Mike Anderson

mike anderson autobody newsMike Anderson is the president and owner of Collision Advice, a consulting company for the auto body/collision repair industry. For nearly 25 years, he was the owner of Wagonwork Collision Center, an OEM-certified, full-service auto body repair facility in Alexandria, VA.

Monday, 03 August 2020 22:05

From the Desk of Mike Anderson: More Best Practices to Make the Most of the ‘Parts’ Portion of Your Business

Written by


In a previous column, I shared some best practices shops can use to improve their parts-related processes and profits. Here a few more.

Best Practice: Check the OEM information.


You might presume that checking OEM collision repair information for each repair is something related to just procedures. But it also plays a role in streamlining your parts processes as well.


One way in particular: Identifying any non-reusable or one-time-use parts that need to be on your estimate and parts order. We’re not just talking about clips and fasteners. On some vehicles, there are interior or exterior trim pieces that are one-time-use, as well as some suspension or supplemental restraint system parts.


It’s important to know that while the estimating systems are doing a better job of identifying all one-time-use parts, those systems---nor even the OEM electronic parts catalogs---identify all of them. The only way to make sure you are aware of all of them is to read the OEM repair information.


Not all of the automakers identify one-time-use parts in the same way. Toyota/Lexus, for example, uses a black dot to indicate something is a non-reusable part. Nissan/Infiniti uses a black dot with a white X; sometimes these parts are color-coded in the automaker’s documentation. Mazda uses a white “R,” Subaru uses a star and Ford uses a symbol of a trash can to signal something is a one-time-use part.


There are other automakers, such as BMW, General Motors and Porsche, that currently don’t have a symbol, but instead use wording within the procedures to identify one-time-use parts. It might say, “Remove and replace,” for example, or “Remove and discard,” or “This is a non-reusable part.”


So you can’t just glance at the OEM repair procedures. Take the time to read them thoroughly. And when you list one-time-use parts on your estimate, include a line note indicating that the OEM has designated it as such.


The OEM repair procedures can also alert you about which parts can be repaired and which cannot. Many automakers, for example, say that components of certain strengths of steel should not be repaired, only replaced.


The procedures also can designate “if this, then that” statements related to parts. One example might be “If an airbag deploys,” then certain other parts on the vehicle must be replaced, even if they don’t appear damaged.


The time to have all this information is up front, so you don’t get into a job and only then discover you didn’t order all the parts the OEM procedures require.


Best Practice: Improve the parts information in the estimating systems---for yourself and the rest of the industry.


If you determine a part needed as part of a repair wasn’t shown in the estimating system, or if you find some other information gap, like a one-time-use part not being identified in the estimating system, don’t just order the part and move on. Contribute to the solution!

Previous Page Read More »