Updates on SCRS’ Blend Study

Society of Collision Repair Specialists Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg made his debut appearance at the Texas Auto Body Trade Show to update Lone Star collision repairers on the latest developments on the widely-talked about paint blend study which proved something repairers have always believed was true – that it takes longer to blend than to refinish.

Schulenburg provided an overview of what went into the study, who was involved (five major refinish companies) and all the steps taken to make sure every step was documented along the way. The study evaluated blending in comparison to full refinish values when considering solid, metallic and tri-stage refinish options across all the paint manufacturers and concluded that blend times are 31.59 percent greater than full refinished value on average. Since revealing the results at the Collision Industry Conference in Las Vegas November 2022, discussions have been had with all three Information Providers (IPs). CCC/Motor almost immediately came out with a response to the study, acknowledging that estimated work time should be judged by an estimator or appraiser following on-the-spot evaluation of the specific vehicle – and they will put this into effect this October. 

Schulenburg unveiled Audatex’s proposed changes to their system, which came out shortly before the July CIC meeting: Audatex’s refinish labor is based on the use of new and undamaged panels. Audatex estimating does not provide a standard labor allowance for blended panels, as this requires an estimate preparer’s judgment, expertise and consideration of the unique requirements for each repair. Determination and assessment of labor and materials necessary in the blending process is best provided by the estimate preparer during the estimate preparation process. To assist the user, profile settings allow for customization to enter a specific blend percentage, as necessary.

Schulenburg reflected on the July CIC meeting where he openly stated that Mitchell had been the least responsive to the findings, going as far as to say “we give you enough” in the conversations SCRS had with them following the blend study. 

“Responding with ‘we give you enough’ doesn’t even answer the questions,” Schulenburg stated to the audience about the dialogue had with Mitchell, which always seemed to default back to that statement. 

Since the July CIC meeting and possibly in response to the press that followed, Mitchell has since stated they will announce something in regard to the blend study report in time for the November CIC meeting, something which Schulenburg said he was glad and grateful to hear.

Want more? Check out the September 2023 issue of Texas Automotive!