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March-April 2014
Getting the Part: Connecting Automotive Recyclers and Repairers
Relationships are a key priority for Dan Risley, Executive Director and President of the Automotive Service Association (ASA). His organization advances professionalism and excellence in the automotive repair industry through education, representation, and member services, serving owners and managers of automotive service businesses that strive to deliver excellence in service and repairs to consumers. ASA has 5,000 members and an additional 2,000 through affiliation. Our member's business goals are pretty simple as it relates to recycled parts. "Utilize readily available, cost effective, high quality parts that help keep repair costs and cycle times down," says Risley. As for the use of recycled auto parts in repairs, Risley has a positive view of the role professional automotive recyclers play in their industry. "Over the last 15 years, I have seen a very genuine and positive outreach from auto recyclers who want to bridge the gap to work effectively with repairers," says Risley. "Recycled auto parts are an essential part of the supply chain from all perspectives“ from insurance, collision repair and mechanical.”
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A Repairer's View on Auto Parts Recycling Relationships
I've been blessed to serve in our industry for over 40 years in a few different roles, but always as a repairer (with the exception of a couple of years as a professional drag racer, but that's a different story). I am currently Vice President of Operations for LaMettry's Collision and also the chairman of the Automotive Service Association (ASA). I think of the automotive parts recycling industry as a partner to the repair industry in a similar way that I think of the individual salvage recycled parts businesses and people as partners with me and the companies I've worked for. While we have different roles, we essentially all "play in the same sandbox."ť The roles we play cause us to be, in many ways, inseparable. We are dependent upon each other. As an estimator in the past I knew that insurers would expect me to consider recycled parts and often offer proof that I researched the opportunities. Beyond that, I knew that in many situations it simply made sense to utilize such parts.
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Connecting Partners in the Repair Process
Recycled parts have long been recognized as a cost effective alternative to OE New and with today's heightened focus on being "green," utilization of recycled parts in the collision repair process makes more sense than ever. For auto recyclers who want to have their inventory of parts made accessible to the estimator, Mitchell's Quality Recycled Parts program (QRP) is an excellent solution. QRP data is processed and made available to insurance, independent appraiser, and repair facility estimators on a daily basis. Fully integrated with Mitchell Estimating, QRP provides easy access to recycled parts during the estimate writing process. When selected as an alternative to OE New parts, the part price, recycler contact information, part details (damage codes, notes, etc.) are automatically included in the estimate to repair.
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Getting the Part: Connecting Automotive Recyclers and Repairers
Relationships are a key priority for Dan Risley, Executive Director and President of the Automotive Service Association (ASA). His organization advances professionalism and excellence in the automotive repair industry through education, representation, and member services, serving owners and managers of automotive service businesses that strive to deliver excellence in service and repairs to consumers. ASA has 5,000 members and an additional 2,000 through affiliation. Our member's business goals are pretty simple as it relates to recycled parts. "Utilize readily available, cost effective, high quality parts that help keep repair costs and cycle times down," says Risley. As for the use of recycled auto parts in repairs, Risley has a positive view of the role professional automotive recyclers play in their industry. "Over the last 15 years, I have seen a very genuine and positive outreach from auto recyclers who want to bridge the gap to work effectively with repairers," says Risley. "Recycled auto parts are an essential part of the supply chain from all perspectives“ from insurance, collision repair and mechanical.”


A Repairer's View on Auto Parts Recycling Relationships
I've been blessed to serve in our industry for over 40 years in a few different roles, but always as a repairer (with the exception of a couple of years as a professional drag racer, but that's a different story). I am currently Vice President of Operations for LaMettry's Collision and also the chairman of the Automotive Service Association (ASA). I think of the automotive parts recycling industry as a partner to the repair industry in a similar way that I think of the individual salvage recycled parts businesses and people as partners with me and the companies I've worked for. While we have different roles, we essentially all "play in the same sandbox."ť The roles we play cause us to be, in many ways, inseparable. We are dependent upon each other. As an estimator in the past I knew that insurers would expect me to consider recycled parts and often offer proof that I researched the opportunities. Beyond that, I knew that in many situations it simply made sense to utilize such parts.


Connecting Partners in the Repair Process
Recycled parts have long been recognized as a cost effective alternative to OE New and with today's heightened focus on being "green," utilization of recycled parts in the collision repair process makes more sense than ever. For auto recyclers who want to have their inventory of parts made accessible to the estimator, Mitchell's Quality Recycled Parts program (QRP) is an excellent solution. QRP data is processed and made available to insurance, independent appraiser, and repair facility estimators on a daily basis. Fully integrated with Mitchell Estimating, QRP provides easy access to recycled parts during the estimate writing process. When selected as an alternative to OE New parts, the part price, recycler contact information, part details (damage codes, notes, etc.) are automatically included in the estimate to repair.


Auto Recyclers in the NASTF Conversation
My 49-year-career in the automotive industry means I have seen considerable change (improvement) in the automotive recycling industry. Growing up on the aftermarket parts-side of the industry, "junk yard"parts and the businesses that sold them were considered by some in the supplier family to be the black sheep or stepchildren back then. The customer, however — both DIY consumer and garage, especially the body shops — held such parts and people in much higher regard. Ultimately, it is unselfish, wise, and productive for any national conversation on the topic of automotive service to include all viewpoints — in the channel from manufacturer to shop“ and across all segments from retail to aftermarket and recycling, as well.


Improve Your Business by Maximizing Sales to theCollision Repair Industry
A question recyclers often ask me is "How can I sell more parts to collision repairers?" My answer: Make it easier for your customers to do their job well. Most of us need to do more with less these days, so working smart and helping your customers work efficiently have become critical to a company's success. Are you doing the things that make your customer's job easier or more difficult? How well do you understand your customers' job? When car accidents happen, a majority of collision repairers use technology to manage and improve the repair process“ from estimating repair costs, managing the repair itself, communicating repair status with the insurance company and the consumer, and measuring performance. Parts procurement is an integral step in this process and one that can impact a collision repairer's key performance metrics, including costs and cycle time. Many parts suppliers know the import role they can play in a collision repairer's workday, which is why in the past year, recyclers have joined with CCC to create the industry's only free data network that directly connects recyclers with collision repairers. Recyclers that are making the most of this network are seeing their efforts translate to improved sales“ typically in the 20-50 percent range.


Maximizing the Direct Repair Relationship
Technology has infiltrated the automotive recycling industry so completely that when the Internet goes down it's difficult for most people to function. You can argue we rely on it too much, that this program or that device is bad for our business in one way or another, but I have chosen to embrace any technology that I believe is the way of the future. This includes both automated and manually entered parts procurement services and programs, like PartsTrader. While others complain about PartsTrader, I'm using it as a tool to increase my sales. I first saw its value during my participation on the PartsTrader Advisory Board. Here are ways I use it to benefit my business activity. First off, you can grow your customer base. When you get quote requests from shops you don't normally do business with, pursue those customers! Visit those shops with marketing materials or doughnuts, find out why they use your competitors, and convince them to give you a try. When shops ask for quotes all the time but never buy your parts, reach out to them and turn those leads into sales. I discovered several shops that had a bad experience with my company over a decade ago that were not buying parts due to a problem so ancient no one could even remember the details.


A Self-Service Automotive Recycler's Perspective: Flexibility, Adaptability, and Trust are the Keys
Within the auto recycling industry, the prominent role late-model auto recyclers play in relation to insurance companies and repair shops is understood. However, self-service auto recyclers who specialize in buying older vehicles have built strong relationships with repair shops, too. "Most of the end-of-life vehicles we're buying these days are between 10 and 15-years-old," said Jay Brosten, who along with his brother, Larry Brosten, owns Auto Parts City, Gurnee, IL. "And if you consider the average age of vehicles still on the road is more than 11 years, then used parts offer a viable repair alternative in a lot of instances -- even for traditional repair shops." Brosten said that meeting the needs of all customers, be they do-it-your-selfers or repair shops, requires Auto Parts City to be flexible in the range of services it provides. Although Auto Parts City markets itself as a self-service used parts recycler, the staff will pull parts for customers, especially shops. They also warehouse a selection of used engines and transmissions.


Changing is Expected
“In a world ... changing really quickly, the only strategy ... guaranteed to fail is not taking risks” -Mark Zuckerberg To paraphrase: the only strategy guaranteed to fail is not changing. The collision repair industry is changing very quickly, with top insurers spending hundreds of millions of dollars per year on advertising to gain market share. There is a related focus to not lose customers during the claims process, which is when customers are most likely to switch insurance companies if they are unhappy with their service. A JD Powers study showed that the customer satisfaction index (CSI) is directly related to how quickly the customer gets their car back.


Progressive Automotive Recyclers Lead Consumers, Repairers, and Insurers to "Re-think Re-cycled"
Making the move from the collision side to the auto recycling side of the industry has been a very interesting experience. Even after spending more than 25 years in the collision industry and having dealt with recyclers throughout my career, I was amazed by how much I did not know about the recycling side of things. Further, having been involved with the National Auto Body Council (NABC) for many years, and dealing with how people perceive repairers, I never expected anything but professionalism within the recycling industry. And professional is what I found as I began my new career with Team PRP. With the present day demands that the repairer faces, and their need to satisfy the insurers in the DRP environment, I was very pleased to see the approach that Team PRP has taken to address those concerns and be a top provider to those shops.


Your Online Reputation And Your Bottom Line
By now, you've realized that your business is on full display "24/7" online. Forward-thinking businesses capitalize on increased revenue from a positive online reputation. Who's peeking in your large online storefront window, and how much does this really impact your bottom line? Over 150 million people are now familiar with musician Dave Carroll's story. As his touring band was on a layover in Chicago, he actually saw the baggage handlers roughing up the luggage, including his $2,500 guitar. Sure enough, they broke his guitar to pieces. The fact that United Airlines would not compensate him for his broken guitar, after nearly a year of trying, is where this story really takes off. Dave promised the last representative he spoke with that he and his band would tell the world about his experience. Soon Dave fulfilled his promise and his song -- "United Breaks Guitars" went viral on YouTube. By the end of the first week, the video was up to 2.5 million views. In the first four days, the stock price of United dropped 10%, costing shareholders $180 million. This video now has over 13.5 million views. In addition, Dave's added two more videos, wrote his first book, and is currently speaking globally.


Partnerships in Automotive Repair
The publication of ARA's Special Report: Partnerships in Automotive Repair comes as all stakeholders in the automotive sector continue to adapt to the effects of seismic change that have taken place over the past few years. As the average age of vehicles on the road continues to rise, many auto manufacturers have rebounded and technological advances in vehicle design, structure and electrical components are in the headlines seemingly every week.


 
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