AudaExplore confirmed Friday it would incorporate a new CIECA aluminum labor rate digital standard into its software, the only one of the three estimating database services to do so.
CCC said Wednesday it would continue to let aluminum be handled in an”other” category, and Mitchell was noncommittal Friday.
The labor codes announced by the Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association on Monday give repairers and insurers a way to account for aluminum labor versus steel work on different programs. They do not define the actual rate itself or estimate how long aluminum work should take. In the past, shops, insurers and other users had to pigeonhole aluminum labor on estimates into one of four “other” categories.
CIECA, which develops a common language of sorts for software related to the industry, said Monday the new labor rates would be available by Nov. 1 with the second of two annual updates to the Business Message Suite. But developers for companies like CCC, AudaExplore and Mitchell could start using the codes now on a “pre-release” basis and have them integrate seamlessly when BMS 2015R2 officially launches, according to CIECA Executive Director Fred Iantorno.
We asked each one if they were going to early-adopt the new aluminum labor codes or wait for the fall BMS. Here are their answers:
“AudaExplore is in the investigative stages of our approach to Aluminum,” industry relations Vice President Rick Tuuri said in a statement Friday. “The CIECA input is very helpful to us and will definitely be part of our consideration, and included in our approach.”
Asked to clarify the contradictory final sentence, Tuuri issued the following: “AudaExplore will certainly embrace and adopt the CIECA protocol and codes.”
“CCC ONE currently offers custom fields which can be used by repairers to add additional labor rates as needed,” a CCC statement issued by Spokeswoman Michelle Hellyar said in a statement. “We believe this solution provides the needed flexibility to support repairers while at the same time supporting software applications that still rely on EMS. (EMS is an acronym for CIECA’s Estimate Management Standard, replaced by BMS but still in use.) We are examining a long-term approach that will continue to enable existing workflows, while supporting the needs of our customers as vehicle technologies continue to evolve.”
“Mitchell has recognized the demand for vehicles with aluminum and other specialty materials such as carbon fiber,” senior director of product management Sunil Nayak said in a statement. “As a result, Mitchell is actively investigating modification of its estimating software to adapt to a variety of specialty materials repairs such as for aluminum repairs.”
Mitchell said this referred to the codes overall, not just the pre-release period.
We’ve asked CCC and AudaExplore to also elaborate on the time period referenced by their answers, which are still a bit unclear if they were referring to the pre-release period or after the new standards officially launch as well.
Featured image: The 2015 F-150’s body and frame are shown. (Provided by Ford)