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Thursday, 23 February 2012 17:05

Santa Clara CAA Hosts Parts Program Talk with Honda, Acura and Toyota Representatives

Representatives from American Honda, Acura and Toyota were the featured speakers at Santa Clara California Auto Body Association’s meeting, held on February 15 at the Three Flames restaurant in San Jose, Calif.

With more than 50 chapter members in attendance, George Turk, Fixed Operations Marketing Manager for Honda’s California Zones, spoke first about CollisionLink, an OE Parts Ordering system devised and maintained by OEConnection, a technology company offering an original equipment (OE) replacement parts solutions. OEConnection connects more than 32,000 North American buyers and sellers to handle roughly 6 million OE part transactions every month. CollisionLink is used by carmakers such as Ford, GM Nissan, VW, and Mazda, in addition to the aforementioned Honda and Acura.

 

Turk stressed three notable things about his company’s program and distilled it down into a discussion that targeted the most important aspects:

 

1) CollisionLink online orders are faster and more accurate than other programs, contributing to fewer returns while significantly reducing phone time and improving cycle times.

 

2) You can use OE parts more than you think on Honda and Acura repairs, because they’re able to convert them more than 68% of the time.

 

3) By submitting a minimum of four estimates monthly into the CollisionLink for Honda repairs, shops can qualify for the manufacturer’s Collision Select Program, in which they can reap a wide range of value benefits. Some of these include participation in the carmaker’s online dealer locator; linking the member’s shop to a web page that gets 6,000 to 8,000 hits daily and the support of Honda’s dedicated national field staff, which includes offering in-shop training and other forms of business consulting and support. To qualify for this coveted program, body shops must also participate in one of the big five paint programs, offered by BASF, PPG, Sherwin-Williams, Sikkens Acoat or DuPont, Turk outlined.

 

More and more body shops are tapping into Honda’s Collision Select to access all of the added features of the exclusive program, Turk explained. “This Select program is a lot more than just price matching parts. We want to help your business on several levels and Collision Select has been designed by Honda to do exactly that. We offer marketing and an online presence and we make ourselves available all the time to assist and consult our body shop members. The main objective is to incorporate more OE parts into your repairs, but that’s only the beginning.”

 

Veteran Toyota Wholesale Development Consultant Ruben De Loera then spoke to the SC-CAA membership about Auto PartsBridge, Toyota’s electronic parts ordering system that enables body shops to tailor its parts ordering process while easily incorporating more OE parts into their Toyota repairs. Launched three years ago, PartsBridge contains 7,600 parts in its system with a conversion rate of 70% on all parts that qualify.

 

De Loera gave a quick tutorial on how to use Toyota’s PartsBridge by taking the submission process through an easy-to-understand step-by-step explanation. It’s as simple as: 1) Logon 2) Process Order 3) Validate 4) Create a Quote and 5) Complete order.

 

He also briefly instructed them on how to get credit for ordering aftermarket parts with their insurance companies that require a certain percentage of aftermarket parts in their repairs. “It’s essentially a line in the estimate that notes the fact that OE parts were used, even though they can qualify for aftermarket parts price-wise through our program,” De Loera explained. “Each platform has a different entry area for this function, but all are contained within a comments/notes section. Once you can identify it, the rest is easy.”

 

De Loera said that with certain types of crash parts, such as front bumpers and rear tail lights, Toyota is very competitive and can customarily match the aftermarket on those types of parts. With parts like air conditioning condensers, radiators, wheels, doors, hoods and fender liners, it is a little more difficult to match the aftermarket parts. “We will always try to get you better pricing whenever we can, so that you know where you stand and make your own educated decisions,” De Lorea said.

 

Both speakers wanted to stress the fact that both programs cost body shops absolutely nothing. “The dealerships pay the freight, so why not give it a try if you haven’t already signed up?” De Lorea said. “Toyota goes the extra mile to help its shop customers and this is a prime example of those efforts.”

 

Upcoming events for the SC-CAA chapter were announced at the meeting. On April 18, CAA will once again hold a Legislative Day in Sacramento and the chapter’s next meeting will be held in San Jose on April 25. The chapter also announced that they will once again be hosting their Industry Trade Faire, with a date to be determined and slated for the summer.

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