A week ago, glassBYTEs.com spoke to several auto glass technicians about the prevalence of vehicle identification numbers and parts numbers not matching up in National Auto Glass Specifications (NAGS), a database created and maintained by Mitchell.
This week, we have Mitchell’s perspective. “NAGS is not intended to be a parts look-up, rather it is a market benchmark database,” says Jack Rozint, senior vice president of Mitchell. Through research in the market, Mitchell gathered benchmark data that appears in NAGS. For a given part number, NAGS will provide the benchmark data for that part. “That pricing mechanism is used by a variety of people in the industry,” Rozint says.
Twenty to thirty years ago, only one or two windshield options were available for each vehicle, Rozint says, but now multiple options are available. More glass is included in vehicle design today, more Advanced Driver Assistance System options are available and more vehicle options are available.
Mitchell has transitioned from its old Glassmate software and eGlassClaims software to the Mitchell Cloud. The older software could “decode” a VIN number to decipher the make and model. With Mitchell Cloud Glass, a VIN can be entered and the system will retrieve for the most commonly accessed parts the NAGS number which is associated with an OEM part number. It is not necessarily the part that matches the VIN. “[NAGS] was never intended to be a mechanism for getting [parts numbers],” Rozint says. Mitchell Cloud provides the make, model and likely part number, as well as OEM repair procedures.
The only way to use a 17-digit VIN and get 100% information for that vehicle, according to Rozint, is to obtain the build sheet for that vehicle, which is available through the dealership. The build sheet lists each option and item on that particular vehicle. “In order to go from a VIN to parts, you must have the manufacturer’s build sheet data which is not readily available in the aftermarket for some OEMs,” Rozint says.
The build sheet will also have the vehicle’s ADAS information, and, therefore, the vehicle’s correct windshield part information.
Rozint thinks technicians confused NAGS’ purpose with Mitchell’s Cloud Glass point-of-sale solution, the latter also provides parts numbers. “In Mitchell Cloud Glass, we provide the most common [parts] numbers that are associated with that model,” Rozint says. “However, as it says in the app, this information is for reference only and is not intended to guarantee a correct part number for the VIN being repaired. Also important to note is that for other management systems that license NAGS data, Mitchell provides no VIN decode or VIN-to-part data mapping, so any VIN decoding or part information in those applications is the responsibility of the developer.”
Rozint says he does not know of any auto glass information provider that has all vehicle build sheets. Some manufacturers make build sheet information available to databases and NAGS, and others do not.