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Get paid in full: 5 DEG tips for using AudaExplore, CCC, Mitchell

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The Database Enhancement Gateway, which allows repairers to make inquiries and suggestions of the Big 3 estimating providers, has been augmented this year to provide weekly tips for repairers on the AudaExplore, Mitchell and CCC programs.

If you haven’t used the service before to answer questions about estimating collision repair work or just browse responses to other shops’ questions, check it out. It’s a valuable resource akin to I-CAR’s Repairability Technical Support Portal, but focused on teaching repairers database best practices instead of those from automakers.

Here’s some recent areas spotlighted as tip-worthy by DEG; we’ll be rounding them up periodically for our readers. To receive the tips as soon as DEG releases them, like/follow DEG’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Paint: Know what’s included

“It is important to know which processes are included, and more importantly not-included, in your specific estimating system,” the DEG wrote.

AudaExplore: AudaExplore says your base refinish allowance — not the refinish setup — includes mixing the color and one tint cycle.

Mitchell: Mixing paint is included in Mitchell’s refinish time, but you’ll have to manually add “color match or tinting,” according to the company.

CCC: CCC will pay for obtaining the color data, including a paint chip and mixing additives to a premixed color; it calls all of this “mix paint,” the company said.

However, testing a spray-out panel and tinting isn’t included.

“Mixing Systems enables refinishers to mix the desired color by combining paint toners; this formulation of color is not included in Motor Crash Estimating Data refinish allowance,” CCC also wrote.

More DEG coverage, tips

Know your P-pages — and get the ones for unused IPs, too

The DEG urged collision repairers to use the website to obtain free current copies of all three estimating services’ P-pages/estimate guide, calling them “critical” for estimating.

Each guide shows included and not included items but also key information for refinishing and common labor options like color sand and buff,” the DEG wrote.

Just having a copy of your own “manual,” isn’t enough, the DEG argues.

“It’s important to know the P-Pages for your system but it’s just as important to know the P-pages for a system you do not have,” the DEG wrote. “CCC has new additions or changes in blue text and Audatex creates a strike through for changed text. Remember to utilize the RACE guide for used parts in CCC and the Recycled column in Audatex.”

LKQ quarter panels

Don’t forget that an LKQ quarter panel’s replacement labor time involves an assembly, CCC told a user who’d asked about a quarter panel on a 2003 Nissan Sentra.

“It seems to me that at the very minimum the time to replace the outer wheelhouse (2.5 hrs) should be added to the time to replace the quarter panel (14.0) making it a total of 16.5 hrs to install the LKQ quarter with wheelhouse,” the user wrote. “The time to install an OEM quarter panel is 15.0 hrs. It does not make any sense at all that it would take less time to install an LKQ quarter panel with the outer wheelhouse.”

CCC replied that “replacing the OEM quarter panel and replacing a LKQ quarter assembly are ‘apples and oranges’ comparisons,” pointing out that the assembly had a few pieces while repair and replace times calculate swapping out a part at the factory seams.

Likely, the quarter panel assembly from LKQ will take longer, but you’ll have to input the time over the 14 hours allotted manually.

“LKQ assemblies have many unique variables that can’t be foreseen by MOTOR editors, and therefore these variables are not built into the estimated work time.

“As with many collision situations, the installation of the LKQ assembly as a single unit may not be practical or possible,” CCC wrote. “In addition, not all of the salvage assembly components may be present and/or usable.”

For example, if the assembly must be taken apart to do the repair, according to CCC.

“… The times for these not included items must be determined by the estimator during an “on the spot” evaluation and added to the estimate whenever applicable. After all of the “on the spot” considerations have been taken into account, the work time for the LKQ quarter panel assembly will likely exceed the OEM quarter panel.”

AudaExplore ‘bagging’

The DEG offered some advice for how bagging a car needing refinishing fits into AudaExplore (known as Audatex in the DEG) and how to get paid appropriately for it.

“The labor for ‘bagging’ or ‘car Cover” is an included operation with Audatex refinish but as seen on page 180 of the Audatex P-Pages the estimate preparer decides what is, or is not included with the paint materials,” the DEG wrote. “Having a paint materials list displayed in your facility could be a useful tool when negotiating what is or is not included.”

Prevent weld spark damage

The DEG pointed out that covering the interior and other panels so they’re not affected by sparks during welding must be added manually.

A user working on a 2008 Honda Accord had urged CCC to specify that covering such areas of the car be specified as “not included.”

“In several occasions preventing damage can take up to an hour to set up,” the user wrote.

CCC said the absence of labor under the included or non-included meant such work was not “considered in the estimated work time development for that procedure, unless specified by a footnote. … Therefore, the additional work to cover and protect items are not included and should be an on the spot evaluation.”

Featured image: The Database Enhancement Gateway logo (Provided by DEG)

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