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URG Opposes Usage of PartsTrader

The below press release came from URG opposing the usage of PartsTrader in its current form. We encourage you to send this on to your parts vendors for their information and consideration.

United Recyclers Group Opposes Repairer Mandates by Insurers

Contact: Don Porter
Phone: 512-887-3422
Fax: 512-887-3423
E-mail: dporter@u-r-g.com
Website: www.u-r-g.com

October 10th, 2013 – Austin, Texas – The United Recyclers Group (URG) Board of Managers are announcing their decision not to endorse the use of the online parts procurement tool developed by Parts Trader. This comes in response to the recent announcement by State Farm Insurance mandating the nationwide use of this tool by their program repair facilities.. “Mandatory usage of PartsTrader in its current form does not serve the needs of the auto recycling industry, the collision industry, or vehicle owners,” says Don Porter, URG Executive Director.

“We are committed to working with State Farm, the nation’s largest auto insurer, to resolve the concerns of URG members,” says Don Porter. “Our members question the value of paying a parts procurement business like PartsTrader with the hope of their parts being included and selected when recycler’s parts data is provided to insurers and collision repair facilities. This model increases the cost of repair parts provided by recyclers, and this cost will ultimately be passed on to consumers.”

Repairers and recyclers have developed long standing business relationships based on mutual respect, integrity and the quality of parts and services provided. URG opposes the mandatory use of any procurement tool which may weaken or potentially sever this relationship. The cost of parts and quality of service go hand in hand when a collision repair facility selects recycled parts. Mandates take away the freedom a collision repairer currently enjoys when selecting an auto recycler as a business partner. URG members feel that part selection and acquisition should not be based merely on the cost of the part, but also on the quality of the part and business acumen of the recycler who will ultimately supply the part.

URG believes online technology solutions help drive efficiency in the parts procurement process and create value. URG’s creation of URGNet, an interactive recycled parts database, is a product of that belief. Parts data from more than 500 URG auto recycler members provides users of different online parts programs with direct and immediate access to comprehensive recycled parts inventory, availability and pricing. Keeping recycled parts available, affordable and competitive in today’s business environment were major considerations in URG’s decision not to endorse Parts Trader.

With over 500 members, United Recyclers Group, LLC (URG) is the largest group of progressive auto recyclers in North America. URG members work together in many innovative ways to improve and modernize the automotive recycling industry.

For more information, go to the United Recyclers Group website at www.u-r-g.com. Or call 303-367-4391.

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By |October 30th, 2013|News|Comments Off on URG Opposes Usage of PartsTrader|

Petition by IABA No Insurer Mandated Programs

STOP EXTORTION

Read the below special industry notice from the Indiana Auto Body Association and support the petition. WMABA urges you to support what many other industry groups, associations and businesses have vocally opposed! 

SPECIAL INDUSTRY NOTICE
To make change happen requires action, but it often begins by smallest of actions.
History has shown that changes begin, not by the war to end all wars, but by the individual battles that define the injustice, and dedication to the need for that change by those willing to accept the challenge.

Today the Industry is faced with one of its greatest challenges that many feel is so important that it will require all the efforts of our Trade Associations and their members, as well as everyone else within our Industry.

The Industry news is filled with State Farm’s Part Trader commentaries, but even though in itself is a fundamental infringement upon our industry, the issue is also greater than just this one program.

This issue is about programs that insurers are now mandating that change our well establish business relationships, place the vehicle owners in jeopardy, and interfere with the free market system.

It is also about the aggressive pressure property casualty companies are placing on repairers for their monetary gain, placing the vehicle owners in risk, and tortiously interfering with collision repairers’ businesses.

Take the time to sign our petition to the State and Federal Attorney Generals, Legislators, and the Federal Trade Commission. We will utilize this show of support to do whatever it takes to take back control of our Industry.

Just Click the Extortion Poster Below to go to our petition.
In case the link above does not work:
http://www.change.org/petitions/dear-state-and-federal-attorney-generals-legislators-and-the-federal-trade-commission-stop-insurer-mandated-programs 

By |October 29th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Petition by IABA No Insurer Mandated Programs|

I’d Do It My (Mike’s) Way

Mike Anderson (of Collision Advice) is exciting. And the Doctor says it’s highly contagious.

Whether you take it as passionate, moving, electrifying, or emotional, it doesn’t really matter. Any way you slice it, Mike is “excited” about teaching others and helping them to succeed. And he’s really great at it. If you knew him from the days he owned Wagonwork Collision you probably see him as a peer. Now, you’d see him as much more than that. No matter how great of a shop owner he was, he’s an even better teacher.

Spending a day with him is fun. He jokes a lot (mostly about himself) and sometimes screams out “I love this stuff!” I mean, he literally screams it out and usually when the audience is distracted and they all jump out of their seat; myself included. He makes the topics he discusses – usually very serious – more light and enlightening. In my opinion, it makes it easier to digest and retain it, as well as envision practical application. It’s very empowering.

It isn’t always an easy subject matter. As a former shop owner of a completely non-DRP business structure, he talked about his mental transition through his consulting experience into more of a “fix-it-right” mentality. Whether shops are independent or DRP-dependent didn’t matter to him as much as quality of repair. And on that point, I couldn’t agree with him more. In my years with WMABA, I’d come to that realization through working with many different types of shops. I also don’t care what your business model is; just that it includes doing a safe repair for the consumer.

Digging further down into the meat of the meeting, he went into supplement ratios and complete teardowns and how they can affect the cycle time and profit of your business. Joel covered them earlier in the cover story, so I think you’ve got that part down.

What I want you to grab a hold of from Mike’s seminar are ways of improving customer relations. Such as that 68% of people prefer text updates to phone or email. Do you think it would be wise to look into that? He also cited a survey that says consumers put trust, empathy and direction above price, which was down in 6th place! So, do you think that setting clear expectations on the front end of the repair process to establish trust, and taking the time to listen to the customer about how the accident took place would gain empathy? Wouldn’t that make you 1st and 2nd in their book, even over the insurance company?

Another way to improve customer relations and establish a long-lasting relationship is through communication. Sounds a lot like a family, right? If Mike’s right, your customer could forget about you completely in 18 months, so you need to get in front of them on a regular basis. Do you have a Facebook page with regular updates? Do you ask them to give you an email address to send them a newsletter? Have you checked your website ranking on Google? Do you not know how to do any of this stuff and need to go out there and get some help?

These are all things you’ve heard before, but maybe never took initiative on. Mike challenged you – even if you weren’t there – to think like a business owner. Think logically and not emotionally. If you can explain your charges in a methodical and documented way, then they may not come around immediately but you can continue to have the discussion with them until they do.

If you put 10% of your time into […]

By |October 28th, 2013|Executive Director|Comments Off on I’d Do It My (Mike’s) Way|

How to Keep Up: Online and On the Hill

Legislation and Website Changes Sharpen Association Focus

Legislation has been a public focus of WMABA in the last few months, and it will no doubt stay top-of-mind until next session closes in 2014. There is no slack of pace to see that parts procurement issues are emphasized to our Delegates and Senators for benefit of the repairer and consumer constituents they serve. Your job, as has been said in our cover story, is to go out and get to know them.

New WMABA Website

During the legislative session our association has been working tirelessly to also announce our new website redesign. Shortly following rebranding through a new logo, the Board worked with Rob Hall Design in Richmond to build a new website on a new platform. Showcasing an entirely new and more interactive format, the changes have been focused on repairer and consumer education. Also an opportunity for engagement through comment sections, complaint forms and a vast variety of information and links to find resources to better repairer businesses.

The goal of the new website is also to support the activities that we do such as meetings, legislative agendas, education, and other membership initiatives. We are so excited to continue to mold it into a go-to resource for our local industry!

2013 Golf Outing

This month is the announcement of our Annual WMABA Golf Outing, that supports our education fund – Jerry Dalton Memorial Education Fund. This fund is set up to give scholarships for tools or schooling for our area kids and is a valuable part of keeping our technician pool alive in the future.

If you want to support or play, you can go to the website under events and get everything you need. We suggest putting in your application as soon as possible as our recent outings have sold out.

Standards

There is a lot of activity in the area of standards. With discussions coming from the Collision Industry Conference meetings, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) with whom we are affiliated, as well as the recent – albeit negative – announcements by I-CAR it seems to be everywhere we turn.

The feeling I have after reviewing and researching much of this is that it all boils down to vehicle repair safety for the consumer. What is the safest approach to repair the damage to pre-accident condition? Processes and procedures and classes and recommendations are all out there now. The bigger question becomes WHO should be in charge of creation of any repair standard? My adamant opinion: the repairer and the vehicle manufacturer.

Repairers are often dismissed as to their capability to self-govern. This is why every other segment of our industry jumps into every advisory council and Board seat they can – to influence the repairer industry (and many times to their own selfish benefit).

I admit that our industry representatives are usually roped and tied into participating on a Board of any kind, but this time I believe it is never more important for our industry to step up and take the bull by the horns and own their own “Standards”. Again I admit that we may not know all the directions that it can go, but at […]

By |April 29th, 2013|Executive Director, News|Comments Off on How to Keep Up: Online and On the Hill|

Read the WMABA Newsletter – March 2013

March 2013 Newsletter

Here is the latest WMABA Newsletter for your review. Including the top story: 2013 Maryland Parts Legislation

Make sure you read my ED Message and check out the MUST-READ industry news links that we’ve included. There is a lot of information here, but it is all very important to your business.

Sincerely,

Jordan Hendler, Executive Director

By |April 4th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Read the WMABA Newsletter – March 2013|

WMABA Takes Lead on Maryland Parts Legislation

March 13, 2013; Richmond, Virginia – Attention has recently been focused on the 2013 Maryland House Bill 1375, introduced by Delegate Mark N. Fisher (R-27B) which would inhibit insurers from specifying the use of aftermarket parts for the first five (5) years of the vehicle, and would prevent carriers from requiring the use of any specific process or vendor for the procurement of parts or materials. The Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) assisted Fisher in crafting the language that was used to introduce the bill, and strongly support the efforts to see it passed into law.

“When Delegate Fisher began working with us through his constituents, he indicated a need for consumer protection legislation relating to the use of aftermarket parts,” says Jordan Hendler, Executive Director of WMABA. “We aided his efforts to introduce this bill in this session by providing guidance and information on the subject matter, outlining the issues currently faced by our membership. We support the Delegate’s pro-consumer viewpoints, and agree that the language will offer added protection for our member’s customers in the state of Maryland. Additionally, we firmly believe that it is outside of the business of insurance to specify any process or vendor in the repair process, and this legislation will provide much-needed protection in this area, given growing advancements of insurers mandating parts procurement practices.

Insurers in other areas of the country are increasing their involvement in the repair process by mandating processes in which parts are located and purchased, which will eventually reduce the existing free marketplace. Our organization strongly agrees with the bill sponsors that Maryland representatives ensure the health of a marketplace free of undue manipulation that only serves special interests; and that it is imperative to protect Maryland consumers from allowing the insurance industry from taking such controlling measures, which only benefit their bottom line.

If you would like to support the association in their efforts and find out how to help, please call or email the office today. Maryland repairers are urged to contact their legislators in support of this legislation. Financial contributions are also greatly appreciated.

About WMABA: The WMABA is a regional collision industry association, currently covering the areas of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC whose mission is to serve the best interests of collision repairers through leadership, education and initiatives that strengthen the professionalism and business conditions for the professional collision repairer. If you would like to find out more information about WMABA and its activities, you can contact Executive Director Jordan Hendler (Phone: 804-789-9649 or Email: jordanhendler@wmaba.com) or visit its website at: http://www.wmaba.com

 

Contact Information:
Jordan Hendler, Executive Director
Ph: 804-789-9649 / E: jordanhendler@wmaba.com

By |March 17th, 2013|News, Press Releases|Comments Off on WMABA Takes Lead on Maryland Parts Legislation|

Giving Thanks for 2012

Always in the last couple months of the year we reflect on what happened over the course of the year and where we want to go from here. For WMABA, it is not only an individual reflection on my part, but one of the entire organization and our membership. Each year I feel as though we’ve come a long way on some issues, and others still need a big swift kick in the pants. This year is no different.

First, I’d like to look back on a sad time for our industry. The loss of Dave McBroom of Sunbeam Auto Body in Florida, who also was the head of the Florida Collision Industry Alliance and leader of the charge for information on the State Farm-PartsTrader issue, is a weighing regret for many people as well as me. Dave was a dear friend of mine, and someone with whom I shared many wins and defeats with for our association. Not just a staunch industry supporter, he was also a retired military officer and community activist for multiple charitable organizations. The world will miss him greatly.

The State Farm-PartsTrader issue has sucked up much of this year. The waiting for advancements [good or bad] is what feels like an eternity. I feel like we’re out hunting the big buck and have been stuck in a tree stand with binoculars for weeks with only a glance of the random wild turkey. But man, if that buck shows his face, I’m gonna shoot him! How the analogy fits is more tuned to any insurer-mandated program.

It really is primary that the “PartsTrader” issue isn’t with PartsTrader at all, but with insurers requiring particular vendors for a service. The repairer should always have the right to work with whatever vendor they choose, either computer programs or parts or paint or anything else. I still believe that even a DRP agreement should never impede on this basic business right.

In addition to the issues at hand, WMABA had a really successful year with membership, the golf outing, and educational initiatives. It is really rewarding to see things that are strategically planned by our Board come to fruition in such a positive manner.

Participating at the SCRS Repairer Driven Education and attending the SEMA show, as well as the Collision Industry Conference, was invigorating. The amount of electronic information that is coming out in the weeks following shows just how important this event is in advancing our industry. Each year, the educational opportunities, the vendor offerings, and the participation by our industry just grows and grows. If you make one New Year’s Resolution, it should be to go next year.

Last, but not least, I am thankful for our members and those vendors who support us through thick and thin. We’ve had many new members this year, and with additional members we become stronger and have a stronger voice. I know that this coming year will be our best year ever.

– Jordan Hendler, Executive Director

 

By |December 31st, 2012|Executive Director, News|Comments Off on Giving Thanks for 2012|

Look Before You Leap

I’m sure by now you’re wondering with anticipation if the PartsTrader implementation is coming to our market and when. There’s been talk of it all year, and so far there hasn’t been anything more than swirls of smoke and nervous chatter. Unfortunately, as it stands right now there is no showing of State Farm coming off its course to see this pilot into finality.

Regrettably, the real issue is that State Farm won’t find a shortage of shops that are willing to get on [or back on] the Select Service program in spite of the potential ramifications they may face using the PartsTrader program. Because of the economic pressures and over capacity in our industry, this is the [seemingly calculated] perfect time for the insurer to strike. Also, there are an overwhelming number of shops who cannot survive in a non-DRP model and are already so engrossed in the program that really have no choice but to participate.

There is rumor that some of the shops put on the program in the pilot market(s) to replace those who got off were previously removed because of shoddy work. If that is true, then it is a sad day for State Farm. The policyholders they claim to be protecting by implementing this program are now potentially subject to questionable repairs. I’m sure if they were given the choice of a few dollars in premium and premium repairs, it would be a no-brainer. Truly, they are not even aware that this is going on and are not given a choice in the matter.

I want you to use the tear-out on page 50-51 to inform yourself and anyone you work with about what the potential issues with this program could be. It is your choice when the program gets here whether or not you participate. My hope is that you make the decision knowing all the options and problems you could face down the road.

The biggest concern I have is not whether or not a single repairer participates. It is when there becomes a majority in a market. That’s when State Farm will look at us, as they always have, and say that then ALL repairers in that market are expected to participate because it would be “fair and reasonable” to expect them to do what a majority has already been doing.

I’ve used the example of body labor prices for mechanical operations. Even though the guides say that certain operations are mechanical, the insurer has often mandated non-Select Service shops to only charge body labor because the majority in their market (mainly Select Service shops) are only charging that much. Taking advantage of paying less money to their program shops and pushing it on the others is something this company has already been doing in our area.

Why do you think they’re doing this? If you think it’s to improve the repairer efficiency, then you need to put the red Kool-Aid down and ask yourself one question: Why would you implement a program in your business? The answer is clearly, to save money [or make more on existing work].

Just remember that through all of this turmoil, you are in business to make a profit. Otherwise, what reason do you have to do all of it? Profit is not a dirty word and it shouldn’t be used to browbeat our industry into using an inefficient, unnecessary program that will likely cause the degradation of the only remaining profit center left. When that is reduced to rubble, what would you have left?

– Jordan Hendler, Executive Director

 

By |November 22nd, 2012|Executive Director, News|Comments Off on Look Before You Leap|

Rolling into 2013 in High Gear

With a new Board of Directors and the opening of the 2013 Labor Rate Survey, the excitement at WMABA just continues to grow. We’re closing out a productive 2012 with the expectations to have a very promising New Year.

It’s all in the comparisons.

With last year’s labor rate survey being the first, it was hard to fathom what the outcome would be. As we all waited on pins and needles for the results, we had high hopes and dreams for how this information could be utilized positively for the industry. When the data came in there was baited breath as each region was reviewed. The results we got met and exceeded our expectations. It was a collective sigh of relief and feeling of real accomplishment.

This go-around is another great feat because this time we’ll be able to….(wait for it….) COMPARE! It’s what we’ve been looking forward to throughout the entire process – where are we now and where are we going? To track our industry’s trends with relation to prices is a major achievement for the association and a huge benefit to our entire region.

As the survey opens in the first part of January, the key is to get the word out. All of the vendors will receive the notification that the survey is open and they have the opportunity to educate their customers about participation. Also, the shops that have already participated will electronically be notified and have the first chance to get their survey done.

It’s a proud moment for WMABA that this Labor Rate survey process has become a shining example of how associations can provide tools for the membership they serve.

Don’t take your eyes off Parts Procurement

With the start of the New Year, we are also reminded – even in this issue – about the continuing developments with insurance-mandated programs, and specifically in the parts procurement arena. Because you are seeing it so often, it is easy to feel like you’re seeing the same stuff. Don’t let it hypnotize you into letting your guard down!

Advancements are being made in pilot markets for the State Farm-PartsTrader program and there is no reason to think “it won’t come here”. In fact, it is just the opposite; you have every reason to think that it will. And you should plan in such a way that when it does come here you are educated and ready to decide how you want to deal with it.

Board of Directors Newbie

We are happy to continue working with the many folks who are dedicating their time to help the association move forward with its initiatives. With our recent election during the Fall Member Holiday Social (pg??), we added our newest Board member Mark Schaech, Jr.

I want to personally thank all of the Board members who have selflessly given of their time, energy and resources to make our association successful. I also thank Mark for having the courage to step up to a Board position for the year. We look forward to working with everyone to make this year’s goals a reality.

– Jordan Hendler, Executive Director

By |July 31st, 2012|Executive Director, News|Comments Off on Rolling into 2013 in High Gear|