone continues to expand internationally and is currently developing a footprint in Australia, UK and Brazil.

How do you differentiate your product from those of your competitors? What makes you different?

Dent Zone first and foremost differentiates itself because it was first established as a true PDR and reconditioning company. With established national relationships in the reconditioning business and training we created our expansive technician network. Dent Zone is unique in that it has the largest network of technicians throughout the United States and Canada. Our network of over 5,000 certified technicians nationally provides the largest footprint in the country. This network allows us to provide convenient claims processing to customers by having technicians in their area.

Dent Zone also sets itself apart by the superior level of claims customer service, which is represented in a 97% CSI (customer satisfaction index) score from customers. We provide a “no hassle” claims process with unlimited repairs. We take all of the questions and concerns away from the dealership making this a “no heat” product for F&I because of our claims process. We also have a dedicated inside and outside sales support team. Our outside sales team is comprised of industry professionals with vast experience in automotive finance.

PDR Linx Technician Training Program provides an instruction opportunity for someone to learn the basics of the paintless dent repair craftsmanship. Our mentorship program provides trainees with the tools and skills needed to work on their own, with confidence, when completed.

What is your primary sales channel? How do you market to that channel?

Dent Zone has been selected as a preferred channel partner for OEM PDR programs and has established strategic market alliances with OEMs, large dealer groups including many of the top 10 dealer groups, and ancillary product providers. We also private label PDR programs for service contract administrators. Our current executive management team is leveraged with highly qualified individuals with extensive industry experience and is committed to ensuring the long term success of the company through innovative F&I product marketing, exceptional customer service, and unique business partnerships.

Have technological advances impacted your product in the last few years? If so, how? If not, do you see technology playing a factor in your product offerings in the future?

From a contracting perspective, we are always on the cutting edge of technology in improving how we do business and meeting the demands of the industry. Our proprietary administrative system, LinxManager, offers state of the arts claims management and e-contracting capabilities which integrates seamlessly with dealers’ data management companies. DMS integration enables dealers to see how PDR complements their product offerings and has the flexibility to assimilate with lender reserve guidelines. Dent Zone also partners with nationally recognized e-business software providers to assist dealers with contract remittance.

The auto industry is constantly evolving with new design models and the manufacturing of metals used in automotive panels. The PDR industry also evolves with the changes in automotive design and manufacturing improvements. New specialized tools have been created allowing access to more panels. These new specialized tools and advances in PDR techniques enable technicians to do repairs on every sheet metal panel.

Where do you see the most growth potential for Dent & Ding products?

A variety of automotive products have surfaced over the past ten years, however few with the relativity and consumer appeal as the Paintless Dent Repair product. PDR is one of the more practical and consumer friendly products in the automotive industry today. Unlike many products in the marketplace, PDR offers value for all demographics, not one segment of buyers. PDR continues to maintain a high perceived value for consumers, high overall satisfaction rate, as well as a money saving alternative to traditional repair methods. PDR has proven to be the appearance protection product most requested by consumers. The diversity of PDR products and programs are endless because the PDR product adapts well to the changing needs of the F&I industry. The most growth potential comes with the exploding dealer demand for “bundled” products. PDR is an integral component of a complete auto protection bundled product.

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Dent Wizard


Aaron Cooper, National Director of F&I

Please give me a little bit of your company history, and how you became involved in the Dent & Ding protection product category.

Dent Wizard was founded in 1983 by people who were innovators in the tools and processes behind paintless dent removal, today known as PDR. Today, with more than 1,500 employees working in the U.S. and Canada, we provide on-site cosmetic reconditioning services and products to the automotive industry through our relationships with dealerships, auto auctions, rental companies, body shops, insurance companies and manufacturers. We’re an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, a leading global private equity investment firm.

After earning our reputation as the North American leader in quality PDR services, including industry-leading warranties, technician training and responsible business management, Dent Wizard expanded its cosmetic reconditioning services under our Frontline Fast program. Our services today include PDR; chip and scratch repair; bumper repair; wheel scratch and scuff repair; leather and vinyl repair; carpet and fabric repair; headlight brightening; pinstriping; and exterior blackout.

How do you differentiate your product from those of your competitors? What makes you different?

Ding Shield is the company’s F&I product for agents and F&I managers in automotive dealerships, and it remains Dent Wizard’s top-selling F&I product today since its introduction in the mid-2000s. Ding Shield provides consumers with unlimited ding and dent protection, plus a hail deductible benefit.

In February 2013, the company launched Ding Shield Preferred. Ding Shield Preferred covers all aspects of Ding Shield ding and dent repair, plus windshield chip repair and cosmetic alloy wheel repair. All repairs are performed on site at the dealership by fully-trained Dent Wizard and Safelite AutoGlass technicians using the latest repair technology. The plan provides coverage for up to six years and is backed by Great American, an A.M. Best A-rated insurance company and Dent Wizard’s lifetime limited warranty.

Another differentiator is that we train our technicians very well. They go through an intense eight-week training course, and then we follow up with continuous training on a yearly basis to keep their skills up to our standards. They learn the best processes on the variety of repair and reconditioning services we offer today.

Dent Wizard is also differentiated with our industry-leading warranties, our broad geographical coverage, and our corporate culture of information sharing. Here’s an example of the latter: If one of our technicians in one part of the U.S. encounters a unique repair challenge with a new car model, chances are he can network with another Dent Wizard technician in the U.S. who has encountered the same challenge, and learn from that tech.

What is your primary sales channel? How do you market to that channel?

For our F&I product for auto dealers, Ding Shield and Ding Shield Preferred, our retail distributor channel is through agents, and that makes up the bulk of our sales. Traditionally we only sold under our own brand, but we’ve “seen the light” so to speak, and we now also have the ability to private label to other providers who want to enter into that arrangement with us as well.

One thing that sets Ding Shield apart is that it’s the only product where employees, and not just sub-contracted technicians, do all the repairs. Our reputation is on the line with every repair. That makes us unique from anyone else.

Have technological advances impacted your product in the last few years? If so, how? If not, do you see technology playing a factor in your product offerings in the future?

The different types of vehicles, with the different types of metals, have changed things. Most cars today are made of steel, but many more are using aluminum, which acts and behaves differently from steel. Because of that we’ve had to come up with different training, repair methods and proprietary tools to work with the variety of metals.

Digital technology has also had an impact. Today, many of our technicians use the latest digital technology to help with thorough estimating, invoicing and communications with dealerships and other customers.

Where do you see the most growth potential for Dent & Ding products?

I think we’re on the verge of a pretty steep growth curve. If you had asked five years ago, sales growth of PDR as a stand-alone product was marginal. In the last few years we’ve seen tremendous growth, due in large part to the expansion of our services and products.

With the addition of Frontline Fast services, as mentioned earlier, plus expanding our popular F&I product, Ding Shield, with Ding Shield Preferred, we’re on a positive trajectory. Our growth ultimately comes from offering products and services that car owners and dealerships want, provided in a responsible manner, at a fair price point. I’m confident that business model will continue.

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dentGuy Network Inc.


Steven Apicella, President

Please give me a little bit of your company history, and how you became involved in the Dent & Ding product category.

dentGuy Network or “DGN” has successfully supported and enhanced appearance protection programs, including the Dent category, for over a decade. DGN focuses on providing an unparalleled service solution for Third Party Administrators (TPAs) by leveraging a premier network of technicians and proprietary claims management technology.

Similar to alloy wheel repair and windshield repair, PDR is a very popular method of maintaining a vehicle’s appearance. Customers buy new vehicles because they like new. The customer’s desire to maintain their new vehicle appearance creates a significant revenue opportunity for TPAs. Offering appearance protection benefits to a consumer — via a service contract or limited warranty — primarily relies on the promise of a great service experience to the customer. The execution of that promise is DGN’s commitment.

How do you differentiate your product from those of your competitors? What makes you different?

DGN has focused on three primary objectives to help properly grow the appearance protection program segment of our industry.

First, is the commitment to the service itself by handpicking the best technicians, using an ongoing secret shopper method. This commitment to technician recon and support ensures that DGN provides its TPA partners “THE” tech for great service, not just a tech.

Second, DGN created a proprietary claims management technology to easily manage the contractual promise of service to the customer, the claims management by the TPA, an easy-to-use service drive process and communication to the handpicked technician. DGN’s technology easily integrates with a TPA’s existing admin technology, providing a plug-n-play enhanced claims management tool.

DGN technology allows a customer to fully process-a-claim via a private labeled website 24/7/365. It provides a touch-based, 3D image of the customer’s vehicle type and a palette of various damage photos for a customer to easily process a claim. This method accurately secures the claim details, without the customer having to know the anatomy of a car or how to describe the damage (both of which can be difficult). Customers generally don’t know the difference between a fender or a quarter panel, and its difficult to describe a dent. However aided by DGN technology, the customer simply points and clicks to identify the proper vehicle panel and damage type. This makes filing a claim simple for a customer, but protects TPAs reserves by accurately identifying non-covered claims.

Finally, DGNs claims management technology is easily private labeled. Private labeling of the service experience, redefines a private labeled program beyond just the marketing materials.

What is your primary sales channel? How do you market to that channel?

DGN is a service and technology support solution for a TPA that wants to offer a premier appearance protection program with benefits including dent, alloy wheel, road hazard wheel/tire, windshield, headlight, protective film and environmental damage. Our plug-n-play methods can energize an existing TPA appearance protection program or help build a new premier program. Visit dentguy.com for details.

Have technological advances impacted your product in the last few years? If so, how? If not, do you see technology playing a factor in your product offerings in the future?

Technology drives the efficiency and accuracy of proper appearance claims management. DGN’s intuitive technology provides the perfect balance of fast claim processing while protecting TPAs from unnecessary losses.

Where do you see the most growth potential for Dent & Ding products?

Dent protection programs thrive within a multiple appearance benefit program and will continue to add significant value in those offerings.

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