By Brigitte Pesant, director of business development for the Automotive Recyclers of Canada and the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association.
Fort Wright, Kentucky — August 10, 2011 — Auto recyclers from across North America and as far away as Australia descended on Fort Wright, Kentucky from August 4 to 6 to attend the Third Annual Car-Part.com Industry Conference. The information that was shared about the challenges and opportunities of recyclers in providing and selling more recycled parts are both eye opening and optimistic. The three-day event kicked off with the registration and a reception on the evening of 4th. The Friday and Saturday had two full days of seminars offering great variety and selection. The schedule was broken down into five classes on the Friday and four classes on the Saturday. Each time slot offered classes covering the following product groups: Checkmate, Fast Parts, Web Products, Bidmate & Partmate and Executive & Management.
The conference launched Friday morning with a keynote address by Jeff Schroder, president of Car-Part.com who affirmed Car-Part.com’s goal of “helping Auto Recyclers sell more recycled parts” by providing the technology tools to “deliver on product quality, service and delivery” and assist auto recyclers in their recycled parts growth objectives.
Auto recycling customers and partners have on repeated occasions commented on the great opportunity for the auto recycling industry to improve on its levels of standards as it relates to providing a guaranteed consistency in product quality (parts grading process) and service. Insurers and repairers have openly stated that they will only deal with the “Best in Class” auto recyclers. This business decision is predicated on the trust and history between individual auto recyclers or recycler networks and their customers. How does an equally trusted and certified auto recycler infiltrate the small circles of partnerships or make their flawless service standards highly visible in an e-commerce open market? Jeffrey Schroder, internet systems manager and presenter of the Car-Part Pro: Selling More Parts to the Professional Repairer class, demonstrated the upcoming new lookup that will display the level of certification of each auto recycler and make it visible to all customers sourcing recycled parts on Car-Part Pro. This underscores the need for auto recyclers who have not already done so, to align themselves with the ARA and/or URG certification programs currently available.
Schroder also shared an alarming statistic on the time investment to fulfill a part estimate request with an OE part versus a recycled part. The time spent sourcing a recycled part is 30 minutes to one minute to that of an OE part. Understanding the market structure of an OE MSRP industry and the gap with the auto recycling industry reality, continuous efforts towards tightening up this ratio towards achievable improvements with the OE process benchmark can only drive recycled parts sales up by thousands of dollars for each minute claimed. Schroder demonstrated the automated process improvements of Car-Part Pro that will make reducing the time spent sourcing recycled parts more efficient and strive to build confidence levels in purchasing recycled parts. These include to, but are not limited to:
· Distribution networks linked to service delivery times: Same day, next day or two and three day.
· Simplifying the warranty service sales process (revenue generating opportunity)
· Showcase auto recycler certifications on Car-Part.com site
· Real time refresh of part availability status (sold or on-hand)
Consistency among auto recyclers in terms of parts grading is yet another challenge faced by the industry. CrashLink, a new Car-Part.com program to launch in Q4, includes a report that searches for inconsistencies in parts grading. A disciplined procedural pull of this report will create significant improvements in part grading efficiencies and serve to enhance the professional image of the auto recycling industry in the view our industry customers.
CrashLink has a Canadian connection with its beginnings with Dana Poehl at Poehl’s Auto Recyclers in Kentville Nova Scotia. Dana Poehl’s has been in business since 1976, and has a long-standing relationship with Car-Part.com going back to the early 1990s when Car-Part.com was known as Auto Info Inc. Poehl has closely worked with Car-Part.com for many years, where he has trained fellow ARC members on new generation Car-Part.com programs. His most recent Car-Part.com venture is as the Canadian beta site for the soon to be released (Q4 2011) CrashLink program. Poehl has been testing the CrashLink program for the past month and had only positive comments to share with the group attending Product Manager Jody Prather’s Crashlink Class.
At the recent June 16th (CCIF-ARC) Auto Recycling Summit held in Toronto, the three primary stakeholders (collision repairers, insurers and auto recyclers) looked to the technology suppliers in the room for their assistance and dedicated involvement in both the problem resolution and growth opportunities discussed at the summit. Roger Schroder, VP of sales and support at Car-Part.com, attended the summit and vocalized Car-Part.com’s commitment to support and deliver on the needs brought forward. It is clear by the road map of new Car-Part.com products and enhancements due to launch in Q4 of this year that Car-Part.com listened to the issues, and delivered on their part in the industry partnership towards continuous improvements in technological tools to drive growth in recycled parts sales!