Collision Experts, a New York-based MSO with two locations, said it will no longer be included in the State Farm Select Service Program because the collision repair shop wants to have the right to decide where to purchase its parts.
State Farm customers can still choose to have their vehicles repaired at Collision Experts’ shops in Schenectady or Clifton Park, but the national office may no longer refer customers to Collision Experts.
Collision Experts CEO and owner, Maryann Bowman, said it was more important for Collision Experts to have the freedom to buy parts from trusted vendors that the company has built relationships with over the years than be included in the State Farm Select Service Program, which requires collision repair shops to purchase parts from PartsTrader.
Richard Bowman said, “Many of my parts vendors signed up with PartsTrader, so we couldn’t use them.”
“Sometimes you have to part ways in a partnership,” said Maryann Bowman. “In this case, I believe that the national changes don’t work for my business model. We do not want to sever the relationships we’ve built with our vendors over the years.”
State Farm has been rolling out the changes incrementally and just recently implemented the mandate in New York. Collision Experts is the only local body shop to publicly opt out of the program as a result of the changes.
“Although we value the business that State Farm has referred to us over the years, the new Select Service Program does not fit our business model,” said Bowman. “This is strictly a business decision based on changes to the Select Service Program that would require us to change parts vendors. We have great relationships with our parts vendors, and we feel that this helps us provide an exceptional product. If at any time State Farm decides to change or adjust their Select Service Program, we will be more than happy to revisit this in the future.”
However, State Farm customers are still free to choose Collision Experts for their body repairs.
“We still welcome all State Farm customers and look forward to continuing to work with local State Farm agents to provide the best repair for our mutual clients,” said Bowman.
Collision Experts’ parting with State Farm is amicable, Bowman said. However, some body shops have filed lawsuits or traveled across the country to heighten awareness of the State Farm changes.
“We will continue to have a good working relationship with State Farm,” said Bowman. “It’s disappointing that they may refer customers to different shops despite our high rating because of a difference of opinion. We are willing to work together so we can give our customers the best service at a time when they need it most.”