I sometimes ask shop owners, “What would you do if you had a body tech who fixed 10 cars a week, and six of them came back with a problem?” They usually say they would talk to the technician. And if it happened the next week? Then, they say, they’d fire the tech.
I’ll then ask them, “What if you had a painter who painted 10 cars a week, and had to repaint six of them because of runs, drips or color match?” The shop owners usually say they’d talk with the painter, maybe get him or her some more training. And if the painter continued to have six re-dos for every 10 jobs? That painter would be fired, they usually say.
“So what if that was your estimator,” I ask them, which usually results in a puzzled look.
But what exactly is a supplement? Isn’t it a come-back or a re-do on your estimate? So if you’re writing a supplement on 60 percent or more of your estimates, why aren’t you firing the estimator? You wouldn’t put up with a tech or painter doing that much re-work.
It’s time to stop the madness. We have to look at a supplement as a re-do, a defect, a problem.
Now I’m not saying if a job gets dropped off with an insurer-prepared estimate you shouldn’t submit a supplement. And I know there are times when someone insists they want a estimate while they wait. In those cases, when you’re starting from a ‘visual only’ estimate, there likely will be a supplement.