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The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) announced that some of its members recently earned certificates that can be used toward their auto body license renewal this fall by attending “Truck Bedside Replacement: OE Procedure and Estimating Considerations,” the association’s virtual training event presented by Larry Montanez of P&L Consultants LLC.
Montanez walked attendees through a step-by-step estimating process designed to help ensure that shops will receive fair reimbursement for properly repairing vehicles to OEM standards. He used estimates for the bedside panel replacement on both a 2007 Dodge Ram pickup truck and a 2019 model to demonstrate all the steps that should be involved.
Montanez offered a different approach to viewing the estimating process, referring to it as the creation of a damage report.
“I call it that because it is not an educated guess,” Montanez said. “You have to go through a lot of different steps – informational steps, thinking steps and even a peer review – to figure out exactly what an accurate estimate or damage report will be.”
To accomplish this goal, repairers should gather all the facts at the start of compiling the damage report. This involves making an assessment of the damage, analyzing the loss and taking a close look to see if weather and road conditions were involved. Montanez reminded repairers of the importance of following the processes correctly to avoid the risk of not getting paid for procedures. He also urged them to remember that once a shop repairs a vehicle, it owns that repair in its entirety for life.
“Be as accurate as possible,” he said. “Look up your information. Don’t assume anything.”
Additionally, reviewing the damage report as a team is vital to making sure everyone is on the same page with how it is mapped out.
“If an adjuster comes in and sees four different estimates, it’s just going to make things harder.”
Montanez spent considerable time going over damage report line items, highlighting both included and not-included steps. He noted that shops that can easily prove what they need to perform stand a greater chance of getting paid without much of an argument.
AASP/NJ President Jerry McNee (Ultimate Collision Repair, Edison) emphasized the importance of shops using Montanez’s strategies in their day-to-day operations.
“What you do with this information will make all the difference in the world,” McNee said. “It’s about taking back your business and being paid correctly.”
For more information on AASP/NJ, visit aaspnj.org.