Dale Sailer, VP of Business Development for PartsTrader, was the guest speaker at the January meeting of the Georgia Collision Industry Association. The meeting was held Jan. 17 at the Wyndham Hotel in Marietta in Atlanta, GA.
Sailer has extensive experience in the collision repair industry. He worked at CCC Information Services Inc. from 1990–1999. With CCC, Sailer was responsible for the rollout of EZNet, CCC’s proprietary network that electronically connects insurers and repair facilities. He was an original member of the CCC Autobody Services management team and served on CCC’s cross industry team that developed the first I-CAR training class for collision repair facility front office employees.
Sailer gave a presentation to the GCIA on the Parts Trader program, explaining how they got to where they are and how they came to work with State Farm. He also explained the “core principals” that PartsTrader lives by.
“He explained that repairers choose what OE’s to invite to quote on parts,” said GCIA executive director Howard Batchelor. “He also said that shops can choose who to order from and when to order. He went on to say that PartsTrader would not share the prices with insurers. Dale showed a live demonstration of how shops would use the program and then how suppliers used the program. He answered many questions from the audience, but when it came to State Farm’s mandate, Dale could not answer those questions. PartsTrader is a very good program, but the way State Farm has mandated that shops use it or they will no longer be on Selective Service has aggravated many shops. We will see how the program rolls out when the pilot has ended in Chicago, IL,” Batchelor said.
Batchelor added he thinks PartsTrader is a very good program “because it allows you to order all your parts and not just OEM,” he said. “You have access to aftermarket and salvage parts and not just the OEM brands like OE Connection. You also have the option to direct order through PartsTrader. If you did not have to wait until the quote comes back, you could go ahead and submit your parts order and move on to other tasks. I think the program is good for shops if State Farm would just remove the quoting option. The list price is the list price and insurers should reimburse accordingly. If the shop decides to use a different part type, they will change the estimate accordingly and bill the customer/insurer correctly,” Batchelor said.
In other news, the GCIA discussed several other topics, including the 7th Annual GCIA Labor and Material Rate survey which will begin in late February. According to Batchelor, the association will mail notices to over 700 shops in the metro Atlanta area with the link to our on-line survey. “We have asked each shop to input their posted labor rate and not any DRP rates,” Batchelor said.
In addition, GCIA members reviewed the new Toyota Predictive Estimating program.
“Pete Friedland from Southeast Toyota and Rick Leos from Toyota Motor Sales were in attendance and gave the audience a brief overview of the new program. This is a game changer for the industry and we hope other OEM’s create their own programs,” Batchelor said.
Jerry Poirier from Farmers Insurance gave an update on what the Georgia I-CAR committee is working on. He discussed a car show that they are working on and a golf tournament that they are putting together later this year.
Steve Plier from the Alabama Automotive Repair Industry Society of Excellence was in attendance and discussed a multi-state industry conference to be held on April 26 & 27 in Biloxi, MS.
Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and Georgia will be attending to discuss issues that are affecting the industry. Planners hope to have Aaron Schulenburg from SCRS, Ray Gunder, his attorney Brent Koehagan and attorney Erica Eversman there to give presentations to educate the industry.
Future GCIA meetings will include Liz Stein from Assured Performance Network to talk about their certification programs and rebate programs, and Georgia attorney Kent Eichelzer to answer questions regarding assignment of proceeds, power of attorney, and many other legal issues affecting our industry.
For more information about GCIA, contact Executive Director, Howard Batchelor at Howard@GCIA.org or call at 770.367.9816.