PPG LINQ™ is bringing about a complete shift in how paint repair processes work. The goal of this digital platform is to make processes easier, faster and more profitable. This ambitious project wouldn't be where it is today without the worldwide collaboration between a number of PPG colleagues, and among them Oscar Vadillo Nistal, digital business solutions manager, EMEA.
From Reports to Digitalization
Oscar Vadillo crossed paths with PPG almost 12 years ago, after finishing his studies of International Business and working for multiple R&D projects.
His PPG journey began in Barcelona, in the position of marketing and business analyst, "basically doing all kinds of reports", and led him to his current role as digital business solutions manager for EMEA, based in London.
All positions that Oscar filled were related to the digitalization of body shops. One of the projects that Oscar started years ago was developing a tool called Collision Services, which includes a stock management solution that allowed to automate the paint ordering process. Ultimately, he joined the global team preparing to launch PPG LINQ to the marketplace.
"The idea for PPG LINQ
we see today was the result of a detailed analysis of the PPG’s customer journey. I am grateful that I was able to participate in developing it all the way from the beginning. Not just on my own, but with an incredible team of people without whom it would be impossible."
Giving a Shade of Innovation to Paint Repair Processes
PPG LINQ is an end-to-end digital ecosystem that focuses on maximizing the revenue of body shops and repair processes using advanced technologies that saves time, human resources and reduces product consumption.
With PPG LINQ, you can carry out the whole process of identifying the right color, mixing it and managing your whole repair just from your computer or phone. There's no longer a need to write anything down on paper.
Oscar highlights that before the launch of PPG LINQ, a so-called color box with metallic color panels would be brought to a store, containing about 6,000 color samples. The current digital library offers 70,000 of them.
With PPG LINQ, there are now two new tools available to the entire refinish industry. The first is the PPG DigiMatch™ spectrophotometer, a small device that can fit in your hand and accurately reads the color of a vehicle with a high-quality camera featuring six angles. The perfect combination for the PPG DigiMatch is the revolutionary PPG VisualizID™ software, which helps users find the best color match and variants from PPG's extensive color match library directly on the screen.
That's the real magic! You can see a visualization of your color before you start mixing, reducing the need for spray outs and sample mixes.
Additionally, the PPG Refinish team has disrupted the way these tools are commercialized.
"We believe this is the future of our industry, so we wanted to ensure that any body shop in EMEA, regardless of size, could afford to adopt these new tools. For this reason, we have created a new subscription model called PPG LINQ PRO that gives end-users the ability to access both hardware and software without the need for significant upfront investment, but just by paying a monthly fee. This is a total paradigm shift for us."
The PPG LINQ PRO subscription pack available in EMEA includes PPG VisualizID, PPG DigiMatch and other tools necessary for body shops to complete their digital ecosystem.
Breaking the Mold With Digital Tools
PPG LINQ was launched in the EMEA in the early 2023 but has been available for the U.S. market for some time. The feedback received from local customers is positive, but it was a challenge to educate them in the value of digitalization.
The paint industry is very traditional and the people who work in it are very comfortable doing things just like they used to, without seeking innovation.
Digitalization in the paint industry increases revenue and the profitability of painting processes, so "if you are going to up your revenue by thousands of Euros every month, it is fair to pay for the tools that give you this option".
The Future of PPG LINQ Is Young
The technology we use for PPG LINQ is exclusive to our company. "In the next decade, it will bring a complete revolution in how body shops perform color identification. We would like to help our customers innovate and digitalize their processes,” Oscar shares.
The color-matching technology of PPG LINQ can also be applied to other segments, such as architectural coatings.
Digitalization in itself can be seen as a way to make the car repair industry more attractive to younger generations. Working in a body shop will suddenly sound cooler with the access to advanced digital tools in combination with "nice cars".