In 2009, State Farm halted an electronic parts ordering test it had rolled out in California and Indiana, saying it had no plans to implement such a program nationally, but that it had found that electronic parts ordering "has value". The Select Service agreement that participating shops must sign gives the insurer the right to require electronic parts ordering.
As of yet there is no firm start date for the test, and George Avery, State Farm claims consultant, confirmed that the company has yet to work out details about which Select Service shops will participate or what kind of technology will be used.
"We don't have a timeline and we don't know where we're going to test it," Avery said. "Our intent is to give the repairer the choice of the type of parts they want to use. We'll thoroughly test this solution before we roll it out to our shops, like we do all of our projects."
The goal is to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the parts ordering process to minimize returns and potentially increase the speed of repairs. State Farm could potentially benefit through reductions in rental costs and overall repair costs by eliminating supplements and returns.
The first program, which was centered on an OE discounting program, ran from 2007 to 2009. "This is just the next step in the process," Avery said. "We're taking what we learned and applying that to improve efficiency, get the right parts and possibly fix the car quicker."