The Society of Collision Repair Specialists on Thursday announced collision repairers can now buy its Blueprint Optimization Tool, an award-winning piece of software which allows repairers to automatically apply the “SCRS Guide to Complete Repair Planning” to an estimate to identify overlooked items.
The “Guide to Complete Repair Planning” includes more than 1,000 operations an auto body shop’s staff might be performing during a collision repair but forgetting to mention on the estimate. Failure to list such operations leaves a customer, shop management and insurer with an inaccurate sense of the work done on a vehicle. This could be a problem even if the shop doesn’t plan on charging for any of the omitted items.
“The BOT application operates alongside of the respective P-Page logic estimating application, utilizes CIECA estimate data to analyze the original repair line information,” SCRS wrote Thursday of the NuGen IT-developed software. “It then generates an electronic information estimate report that identifies additional repair operations that may have been overlooked.
“The Tool is designed to increase efficiency by establishing consistency. It offers an organized means of identifying and adding missed opportunities by dynamically cross-referencing written estimates against the SCRS Guide to Complete Repair Planning.”
According to SCRS, a shop could minimize supplements by checking its own estimates with the BOT before starting a repair. The BOT could also point out procedures an insurer had overlooked on its own estimate, the trade group said last year. SCRS also said then the tool could also help train new employees and ensure consistency among staff repair planners.
The BOT costs $139 a month per location and $29 monthly per each additional computer it’s installed upon. SCRS members will pay $99 per month per location and $29 monthly per additional computer. A $75 installation fee also will be assessed per location for all accounts.
“SCRS members will receive substantial savings on the monthly subscription,” SCRS wrote. “SCRS encourages non-members to join SCRS and log into the member website before subscribing to the BOT product, in order to take advantage of the discounted pricing.”
SEMA last year named the BOT the best new product of 2019 in the collision repair and refinish category. The software also snagged a SEMA Global Media Award after judge Kike Perez of Auto TV Peru deemed the product one likely to appeal to customers in the Andean nation.
As SCRS noted, there’s multiple reasons to use a tool like the BOT or the Guide to ensure estimate accuracy, even if you don’t plan on charging for the additional work performed but previously overlooked.
For one thing, a repairer with an incorrect or incomplete estimate might run afoul of state consumer protection laws.
Industry attorney Erica Eversman of the Automotive Education and Policy Institute said in a January Collision Hub video that in some states, a rudimentary estimate on notebook paper “may pass muster.” However, California had a rigorous consumer protection law which demanded documentation “if you breathed” on a vehicle, she joked. Altering the estimate to match the insurer’s payment likely violated California law, she said.
According to the California’s Bureau of Automotive Repair‘s “Write it Right” guide for shops: The estimate should be an “itemized list of all services and repairs performed and the prices for each. Include any diagnosis, warranty repairs, or repairs performed at no charge.” The BAR cited California Business & Professionals Code §9884.8 and California Code of Regulations §3356(c)(1).
While a consumer might not understand an estimate, it was “super-important” in relation to looking over a shop’s shoulder, Eversman also said in the January video. The document was helpful for parties like her who do review estimates to understand what a shop proposed.
A shop without such a detailed estimate also exposes itself to someone claiming in a lawsuit that it failed to perform a certain operation, according to Eversman. The repairer has no documentation to prove otherwise to the plaintiff.
Repairers also wouldn’t have a true sense of variables like touch time and employee productivity without recognizing all operations staffers are completing.
Finally, inaccurate or incomplete estimates also set up consumers, repairers and insurers for headaches as artificial intelligence “insurtech”or human carrier personnel study past sheets for trends and lessons. Let’s say OEM procedures dictate an operation should be done on 90 percent of repairs. Real-world shops do the work 90 percent of the time, but only 20 percent list it on an estimate. An AI, actuary or claims adjuster might conclude the work is rarely needed. Actuaries can’t properly price risk, and claims staff fail to write for or outright oppose items which should be on the sheet, potentially leading to fights with customers and shops.
For more information about ordering the BOT and billing for the software, call 877-841-0660 or email email@example.com. For BOT tech support and configuration inquiries, call 913-754-5243 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about SCRS or becoming a member, call 877-841-0660, visit www.scrs.com or email email@example.com.
Society of Collision Repair Specialists, June 25, 2020
Collision Hub YouTube channel, Jan. 10, 2020
Featured images: The Society of Collision Repair Specialists on Thursday announced collision repairers can now buy its Blueprint Optimization Tool, an award-winning piece of software which allows repairers to automatically apply the “SCRS Guide to Complete Repair Planning” to an estimate to identify overlooked items. (Provided by SCRS)