ASA examines State Farm’s parts bidding program




May 18, 2012—The Automotive Service Association (ASA) is conducting a multi-segmented fact-finding effort on State Farm Insurance’s new electronic parts bidding and ordering program through PartsTrader to examine its potential impact on ASA-member shops.

The ASA said it is arranging several interviews with industry members who are currently involved with the program. The ASA said its key questions revolve around the financial impact the PartsTrader initiative could have on collision repair facilities, and how the tool would be part of providing the best possible repair to the motoring public.

“State Farm’s pilot program has a potential to have a tremendous impact on the collision repair industry and the motoring public. It is vital for ASA to approach this situation methodically, with an emphasis on facts to ensure that the results of the pilot are in the best interest of the collision repairer,” said Denise Caspersen, collision division manager for the ASA. “ASA has an obligation to provide our membership, and the industry, as much factual information as possible—just as State Farm has an obligation to answer the community’s concerns. ASA also has a responsibility to address issues directly with the parties involved to provide recommendations and solutions benefitting repairers, consumers and the industry.”

The ASA said its collision division team, which consists of operations committee members and staff, recently interviewed George Avery, auto claim consultant—P&C Claims for State Farm, regarding the pilot program. The organization also spoke with Rob Cooper, CEO of PartsTrader, about the program’s implementation plans, supplier qualifications, data extraction and quality checks on recommended parts. The ASA said it has submitted additional follow-up questions to both Avery and Cooper for comment, and will share updates with the industry as those conversations continue.

“This pilot program, which reaches beyond the insurer-repairer relationship, is at a pivotal point to potentially allow for adjustments to the program as a result of industry input and analysis,” Caspersen said. “If this tool is to go forward and benefit the entire industry, it requires transparency, mutual understanding and collaboration. ASA is committed to a collaborative process that produces the best possible outcome for the collision repairer.”

The ASA said it is also seeking comments and insight from its membership base regarding the program. The organization encourages its members to share their concerns and experiences by contacting Caspersen at denisec@asashop.org.

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