“I’m a go-getter and as soon as I see something new, I’m like a kid, I want it,” laughs Poehl, explaining why he loves being a beta site.
For those who are unfamiliar with how it works, a beta site receives products, in Poehl’s case from Car-Part.com, that are finished but haven’t been released to the general public. A few months before Car-Part.com plans on releasing a new product, such as Crashlink, it will send a copy to beta sites such as Poehl’s for testing. Dana and his staff install the new program, try it out, and send a detailed report back to the company on how well the program works and what needs to be fixed. It’s really a win-win situation, as Poehl explains.
“By me hooking up and testing this stuff, not only am I a couple of months ahead of the game, it puts them ahead of the game as well because somebody is working with this new product all the time.”
However, Poehl adds, becoming a beta site requires a lot of legwork and dedication. It’s not all free products and head starts.
“They want yards that have very, very tight inventory control, which we do. They want experienced yards; they want guys that are serious about it,” he says. “They want somebody that fills in all the blanks and answers all the questions and puts the dot at the end of it and that’s what we do.”
“When I get a new release I’ll put it right in and I always fix my inventory and I always fix my interchange numbers. Make sure that everything they tell you to do in the package is done,” says Poehl.
His dedication to doing it right and his love of being the first to use a new product is why Poehl and Car-Part.com have a longstanding working relationship. Poehl says he has being testing the company’s products since before it was even called Car-Part.com. He first became a beta site in the early-1990s when the company was still AutoInfo and has just stuck with it.
As Poehl explains, Car-Part.com has the ability to test the products on its own because company president Jeff Schroder’s brother owns a auto recycling business, Foreign Auto Salvage, which shares it’s property with Car-Part.com. However, Poehl says Car-Part.com values beta sites such as Poehl’s because it provides an outsiders perspective as well as a chance to see how the products work outside of the United States.
After 34 years in business, Poehl obviously still has a love of the industry and the necessary drive to stay ahead of the game. That is why you can be sure that any Car-Part.com product you use has gone through his shop and received his stamp of approval.