Controversial parts procurement program erodes profits, cedes control
A statewide collision-repair industry association is taking a stand against insurance giant State Farm’s proposed parts procurement program, Parts Trader. The Florida Autobody Collision Alliance opposes Parts Trader and is a launching a state-wide initiative to inform its members and the collision-repair industry about the program. Having held the first one on Tuesday October 9th the response has been overwhelming. With over 100 in attendance at the first meeting they are looking forward to just as strong of a turnout throughout the state.
State Farm claims that its Parts Trader auto-part ordering system can improve parts availability, process efficiency and order accuracy while creating a better experience for customers. But the program has been met with overwhelming resistance from shop operators and suppliers around the country.
FACA has visited three of the four cities that served as pilot markets for the parts procurement program, gathering opinions and data on how the program affects collision-repair shops and their customers. FACA maintains that the program cuts into profits, slows operations and relinquishes to insurers one of the last segments of the collision-repair business that repairers can still control.
In an effort to raise awareness and inform its membership about the Parts Trader program, FACA is hosting a series of Town Hall meetings with the Florida Automobile Dealers Association in cities around the state. The preliminary schedule appears below.
Tuesday, Oct 9, 6:00 p.m.
Ramada Inn, 3130 Hartley Rd
Wednesday, Oct 10, 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct 16
Wednesday, Oct 17
Thursday, Oct 18
Monday, Oct 22
Tues, Oct 23
Hilton Deerfield Beach
Wednesday, Oct 24
Thursday, Oct 25
About the Florida Autobody Collision Alliance
The Florida Autobody Collision Alliance is committed to the future of the collision repair industry: to provide the leadership needed, raise the professional image of the industry and develop new leaders to carry forward. FACA’s goal is to educate, inform and represent the collision repair professional in all aspects of the industry, including repairers, insurers and vendors. www.facafl.com.
The Florida Autobody Collision Alliance (FACA) launches a statewide tour this month to conduct town hall meetings to share facts about State Farm's PartsTrader pilot parts procurement program.
Members of FACA recently completed visits to pilot cities to speak with several shops and vendors on a fact-gathering mission.
FACA Executive Director Cathy Mills and former State Farm estimatics team manager Steve Plier will be conducting the town hall meetings statewide over the next three weeks. FACA is seeking assistance with meeting locations.
"As everyone is aware, things continue to heat up in Florida and the industry as a whole over the State Farms Parts procurement program. FACA continues to feel a strong need to continue to bring industry awareness to everyone. State Farm has said its PartsTrader process should improve parts availability, process efficiency, order accuracy and create a better experience for customers. But the program has been met with overwhelming resistance from shop operators and suppliers who argue it cuts into profits, slows operations and relinquishes to insurers one of the last segment of business that repairers actually control. FACA has visited four of the pilot cities gathering data and information on how this program will affect you and your vendors. Whether you are a select service shop or not parts trader will affect everyone," said Mills.
FACA "will be launching a statewide tour coming to a city near you to hold town hall meetings and share with everyone the informative facts about this program that FACA has spent months gathering," Mills continued. "Joining our tour in Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Pensacola will be Steve Plier. Steve has worked diligently in Alabama since February to form an association there. Steve is a former State Farm employee of 17 years having been an auto Claims Supervisor and an auto estimatics team manager. Steve left State farm in 2010 and started his own business Consumer Auto Repair Excellence. Also joining us in several cities will be the Executive Director of the Florida Automobile Dealers association, Ted Smith."
The FACA state tour schedule is as follows:
Jacksonville October 9th, 6 p.m. Ramada Inn San Jose
Tallahassee October 10th, 6 p.m. University Club
Pensacola October 18th
Orlando October 17th
Tampa Bay October 16th
Space Coast October 22nd
Ft.Lauderdale October 23rd
Miami October 24th
Ft.Myers October 25th
"Please continue to watch for more information to come on locations that will follow," Mills said. "If you are in or near these market areas we urge you to plan on attending these meetings. With strength in numbers we can make a difference."