The Mississippi Collision Repair Association held its August 20 meeting at Uncle Buck’s restaurant in The Bass Pro Shop in Pearl, MS and the issues surrounding State Farm’s PartsTrader procurement program continues to be a big concern for members. In fact, the proposed program was the impetus that revived the association after many years of inactivity.
According to John Mosley, association past president and owner/operator of Clinton Body Shop Inc. in Central Mississippi, the August meeting included discussing proposed bylaws, collecting dues and nominating officers. Additionally, the meeting included an open discussion pertaining to the trials and tribulations of proper P-page logic estimating procedures and discussion regarding the issues surrounding State Farm’s pilot PartsTrader program.
“We in Mississippi are making a difference,” said Mosley. “We are helping to set the course for change in our industry. Shops in many other states have begun to unite. Repair associations are growing fast. SCRS has seen an increase in membership. Much of this activity has been spurred on because of State Farm’s PartsTrader program.”
Mosley continued, “Although State Farm was first to bring this idea front and center, it is believed that many other insurance companies are observing and preparing their own parts procurement programs if State Farm is successful in their endeavor. Many associations have researched and considered the pros and cons of the PartsTrader network. I haven’t read a single report that determined PartsTrader to benefit the repair industry. The negative effects this type of program could have on our individual businesses is astounding. A fair parts profit is critical to guarantee the survival of most of us.”
Prior to the meeting, Mosley urged his fellow repairers to think about where the industry is headed and to what extent business owners and managers are prepared to go to preserve their right to manage their businesses, including who they buy parts from.
“We can’t be assured of measurable success if we aren’t united in our efforts to preserve and advance the collision repair industry,” he said. “With a strong association, we can grow and strengthen our businesses and our industry.”