Auto collision estimating

3rd Quarter Collision Advice Survey “Who Pays For What? Available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 5, 2015

FOR MORE INFORMATION: John Yoswick, jyoswick@spiritone.com, (503) 335-0393

Third survey now open, asking ‘who pays for what’ in terms of aluminum repair, other items

The third of Collision Advice’s quarterly “Who Pays For What? surveys is taking place throughout October, asking shops about their billing practices (and insurer payment practices) related to aluminum repair, shop materials (like panel bonding adhesive) and shop (or sublet) services and fees.

“Our previous two surveys earlier this year, looking at refinish and structural repair operations, had great participation and are providing the industry with what I think is the most comprehensive data ever on ‘who pays for what,’” Mike Anderson of Collision Advice said. “This latest one looks at a variety of important topics, so while I’m intrigued to see what we learn about aluminum repair rates, there are also just as many questions in the survey for shops not yet offering aluminum repair.”

Every shop that completes the survey (and provide optional contact information) receives the survey findings at no charge.

Shops can take the survey (during the month of October) by clicking here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MNY8SWC

Anderson said the survey, which will take about 15-30 minutes, should be completed by the shop owner, manager or estimator who is most familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of the largest national insurers. Each individual shop location (whether a stand-alone business or part of a multi-shop operation) may submit one response to the survey. Each shop’s individual responses are held in the strictest confidence and are not released in any way; only cumulative data is released.

More details about the quarterly “Who Pays for What?” surveys, including the findings of the previous two surveys, are available here (www.CollisionAdvice.com/survey).

A 62-page report on the first survey, for example, details shop billing and insurer payment practices related to 26 refinish-related “not-included” items. The most-recently published report focuses on 20 “not-included” repair procedures related to structural/frame and mechanical operations. The results are broken down by insurance company and region. The reports also each include a set of resources shops can use to help put the data to use in their shop.

“The surveys will help shops understand what these operations are, and whether other shops seek and receive compensation for them – or if they truly are ‘the only one,’” Anderson said.

Collision Advice (www.CollisionAdvice.com) is an independent training and consulting firm featuring some of the most respected and experienced experts in the collision repair industry. Mike Anderson and his team offer real-world, cutting edge training and guidance both in the classroom and one-on-one in the shop.

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Job Costing Management Seminar August 16th

JOB COSTING, MANAGING NUMBERS AND PREPARING DETAILED REPAIR BLUEPRINTS, NEED HELP?

Plan to attend this 1 day workshop/seminar for assistance in tackling these issues.
SATURDAY AUGUST 16, 2014 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
JEFFERSON STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE – HOOVER, AL
4600 VALLEYDALE ROAD
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA 35242
205-983-5911/800-239-5900
http://www.jeffstateonline.com/locations/shelby/

RON PERRETTA – GLOBAL BUSINESS COACHING
Ron is President and owner of Professionals Auto Body Inc with two locations along with a full mechanical facility in Central Pennsylvania (www.ProfessionalsAutoBody.com). Ron has provided business management training as a collision repair industry consultant since 1995.

Working together to get Ron to Birmingham to present this workshop/seminar is a joint effort of groups working together to move the collision repair industry forward through education and awareness.

Sponsors of this event are:

Rozar’s Paint Supply and PPG
Overnight Parts Alliance
Edwards Chevrolet
National Coatings Supply
Alabama Automotive Repair Industry Society of Excellence

Register today (only 100 seats available). $25.00 per person registration includes lunch and refreshments for the day. Download info sheet and registration form in PDF – Click here.

SCRS Examines Repairer Ability to Control Data Flow

Article details ways repairers may be able to manage how “data pumps” access file information

Many repairers are unaware of the breadth of data being extracted from their servers, where it is being extracted from, what settings they could employ to better control the flow of information, or even how that information may be used beyond its intended purpose. For years, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has alerted its members about the potential risk and liability associated with inadequate control over estimate data and business information.

As one recent example, SCRS was notified of growing concerns relative to the collection of data through participation in the PartsTrader parts procurement program. As the program rolled out across the nation, more questions began to arise when end-users noticed key identifying information from non-State Farm estimate files populating their PartsTrader dashboard. The repairer concern surrounds the amount of non-voluntary information being provided through the data collection process which could offer valuable information surrounding market volume and shop volume, raising further concerns over the potential of violating agreements with non-involved carriers by sharing information with an unrelated third-party.

SCRS researched the issue with PartsTrader and each of the estimating system providers to identify the means and extent in which the data is being accessed and collected; and inquiring if repair facility end-users have options to restrict non-required data from being collected, accessed or shared. As a result of that research, SCRS issued an article outlining the resulting responses from each of the technology organizations. The article concludes that:

  • Technology has increased the ability to communicate information amongst businesses; however, the increase of applications that indiscriminately extract data in the background for unknown or unintended purposes is a concern for repairers who have obligations to protect data generated by their business.
  • There are advancements being made, or already in place, from some estimating system providers which allow collision repair facilities to maintain better control over the data files being exported from the estimating systems to other data collection sources.
  • The solutions and options for each estimating system vary, so it is important to compare capabilities of the software programs relative to features that allow greater control over unwanted data transfer, and to make any necessary profile changes in line with individual business practices.

To read the full article with responses click here.

Do Lower Labor Rates Lead to More Repairs?

Mitchell Industry Trends Report Asks “Do Lower Labor Rates Lead to More Repairs?”

The feature article in this month’s Industry Trends Report from Mitchell International examines the relationship between labor rates and the number of operations on an estimate. The report details Mitchell’s data from the states with the lowest labor rates as well as the highest rates.

Greg Horn, vice president of industry relations, examined first-party collision estimates written in 2013 for all 50 states. The data included estimates written by independent appraisers, body shops and insurance company staff appraisers.

Horn’s analysis comes to three basic conclusions surrounding the issue:

  • Lower rates do not result in more operations on estimates
  • Lower rates do result in more panel repairs
  • Lower rates do not result in additional refinish hours

The complete report is available to read online or can be downloaded as an Adobe Acrobat file.

The Startup Disrupting the Auto Collision Industry

Entrepreneur.com
BY JOE LINDSEY

Estify The Startup Disrupting the Auto Collision Industry

Image credit: Photo © Jeff Clark

Estify’s story reads like a success checklist for tech startups. Young, savvy coders see an industry they can disrupt. Their idea wins university contests and scores an $800,000 seed round of funding. They enter an accelerator. They move to sunny California to make their fortunes.

One twist: the industry. Rather than social media or travel or entertainment or fashion, Estify’s founders set out to modernize an antiquated sector–collision repair. “The industry’s really outdated, and to be honest, that’s why we wanted to work with it,” says Jordan Furniss, who founded Estify in 2012 in Provo, Utah, along with fellow Brigham Young University business student Taylor Moss and Arkansas transplant Derek Carr. “A lot of [shops] are family businesses, and some of the stuff they do is just how they’ve always done it.”

Specifically, the trio wanted to address the mind-numbing process of reconciling the actual cost of repair jobs with the estimates the shops submit to customers’ insurance companies. Comparing estimates to costs–part for part, labor hour for labor hour–is a big time suck, says Danny Panduro, vice president of J&L Body and Paint Shop in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. “If our system doesn’t match the insurer’s estimate, it messes up accounting ridiculously,” he says. A big repair job can take two hours to reconcile, and J&L does about 20 estimates a week, in line with industry norms.

Estify Reconcile completes this task automatically, comparing two scanned or PDF estimates line-by-line via algorithm and creating a report, so differences can be quickly addressed. “I upload the PDFs, and literally within five minutes I have a reconciliation,” Panduro says. “It’s gold.”

Estify, now based in the greater Los Angeles area, sells its software to repair shops and adjustors for $99 to $500 a month, depending on how robust a system the shop wants and the number of estimates and reconciliations processed.

Within several weeks of its first big public push last October at an industry trade show, Estify had signed up close to 100 shops and was working through a rapidly growing waiting list. “In this industry, if we ended up with a few thousand customers we would be considered a huge success,” Furniss says. “But we’d like to go beyond that and change how it operates.”