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This question is asked frequently in the collision industry and with good reason. During the estimate process sometime we may see a time listed in the database that just doesn’t seem right. Or maybe we received an estimate from an adjuster and ask the same question. So what do we do? I have listed below several options that you can utilize as tools to answer and solve this industry wide question.
1. P-Pages and guides
Every estimating system publishes an estimating guide or P-Pages. Although all three information providers call them something different, CCC/Motor is the Guide to Estimating, Mitchell has the Collision Estimating Guide and Audatex has the Database Reference Manual, these guides are a crucial tool during the estimating process. All three information providers build their labor different so these guides will give an insight on what may be included or not included. One thing to remember is that these are just “guides” and the OE repair procedure takes precedence and can sometimes overrule items listed in these guides.
2. Estimate Notes
CCC and Mitchell utilize notes within the estimating system and will be necessary during the estimate process. These notes could list additional included or not included items, single use parts or address a deviation from the guide because of an OE procedure. One example of an estimate note found in CCC One is for the 2010 Toyota Highlander. The footnote for this vehicles states the bolts for the side curtain airbag are not reusable and should be replace if removed.
3. Collision Associations or groups
When stumped by a problem that you or your staff cannot find a solution for then if you are part of a collision or automotive association you may be able to look for help here as well. ASA , AASP , and the SCRS are three well known organizations that provide help for the collision industry. With an experienced staff and a growing number of members these organizations can provide resources not found anywhere else.
4. The DEG
The DEG provides several resources that a shop can take advantage of to find solutions to specific problems as well as industry problems. Submitting an inquiry to the DEG can provide you with answers to questions like: Why is the labor so low for this operation? Why is this part not listed in the database? Why is this item showing as is included? By submitting an inquiry, the DEG will work with the information provider to correct the issue or get an answer to your question. Alongside the inquiry process the DEG has an extensive database that you can use when writing an estimate. If you question a labor operation within the estimating system the database is a good tool to utilize and see if someone else has the same problem or see if it has been addressed before with the IP. By referencing the database you may find new information that was unclear if that you possible where not aware of. An example would be DEG inquiry number 3127. This inquiry was submitted because the originator thought the time of .1 was too low to replace an a/c line and felt the time should be increased. The response from Audatex was that within the estimating system the time listed to replace the a/c line is to disconnect and connect ONLY, and the time to actually remove the part from the vehicle is not included and should be addressed as a manual entry. You can visit the DEG at www.degweb.org to submit an inquiry or view the database.
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