Toyota, Mitchell integrate estimating data

Jan. 27, 2014
A new integration in Mitchell's estimating system will automatically pull up repair data for Toyota models within the solution, eliminating the need to access multiple systems and sources to complete an estimate.
At AAPEX, Mitchell and Toyota Motor Sales announced a new integration in Mitchell's estimating system that would automatically pull up repair data for Toyota models within the solution, eliminating the need to access multiple systems and sources to complete an estimate.

The new mobile/online estimating system's ability to expose Toyota Recommended Repair Procedures during the estimating process could reduce the time required to complete the estimate, and provide more standardized information for the repair by pre-populating the estimate. The integrated repair procedures include recommendations on parts that should be replaced instead of re-used, along with other supporting information.

"Right now, repairers have to look separately at the Toyota Information Service, or in a product like Mitchell TechAdvisor to get all the bulletins, the information on reusable parts, and notes that are specific to repairing that vehicle," said Jim Brady, vice president of product management at Mitchell.

During the estimating process, if a user picks a particular part for a Toyota vehicle, the associated labor times and some auto included operations will appear. Users will then have the option to auto-include the Toyota data on the estimate. "It will give you all of this additional information on remove and replace operations, non-reusable parts, etc., and links to any related repair procedures from Toyota," Brady says.

Repairers can still edit the data and decide what will appear on the estimate. "Once you type in the VIN, there is an alert that lets you know what repair procedures are available for the vehicle," Brady says. "The user has an opportunity to look at those and use those if they want to. They have flexibility. They still have complete control over the estimate."

According to Brady, Mitchell and Toyota began discussing the integration at the behest of Rick Leos, wholesales collision program developer at Toyota. "He was really championing this concept inside Toyota, that if they  made their data more accessible, so that the estimating software companies could provide the information inline, there would be a higher likelihood that repairers would use that information," Brady says. "We got engaged with them at SEMA in 2012, and saw the value right away for our customers."

The inline Toyota data will be available when the mobile estimating tool is released later this year. Repairers will be able to access the system on tablet computer and other mobile devices. "We're building the workflows right now, and partnering with Toyota to create content and make sure all of that content can be consumed within the solution," Brady says.

While Mitchell has ongoing relationships with all the major OEs for their electronic parts catalogs and other data, Brady says the Toyota partnership is the first time the company has integrated both parts and repair information in one place in the context of an estimate. The company hopes to do the same with other manufacturers in the future.

"We are engaging with other OEs about exposing their data in a similar way," Brady says.

Toyota also plans to work with other information providers to integrate its repair procedures with their tools.

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