The approved statement officially presents the association’s position that as an industry standard, the process of “feather, fill and block” occurs during the refinish process of a repair. ASA recognizes the necessity of this process to provide the consumer with the highest standard of repair and craftsmanship in regard to the refinish process of a repaired panel.
ASA also acknowledges the “gap” (as defined by the Collision Industry Conference and addressed by the major information providers within their estimating guides) between preparation steps needed to raise the condition of a repaired panel to that of a new and undamaged panel.
In addition, ASA is aware of the lack of payment for this necessary procedure and strongly encourages insurers to acknowledge this action and compensate repairers accordingly for the labor and materials associated with this operation.
“This is such a prevalent issue. With rare exception shops are simply not compensated for the feather, fill and block steps after each panel is straightened,” said Darrell Amberson, AAM, ASA’s Collision Division director and president of Lehman’s Garage in Bloomington, Minnesota. “CIC has provided a clear definition and it’s time to implement steps to include this part of the repair process on estimates. Even though the database providers acknowledge the process, there is no automated system currently. It is up to the user to make a manual entry on each estimate. All who make compensation based on our industry’s estimating systems, particularly insurers, should recognize these steps and make appropriate allowances.”
Position on open platforms
In other matters, the ASA insurance subcommittee has presented a statement on open platforms, drafted under the direction of subcommittee chair Mike Schoonover, Schoonover Body Works, St. Paul, Minnesota. The approved statement officially presents the association’s position that ASA supports an individual collision business owner’s selection of an estimating system that meets the individual’s business needs and commends those insurers that allow for the use of an “open platform.” Also, in situations where collision repair estimates are transposed by insurers, all efforts should be made by the insurer to duplicate the original collision repair facility’s document.
“In today’s world, collision repair shops are under ever increasing pressure to increase efficiencies and reduce operating costs. The concept of necessitating multiple database systems to accommodate different insurers is a wasteful redundancy, often unnecessarily costing shops thousands of dollars each year in database subscriptions, training and maintenance,” said Amberson. “Many insurers offer an open platform. I highly recommend all insurers adopt such a policy.”