By David Gold
Auto recyclers regularly give tours of their operations for a variety of reasons. Sometimes we are asked to partake in community programs. Sometimes we are asked to teach a little bit about recycling and re-use or about our products. Very often, people outside the industry marvel at the level of complexity involved in an auto recycling facility. So they ask, how do we do it?
Like many industries, auto recycling facilities are made up of many little operations within the business unit itself. Appearances are often deceiving in terms of the number of team members actually required in order to get the job done. Sometimes auto recyclers have closed door sessions where we ask the same questions to one another. That is when we start to break down the business into segments in which we can compare metrics so that we can then better understand how we do what we do.
It takes many departments, and those from outside the industry are always amazed that we have buying, inventory, dismantling, parts stocking/parts pullers, shippers, drivers, accounting, salespeople and others that make the business tick. Who knew it would take such a collective bunch?
As a rule, auto recyclers use their own ingenuity to find solutions to industry specific problems that are inherent for the proper handling and processing of automobiles. In fact the few software programs we use come from present or former auto recyclers who designed them because of their own needs. Auto recyclers couldn’t run the business at the levels seen today without the use of these proprietary systems, ranging from a point of sale inventory management system to a bolt on piece of shipping software made directly for us to use and benefit from.
Labour is of course our number one expense (not including the salvage we purchase to serve our customers). The better we control expenses, the more aggressive we can be when purchasing salvage that is in demand within the marketplaces we serve. Since our business is naturally labour intensive, we use buying tools specifically designed to advise us as to what might be the more popular (and therefore, more profitable) vehicles to purchase for our specific customer base. This allows us to be most effective and properly attribute value to those vehicles that will yield the biggest bang for our buck.
There is no question about it. The better auto recyclers can manage their respective businesses with the use of these tools, the better we can serve the collision repairers. Auto recyclers support the collision repair industry so they can continue to develop and enhance complementary products to supplement our natural innovative instincts.
At the end of the day, it’s all about providing our people with a line of sight to the products that we have available while making sure those products are available to your industry. We strive to display our products to the marketplace using multiple portals and we work together to help fulfill orders as required.
So, how do we do it? The real answer is that we are a group that utilizes the necessary devices in order to maintain an organized and profitable business operation. We are a group that benefits not only our customers, but also the environment in which we live.