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Close Up: Meet the Mitchell Editorial Team, Tom Champion

—May 03, 2015
Close Up: Meet the Mitchell Editorial Team, Tom Champion

At the core of Mitchell's philosophy is providing easy and direct access to our expert editorial staff. We interviewed our Editorial staff to find out what makes Mitchell Estimating unique, why they love working at Mitchell and where they see the future of the collision industry going.

This time we’re sitting down with Content Specialist Tom Champion!

What did you do before you came to Mitchell?

Before Mitchell, I was a collision repair technician. I worked at body shops and dealerships around San Diego County. I was what is known in the industry as a heavy-hit collision technician. Heavy hits are like train wrecks, basically. If a car was hit with a lot of severe damage, I would be getting most of those jobs.

So my job really consisted of bringing in the vehicle and making a complete tear-down, and then basically blue-printing the vehicle, writing a supplement, every nut and bolt, clip, everything that's necessary for the repair. As the repair order was ready for me, I would bring the vehicle in and put it on a frame machine if it needed to be or a dedicated fixture system and make the necessary pulls to basically align and square the vehicle, the dimensions of the frame.

Why is your experience important to Mitchell Estimating?

It's important for customers to have accurate data because, if they are spending time replacing something and not getting enough time to do it, it affects the bottom line. You really need to do a lot of research, investigate. With the experience that I do have, I know how long it takes to do something, what's involved in it. Without that research and experience, you're going to be just guessing at it. So it's very important for them to have the accurate labor times.

As you know, data is always changing, technology is always changing. So how do you stay current in your job?

I stay current by paying attention to the industry and just keeping up with new things that come out, always scouring through the manufacturers' service procedures and looking for new data, changes that they make, just always constantly keeping an eye on that. If anything is new, jumping all over it and taking care of it.

Can you walk us through a recent customer interaction, what was the problem and how you resolved it?

Recently a customer called in with an inquiry. It was a disparity in labor times from our database with another information provider. Ours seemed to be lower labor time, and he basically wanted to understand the disparity. Doing a little detective work we looked at what was included in the other system, and we're able to identify that the radiator support that this customer called in was unique to most of the other radiator supports.

It really didn't involve all the operations that were usually included. So I was able to explain to the customer, "Hey, you know what? This time is accurate. It seems like the other system that you're using, there included operations that really aren't necessary and create an overpayment.” So he was pleased with that, to hear what was going on, why it's such a difference.

What do you personally get out of coming to work every day?

I feel like I'm making a difference to the user out there, because I was out there. If the times aren't accurate, it affects our livelihood. If they spend three hours replacing something, and it pays less than that, that's not good for the industry at all, for anybody really. So I feel like I make a difference every day that I come in to Mitchell.

Want to learn more about how Mitchell Estimating can improve accuracy and profitability for your auto body repair shop? To schedule a demo call (800) 238-9111.

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