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Better Profit Averages in Tough Times

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In 30-plus years, I’ve never seen business so tough for so long. Nor can I recall such a tight gap between revenue and expenses, yet I’m hearing reports of better profit averages over last year. What gives?

Savvy shops are taking advantage of opportunities to add dollars to their bottom line through the estimating process.

Seminars to help repair facilities better understand the P-Pages and other documented opportunities for reimbursement are available across the country. And the Automotive Service Association is currently doing studies on Feather, Edge and Fill in an attempt to provide a checklist of processes that are performed when repairing a panel. There is a substantial estimating difference when repairing a panel and using the steps necessary to get that panel properly prepped for the refinish operation.

Several industry associations got together and funded the Database Enhanced Gateway for the collision industry to use regardless of their membership or lack thereof in those associations. It allows repair facilities to request and track database inaccuracies in a timely and well-documented manner.

Companies have made vehicle manufacturer repair procedures available to the industry to allow facilities to properly document and seek reimbursement for repairs that must be completed according to OEM-specified procedures.

What I’m hearing from collision repairers whose shops are working with these three opportunities is that they are earning increased profits despite having lower car counts. As an industry, we ought to focus—now!—on these easily-accessible opportunities.

Ray Fisher is the president of ASA-Michigan. This article represents his opinion and does not reflect the views of ASA-Michigan.

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