by Leona Dalavai Scott
Editor, AutoInc. Magazine
One of the National Autobody Congress and Exposition's (NACE) profit clinics during its Live Action Theater dealt with the topic that hits close to home for many collision shops -- the issue of rekeying estimates.
According to research conducted by the Collision Industry Conference's (CIC) Electronic Communications Committee, shop personnel spend an average of 20-30 minutes rekeying a written estimate into one estimating system. There are approximately nine million auto claims per year, and 28 percent of the nine million or 2.52 million, are rekeyed into the same estimating system, losing thousands of hours of productivity.
The need to rekey into other estimating systems is often required and takes even longer. Rekeying into the same brand of estimating system can be eliminated through the use of an information provider's proprietary communication network.
The three major information providers, ADP Claims Services Group, CCC Information Services and Mitchell International, demonstrated their new products that will eliminate the need for rekeying estimate data during the Live Action Theater Thursday, Nov. 3.
Geralynn Kottschade, NACE 2005 Chairman and vice president of Jerry's Body Shop was impressed with the proactive nature of the information providers in addressing rekeying.
"I applaud the information providers who worked together to develop software," Kottschade said. "We will experience a measurable time saving in our office."
ADP, CCC and Mitchell, each took turns going over their products. The companies either demonstrated how to transfer files using a thumb nail drive or through Web site downloads or both.
ADP, which is currently developing a prototype, will be releasing its new product in the next few months and estimates that it will have a "low price point." CCC will be releasing its product in mid-2006 and will be charging a one-time fee of $169. Mitchell also plans to release its product by the middle of next year and estimates that its cost will be "nominal" and will vary according to different insurance carriers.
Darrell Amberson, ASA Collision Division Operations Committee Director and president of Lehman's Garage, was glad to see that rekeying is finally being addressed: "The issue of rekeying is indeed a hot topic that needs to be addressed -- in fact, it's way over due."
Denise Caspersen, ASA's Collision Division manager, said that she was pleased with the turnout at the profit clinic and shares Amberson's view that this issue should no longer be on the back burner any longer.
"With a quarter of estimates currently requiring a 'rekeying step,' the introduction of automated rekeying solutions by CCC, Mitchell and ADP will add to the efficiency of collision repair shops."
She said that ASA's Collision Division Estimating Subcommittee worked hard to provide a demonstration of these new systems to NACE attendees.
NACE's 2005 Exposition will continue to offer various clinics through its Live Action Theater. The clinics scheduled for Friday, Nov. 4 include:
- Process Clinic: Sprayable Bedliner Repair, 11 a.m.-Noon
- Profit Clinic: Mobile Estimating, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
- Process Clinic: Computerized/Electronic Measuring, 2-3 p.m.
- Profit Clinic: Custom Painting, 3:30-4:30 p.m.