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.

Wednesday, 07 October 2020 19:55

From the Desk of Mike Anderson: Pricing Change Reflects the Absolute Need for Separate Charges for Scanning, Diagnostics

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"Now, for vehicles where there are no diagnostic issues---nothing the scan shows is out of whack, no steering angle sensor value that isn’t good or a seat weight sensor that is irregular---we made those scans $50. We broke up the service we do into pieces," he continued. "The scan itself is $50. If it needs a technician or a service manual or a wiring diagram in order to figure out a possible fix, then we charge a $69.95 fee on top of that scanning charge. That brings it back to what our original pricing was, which was $119.95.”


OK, I want to go on record as saying I, Mike Anderson, am absolutely, 100% in support of this. My agreement with this, however, is not because it makes asTech services competitive. The dollar figures are not my point or my concern.


I support this change because it’s high time our industry separates scanning time from diagnostic time. This pricing model does that.


Think about it: Diagnostic time varies. Just as judgement times varies based on the size of the damage, the accessibility to it and the substrate involved, diagnostic time varies. Isn’t the time it takes to research one diagnostic trouble code (DTC) different from researching five?


And it’s not just looking up the DTC. You then have to navigate the OEM repair procedures, the flow chart, to determine what the most probable cause is. If there are four possible causes, it might be the first one you try, or the fourth one. All this takes time.


I think asTech did the right thing here. But I don’t care if you use asTech, or another provider, or do it yourself in-house. What I care about, and the whole point of this article, is the need to separate out your diagnostic time from your scan time.


I also think there’s another lesson for shops from the change asTech made to its pricing model. The scanning and diagnostic charges are somewhat higher for certain makes of vehicles, such as Porsche. I asked Jake why.


“It comes down to the fact that our cost of goods sold is just higher for those vehicles,” Jake told me. “It’s not only the higher expense of the scan tools, but the higher cost to attract a tech who specializes in running the tools for those European models.