State Farm has told an industry media source that the pilot phase of the PartsTrader system has ended and a national rollout of the electronic ordering system to its Select Service direct repair facilities will begin in August this year.
Although the rollout is not yet headlined on the PartsTrader.us.com website, the "Active Repairer Market" map on the website shows Select Service repair facilities in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas as pending states that will be part of the first wave national rollout. The website states that "PartsTrader will soon be available state-wide in the following states: Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado, and intended to become available to more regions across the United States throughout 2013-2014."
"The rollout will continue to additional areas through 2014 though no specific timelines have been established for markets beyond the first four states," State Farm's George Avery told Collisionweek.
Dan Risley, executive director of the Automotive Service Association, also commented to Collisionweek. "This is disturbing news. The industry has made it clear long before PartsTrader that insurance company mandates are not acceptable. Even though shops have a choice whether or not they participate in Select Service, the fact is that they may have made a different decision about their relationship before building their business around State Farm's Select Service program given that the rules of the game have changed. The market should dictate which program is best for their business, not an outside entity. This is clearly a step backwards and reminiscent of the days of insurance companies mandating an estimating platform."