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Attention to detail in the online parts sales world has never been so important to your business. Here is sage advice from ARA’s associate members to give you food for thought.

An Open Letter to Automotive Recyclers: Increasing ROI for You and Your Business Partners
By Ginny Whelan, ARA EducationalFoundation, and Charley Quirt, CIECA

Recycled Parts selected by independent and collision industry appraisers continue to decrease as a percentage of the total collision repair parts spend. What can we do to reverse this trend? Who should be involved? Procurement parts software providers and recyclers both need to take appropriate action to reverse this trend. How can this be accomplished? This information is directed to the auto recyclers who enter the inventory information into their individual inventory management systems. This also includes additional information entered into the free form text field(s). We will also address the Procurement Parts Software Providers regarding the creation of new fields to replace much of the information now placed in the free form text fields.

The major concern is the information entered by recyclers into this free form text field(s). The information is then uploaded and scrubbed by procurement parts software providers which often results in the reduction of parts presented to parts purchasers. Data contained in this field may include negative words and part damage descriptions which are inconsistent with the ARA Parts Grade and Damage Codes originally assigned to the specific part.

One example that demonstrates this issue involved a search that initially produced 42 individual part records. After the procurement parts software provider scrubbed the free form text field, only two recycled parts were presented to the parts purchaser. Removing parts, subsequent to scrubbing the data contained in the free form text field, reduces the number of recycled parts visible to the purchaser. Recyclers are urged not to enter data in this field which may conflict with the ARA Parts Grade and Damage Code(s) assigned to the part. Additional information the recyclers wish to provide should be placed in specific fields created to enhance the description of the part (e.g. paint color, OEM color code, etc.). Procurement parts software providers should include separate data fields in their systems to allow additional relevant information to be provided to the parts purchaser, thus limiting the need to utilize the free form text field for this purpose.

We envision the procurement parts software providers systems and the recyclers working together to resolve the issues created by the recyclers use of the free form text fields. In the interim, these providers do produce an inconsistency/exception report for auto recyclers to see the parts that were rejected and not presented to their buyers. Please make sure to take advantage of this report.

Procurement Parts Software Providers Role
The question remains, as recycled parts selected by independent and collision industry appraisers continues to decrease, what can we do to reverse this trend and who should be involved?

We believe procurement parts software providers and auto recyclers together should take appropriate action. ARA and CIECA have been working together in an effort to develop a solution for this critical problem affecting the collision and recycled parts industries. We recently sent a letter directed to the procurement parts software providers whose systems actively scrub the data contained in the free form text fields. As written herein, auto recyclers are now being made aware of the issue regarding data they enter into the free form text field and the issues created when conflicting information is included. As mentioned earlier, scrubbing data contained in the free form text field often results in the reduction of parts presented to parts purchasers.

Our efforts will be successful for the sale of all parts uploaded to an online sales system when procurement parts software providers respond by including separate data fields in their systems to allow additional relevant information to be provided to the parts purchaser, thus limiting the need to utilize the free form text field for this purpose.

We strongly believe the procurement parts software providers can help alleviate this issue by creating individual data fields based on additional parts documentation CIECA has identified as being included in the free form text field. Our ongoing role will be to increase the availability and sales opportunities of recycled parts and to support those entities involved in this effort.

As always, comments and questions are welcomed. These are being gathered by CIECA’s Recycled Parts and Inventory Committee, and responses to your comments and inquires will be included to assist in this effort.

Please send your Comments and Inquiries to Ginny Whelan (ARA) and/or Charley Quirt (CIECA). Thank you.
Sincerely,
Ginny Whelan
vwhelan99@gmail.com
Charley Quirt
charleyquirt@gmail.com