How It Works: Mark Safe Estimating Arrow

Order Reprints
This rather simple trick aids shop efficiency.

Website: Cost: $28.99  Uses: Marking vehicles during the repair process  Training: None 

The Reviewer:
Juan Rodriguez, an Air Force veteran, is the owner of Color Recon based in Orlando, Fla. Rodriguez works closely with numbers, tracking KPIs as well as managing the shop.

The Shop:
Color Recon, a 6,000-square-foot collision repair shop, has been in Orlando, since 2005. With a staff of 10 employees, the shop offers auto body repair, reconditioning and towing services.

How It Works:

The Mark Safe Estimating Arrow allows those on the shop floor to cleanly mark vehicles without affecting the vehicle’s finish. Before the repair process begins, staff can mark all forms of collision evidence with pieces of the arrow tape.

The arrows are designed for estimate mapping and photo documentation, according to Collision Edge. Each roll of tape features 150 arrows and comes in three separate colors, geared toward identifying damage to a car during the inspection.

The Review:
Rodriguez first heard about the Mark Safe Estimating Arrow through the company’s social media pages, he says. Previously, Rodriguez purchased an additional product from the company and discovered the Arrow supported the company that he says creates products that are needed in the industry.

“The arrows are a game changer,” Rodriguez says. “They peel easy and you can write on it with markers.”

In the past, Color Recon used grease pencils and other vehicle-friendly products to mark vehicles that came into the shop to ensure that all prior damage was covered before the repair process. There was a hesitation to work with grease pencils, Rodriguez says, as the markings can often be difficult to remove on a vehicle or could potentially harm the finish.

“I want my employees to be productive and to learn efficiency is the name of the game now,” Rodriguez says. “The more efficient we are, the better we can perform.”

According to Rodriguez, the shop’s estimator primarily uses the Estimating Arrow right before the car begins the repair process. If there is prior damage on a vehicle, the estimator will mark them with the arrows and take photos to document the damage.

In addition, the three colors of the tape inform those on the shop floor of the different stages of repair, Rodriguez says. Additionally, staff is able to write a note on the arrow in order to be more descriptive for the photos and those working on the shop floor.

“Green is to ready [to the customer], yellow is when you're waiting on approval and the red is just marking prior damage,” Rodriguez says.
Rodriguez says customers have shown a more positive reaction to using the arrows in contrast to writing on their vehicle during a repair.
“We just put little stickers that come off and it works really well [on customer’s vehicles],” Rodriguez says.

The ROI:
Since the Marking Arrows don’t leave a mess after being applied, the business has saved around what was once a five-minute task to clean up smears typically left from grease marks.
“I think it saves a lot of time,” Rodriguez says. “The sticker is pretty much lift a piece of tape and peel which takes a second.”

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