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Utah Auto Body Association Releases PartsTrader Position Statement

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Aug. 8, 2013—The Utah Auto Body Association’s (UABA) board of directors recently issued its official position statement regarding PartsTrader, the Web-based portal used for State Farm Insurance’s electronic parts procurement initiative.

State Farm this month launched a national rollout of the PartsTrader program. In addition to the five test markets—Tucson, Ariz.; Birmingham, Ala.; Charlotte, N.C.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Chicago—State Farm has expanded use of the program to include several metropolitan cities throughout Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.

The UABA said PartsTrader is scheduled to be introduced in Utah in early September.

After reviewing information supplied by PartsTrader and shop operators using the program, the UABA said the mandate to use a specific technology vendor could create an unhealthy parts sourcing environment that would lead to an unnecessary and invasive interference in the collision repair process.

“It is the official position of the Utah Auto Body Association that repair decisions, vendor selections and business processes used in the course of repairing a damaged vehicle is best left to the collision repair professionals who work on these vehicles, with the authorization of the vehicle owners who entrust them to the make the safest repair decisions available,” the UABA’s board of directors said in a statement.

The UABA said it recognizes the current parts supply chain as the “best and most efficient system available.” The organization said the current system allows for an open and free market that utilizes local businesses, which allows shops to source and receive parts quickly from trusted suppliers to improve cycle time and reduce administrative delays and expense.

“These Utah business to business relationships are a vital and successful part of our local economies. This proven process can continue to provide the Utah consumer with a timely, safe and guaranteed repair,” the UABA said. “The UABA does not recommend or endorse any decisions made by, or actions taken by, businesses or individuals affected by Parts Trader, and ask only that each party research and make educated decisions based upon their own best business practices.”

FenderBender recently spoke with four repair professionals using the PartsTrader program in four separate markets to dig into the operational and financial impacts they’re experiencing.

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