SAMBRA celebrates excellence

Short-term insurer, Santam, has won the prestigious SA Motor Body Repairers’ Association (SAMBRA), Insurer of the Year award for the third consecutive year.

Volkswagen received the top honours for all-round best OEM, RM took all three awards in the Paint Supplier category, scooping the Overall Service Excellence award in this category.  For the first time Snap-On scooped Overall Service Excellence in the Equipment Suppliers category as well as Best Product Support. The 2019 winner, Bosch, scooped Best Training in the category.  

Winner of the insurer Category for 2021 was Santam. From left: Charles Canning (SAMBRA) with Thabo Manamela (Santam) and Mark Groch (Lightstone)
Photography by Jeremy Glyn for CFPR in May 2022

The award ceremony, which this year was jointly hosted by SAMBRA and Lightstone, took place in Johannesburg on 19 May at Emperors Palace honouring top vehicle insurers and OEMs, as well as paint and equipment suppliers, for excellence in service provision to SAMBRA members.

SAMBRA, a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), represents the majority of motor body repairers in the country. SAMBRA focuses on creating and maintaining industry sustainability and development and the annual awards are one of its flagship projects.

“The annual SAMBRA Survey upon which these awards are based, was inaugurated in 2011 and each year since has monitored the business relationship between the insurance and motor body repair industry. It was subsequently expanded in 2015 to include OEMs, paint and equipment suppliers, each of which are vital stakeholders in the motor body repair industry. Due to Covid restrictions the last awards were held in 2019 and only reintroduced this year for the 2021 period,” says Richard Green, national director of SAMBRA. 

The survey is independently collated and audited by Lightstone, the headline sponsor of the awards. The survey targets the eligible 731 SAMBRA members nationwide to rate the insurers, OEMs and suppliers on the following factors: fair business practices, prompt payment, green practices, relationship satisfaction, quality of vehicle damage assessment and repairers’ interaction with claims staff, payment speed, customer service, training programmes, product support and this year a new factor, Covid Support.  

“The survey results have become an important gauge against which all partners evaluate themselves and their level of service to motor body repair businesses – and ultimately, the consumer. Its value is demonstrated by the unusually high response rate from SAMBRA members nationwide,” says Bernard De Vantier-Strydom, Head of Projects and Research at Lightstone.

Green, emphasised that the Association’s focus, has been, and remains, on fostering greater levels of cooperation and coordination between all players in the motor body repair industry, whether small and medium enterprises (SMEs) or large groups, insurance or other suppliers to increase collaboration between stakeholders, prepare the industry for new technologies and ensure the industry provides a fertile ‘hunting ground’ for new entrants.

“I would like to extend our congratulations to all our winners who continue to demonstrate excellence in their respective categories. Each one plays a vital role in our value chain and I look forward to continuing discussions with each one so together we can work towards creating a more robust and resilient industry.

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