I get sick of people lumping all insurance companies together as cheap or good. Especially if you're partly basing your decision on what system they use. So to call me cheap because I use Mitchell is... well.. a cheap shot. I know Mitchell and its strengths and weaknesses. It comes down to the estimator using the system, and understanding what they are doing. That is true for both insurance estimators and shop estimators. I have to think through what really needs to be R/I'd in order to detrim a door. But I do and I bend over backwards to be fair.
Having a bad day? The bells and whistles I referred to were more in the way of communication capability with Insurance companies. As a licensed agent, I am well aware of the raps against Insurance companies. I haven't had any problem so far getting any supplement I needed. The estimating program I went with uses Mitchell and I haven't had any of the pricing or database issues I had with Comp-est.
I just wanted to add in a little bit of information....
I did a "test" for a company a few years back where I was asked to write estimates on a set group of cars using the big three software platforms. If you follow the guide and your knowledge level is accurate there was only about $1 to $2 difference in the estimates.
It truly is user error, not a software issue if something is "missing" from an estimate.
Justin... I feel your pain :-) Your busting your tail everyday and all you seem to read or hear is how "evil" adjusters and insurance companies are. Seems we don't do a good job of celebrating the good adjusters and body shops in this industry.
I appreciate what you do and I'm sure the shops you work with do too even if they forget to tell you.
I'm relatively new to the industry and represent PMC Logic. Alot of the grumbling that I have read in this forum is addressed by PMCLogic's paint and materials estimation capabilities. It augments the big 3 (or 4) estimating systems and offers a great deal of functionality. Free trial periods are being offered right now and "webinars" with help and guidance are presented frequently. Fees are reasonable, and the program will fill many of the gaps left by your other estimating system, whoever you decide to go with.
The thing users really like most is the ease of estimate itemization (great detail) and degree of customizability. From Sikkens, Martin Senour, 3M to almost any paint or materials supplier you may use, the list of products is very complete. However, you don't have to do a custom list from your own inventory.
The link is easy to find, but if you need any help with PMCLogic, contact me on "the hub" (or FB or e/m me at email@example.com!)