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Case Study: Customized Mitchell Solutions

—April 12, 2012
Case Study: Customized Mitchell Solutions

Customized Mitchell Solutions

How to work faster and smarter

For the vast majority of collision industry stakeholders, Mitchell is synonymous with innovative and efficient electronic claims and shop management solutions. Come discover how shops are using our state-of-the-art products to improve profitability and increase production.

"This Mitchell innovation is probably the best thing that ever happened to the whole picture-taking process…"

The entire Véronneau family: Valérie, Operations Manager and Mitchell products in-store trainer; Michel, Owner, Production Manager; Sylvie front office and Accounting Administrator, and Christine, Quality Control Manager.

The entire Véronneau family

This Ricoh camera was specially designed to meet the specific Mitchell RepairCenter™ FastPhoto application requirements.

Mitchell RepairCenter™ TechAdvisor manufacturer

This body technician is consulting the Mitchell RepairCenter™ TechAdvisor manufacturer database.

The appraiser scanning

The appraiser is scanning the bar code that was attributed to this damaged vehicle before taking the required pictures.

Michel Véronneau has been in the collision industry for over 35 years. Over this time, he has witnessed the continuous evolution of the technology manufacturers use to build cars, and has managed to adapt to the inevitable changes that come with progress in order to remain competitive and not be overwhelmed by these innovations, whether new materials, paint, repair processes, claim procedures, etc.

Streamlined processes

Michel owns three Fix Auto shops located in the greater Sherbrooke area in the eastern part of Quebec province, Canada. He readily admits that his forward-thinking, highly-guarded nature have helped him succeed in a very competitive market, with its miniscule profit margins that demand constant vigilance. “In 2009, when our Mitchell rep, Michel Grégoire, demonstrated how we could benefit from the implementation of Mitchell's electronic shop management solutions for all our processes to lighten our workload and streamline our operations, I asked my daughter Valérie, who was working jointly for both companies and also providing Mitchell product training, to acquaint our staff to the RepairCenter, TechAdvisor and FastPhoto products that we chose, after a detailed needs analysis was performed with the help of our rep.”

Operational efficiencies

Valérie, who is the Operations Manager for the three Fix Auto locations, explains how they progressively implemented Mitchell's RepairCenter™ into the business. “At the time, we were using Mitchell's UltraMate and Audatex software to write estimates and manage other processes such as producing RO's, ordering parts, customer follow-up, and billing, while communicating over the phone with insurance company personnel. Using RepairCenter, TechAdvisor and FastPhoto, we have eliminated close to 90% of the paperwork, which besides being good for the environment, helps consolidate our entire operations to a single centralized computer platform that is accessible 24/7, wherever we happen to be.

RepairCenter

Mitchell's RepairCenter is at the core of Mitchell’s suite of shop management solutions. More than 30 different modules are available to help collision repair shops increase profitability. RepairCenter real-time analysis and shop production control tools help manage shop flow and ensure consistency throughout the entire vehicle repair process, no matter how busy the shop is.

Valérie explains how RepairCenter helps manage production operations at all three shops: “The RepairCenter suite of tools help us track shop productivity and workflow in real-time, which keeps our production costs in line. The integrated punch-clock tracks the precise time that each technician spends on the vehicle, while the software compiles simultaneously the necessary payroll data. Since I am continually on the move between the three shops, I have quick and easy access to every file, wherever I happen to be, as well as those who are authorized to access these files according to their specific work duties.” What's more, RepairCenter shows the relevant KPI (Key Performance Indicator) data on the screen at all times in order to track tech performance and red-flag any potential problems as they occur.

Free 30-day trial

FastPhoto

This Mitchell innovation is probably the best thing that ever happened to the whole picture-taking process. Let's take a moment to listen to Valerie's comments: “This camera, which was specially designed to meet Mitchell's design criteria, is a technological gem. The barcode feature creates a specific code for each vehicle, which allows us to associate every picture, whether taken by an appraiser, a technician, or anyone else who is authorized, to a specific vehicle. All one needs to do is scan the barcode, identify each picture (if required) and use the camera menu to choose the appropriate file on the main server. A wireless connection is then used to send the digital image, which will be automatically filed in the appropriate RO section: estimate, prior damage, obvious damage, insurer, chassis, etc.”

RepairCenter automatically generates these barcodes, and the combined benefit of having these two systems is that all the data, RO, estimate, pictures, etc. is instantly archived on Mitchell's remote main server. No more worries about losing valuable data, while security is password ensured to provide complete confidentiality. According to the different testimonials and studies performed by Mitchell, the average time spent on pictures including sorting, archiving, retrieving, distributing, and managing, is greatly reduced.

TechAdvisor

This application is used mainly by production staff, and includes repair specs for every manufacturer of the past thirty years. Easy to use, TechAdvisor provides detailed repair procedures and methods in order to safely restore the majority of vehicles to their pre-collision state. Among the wide variety of features of this application are:

  • Manufacturer repair standards
  • Color wiring diagrams
  • Interactive vehicle dimension tool
  • Restraint systems
  • Mechanical repair data
  • ThatchamNet (more complex repair information)
  • 100,000+ manufacturer technical bulletins
  • Collision & Mechanical Parts and Labour Lookup
  • Exhaustive OBD-II diagnostic code data
  • Reference and rapid-identification guide for special materials

Business profile

President: Michel Véronneau

Founded in: 1978

Banner program: Fix Auto (since 1992)

Locations:
Fix Auto Coaticook, 10,000 sq. ft., opened in 1980
Fix Auto Sherbrooke East, 10,000 sq. ft., opened in 2001
Fix Auto Mi-Vallon, 12,000 sq. ft., opened in 2006

Employees (total): 50

Weekly vehicle output (total): 115

Average RO amount: $2300 CDN

Replacement vehicle count: 15 per shop

Mitchell software: RepairCenter, FastPhoto, TechAdvisor

Complementary Mitchell software: UltraMate

Environmental Certification:
Green Wrench www.cleverte.org

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