Turning into a corpse waiting for your car to come back from the Auto Body Shop? Did it take a lot longer than expected? We will try to answer these questions and show you how Ace Paint & Body Works in Winter Park decreases cycle time to get your car back as soon as possible. There are several factors that are involved when repairing your vehicle. The body shop is the intermediary between the claimant/insured and the insurance company. We have a job that must make the insurance company happy (do the Auto Body Repair that’s cost efficient) and also keep the insured/claimant happy with a repair done fast and not cheaply. It can be quite a challenge trying to keep both of our customers happy but we make it work.
Typically if your car was towed to the body shop it will take some time to get it back to the road. The first step is to write up an estimate. There will be parts missing/broken, and though we have an amazing resource for all millions of parts that exist it can take quite a bit of time locating every single fender, nut, screw, clip that puts your vehicle back together. The industry standard can be 24-48 hours to write a thorough estimate. At Ace, we try our best to get the estimate done within 24 hours of the vehicle being dropped off.
If an insurance company is paying for the repairs, we must have everything approved before we can move forward sometimes. The estimate is submitted to the insurance company for approval. It can take 48 hours or more for the insurance company to approve the estimate. Now we are already 4 days in and the repairs haven’t begun yet. A reputable body shop will fight on behalf of the claimant/insured behind the scenes to get what they are owed. At Ace, we have bargaining power because we educate ourselves on correct repair procedures. We could be going around in circles with the insurance company trying to get what your car deserves which is parts that work/fit, and are approved by your vehicle manufacturer. Now sometimes the insurance companies act as they know better than vehicle manufactures. We at Ace will have vehicle manufactures position statements that prove everything we do is for the safety of our customers. Some body shops don’t educate themselves and the insurance company will gladly pay less than what the vehicle requires in order to save themselves money because at the end of the day the responsibility of repairing the vehicle the correct way is on the body shop and not the insurance company.
So the insurance company has approved the repair and now we must wait anywhere from 1-3 days for the parts to arrive. Now we are 5-7 days in and the vehicle has still been sitting waiting to be repaired. Many time’s we get new sheet metal parts that are damaged so now we have to return them and wait another 1-3 days. Day 8-10 and the vehicle can still be sitting. Of course, there are times we can work on the vehicle while still waiting for parts, and we won’t need to sit on the vehicle. At Ace, we will pre-order the parts before you bring your vehicle in if it’s still drivable to save us from any part delays. We have great relationships with local part dealers to give us the parts the quickest way possible. We also test fit parts prior to painting them so we don’t have issues after the fact, this extra step takes time but also saves a lot of time in the end.
So the initial parts are here and we are starting to get into the actual labor of repairing, replacing, and repainting parts. This is actually the quickest part of the whole repair process, this can all be done within a few days depending on how big the repair is and how well educated and prepared the body and refinish techs are. At Ace, we train our employees so they stay up to date with I-Car repair procedures, the industry standard for Auto Body Repair information. You may have had an estimate that says 20 hours body labor and 10 hours refinish labor, that’s a total of 30 hours. The way the industry breaks down these hours is you should be spending at least 4 hours a day per vehicle. In this example 30 hours = 7.5 business days. An average shop will take 7-8 days to do a 30-hour repair, at Ace we will do it in 5-6 days saving you precious rental costs. Ace Paint & Body Works cycle time is above the industry stand in the Orlando and Winter Park area.
There are times we must rely on outside vendors to help us get your vehicle back on the road. We organize, glass replacement, tire replacement, wheel repairs, wheel alignments, and painted pinstripes to outside vendors. We schedule these beforehand so we aren’t waiting around for outside vendors to show up. These sublet repairs can slow us down at times because we must rely on outside vendors who have their own schedules to fulfill but our scheduling system helps cut down the cycle time.
Once we get into the nitty-gritty of repairs, we are getting into the supplement zone. A supplement is an addition to the initial estimate. Once we start removing quarter panels or other welded on parts, we start finding new damage. Now we must go back to step one of calling the insurance company for approval, we are now delayed another day or two waiting for approval from the insurance company. Once approved we need to order parts again and just like that, we just killed another week waiting on insurance and parts. We are easily in week 3 of repairs if it was a big hit. The way we get around this again is having great relationships with part manufacturers and insurance companies to get your vehicle back on the road quicker.
These are all the challenges we face as a Body Shop. With so many variables involved in getting your vehicle back on the road, it can be challenging but we love the challenge and love putting smiles on our customer’s faces. We will work closely with your insurance company and we won’t allow your vehicle to sit longer than it has to. We will do everything in our power to get your car back on the road in a safe manner and as fast as possible without compromising quality.