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AASP/MA to address PartsTrader at statewide meeting

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Aug. 27, 2012—The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts (AASP/MA) will hold a panel discussion on State Farm Insurance’s parts procurement program through PartsTrader during its statewide meeting Sept. 12.

AASP/MA said it has commissioned a panel of experts to provide an update on the parts procurement issue, including both domestic and global perspectives. The panel will include the following industry professionals:

• Rick Starbard, president of AASP/MA
• Jerry Raskind, wholesale development manager for Balise Wholesale Parts Experts
• Rick Leos, Toyota collision consultant
• Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS)
• Tony Lombardozzi, president of the Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (CCRE)
• Gary Danko, Connecticut wholesale parts representative for Balise Auto Group

“In a state like Massachusetts, where our only real profit margin is derived from parts markup, programs like the one State Farm is attempting to introduce could have devastating effects,” Starbard said. “We’ve set up this panel to not only educate members on the parts bidding issue in general, but also to give a wake-up call to those who think it can’t happen in Massachusetts. Parts procurement is not a DRP issue; it’s a profit issue. I encourage any repairer who is concerned with maintaining profits in his or her shop to attend this meeting.”

“I believe the more communication and information exchanged on this issue, the better,” said Lombardozzi, “As soon as State Farm and PartsTrader are successful in one market, it will only be a matter of time before other insurers take the lead with similar parts procurement systems. Programs like PartsTrader could very easily make their way into Massachusetts and beyond, and so it’s critical that we educate as many people as possible on the fact that parts bidding is a real threat to our livelihoods.”

AASP/MA’s statewide meeting, sponsored by Balise Wholesale Parts Experts, will be held at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough, Mass. In addition to the PartsTrader discussion, the meeting includes dinner and a collision industry training presentation by Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. Registration for the meeting is $27.50 for AASP/MA members and $55 for non-members.

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