Thursday, 07 October 2010 11:10

Audatex to Rescind Database Change After Industry Reaction

Audatex has decided to remove a newly added feature in its database less than a month after its implementation.

In a letter issued to clients, the company said, "Effective with the October disk, Audatex has removed the September Database Enhancement relating to raw, unprimed bumper covers. This was done to provide sufficient time for our clients, the industry, and Audatex to determine the best way to address this important issue."

In September, Audatex changed its estimating system to offer a new line item that allowed the user to add time to prep a raw, unprimed bumper cover. If the item was selected, the estimate added an additional 20 percent of the refinish time for bumper covers that arrive raw and unprimed. Some car manufacturers, such as Toyota, sell their plastic bumper covers in a raw, unprimed state, which repairers explain, require significant additional labor time to prep compared to a new bumper cover that arrives already primed. Until September, there was no automated process in the Audatex system to account for this additional time.

Rick Tuuri, Vice President of Industry Relations for Audatex, explained that the change would be retracted in the October release, due out in a week or two.

"Audatex had made a commitment to the industry that we would work together and proactively communicate changes and enhancements to the database, and in keeping with that commitment we have withdrawn this from the October CD. This topic will be thoroughly discussed at our Technical Advisory Council (TAC) meetings and with other industry constituents to ensure that Audatex can accommodate the best solution to this issue before we reinstate any further changes.

Tuuri explained that along with the decision to retract the changes, new internal procedures have been implemented to ensure improved communication in the future. "We have taken steps internally to help in the future including designation of a new Database Product Manager and the development of a communication process for these types of enhancements."

Tuuri, who also facilitates the TAC meetings for Audatex, said that other issues on the TAC top ten list include enhancements to the substrate identification system, having repair and replace procedures integrated into the estimating system, and integrating the Business Message Specification (BMS) standard developed by CIECA (Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association). Another issue identified by the TAC is to add decision support for feather, fill and block operations.

As for the future of the raw bumper solution, Tuuri said, "We will have a dialog with the industry to determine the best way to accommodate this issue in the Audatex system. That may or may not lead to a different solution."

The next meeting of the TAC will take place on October 12 in conjunction with NACE and Automotive Service & Repair Week.