‘Tips and Tricks’ for estimators
St. Louis- Writing estimates to increase bottom lines, researching P-Pages and MOTOR operations, and other best practices were on the menu at Helen Fitzgerald’s Irish Grill & Pub during an AASP-MO Gateway Collision Chapter meeting that featured Stuart Pope of CCC. The main course was Pope’s presentation of “Tips and Tricks with CCC One.”
Pope, who is the client solutions advisor for Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky, began with an analogy between the NFL and the collision industry.
“Each NFL team has $188.2 million to spend on players. Equal playing field. That money doesn’t count for the coaching staff and not one of the Patriots is in the top 10 salaries at their position. In the end, it comes down to coaching, practice and a desire to be the best at what you do.
“Who is practicing the most to be the best at their position? Take every opportunity to learn and seek out knowledge, then apply it every single day.”
Estimators and shop owners in attendance were given statistics that documented and highlighted that as cars become more complex, 20 percent of their work could possibly disappear within the next 10 years, thanks to advances in ADAS.
“Low speed impacts could be dramatically reduced, and higher speed impacts could be lowered to be classed as medium,” Pope said.
One piece of advice given to estimators to help with the bottom line was in regards to front-to-back estimating.
“Writing the front end of a car with the system set to back-to-front can cost you money and vice versa. Always know where you are in the estimate.”
He also touched on how the insurance industry is embracing photo estimating and AI from 4-percent usage in 2017 to 12 percent in the last quarter of 2018.
“Be aware of how the insurance companies are responding to trends,” Pope said.
Pope told the audience of 60 about MOTOR’s updates and changes to be aware of so that they do not fall behind.
“The MOTOR database that adjusters have is the same one that body shops are using, so learning to research the P-Pages can verify operations. P-Page upgrades by MOTOR last October and how a re-read is needed as new additions are highlighted in blue. There are also updates for best practices in documenting required inspections and line notes.”
He also added some tips and tricks regarding Feather, Prime and Block, such as where to find the definitions in the P-Pages from all estimating systems not just MOTOR’s and Clear Coat maximums and thresholds and how they affect the estimate amount.
Additional best practice advice for estimators included some outside examples that they could review on their own time. “Make time review some of the examples by Mike Anderson given on the Collision Advice website about ‘Why We Mark Up Tow Bills’ to show line by line, the time taken with the car on premises and using pre-defined notes when more in-depth explanations are needed.”
There was much information provided in short amount of time, and attendees said they were impressed.
Shelly Jones, of Performance Sales Solutions and WAC-STL, said, “Stuart Pope definitely had my attention. Even estimators with multiple years of experience were taking notes. I would bet that everyone left there with a plan of action to incorporate tips and tricks he shared. He definitely made you think and want more.”
Pope left the attendees with something to think about with an “Every Little Thing Helps” slide which showed how a shop selling $100,000 a month on 40 ROs could add just a few non-included operations that they performed, but had never included previously and increase the bottom line.
“It’s my mission to get as many customers as possible, as informed as possible. If people can leave a presentation with a better understanding of how the system works and what they can and can’t do to write more complete and better defend their estimate, then it was worth the effort.”
The event began with a meet-and-greet, followed by dinner sponsored by PPG and Cooper Color.