The Collision Industry Conference is held four times per year and brings together all parties of the collision repair industry to discuss all aspects of the collision repair business.
The topic of the most recent meeting was electronic parts procurement which is an interface from a body shop’s estimating system to the parts vendors. PartsTrader is the most common. The alarming thing to me is that every time this issue is discussed on a national stage, it’s always very controversial and heated, which means that there’s a lot of unhappy people with that amount of control that’s taken away from them. Collision repair centers are losing the freedom to purchase parts where they want to purchase them.
PartsTrader is a piece of software used to micro-manage how and where collision repair centers purchase your vehicle’s parts. This is NOT in the best interest of the consumer. This is because PartsTrader’s decisions are made on price which means that the quality of the part will be affected. Will these discounted parts perform the same in a collision as others?
The biggest thing for us is that it’s the starting and stopping of the process. We need to put the parts orders out for a quote and then PartsTrader has two hours to respond. This means it will add at least two hours to the repair process, not to mention the interruption to the work flow! If wrong parts come or additional parts are discovered, we have to go through that whole process again, and it just creates inefficiencies in the repair process and results in you taking longer to get your car back.
As a business owner, if it’s going to be required, then it needs to be required in 100% of the marketplace. There’s currently only 6 areas in the State of Iowa that are required to use PartsTrader. This means that 93 counties don’t have to use PartsTrader – this is a serious, unfair economic advantage.
If you want to see examples on how this process affects the safety of your vehicle, visit www.safecars.com.