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Recently the Society of Collision Repair Specialists released the “Guide to Complete Repair Planning.” I’ve attended various management classes and have seen other things from other associations, but realistically, I can never really apply these tools. Any advice?

Any tool that we can put in the hands of the collision repair estimator is invaluable. These tools offer repair facilities the opportunity to add dollars to their bottom line by just being reminded of the labor operations that must be performed to achieve safe and proper repairs. The challenge is the ability to provide documentation on required procedures, taking the time to educate the claims adjuster about the required procedure, or feeling the need to concede due to a contract agreement they may have with a carrier.

Through the years, various associations have made tools and training available to the repair industry. The “Guide to Complete Repair Planning” is the most recent tool that provides many thought-provoking items for the estimator. Repair facilities that utilize these various tools have reported 12 to 16 percent increases to their bottom line.

My advice is that you continue utilizing these tools, create an educational approach to informing consumers and adjusters, provide copies of the documentation to consumers or adjusters, and take the time to review your estimate line-by-line with the customer or insurance adjuster. It’s also important to pause and ask if there are any questions. Upon reviewing the entire estimate, I would close the negotiation by saying, “I believe we covered everything and I did not hear any questions, so I feel that I have identified the necessary procedures to properly and safely repair your vehicle.” In addition, there are many consumer protection laws in the U.S. which often require repair facilities to provide consumers an itemized copy of all repairs performed.

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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