The Database En-hancement Gateway. It sounds a little like a term you might hear in a Star Trek episode, doesn’t it? (Cue Star Trek theme song): “All crew members brace yourselves, we’re putting the ship into warp drive to reach the Database Enhancement Gateway!”
But it has nothing to do with space or science fiction at all. Better known as the DEG, it’s a website (www.degweb.org) that was created in January 2008 to allow collision repairers to get answers to estimating questions relating to information providers’ database times.
The groundwork of the DEG was laid by the late March Taylor, who was so passionate about making sure that the database information reflected the real world that he collected, researched and processed hundreds of database inquiries at his shop, Auto Body Hawaii.
Even though the DEG has been around now for two years, I’ve realized throughout my travels that many repairers still don’t know it exists. Here we finally have an easy, efficient and effective way of addressing database dilemmas that cost us untold dollars each year, and not enough repairers are utilizing it.
As a repairer, you might be wondering:
“Why is there so much difference between ABC and XYZ information providers’ paint labor hours?
“I have an estimate from XYZ insurance company on a 1998 Honda Civic. According to ABC information provider’s database, the paint labor on a front bumper cover is 1.9 hours, and the rear cover is 2.0 hours. Clearcoat is 1.3 hours for a total of 5.2 paint labor hours.
“However, XYZ information provider’s hours on the same vehicle and same procedure are 2.6 for the front cover and 1.0 for clearcoat. The rear cover is 2.6 and 1.0 for clearcoat for a total of 7.2. That’s a two-hour difference between each information provider!”