HOW TO INCLUDE NON-INCLUDED OPERATIONS

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Axalta

Doing quality repairs and getting paid for the work that goes into them are fundamental goals for collision repair  shops, and understanding non-included operations can  help achieve both. 

However, non-included operations—necessary work that goes  into correct repairs that isn’t listed in estimating systems—can be  missed, to the detriment of vehicle safety and your shop’s bottom  line. “I think they’re one of the most overlooked items when you start  maximising what’s on your estimate and getting paid for what you’re  actually doing,” says Luke Salter, who as operations officer at Trubilt  Collision Center in Eau Claire, Wisc. oversees OEM certifications and  compliance, as well as what happens in the back of the shop, including  estimates. 

Estimators can overlook non-included operations, he says, for a  variety of reasons. It could be the daily grind, simply not knowing about  them, or not “wanting to stir up beef with an insurance adjuster”— but in the end, shops didn’t create the various estimating systems,  so owners and estimators need to be aware of what they could be  missing, while passing that information to insurers. 

With changing technology and ever-evolving repair procedures,  keeping up with non-included operations can be a job all its own,  though doing so will ensure you’re properly repairing vehicles, while  getting properly compensated for doing so. 

It begins, and ends, with paint. What’s an easy example of a non included operation? Look to your paint department. “Anytime you fi x  a car, you paint it,” says Cody Rinaudo, who’s been an estimator for the  past 7 years at the shop owned by his parents. 

Anytime you’re refinishing a panel, he says, you need to remove  impurities from the paint such as lint or dust, so the panel needs to be de-nibbed and polished— that’s a non-included operation. 

Frank’s uses CCC ONE for estimates, Rinaudo says, and the  formula it uses for denibbing and polishing is 20% of the base refinish  time for the first panel, and then 10% of the time for additional parts. 

Salter’s go-to example also comes from the paint booth—it’s  colour, sand, and buff, which at Trubilt is charged as 30% of time per  panel. More recently, he says, a popular non-included operation has  been preparing the vehicle for repair and preparing it for delivery,  “which is cleaning the vehicle.” “It’s been a little easier to get paid for  that lately because of COVID,” Salter says. 

Know your system 

Knowing how to catch non-included operations begins with  understanding your estimating system, says Salter, as well as that of the  insurance company with which you’re working on each repair. 

From CCC to Audatex and beyond, he says, each is built differently  and in various ways. An obvious difference from system to system  is operations that are included, and those that aren’t. From there,  differences can include how each system approaches aspects of a  given repair. When it comes to replacing a radiator support, Salter  says one system will work it from the inside, out, and another, from the  outside in, creating differences in the operations included. 

The OEM service manual for any given vehicle is also invaluable  when it comes to identifying non-included operations, says Rinaudo,  adding, “There are way too Frank’s uses CCC ONE for estimates,  Rinaudo says, and the formula it uses for denibbing and polishing is  20% of the base refinish time for the first panel, and then 10% of the  time for additional parts. 

Salter’s go-to example also comes from the paint booth—it’s colour,  sand, and buff, which at Trubilt is charged as 30% of time per panel.  More recently, he says, a popular non-included operation has been preparing the vehicle for repair and preparing it for delivery, “which is  cleaning the vehicle. It’s been a little easier to get paid for that lately  because of COVID,” Salter says. 

Know the unknown 

“A lot of people don’t know that they’re doing a lot of work for  free,” says Cody Rinaudo, an estimator at Frank’s Accurate Body Shop. With help from Luke Salter, operations officer at Trubilt Collision  Center, here are tips on how to include non-included operations in  your estimates to ensure your shop gets paid for the work it’s doing.

• Know your estimating system, as in which operations are included,  and which are not. Frequently read OEM repair procedures to stay up  to date on the frequently changing requirements for repairs. • If your shop pays a subscription to access OEM information, that  can be charged for as a non-included operation. 

  • Work related to ADAS calibrations or aiming headlights—checking  tyre pressures, fluid levels, etc.—should be considered non-included  operations. 
  • The work that goes into proper welds for structural repairs— setting up the welder, test welds, and destructive weld tests—should  be considered non-included operations. 
  • A picture of work completed when it comes to a non-included  operation like colour, sand, and buff, can go a long way with insurance  companies. 

Find operations, step by step. Beyond knowing what to charge,  identifying non-included operations will help your shop carry out  complete, safe repairs. Salter says post-collision seat belt inspections  are a hot topic. OEMs provide information on how to do them and  he says Trubilt Collision Center will charge 1 hours or 2 hours per  seatbelt inspected. 

While much work goes into prepping for ADAS calibrations (non included operations that should be charged), Rinaudo says similar  considerations need to be made for headlight aiming. 

Again, using Toyota as an example, he says the OEM has a list of  prerequisites that needs to be carried out so the headlights are aimed  properly as to not endanger the driver of the vehicle, or other drivers.  The prerequisite include a full tank of gas, proper oil and coolant levels,  the correct tire pressure, and accounting for the weight of a driver  being in the car. “None of those items are included in that half hour  that’s in our CCC database,” Rinaudo says. 

Both Rinaudo and Salter say other non-included operations can  be found in structural repairs involving welds. Properly setting up the  welder, making test welds, and destructive weld tests are operations  for which shops should charge. 

If you pay, charge for it 

Keeping up with non-included operations can cost a shop money,  and Salter says such work should be included in estimates. Researching  OEM repair procedure, ”There’s a lot of time that goes into that,” he  says, can be one to four hours of work, depending on the severity of a  vehicle’s damage. There’s also the subscription cost for access to OEM  sites to access repair procedures, Salter says, which should end up on  an estimate as a non-included operation. 

“A lot of people are doing daily passes because then you can get  an actual invoice from the website” to bolster documentation, he says.  If your shop is looking to tighten up around non-included operations,  Salter says to start with your estimating system, then the others. 

“Read all three estimating systems’ P-pages, guides to estimating,  because that’s the fi rst thing we do with all new estimators, so they  can understand what’s included, and not included,” he says.