PartsTrader discussion draws crowd in New Jersey
Oct. 15, 2012—More than 170 shop owners and parts dealers attended the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey’s (AASP/NJ) annual meeting last week in Clark, N.J., to learn about State Farm Insurance’s parts procurement pilot through PartsTrader.
During the meeting, Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), presented information on the PartsTrader initiative based on the SCRS’ research of the program’s effect in U.S. trial markets, as well as in other countries such as New Zealand and Australia.
Charles Bryant, executive director of AASP/NJ, said several parts suppliers publicly stated opposition to the program, and reported that they would never consider being a part of PartsTrader.
“There was an overwhelming sense of anger from our shop members who are tired of insurance companies trying to cut into more and more of their profits,” Bryant said. “I don’t think State Farm had any idea of how this issue would unify the shops and the parts suppliers. Every day, we are making strides to stop this program. Last night was a major, major step.”
“There were a lot of shocked and angry people in that room last night,” said Jeff McDowell, president of AASP/NJ. “In all of my over 40 years in this industry, I don’t think I’ve seen this type of reaction from both shops and parts providers. It is apparent that this is an issue that will unite, in my opinion, the two most important links in the collision repair chain—the parts supplier and the collision repairer.”
FenderBender had conversations with both George Avery, auto claims consultant-P&C Claims for State Farm, and Michael Quinn, vice president of industry and community relations for Caliber Collision Centers, last week during the 2012 NACE Expo in New Orleans. Avery offered a deeper explanation regarding the company's reasoning behind the PartsTrader effort, and how the insurer plans to prove the program's value to shops. Quinn discussed his role on PartsTrader's industry advisory council, and addressed misconceptions that repairers have about the program.