LYNX Setting Up Industry Credential Registry

LYNX Services®, the third-party administrator for automotive glass claims, plans to create and host a national registry of the capabilities and capacities of automotive glass service providers.

In a press release issued Monday, LYNX announced that the registry will be a Web-based self-service tool enabling all auto glass repair/replacement service providers create a company profile that can be referenced by insurance and fleet companies seeking qualified glass service.

Auto glass companies will be able to create and maintain company profiles on the registry via the LYNX Web site beginning in mid-July. LYNX will use the profiles created in the industry services registry in the administration of glass claims for its insurance clients later this year.

In a conversation with glassBYTEs™, Chris Umble, vice president of strategic initiatives for LYNX, said the insurance companies have told LYNX that such a registry would be of interest to them. "The more sophisticated they become at providing satisfied customers, the less customer turnover and better for them," he explained.

"In today's marketplace, all customers expect a competitive price. What we're seeing among customers is growing interest in not only competitive price, but the desire for more knowledge of the service provider's qualifications and professional attributes," pointed out John Outcalt, LYNX president. "In addition, we're responsive to glass service providers that would like to promote their quality service attributes in a price competitive marketplace. By creating the registry, LYNX is responding to an unmet need for a mechanism that allows glass service providers to represent their verifiable capabilities to the insurance and fleet industries, and enables insurers to use this information to better serve their policyholders."

The registry will enable glass service providers to specify their company's service area (including mobile service area) by ZIP code, and also record their glass repair and/or replacement services, hours of operation, emergency or after-hours contact information and service capacity. This is a change from traditional phone numbers representing the service area.

Another feature of the registry allows the service provider to record professional credentials, such as AGRSS registration, industry certifications, windshield adhesive system training/certifications and state licensing, if any, of the company and its service technicians, providing additional opportunities for differentiation.

Third-Party Verification
According to Paul McFarland, director of programs administration for LYNX, the verification of information entered on the registry will be a critical and ongoing initiative. "We recognize that the information on the registry is only as valuable to customers as it is reliable," he said. "In hosting this self-service Web application, LYNX also recognizes the need to ensure the accuracy and authenticity of a company's represented capabilities and capacity. Toward that end, we are working with other key constituents in the industry to provide third-party verification of data on the registry."

Any industry certification, qualification, training or other professional credentials to be included on the registry will require the commitment of the sponsoring organization for validation. Initial discussions have been held and were well received with the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council (AGRSS™) and National Glass Association (NGA).

"All glass service providers, regardless of size, must have technicians in order to provide the auto glass repair/replacement services desired by vehicle owners," said McFarland. "Industry organizations such as AGRSS, NGA and others have successfully created valid standards for training and certification of technicians, and now there's one central location for glass service providers to show what steps they have taken to advance quality, technical, and professional capabilities of their companies."

"At LYNX Services, our purpose has always been to link customers with auto glass service needs to their choice of qualified glass service providers," says Outcalt. "Spearheading development of the industry services registry is the latest illustration of this commitment."

glassBYTEs asked Umble how he responds to the reaction that this is just another ploy for PPG Industries, parent of LYNX, to gather information on auto glass shops. "If it is that, it will fail because companies won't use it and it will have no value to the insurance companies," he stated.

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