By Mike Davey
Toronto, Ontario -- October 26, 2016 -- Audatex Canada has officially launched AudaVIN for Shops, the company’s latest tool for the collision repair industry. There’s a lot of information contained in that string of 17 digits, but Audatex Canada says the last six digits contain a wealth of useful data that hasn’t been accessible to the repair community until now.
Jessica Shields is Senior Manager, Product Marketing for Audatex Canada. She says using the new tool, collision shops can benefit from the same efficiencies and savings that insurers have realized through AudaVIN. The tool unlocks the full information recorded by vehicle manufacturers on the production line and makes it available for use by collision repair estimators and insurance appraisers.
"Seconds after punching in the VIN, estimators and appraisers get access to vehicle-specific information that is critical for determining accurate repair costs or for declaring the vehicle a total loss," says Shields. "AudaVIN presents you with everything the OEM has recorded for that vehicle, including standard equipment, factory options, and engine and transmission data. Having this information upfront will greatly speed up the process."
AudaVIN is fully integrated with the estimating and total loss valuation systems produced by Audatex. Shields says AudaVIN can drive greater accuracy in estimating by providing the correct vehicle parts and option details at the very beginning of the process, all from within the estimating system.
"It essentially takes all the guesswork out of the process and reduces manual inspection time," says Shields. "Our results show that using AudaVIN can save up to seven minutes per vehicle inspection. That adds up to a lot of time saved in a year and it will have additional benefits downstream in the process. Repairers will reduce cycle time and that leads to decreased storage and rental costs."
Michel Caron is Vice President, Sales Dealer Fixed Ops and Collision Repair Solutions for Audatex Canada. He notes that while the first 11 digits of VINs reveal many details such as such as country of production, manufacturer, year, and model, the last six digits also provide a wealth of information, but have largely been ignored.
“Until now, no VIN decoder on the market could make sense of the most valuable characters of the VIN: the last six digits,” says caron. “Those last six digits are really the vehicle’s DNA. They reveal the factory options fitted onto the vehicle during production. These include options such as trim, traction control, blind spot sensors, rear-view cameras and parallel-park assist. But that’s really just the beginning.”
Caron notes that a quick build online of a 2016 BMW 328 xDrive Touring provides a selection of two engine types, two lines, three trims, four packages and over 50 exterior, interior, safety and technology options to choose from. Knowing precisely which options are used on a particular vehicle is critical information for both insurers and repairers.
“Appraisers cannot estimate what they cannot see or what they do not know exists,” says Caron. “Without decoding the last six digits of a VIN, inaccuracies and mistakes can be expected and that will lead to supplemental claims and a longer cycle time. Ultimately, these factors can put the customer experience at risk.”
Caron points out that increasing efficiency during the initial appraisal will inevitably have a positive impact on the collision repair facility’s total efficiency.
“Body shops often require supplements as they are performing repairs due to the appraiser having missed damaged items on the original inspection. If the last six digits of the VIN were decoded at the onset, collision repair shops would have immediate and accurate identification of the vehicle parts that require repair,” says Caron. “This would lead to fewer supplements and enable the body shop to experience a higher throughput—and more revenue. By helping to ensure accurate claims, the body shop can be confident to deliver the vehicle within the original expected timeframe.”
Audatex Canada provides comprehensive training and support for AudaVIN, including an AudaVin Quick Reference Guide, available through the company's Online Training Center, and a "Show Me" video available from the vehicle information page in the Audatex Estimating/Autosource application.
More information on AudaVIN is available in the video below.