His list continued to recommend covering the car for primer application, feather, prime and block welded replacement seams, epoxy primer application to welded flanges, wash/tack after blocking, setup and testing seam sealer to duplicate OEM appearance, cavity wax application, and repairing and refinishing clamping or fixture locations.
Bradshaw emphasized, “Documentation is really important. Taking photos will make your lives much easier when it comes to getting paid for doing each operation. These operations have to translate to the estimate. A lot of shops feel like they don’t get paid enough on a quarter panel, but if you bill for all the operations that you actually perform, you could easily have over 100 labor hours compared to the industry average of 60 hours.”
He then showed a slide of an actual estimate to demonstrate how shops should add each instance of each operation.
“If you R&I the wheel multiple times, you should be adding each time to your blueprint. For glass, trim and clean-up of adhesive is often forgotten. Put your operations in a sequence where anyone can read the blueprint and understand the story of what you did to the vehicle. Even if you don’t charge for certain items due to agreements your shop has, you should still put it on your blueprint because you need to build a bulletproof file. You’re going to become more profitable and have less liability by being passionate about it and writing a strong blueprint.”