The Estimating Guide
Once we have all of the information needed from the vehicle we can take the estimate into the estimating office or area where we can complete and total the auto estimate. The estimating guide will provide a list of the parts with diagrams, the price of the parts, the flat rate labor to replace the parts (judgment time is not-included in the estimating guides, we’ll discuss judgment time later) and the refinish flat rate to paint the parts if needed.
Parts and Abbreviations
It is very important to know the nomenclature of the parts and the abbreviations of the parts. You must also realize that parts may be called different things. A door outer repair panel may be how the guide describes what we know in body shop jargon, door skin. However, it is going to make it difficult to find the right parts if you do not have a clue what they are called. A couple of abbreviations that I am going to mention are R&I,which stands for remove and install. This is when you remove a part and put the same part back on. For example, there may not be any damage to a door, but it may have to be removed to gain access to the damaged area. Therefore, you will not have to remove the trim panel, glass, door handle, etc. This will be less flat rate than to replace the door.. If you replace the door that is called R&R, which stands for remove and replace. Now you will have to transfer all of the hardware from the old door to the new door, which is going to take more time. Many times on front bumper covers and other assemblies they have an O/H, which stands for overhaul. This basically gives you time to take the assembly completely apart and to put it back together.
Look at your P-Pages and to learn all of the abbreviations. This is something that will help you. You don’t just want you to memorize what they stand for, but you want to understand what does each abbreviation includes or does not include in the tasks.
Think About Walmart When Writing Estimates
What is included and what is not included in each operation? This is something that you need to ask yourself every time you add a line to your estimate. This is where most mistakes are made when writing an estimate, which results in dollars lost for the shop. There are tons of non-included operations that go unclaimed on most estimates. Many times the estimator claims they do not put it on the estimate because the insurance company will not pay for it. There is some truth behind this story, but it is usually because they did not write it on the estimate correctly. You must itemize each procedure if you plan to get paid for it. It is like going to Walmart. Have you ever went to Walmart and gathered a bunch of items in your cart, then went to check out; then they give you the amount, which almost gives you a heart attack? Well, lets take this one step further, what if they gave you receipt with just the total amount on it? You would probably claim that they made a mistake. However, when you get the itemized receipt, you look it over and realize all of the prices are correct. It just added up to more than you thought it would. I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but it happens to me all of the time. Insurance adjusters are the same way. If it is not crystal clear what you are charging for, they want to claim that it is not right and they do not want to pay that amount…I sure wish I could do that at the store! However, if you have every item listed separate and not bulged together, they can see that your charges are legitimate. So to determine what non included operations you can add to your estimate look in your p-pages. This will list everything that is included and everything that is not included. I recommend that you take some time and study the p-pages and know them by heart.
by Donnie Smith