SUN Introduces Automated Work Packages that Streamline Collision Repair Processes
The SUN Collision Repair Information team is pleased to announced the release of a new automated work package that will enable body shops to gather all relevant information about a job – including repair procedures, illustrations and diagrams – with a click of a button.
The new feature will significantly streamline workflow for collision repair shops, saving service writers between 20 minutes to 1.5 hours per repair order (depending on the complexity/number of line items to be processed). The automated work package, which is free with SUN Collision subscriptions, is currently rolling out to select shops with a wider rollout anticipated in the coming weeks.
Based on Industry Standards-Based Workflows
The new feature leverages Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) standards that simplify the transfer of data from collision estimating systems to the insurance companies and other stakeholders involved in the repair process. The CIECA’s original Estimate Management Standards (EMS) standards are used by thousands of shops nationwide to streamline the traditional process of creating work packages.
SUN Collision software also maps OEM part numbers to corresponding jobs in the work package. In addition, the product generates a list of repair orders active in the shop by mining the CIECA documents stored on the shop’s computer. With this capability, the shop’s estimator can select the repair order to create a work package, and the product mines CIECA data for the estimate, presents information for known part numbers, and allows a manual search for any missing jobs.
The user can then print the default article types (e.g., Repair and Re-installation, for example) or customize the report by adding additional content types such as wiring diagrams, component locations, etc. SUN Collision will then compile a work package and present it to save as PDF or print.
Even if a shop does not utilize the CIECA standards, the new feature is still useful. A work package can be manually created, allowing input of part numbers that can be added to the work package – rather than attempting to translate the description provided by the estimating system to a term the repair information system can comprehend.
Once part numbers are entered and information types are selected, the SUN Collision product will generate the work package as though it imported the numbers from a CIECA-document/estimate.
A Departure from the Old Way
The new feature not only saves time for service writers, it also reduces the paper trail and ensures secure, accurate estimates. Here’s a look at how collision repair technicians traditionally develop work packages:
- The vehicle estimate is created using a dedicated estimating system. This system generates a variety of job codes for work to be accomplished (for example: R&R right front fender, refinish right front fender, etc.) and part descriptions/numbers that are to be used in the repair.
- A shop employee, typically the estimator, looks up the repair procedures and parts to be replaced for each job in a repair information system. Here, they navigate to the repair articles that contain the vehicle manufacturer recommended repair/replacement procedures. These articles are then printed.
- Once all part numbers/jobs are looked up and printed, the printed package with referenced material is presented to the technician, who then advises the manufacturer-recommended method for repairing the vehicle.
This procedure is time-consuming and introduces many opportunities for errors. For example, the shop’s estimating software and the repair information oftentimes come from different sources. Each source has its own naming convention to define a component. Therefore, while an estimating system may call an item a “skin, front left quarter panel,” another software package may label it as a “fender, front left.”
In addition, while the estimator professional is generally well informed on the aspects of identifying parts to the level necessary for estimating a job, they are not repair technicians and don’t always possess the knowledge about certain components. As a result, they may inadvertently lookup the wrong item in the repair information resource.
Looking to the Future
Auto body shops can look forward to these exciting features with the new release of SUN Collision Repair Information. To learn more about the new work package feature today, call 877-840-1973 or email SunCollisionSales@suncollision.com.
Chris Bonneau is the Business Manager for the SUN Collision product line. He has been in the automotive repair and collision industry since 2006. Chris has served in several roles at Snap-on, including Regional Sales Manager for the Southeast United States and Supervisor of the Mitchell 1 SocialCRM Marketing Services. Chris is also an alumni of San Diego State University.