The meeting coincided with the national rollout of Parts Trader in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. Arizona was the first state in which Select Service shops were required to locate and purchase all parts using the relatively new and controversial program without benefit of the "fax only" option. Select Service shops are now only allowed to purchase parts from vendors that agreed to sign a Parts Trader Agreement.
As a follow up to this meeting, ASA AZ sent out surveys to new car dealerships parts departments. "The overwhelming majority of our collision repair members are opposed to the mandated use of parts procurement programs" stated Luz Rubio, Executive Director for ASA AZ. "We sent out the surveys to find out how Parts Trader was actually working for vendors and whether they felt it added value to their business."
Thirty OEM vendors replied to the survey with results that were overwhelmingly negative in regards to how parts departments felt the program was working for them. "The results of our survey do not seem to support Mr. Sailer's claims that Parts Trader has been well received by many of the vendors using it" said Ms. Rubio. One of the respondents commented on the overall program, "We have not seen a value in the program. We pride ourselves on relationships built with repairers throughout the years and find Parts Trader to be an unnecessary part of our business. There are a lot of unanswered questions as to who will pay for the Parts Trader program and how that will affect established relationships and pricing models."
ASA AZ released a position statement opposing Parts Trader on July 27, 2012. "Feedback from OEM parts vendors as well as repairers has given us no reason to change our position regarding the use of Parts Trader" commented Ms. Rubio. "Not one collision trade association has come out in support of the State Farm mandate and now, it is clear, that OEM parts departments are also opposed to its use. It is time for State Farm to consider an alternative instead of forcing repair shops and parts vendors to use a program that is both unpopular and ineffective."
Click HERE to see the survey including comments made by a large number of the respondents.
The ASA AZ continues to reinforce its position that insurance companies should stay in the business of insurance and leave all aspects of the collision repair process including parts ordering to the collision repair professionals.