John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).

He can be contacted at john@crashnetwork.com 

Wednesday, 09 February 2022 10:27

Collision Repairers Discuss How They Are Coping with Parts Supply Chain Issues

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During a CIC discussion of parts supply chain issues, Ken Weiss said expectations of suppliers to pay any shipping costs may be contributing to the problem. During a CIC discussion of parts supply chain issues, Ken Weiss said expectations of suppliers to pay any shipping costs may be contributing to the problem.


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A Collison Industry Conference (CIC) committee presentation earlier this year confirmed parts supply chain issues continue to plague collision repairers.

A poll of repairers in the room at CIC in Phoenix found about one-third said parts-related issues lead them to delay scheduling about 40% of jobs. Another one in four said parts issues lead to delayed scheduling 60% of the time, and almost an equal number said it was 80% of the time.


Greg Horn of PartsTrader said his company’s data indicates the median number of days for parts deliveries was fairly stable over 2021.


“What’s changed is the number of outliers, the number of delays for individual components, which has increased pretty radically,” Horn said, reaching 14.7 days in December, up from 7.4 days in February and March of last year.


He said if some relief from the microchip shortage enables automakers to ramp up production this year, that should reduce used vehicle values, putting more of those vehicles into the recycled parts supply chain.


“It is probably the latter half of this year when we start to see some relief on both OEM and the recycled parts side,” Horn said.


Still-elevated transportation costs, however, have non-OEM parts manufacturers in Taiwan rethinking what they ship.


“Should I put in one bumper cover that would take up the space of 10 headlight units, or do I ship those 10 headlights at a bigger margin,” Horn said. “So in the short term, I think we’re going to see [shortages or] price increases on larger aftermarket components.”


The committee asked repairers at the meeting what they are doing to address parts issues. A majority (70%) said one response has been to return more vehicles to customers with cosmetic parts still on order. Nearly two in five said that’s happening with 30% or more of the cars they repair.


But Matt Radman of Coach Works Auto Body in Mesa, AZ, noted that solution is not without its own challenges.


“We had a [Hyundai] Sonata that we couldn’t get the side garnish that goes from the bottom of the door and across the wheel well,” Radman said. “Right behind that is an exposed hole and unless you seal it somehow, moisture is getting behind there. So you have to address this on a case-by-case basis.”


Something as simple as a missing window moulding could allow moisture to get into the door, he said, noting that returning unfinished vehicles requires thinking through these issues and making sure everyone involved, including the customer and insurer, is on the same page.


Ben Clymer Jr. of Ben Clymer’s The Body Shop in Southern California said he’s experienced parts supply chain issues firsthand: he’s driving his own vehicle with damage from an accident because...

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