Wednesday, 28 August 2013 17:17

PartsTrader Webinar Confirms End of Fax-Only Ordering Option

PartsTrader held a webinar on Aug. 1 to discuss several changes to the parts ordering application, including the end of the “fax-only” ordering option.

In the new 2.2 release, which went live on August 1, PartsTrader has made several changes that will affect users of the electronic parts marketplace developed for State Farm’s Select Service DRP.

Lucy Smith, Product Manager at PartsTrader, said that—with this release—the option to place orders through PartsTrader by fax will no longer be available in the Tucson, AZ market effective immediately. The change was made in preparation for the full state rollout of PartsTrader in Arizona beginning on August 12, according to her statement.

The fax option will remain in the other pilot cities of Grand Rapids, Chicago, Birmingham, and Charlotte until the end of August or September 1, Smith said.

The fax-only option was originally added to the PartsTrader system so that Select Service facilities could still place orders with their preferred vendors, even if those vendors refused to participate in the PartsTrader program. If a parts vendor chose not to sign-up for the online quoting system, PartsTrader would generate a fax order and forward it to that vendor on the shop’s behalf.

With that feature no longer available, Select Service shops in Arizona using the fax option have just two choices: encourage their preferred suppliers to sign up for, and use, the PartsTrader application, or find a new parts supplier for State Farm repairs.

According to an industry source, an email sent to repairers in Arizona, PartsTrader Support said that after July 31, suppliers which have not yet begun to use the PartsTrader application as “a fully active participating supplier,” will no longer appear on the system as an available vendor, and therefore will no longer be able to receive orders placed in PartsTrader.

During the webinar, Smith said, “The users in our pilot markets felt that [the fax option] disrupted their process and took some of the efficiencies out because they still had to call those suppliers to see if they were actually going to get the part. When they submitted an order, we would [fax] the order to the supplier, but then the repair shop would still have to call to verify prices, update the prices in their estimating system [and] we found that they were running duplicate processes.

Other changes in the PartsTrader system presented by Smith included new functionality for users, including a vendor star rating system, a VIN decoder, the ability to save draft parts orders, and a new welcome page with access to training videos.

The VIN decoder, available for vendors, was developed in conjunction with CompNine.

The star rating system, announced in April by PartsTrader, is now beginning to be rolled-out. “We’ve been collecting this information for three months and now we have enough feedback to start displaying ratings,” Smith said.

With this release, each shop and vendor will be able to see the star rating for their own business only, and in a later release the star ratings will eventually be visible to all users.

Users of the system are rated on items such as quoting accuracy, party quality, communication, business practices, and, for shops, how fast they pay their bills.

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