If you read our Causes of Car Repair Billing (CRB) Data Exchange Errors article, you know that CRB Data Exchange errors cause headaches for many shops. Whether you’re using paper or a digital repair billing system to record repairs, this article provides three actionable strategies you can deploy to reduce errors.

Create Process Reference Documentation

Shops that record repairs using paper forms are at a heightened risk for CRB errors. Often, the forms used to record repairs include obsolete information, creating errors when repairs are entered.

This means the correct AAR codes aren’t used when invoices are submitted to the CRB Data Exchange. Updating your forms to use current AAR codes solve this. For example, repair facility types should be presented on repair recording forms as checkbox options using the values found in the AAR Field Manual. This same approach can be used for recording kind of car.

For those entries that aren’t checkbox friendly, you can create cheat sheets. For example, if you consistently receive missed Component ID (CID) errors, create a list of job codes that require CID reporting.

This is a good approach for those who must record repairs on paper, but there are better options for shops that use digital software. Paper forms lack the ability to validate entries, which is why updating your car repair system can help.

Update Your System with AAR Rules

For those who record repairs using car repair billing software, there are easier options to reduce data exchange errors. Of course, you can update your system to check entries against AAR billing rules. This way, when you bill, your CRB system identifies errors before they’re submitted to the Data Exchange. This approach works well for companies using an internally built repair billing system.

The cumbersome aspect of this approach is that AAR rules change quarterly, if not more often. If you choose to have your own IT department write the code to manage rules, you’ll have to assign a resource to review all circular letters and communicate updates to your IT department.

This is a time-intensive process. The easier way to keep your internal car repair billing system up-to-date with billing rules is by using an integration service that fully manages all AAR rules and rule updates. Our integration service, available through CarLogix, does everything from automatically updating AAR rules to automated CRB Data Exchange filing and accounts payable auditing.

Use a System With these Capabilities Built In

As a best practice and the easiest approach, your car repair system should automatically manage all billing rules and entry validations for you. Your system’s support team should know what rule changes are about to go into effect and update your system for you. This approach takes the responsibility for memorizing rules off of your team, as well as drastically reduces the amount of time that most teams spend double-checking billing.

Once your system has the most up-to-date rules and correct industry integrations, it should also automatically check behind your billers in real time. Our repair management system, CarLogix, does all of this and more.

Railinc product manager and car repair billing expert Robin McFalls recently gave a webinar on how to avoid CRB Data Exchange Errors. For a more detailed discussion of CRB Data Exchange errors and strategies to avoid them, view the webinar recording on the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association’s website.