Update on Feather, Fill and Block Issue
ASA Collision Division Invites Members to Participate in Latest Study
Editor's Note: For purposes of this article, the term "feather, fill and block" refers to the same process as "feather, prime and block." The two terms are commonly accepted in the collision repair industry.
ASA collision members continue to press forward on the feather, fill and block issue in 2010. The Collision Division Operations Committee is continuing its study on time requirements to properly handle quality repair. Included in this effort is ASA's feather, fill and block time study, which was launched last summer.
To elevate participation levels, Denise Caspersen, manager of the Collision Division, is again inviting responses from collision division members.
"Participation is critical to this project," said Caspersen, when launching the study last summer. "Yet, the effort is simple and systematic." She said the study consists of a project kit, which can be downloaded in the Members Only section of ASA's Web site, www.ASAshop.org.
The kit is a three-page PDF and includes the following items:
• The 2010 Feather, Fill and Block Project sheet, which explains the project and the process.
• The 2010 Feather, Fill and Block Project time study form, which is used to collect the data for each time study.
• The 2010 Feather, Fill and Block Time Study example form, which provides a sample of a completed time study.
ASA completed a time study on feather, fill and block in 2005 that included more than 100 records. Caspersen said it's time to update the study and bring the issue back to the forefront of the industry.
"ASA's Estimating Subcommittee and members of its operations committee are encouraging each ASA member willing to participate to complete 10 time studies," she said. "Through their participation and the sharing of information, perhaps the feather, fill and block issue can be resolved."
Darrell Amberson, AAM, ASA Collision Division director and president of Lehman's Garage, Bloomington, Minn., said that the central issue surrounding feather, fill and block is compensation.
Amberson said, "The goal is to have an automated process to compensate for the overlooked steps necessary to complete a quality repair. This could be based on the area of the repair involving feather, fill and block or a percentage of the straightening time, similar to the concept of paint and material calculations."
The head of the Refinish Subcommittee, Dan Stander of Jerry Stander's Collision Works, Littleton, Colo., said one of the key ways to address the compensation issue is to have repairers come up with a list of steps involved for this procedure. He said the subcommittee did just that when it produced the "Refinish Fliers." "These simple-to-use fliers compare and explain the additional steps necessary for refinishing a new versus a repaired panel," said Stander.
He recommends collision shops make copies of the form (available in the Members Only section of the ASA Web site) and give them to adjusters and insurers who walk into their shop to help educate them and help them realize that this is a necessary operation and shops should be compensated for time and materials. "In addition," he says, "shops need to utilize P-pages as additional documentation on feather, prime and block.
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