The Massachusetts Auto Body Association (MABA), the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) have jointly issued a statement saying that the Mitchell Refinish Materials Calculator (RMC) is lagging behind current paint and materials prices despite the associations’ efforts to work with Mitchell to resolve the issue.
The associations claim that since paint costs began increasing along with petroleum prices in 2006, RMC users experienced an apparent disconnect between published paint manufacturer price increases and the accompanying RMC calculations.
In an effort to correct the alleged disparity, the associations say they began working with Mitchell in October 2008. Their stated goals were to gain a better understanding of the relationship between RMC calculations and “suggested cost to refinisher” pricing, and to identify and correct any possible errors in the RMC process. The associations say their interactions with Mitchell included written communications, numerous conference calls and a face-to-face meeting at Mitchell’s San Diego headquarters.
Early in the process, the associations claim that Mitchell agreed to an audit of RMC data in direct parallel with a compilation of paint manufacturer pricing data. The audit’s purpose was to identify any existing issues with the RMC or to clarify any data misinterpretations that may have existed on behalf of the associations. Mitchell was to share the results of this audit with the industry at large, but has made little progress thus far, the associations claim.
Expressing their frustration with the situation, the associations concluded in their statement:
While Mitchell has stated that they remain committed to interacting with our trade association representatives, we must frankly convey our frustration at the overall process and lack of conclusion. Mitchell seemingly does not share our concern or sense of urgency in this matter based on the fact that after all this time they have not addressed our concerns in a manner that we feel satisfies our obligation to our members and our industry.
Mitchell declined to comment on the situation.