One of my favorite things to do when I visit a shop is enter the paint area, pull a damage appraisal off the dash and start checking over the vehicle. What I find reminds me that there is tremendous value behind in-process quality control (QC) checks. I have discovered repairs on damage appraisals not accomplished, repairs accomplished that were not on the damage appraisal and missed refinishing operations, all of which spell out the need. Repairs not accomplished that are on the damage appraisal opens a liability door in regard to vehicle safety, and repairs accomplished originally not on the appraisal results in lost shop revenue.
Each repair phase should have an in-process QC check to validate that all the repairs identified on the damage appraisal are accomplished prior to moving to the next phase. These should be designated fixed stops with everyone in the process understanding that the repair cannot move forward until each check is accomplished. Some think they can bring the same value by using an end-of-repair quality check, but I disagree. I do not believe you can validate that a repair is accomplished as identified on the damage appraisal unless you perform the check while the repair is in process.
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For example, you cannot validate corrosion protection was applied correctly, or even at all, without looking at the repair prior to any reassembly. Nor can you inspect weld points or panel seams after the vehicle has been reassembled. The person performing the in-process QC check validates that the repair is ready to move to the next customer. Each in-process QC check should be as thorough as the repair is complex. There are several forms available to accomplish this, many of which are available on select estimating software programs as digital versions (there is also a great sample on I-CAR’s website). Regardless of which version you prefer to use, always make sure it properly documents the check.