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CIC Committee to Create Parts Procurement System Matrix

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July 24, 2013, BOSTON—The Collision Industry Conference (CIC) parts and materials committee announced Wednesday a strategic initiative to create an electronic parts procurement system matrix, a grid-style document that will allow repairers to compare and contrast the different features in parts procurement systems.

The announcement was made at Wednesday’s morning session of CIC at the Westin Boston Waterfront.

The committee is currently in the process of developing a 30-question survey to be given to system manufacturers that will touch on certain aspects of each procurement model. The survey results will make up the information in the matrix.

“We want this to explore, with each of the companies, what the system is, what the system does and how that will affect businesses,” said Karen Fierst of KerenOr Consultants, who led the panel discussion. “We want to create a tool that is usable in the marketplace.”

The committee will conduct the survey in the next few months, analyze the results and report the findings at the CIC meetings held during the SEMA Show Nov. 6–7 in Las Vegas.

During their presentation Wednesday, the committee—which included Fierst, Aaron Lofrano of Lofrano & Sons Collision Centers, Mary Lou Lubrano of Car-Part.com, Michael Quinn of uParts Inc., and Mike Kunkel of Team PRP—surveyed the repairers in the CIC assembly (roughly 30 percent of the room) as to whether certain types of questions were relevant to the project.

More issues surfaced, though, when the committee opened the floor to questions from the audience.

Shop owner Randy Stabler and Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists, separately brought up similar points in regards to the “free market” aspect of acquiring the systems for shops.

The general feeling both presented was that, currently, shops do not have the ability to openly choose which systems to use in their businesses; instead, they’re being forced into certain parts procurement systems by business partners, such as insurers. State Farm's parts procurement system through PartsTrader has been a lightning rod for this issue.

In response, several of the committee members acknowledged that the free-market issues are certainly a concern, but overall, the issue is not pertinent to the survey being created or the eventual creation of the system evaluation matrix that will result from that.

CIC chairman George Avery stepped in at one point to stress the purpose of committee, and suggested holding a roundtable discussion on the free-market topic at a future meeting.

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