Body shop estimating software question - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 04, 2:26 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 37

I've landed my "dream" job at a collision shop.
The quality produced is top-notch but the method
of getting there is from the dark ages-pencil and
paper estimations and a lot of guess work.

One of my jobs is to convert the shop over to a
good estimating program. I've investigated Mitchell,
ADP, and CCC. Mitchell seemed pretty good, ADP has
a "waiting list" to come out to the shop and show
me the program and CCC won't return my calls.

Anyone have any opinions on the software or maybe
a better idea? We need one that can give us
accurate estimations and simple to use. It would
be great to be able to convert to an invoice
from the estimation but not neccessary. We work
with insurance companies but we're not large
enough to be hooked into their network.

All opinions are greatly appreciated!

Dan Latta

P.S. The Elko is still in an un-finished condition,
but one of the perks of the new job is a complete
facility in which to finish it. Just have to
get the damn control arms back on so I can roll
it to work!

Dan Latta
Santa Monica, CA
1970 El Camino -new 350 crate, rebuilt 350 trans/2500 stall, re-balanced drive shaft, new Moog front end suspension bushings, Flowmaster exhaust, Doug Thorley headers, K&N air filter.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 04, 2:35 PM
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My favorite is comp-est( Its is a very easy to read estimate and it is also cheaper than others.Although it was just bought by CCC(Pathways) not sure how much it will change.They will send you a free trial disk if your a legit shop. Try it out. CCC,Mitchell and ADP are the most popular. I would let the companies send a rep out and show you the features of each and let them do their job,that is convince you their product is best and show you why.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 04, 7:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the suggestion-I've already sent an email.

Thanks again!

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 04, 8:16 PM
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I am an absolute supporter of ADP. I've done many comparisons on labor times and in most...I said MOST...cases, ADP allows as much or more time for a task/operation than the other softwares. The last large shop that I did consulting work for was using Pathways, but had made some efforts toward getting ADP also and had a demo disc. However, the long-time estimators were convinced that Pathways gave better labor times, so we ran numerous identical comparison estimates on jobs that were in the shop both large and small. In about 98% of the cases, ADP came out with the highest total estimate. There were individual labor times where Pathways was higher, but overall, ADP won out.

As you will find out, there are people who swear that Pathways is the absolute best. Others say Mitchell is the only one. Get demos from each and make a choice, but make one for the long term. I kinda think you will lean toward ADP. As I recall, it's about $100. a month more than the others, but one or two moderate size estimates will pay for the price difference.

I think one of the better endorsements for ADP is that State Farm and a couple of other major insurance companies use ADP software even though it gives slightly higher labor times. While you may not want to establish a preferred shop status with insurance companies, it certainly doesn't hurt to be able to download an estimate to your clients insurance company using that company's favorite estimating software.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 04, 9:16 PM
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I believe that there are only two databases used to obtain labor times,Motor and Mitchell. There are definately differences in some of the times between the two.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old May 1st, 04, 8:28 AM
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hi. Not sure if this is the correct place to ask this question, but I would like to get a basic idea what the cost would be for replacement of major body panels prior to getting any estimates for my 1970 Chevelle. I'm sure I'll need both Quarter panels (plan on the full panels) the wheelhouses (inner and outer),possibly the tail center section, and possibly the trunk floor. Also, what could I expect to pay to have the door skins replaced. I plan to buy the components- is this wise, or do most shops like to rely on their favorite vendors? This price would not include finishing right now..... just panel replacement. Any ideas or help would be appreciated
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 04, 11:30 PM
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We are running all three. CCC-ADP-MITCHELL Have had CCC the longest. I find it the easiest to use.
If and when, your Company hooks up as a preferred provider for an Insurance Company, THEY will dictate which software program you will use.
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