Thursday, 06 September 2012 11:25

AASP-MA to Talk Parts Procurement at Statewide Meeting

The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts (AASP/MA) will be tackling the parts procurement issue with a panel of industry representatives from across the country at its upcoming statewide meeting on September 12. The panel commissioned by AASP/MA will provide an update on the parts procurement issue, including the latest developments with State Farm's PartsTrader program, as well as the industry's reaction to parts bidding both here and overseas.

AASP/MA President Rick Starbard will be joined on the panel with Toyota Wholesale Development Manager Jerry Raskind and Toyota Collision Consultant Rick Leos Raskind, as well as Society of Collision Repair Specialists [SCRS] Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg, Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (CCRE) President Tony Lombardozzi, and Gary Danko, Balise Auto Group's Connecticut wholesale parts representative.

"The insurance industry has attempted to present parts bidding programs, most notably, PartsTrader, as so-called 'win-win' situations for all parties involved," said AASP/MA President Rick Starbard. "In looking at these programs in-depth, we fail to see any 'win' for anyone but the insurance industry. In a state like Massachusetts, where our only real profit margin is derived from parts markup, programs like the one State Farm is attempting to introduce could have devastating effects. We've set up this panel to not only educate members on the parts bidding issue in general, but also to give a wake-up call to those who think it can't happen in Massachusetts. Parts procurement is not a DRP issue; it's a profit issue. I encourage any repairer who is concerned with maintaining profits in his or her shop to attend this meeting; it will be an eye-opener."

"I am really looking forward to the opportunity to have some thoughtful discussion with the members of AASP/MA," adds Schulenburg. "I believe the association's decision to host a panel that will offer perspectives from all sides of the industry that will be impacted by these types of insurer-mandated programs is a great one."

"I believe the more communication and information exchanged on this issue, the better," notes Lombardozzi, who will also be facilitating three upcoming CCRE training sessions for the association beginning on September 15. "Around here, I hear some people saying, 'State Farm doesn't have Select Service in Massachusetts, so PartsTrader won't affect me.' Wrong. As soon as State Farm and PartsTrader are successful in one market, it'll only be a matter of time before other insurers take the lead with similar parts procurement systems. Programs like PartsTrader could very easily make their way into Massachusetts and beyond, and so it's critical that we educate as many people as possible on the fact that parts bidding is a real threat to our livelihoods."

The meeting will be held September 12 at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel of Marlborough beginning with a with a 6:15pm dinner. Meeting registration opens at 5:45 pm on September 12. Cost for current AASP/MA members is $27.50, $55 for non-members. Pre-registration is required; to register or for more information, please contact the AASP/MA Administrative Office at (617) 484-0205.