Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F28

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

BLOCKCHAIN
BREAKTHROUGH
Tech that powers bitcoin helps make collision repair data more secure



T

ALEX KWANTEN
foj@autonews.com

he high-profile digital currency bitcoin may seem far removed from a
dealership's body shop. But the technology that makes bitcoin and other
cryptocurrencies possible is poised to become an everyday part of collision repair.
That technology is called blockchain. Mitchell International, a collision industry software
provider in San Diego, is developing a blockchain-based network for securely sharing the
data of body shops, insurers and repair customers. Mitchell says the system is the first application of blockchain in automotive repair.
"We've been trying to drag everybody to
blockchain for two years," says Scott Biggs, CEO
of Assured Performance Network in Laguna
Hills, Calif. Assured administers the certification of more than 3,000 collision repair centers for a
variety of automaker repair
networks, including those
of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford and Hyundai.
Body shops compile customer names and addresses, account records and insurance reporting data, all
Sattler: Repair
shared with many parties
history helpful
during a claim. Such information is often the target of identity thieves.
Consequences of a data breach at a shop can
range from settling with customers whose information has been stolen to losing its Direct
Repair Program status.
Blockchain, Biggs says, "provides data accessibility" while making it hard to hack.
"Think about replacing a windshield after
an accident," Biggs told Fixed Ops Journal.
"Somebody repaired it, but using what technique? Was the windshield new, used or aftermarket? What tools did they use?"
Such information tends to be stored in the records of a single body shop, dealership or insurer, but is unavailable to other repairers. Blockchain could log all of that information, Biggs
says, helping with recall and repair compliance.

PAGE 28

APRIL 2018

Blockchain basics
A blockchain is a digital ledger of
individual data entries (blocks) that
are recorded, linked and secured
through the use of encryption
technology. A new program applies
blockchain to the exchange of
collision repair data.
 Copies of the ledger are stored on
every computer that has used it -
the "distributed" network.
 A new, encrypted block is written
every time a transaction occurs
between two of these computers.
The transaction requires both
ledgers to match.
 Each new block continues the
encryptions - a series of random
letters and numbers identifying an
individual block - of all previous
blocks, maintaining the chain.
Breaking the encryption is virtually
impossible.
 The technology not only can verify
transactions for digital currencies
such as bitcoin, but also can
transmit and store sensitive
information.
 Because ledger copies are
constantly compared, none of the
records can be forged or changed.
 Because the ledgers are stored on
many computers, they are not held
by a single server or company that
could be hacked.

"Any time you can find out information about
a prior repair, it's going to be beneficial," says
Randy Sattler, body shop manager at Rydell
Cars, which operates Chevrolet-Buick-GMCCadillac and Honda-Nissan dealerships in
Grand Forks, N.D.
A permanent electronic "receipt" of logged
repairs, Sattler says, would reduce a shop's potential liability by allowing insurers and shops

to identify previous substandard repairs.
Mitchell International's blockchain initiative seeks to help body shops transact information more securely than under current file
standards created by the Collision Industry
Electronic Commerce Association, an industry trade group.

'Trusted partners'
Those standards, says Olivier Baudoux,
Mitchell's vice president for global product
strategy, "have been left nonencrypted." As a result, he says, body shop data have "been left at
the discretion of individuals who have access to
the files, to do whatever they want with it."
Blockchain, Baudoux says, "is a strong departure from one gatekeeper controlling the
data and potentially charging for it." Its encryption, he says, makes attacks on individual
computers more difficult.
The Collision Industry
Electronic Commerce Association did not respond
to requests for comment.
In 2011, a ransomware
attack on a computer at
Rydell Cars' body shop
eliminated months of data
from its Mitchell-sourced Baudoux:
estimating system. "It was Members
11 miserable weeks of try- control data
ing to piece everything
back together," Sattler says, requiring the
company to rethink its information technology standards.
Data stored on a blockchain are backed up
by copies on thousands of computers. At the
same time, Mitchell's system allows users to
filter out items they don't need for specific
transactions - for example, parts orders
don't require the name of a repair customer.
Data can be made to expire from the system
forever after a set period. And only "trusted
partners" can see the data, Mitchell says.
Dealerships and body shops are often wary
of sharing data because they have little
see BLOCKCHAIN, Page 29



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018

Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F1
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F2
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F4
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F5
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F6
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F7
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F8
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F9
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F10
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F11
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F12
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F13
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F14
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F15
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F16
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F17
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F18
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F19
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F20
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F21
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F22
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F23
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F24
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F25
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F26
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F27
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F28
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F29
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F30
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F31
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F32
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F33
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F34
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F35
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F36
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F37
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F38
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F39
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F40
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F41
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F42
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F43
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F44
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201708
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com