The associations offer some great free tools to help as well. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) regularly updates what it calls “not-included operations” charts and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) offers a 24-page “Guide to Complete Repair Planning.” Check those out at the association’s websites.
Question #3: Are there pre-determined times?
In a few cases, the estimating systems have established a formula for some not-included procedures. CCC, Mitchell and Audatex all have pre-determined times for prepping raw plastic parts, for example. Audatex is 20 percent of the basecoat time (with a minimum of two-tenths), CCC is 25 percent of the basecoat time (with a maximum of an hour) and Mitchell is 20 percent of the basecoat time (with no minimum or maximum).
Again, the estimating system estimating guides or the DEG are your best sources to determine whether a pre-determined time has been established for a not-included procedure.
Question #4: What is it worth?
If it’s required, it’s not-included, and there’s no formula or pre-determined time for a procedure, you will have to determine an appropriate amount. I can’t tell you what to charge. You have to figure out what your labor is going to be and any materials you’re going to use.
But keep in mind that the time you charge should reflect how long it takes the average technician to gather up their tools, equipment and supplies and perform the task in a safe and proper manner, and then return their tools and equipment.
If it’s a procedure done frequently in your shop, you may want to set up some time studies to determine an appropriate charge. I highly recommend using an invoicing system for materials or supplies. You can check to see if there’s an OEM warranty labor time.
The four negotiating questions can apply to just about any line item on your estimate. Arm your estimators with the tools and resources needed to answer those four questions and you can be among the shops successfully being paid for many not-included procedures when they are necessary and your shop does them.