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Thread: Check this out read from the bottom up ...Audatex at it's finest

  1. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,350

    Roger, do you use a data provider to form you estimate and invoice? Do you share your estimate with the insurer or do you only advise the insured/claimant of the estimate and invoice?

    And yes Bill they do, and to forecast the future performance of their corporation. They also use the controlled price they pay to insureds and claimants to determine the amount of the loss for accounting purposes, to determine how much to pay for total losses, calculate reserves, federal taxes, potential profits and on and on.

    The data is the scaffold that everything an insurer does is built. Without the scaffold, they would be in deep do-do.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

  2. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ma.
    Posts
    485

    Roy, In Ma., it is the law that I must write an estimate and that I must negotiate with the appraiser.

    I never give a agreed price with the estimator, staring that I will submit the final invoice when I am done.

    The appraisers always agree with my final price. (as I submit it to the customer and expect full payment, which I always get.)

    We do use an estimating system on trucks only as a guide to get the correct nomenclature and an idea of the work that is necessary, combined with our experience and the way we wish to complete the procedure.

    We have found that the guides are mostly generic, and to set a price, you must be familiar with the actual model that you are working on for the proper price.

    We also know the suggested times stated are theoretical, so additional information must be considered before pricing it.

    It is absolutely unbelievable that every shop in the country can perform the same task in the same amount of time.

    Even with averaging the times, there is no such thing as two different shops coming up with exactly the same price.
    Last edited by Roger Walling; 04-29-2017 at 11:24 AM.

  3. Join Date
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    1,350

    of course you are correct and Roger, you have a unique business and approach...... I haven't met many in the collision industry but if I had to bet it would be that in an industry that is now reduced from around 50000 shops to what I would guess is less than 30000, the number of collision shop owners that take the same approach number less than 1% and those that don't use an estimating system? Probably none that can survive only in insurance funded repairs would be my guess.

    And that is the problem. Without using the data and now the data in the cloud, your estimate and your invoice will not be recognized, at least not for very long, if you don't use one of the estimating systems. I tired way back in the day and found out that truth, but that is what I had set out to do. I would either properly price my work to my customers and deliver what they expected or I would not be able to continue, and that turned out to be true. That was some 14 years ago and I moved on to what I had been doing before. Wiser and poorer but I wasn't destroyed as many have been. Some literally have lost everything. That injustice disturbed me then when I saw friends struggle, pour their lives and their savings into a business they could not continue unless they complied with insurer demands, as it does now. Some who did comply were still destroyed. Others were able to get by which I could have done but frankly, that just wasn't in me and I was lucky as I did have other choices.

    It was my hope that in time and a continued litany about what should be might strike a cord. I think that time has passed.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

  4. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ma.
    Posts
    485

    Roy, your statement,

    "And that is the problem. Without using the data and now the data in the cloud, your estimate and your invoice will not be recognized, at least not for very long, if you don't use one of the estimating systems."

    If you are inferring that if my invoice was in the estimating system, it would change the average prices paid, I think that would not be.

    My invoice would be eliminated from the averages as an "extreme high or low invoice" and not used in their averages.

    I believe that all facts used in their systems are "adapted" to their benefit.

  5. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,350

    What I am stating is that simply using a data system if only for 'convenience' validates, makes it proper to rely on an estimating system to determine every aspect of price. I asked the other day, 'please provide me one instance that data (meaning any information meant as a price, content and so forth, that is correct) and no response so either everyone has vacated this site but two or three or no one wants to get into a debate any longer....and I can't blame them because this has been beat to death here for over a decade. But the issue still matters and will as long as repairers utilize preformed pricing.

    Even if there are 'independent' repairers out there that do not use the programs, or change every component to suit their circumstance, the latter is validation, the former not competitive, of a system that is used for one single reason. To control price, and before the cost is even incurred.

    Your last statement makes my point.
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

  6. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Southaven, Mississippi
    Posts
    808

    When Mitchell's Ultramate was rolled out. my employer at the time sent me to "Ultramate school" to learn how to use the program. I knew before I was asked to attend the classes that one of the major insurance companies had a front row seat in developing the data provided in the program. Toward the end of the classes, when the instructor was bragging about how streamlined and thorough the program was, I asked a question that he tried to shut down so others in the class wouldn't consider the implications of my question. I asked," Why is this program so adept at subtraction but seemingly incapable of adding? I have noticed that anything that would reduce a labor time, such as 'included"or 'overlap' is automatically calculated, but any additions must be added manually by the user." I already knew the answer, of course, but it never occurred to anyone else in the class to ask the same question I did.

  7. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ma.
    Posts
    485

    Bill,
    I went to a PPG seminar once and the instructor was grading estimated that were made by the class on heavy trucks.

    He was,marking everybody wrong that wrote a complete refinish on a hood assy. instead of blending a small repair under the headlight.

    Well! He was not ready for myself and two other guys that said that blending was not the proper repair.

    The instructor justified himself because the insurance companies would not pay for a complete refinish of the hood.

    Well, he met so much criticism, after the PPG rep. agreed with us, that he stopped the seminar right there and then!

  8. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,350

    Data/analytics

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-do-...thm-1494262674


    When you collect data to determine a future price, how do you know the data reflects reality? Does collision repair data reflect competition in the market place?

    As this article suggests, "is this an antitrust issue"? That is , 'data'?
    Roy Smalley,
    Texas

  9. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ma.
    Posts
    485

    Data/analytics,

    Average price for a replacement Coca Cola,

    At the super market, $.49

    At the discount warehouse, $.32

    At the corner store, $2.00

    At the ball park, $5.00

    So, what will YOUR insurance company pay?

    (Hint, "The lowest cost to replace even if it means leaving the game and driving to the next town to replace it.)

  10. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    572

    Even after all these years...

    it makes my eye twitch when I find a "insurance estimate" in my inbox based on my own. Every time I state that the insurance company is tendering a deficient amount and ask them where to return their draft, I receive the standard reply, "If you have a supplement, send the photos and invoice to this portal... blah, blah blah

    I wouldn't mind at all supplementing my own original damage report, but any acknowledgement of the fiction generated by some kid three states away seems totally insane. What I do find interesting is how the shops playing these games pay the bills at the end of the month? Maybe I'm the one that is wrong, but I sense a pyramid scheme in the works with the "consolidated industry".
    Collision repair... so easy even a monkey can do it... and some do!

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