What makes a recycling operation tick?

David Gold is the co-owner of Standard Auto Wreckers and currently serves as the First Vice President of the Automotive Recyclers Association. He is also a regular columnist with Canadian Auto Recyclers' sister publication, Collision Repair magazine.

By David Gold

Toronto, Ontario — August 16, 2017 — Auto recyclers regularly give tours of our operations for a variety of reasons. Sometimes we are asked to partake in community programs and teach a little bit about recycling and the reuse or our products and other times for more technical reasons, for example for insurance renewal applications. Often those from outside of our industry look and marvel at the level of complexity and organization of a modern professional auto recycler – and they ask, how do we do it?

If recyclers are involved in projects that are not adding to the bottom line, it is necessary for us to drop that line of the business, just like any other business would. However, the reality of most of our operations is pretty straightforward. We process vehicles for parts reuse and recycling as our core business. 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.

Labour is, of course, our number one expense (not including the salvage we purchase to serve our customers) so the better we are at controlling expenses, the more aggressive we can be in purchasing the salvage that is in demand in the marketplaces we serve.
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 and simultaneously making sure those products are available to the repair industry. Cost effective parts that are eco-friendly are important to everyone.

So the real answer to “How do you do it?” is that we are an engaged group and utilize the necessary devices in order to maintain an organized and profitable business operation – one that not only our customers can benefit from – but also the environment and communities in which we live.


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