Collision Estimating On Smart Phones with Web-Est Software

The following interview was conducted with Terry Siegler, owner of JPS Motorsports of Doniphan, MO. We at Web-Est asked him a series of questions regarding his use of the iPhone for estimating the damage of his customer's vehicles on the road and at the shop.

How do you use your smart phone for estimating damage to vehicles?
I'll go out into the field and just write up an estimate on my phone like any other estimate being written on a PC. Because of the 3G and wireless Internet everywhere, it works all the time. I can take pictures with the phone, go to to write the estimate, and download it right to my phone for the customer to see. I can then email that estimate from my device to the shop or to the customer from the road. It works so well that I actually don't even use the PC in our shop that much anymore. If a customer brings a vehicle to work on, I'll write estimate for them right there in the parking lot on my phone. It saves time for both the customer and I, rather than going in and out of the shop.

Does the size of the phone and the text on the mobile web browser cause you any issues with the readability of the estimating software and the estimate itself?
All Apple devices have a feature that permits you to magnify all the text of a page to as large as you want. As you do that, the text on the Internet page reformats to fit on your screen so you don't have to scroll left and right for every line you read. This magnifying feature is also available on just about every smart phone that's on the market. Getting accustomed to this feature is just like any new operation a shop takes on: it takes a little getting used to, but after awhile, it becomes second nature and you're able to utilize all the advantages that come with smart phone estimating.

Do you ever use a laptop for mobile collision estimating?
You certainly can, but once you master estimating with a smart phone, there's no need to. With laptops, you need an Internet connection either through someone elses wireless Internet connection, or you need a wireless card. A smart phone like the iPhone has the wireless capabilities, but it also has 3G and sometimes 4G Internet that can operate without a wireless connection. As a matter of fact, we only use our PC for printing and for when the customer is in the office. Other than that, we use our smart phone for estimating, which is about 90% of the time.

Does conducting smart phone estimating give you an edge over your competition with your customers?
Absolutely! Alot of times, in my community, the question is "Who can get you the best estimate the quickest?" The smart phone capabilities, coupled with the Internet technology of Web-Est Collision Estimating, gives us the opportunity to write estimates at the location of car accidents, vehicle break-downs and anything else that would prevent a customer from bringing it to our shop. The software is the biggest thing. It enables us to stay ahead of our competitors by being able to give estimates at up-to-the minute speed. Other estimating providers have no way to compete with that.

How helpful is Web-Est Collision Estimating Software to your mobile estimating operations?
Using Web-Est is a crucial aspect to doing smart phone estimating. It can't be done otherwise. I don't know of another estimating company that has the technology that Web-Est has, and yes, I've used them all. Without the Internet functionalities, writing estimates on your smart phone is not possible. Web-Est is ahead of the game in Internet estimating technology and is the only one out there that can handle this new estimating platform.

Are you satisfied with your experience using Web-Est overall?
Web-est is one of the few tools out on the auto-collision market that has helped make us recession-proof. It has cut our costs significantly. It has made our operations more efficient with the Internet functionalities and mobile estimating. They're Aftermarket and LKQ parts database gives me an edge over competition that only provides OEM parts. The list goes on and on. I feel comfortable attributing alot of our success as a business and in this community to Web-Est products and services. I love this program and this company. I would recommend them to anyone in the auto collision industry.

Mr. Siegler agreed to make himself available for contact.  He can be reached at (573) 707-0260.