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 

Tuesday, 09 August 2022 15:16

Gerber Collision CEO Talks Parts, Personnel Challenges

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Tim O’Day, president and CEO of Boyd Group Services, parent company of Gerber Collision & Glass, referred to his company as “one of the better users of alternative parts” in a presentation this spring at the Automotive Body Parts Association annual convention.

“But right now, we’re more reliant on OEM parts than we’ve ever been, which is unfortunate,” O’Day told the non-OEM parts manufacturers and distributors at the event. “It negatively impacts our profitability, and it drives repair costs up for our customers. So hopefully the aftermarket will figure out how to balance out supply so that we can buy the parts from you that we want to buy.”


O’Day acknowledged that currently even OEM parts are often unavailable, and he doesn’t foresee a quick end to supply chain issues.


“Last year, we probably thought maybe the beginning of the second quarter of this year, but I haven’t seen it,” he said. “I’ve heard temporary positive signs, but nothing that’s systematic that’s going to drive the change we need. So I think we’re probably in for a couple of years of challenging times.”


When asked to compare supplier service levels, O’Day said “problems with parts that come in incorrectly is much, much lower with OEM than it is with the aftermarket.


“I think if you talk to a parts manager or estimator at one of our stores, if price and margin were equal, they would buy the OE part because it tends to be reliable a high percentage of the time,” O’Day said. But he noted the gross profit margin on non-OEM parts is better, so “our staff is motivated both in terms of how we get measured by our insurance partners, and in how it drives our profitability, to identify and source higher-margin, lower-cost alternative parts.”


O’Day said the company is working toward centralized parts ordering for its more than 800 shops in North America.


“When we leave the buying decision at a local level, there’s sometimes influences that aren’t consistent with...

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