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ASA issues timeline for State Farm to prove PartsTrader benefit

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Aug. 23, 2012—The Automotive Service Association (ASA) will take an official and appropriate stance on State Farm Insurance’s parts procurement initiative through PartsTrader if State Farm cannot provide data showing financial and operational benefits of the program within a feasible, specified time frame.

The ASA issued a request to State Farm in June to provide factual evidence of how the electronic parts ordering application benefits collision repair facilities. The ASA said it would not support the application if there were no proven benefits for collision repairers.

The ASA said its main areas of concern regarding the program include shop efficiency, administration costs, profit reductions, compromises to repairer-supplier relationships, and increased insurer involvement in the repair process.

“From the vast pool of conversations conducted thus far, overwhelmingly, the majority of all segments interviewed continue to express strong concern about the current State Farm pilot, particularly its electronic parts ordering component,” the ASA said. The association has conducted more than 100 interviews with industry stakeholders, including RealParts.com, PartsCheck Live, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), Team PRP Recyclers, independent aftermarket parts distributors, wholesale original parts dealers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

The ASA said George Avery, auto claims consultant for State Farm, reported that State Farm is still sifting through the feedback received from the 158 shops involved with the pilot. Avery said State Farm is now implementing changes to the pilot that will require the company to gather additional data from repairers.

“Avery stressed it is a fluid process,” the ASA said. “Although lacking current data to provide specific answers, he assured ASA that State Farm would respond to the association when answers were available.”

The ASA said it acknowledges that the pilot program is still ongoing, and that State Farm is currently reviewing data. The ASA has defined and provided a specific time frame for State Farm to release_notes data regarding benefits to repairers. The hard date was not disclosed.

“For ASA members, the factual results of the pilot are essential to the discussion. ASA will continue to engage with all parties necessary, as we seek the supporting data that this application benefits the collision repairer. ASA stands by its statement that if this application does not provide benefits to the collision repairer, ASA would not support the application moving forward,” said Denise Caspersen, manager of ASA’s Collision Division. “ASA has a responsibility to our membership to be the unyielding, professional voice speaking clearly about their concerns and advocating for favorable resolutions.”

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