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Audatex internet offer to 'raise productivity'

Computerised estimating provider Audatex is moving its AudaWorkstation system online in the first phase of a million-pound internet strategy.

UK managing director Alex Leonard said Audatex was set to become an Application Service Provider (ASP), enabling it to offer an integrated suite of internet-based applications.

“This is a key part of our vision to completely automate the claims handling process – from initial notification by the customer through to the assessment of vehicle damage, approval of repair costs and final invoicing,” he said.

The web-enabled AudaWorkstation will be available from October. The second phase will include Audatex Integrated Dialogue Application (AIDA), an electronic claims management system that integrates with AudaWorkstation and the AudaManager bodyshop management system.

AIDA, which is expected to speed up authorisations and increase productivity for repairers and insurers, will be piloted from next month, with a full launch in October 2001. AudaAudit, an automated estimate review tool, will also be piloted in August and rolled out next year. It enables insurers to benchmark repairer estimates against their own pre-defined rules, flagging any that fall outside set parameters, and automatically passing those that meet the criteria.

The launches give repairers access to Audatex's estimating system without investing in the software, enabling them to work with its insurer clients for the first time. Audatex claims to represent around 35% of the insurance sector. “Any repairer prepared to meet the insurer's standards will now be able to submit assessments and images created through the web-based AudaWorkstation,” said Mr Leonard.

They will be charged a fixed “rental fee” for using the system, plus a per estimate charge based on the present Audatex sliding scale. Repairers with AudaWorkstation only pay the per estimate fee.

“If they only do a few estimates over the internet, it will be cost-effective. But at some point, if work increases, it will be more effective to buy AudaWorkstation so they don't have to pay the fixed charge,” said Mr Leonard. “Repairers can make a business judgement according to work volumes.”

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