Thursday, 24 May 2012 09:28

ASA Says it is ‘Fact Finding’ on State Farm’s PartsTrader

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) is conducting a multi-segmented fact-finding mission on State Farm’s new electronic parts procurement program “to ensure the information collected and provided to the ASA membership and the broader industry is as accurate and thorough as possible.”

An ASA Collision Division team consisting of operations committee members and staff recently interviewed George Avery, State Farm’s claims consultant, regarding the pilot program. ASA has since posed some follow-up questions and will issue further statements as conversations continue.

Several additional interviews are being set up with other industry parties involved in the program. ASA says that as each exchange is fact-checked for clarity, updates will be shared with ASA members and the industry at large.

“State Farm’s pilot program has a potential to have a tremendous impact on the collision repair industry and the motoring public,” said Denise Caspersen, ASA Collision Division manager. “It is vital for ASA to approach this situation methodically with an emphasis on facts to ensure that the results of the pilot are in the best interest of the collision repairer. ASA has an obligation to provide our membership, and the industry, as much factual information as possible – just as State Farm has an obligation to answer the community’s concerns. ASA also has a responsibility to address issues directly with the parties involved to provide recommendations and solutions benefitting repairers, consumers and the industry.”

Several of ASA’s volunteer leaders representing the collision repair membership also spoke with Rob Cooper, CEO of PartsTrader LLC. ASA’s questions focused on implementation plans, supplier qualifications, data extraction and quality checks on recommended parts. ASA is also following up with Cooper with additional questions and comments.

“This pilot program, which reaches beyond the insurer/repairer relationship, is at a pivotal point to potentially allow adjustments to the program as a result of industry input and analysis,” said Caspersen.

“If this tool is to go forward and benefit the entire industry, it requires transparency, mutual understanding and collaboration. ASA is committed to a collaborative process that produces the best possible outcome for the collision repairer. ASA says the key questions are the financial impact of the program on body shops.