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Collision Shop Estimating Advice from the Midwest Auto Body Trade Show

—April 06, 2016
Collision Shop Estimating Advice from the Midwest Auto Body Trade Show

The Midwest Auto Body Trade Show recently wrapped up at Iowa’s action-packed Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino.

The Midwest’s most comprehensive auto body trade show unveiled and showcased the latest equipment, information, and technology in the collision repair industry. With more than 70 vendor booths, informative product demonstrations and exciting show specials, the show featured something for everyone in attendance.

Some of the highlights at the show involved respected industry speaker Mike Anderson’s collision shop estimating seminar and lecture series. Mike was even the keynote speaker at a working luncheon entitled “There Is No Free Lunch”.

If you missed the show, don’t worry. Mitchell is here to recap some of the best parts for you and your auto body shop staff – entirely free of charge!

Mr. Anderson…


Mike Anderson is the driving force behind Collision Advice, and has served in a variety of high-profile roles in our industry, including a prominent spot on the Mitchell Advisory Board. He is also a second-generation body shop owner himself, having owned and operated three collision facilities in his lifetime.

During the show, Mike often repeated a common-sense yet catchy phrase originated by Mitchell Senior Director of Content Management Wayne Krause:

“If it’s not included, then it’s not included.”

In other words, if you don’t see an operation in the collision repair estimating system (because it’s not included in the time estimate), then it’s not included (and you can add it manually).

However, with the help of Mitchell Estimating Procedural Pages (or P-Pages for short), you can quickly and easily discover which labor operations aren’t included. And save your auto body shop a lot of time, worry, and money.

Mike also explained that he advises estimators to ask themselves four basic questions in order to determine whether or not a procedure should be included on an estimate. Those questions are:

  •    Is it required? (Do I have to do this to get the vehicle back to pre-accident form?)
  •    Is it included in any other labor operation? (Or is it a separate operation?)
  •    Is there a pre-determined cost?  
  •    If not, what’s it worth?

Reading Between the Lines…


At the show, quite a few people also repeated a fairly common question relating to Mitchell Estimating.

“Just what are those purple lines?”

The answer?

The purple lines indicate that there is a Toyota-Recommended Repair Procedure involved in the equation.

If you click on the OE Document tab in the overview/ graphic window you will then be able to view Toyota’s OE Repair procedures and CRIB Bulletins directly from Toyota.

Learn More!

To learn more about Mitchell Estimating, visit us online. In addition to our advanced collision shop estimating system for accurate and verifiable collision repair estimates, you can take advantage of our invaluable and in-depth P-Pages.

You can also learn how to write a $3,000 estimate in just a few simple clicks using Toyota Recommended Repair Procedures by watching this YouTube video.


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