Wednesday, 25 July 2012 15:06

ASA-Michigan Members and Vendors Discuss State Farm’s PartsTrader Pilot Program

Automotive Service Association (ASA) members and related collision industry vendors in the Michigan area were recently invited recently by ASA-Michigan, an ASA-affiliated association, to attend a “facts to date” presentation and member discussion centering around the State Farm electronic parts ordering application. The pilot is currently taking place in Grand Rapids, MI.; Charlotte, N.C.; Birmingham, AL.; and Tucson, AZ.

Organized by Ray Fisher, AAM, president of ASA-Michigan, the June 28 meeting was held in Lansing, MI., at the Lansing Community College. ASA-Michigan provided the forum to present the facts to date about the pilot, along with clear statements of concern from both repairers and suppliers in the Michigan area and around the United States.

“Anytime there is a ‘game-changing’ situation – as this pilot is for the industry – it is imperative that we inform the industry with factual information, allow time to digest that information and work together to provide solutions, on behalf of the membership and potential members. During these challenging economic times we must focus on helping repair facilities generate revenue,” said Fisher.

During the four-hour meeting, Denise Caspersen, ASA collision division manager, spoke about the pilot with an audience of nearly 100 pre-registered ASA members, vehicle manufacturers, staff representatives of the Michigan Auto Dealers Association and vendors. Audience members were encouraged to express their concerns, ask for clarifications to specific questions and provide additional questions to be supplied to State Farm and PartsTrader, the company providing the electronic parts ordering application.

Main concerns continue to be how this application, as introduced by State Farm, will affect profitability, the unknown impacts on the relationships between shops and suppliers, and the overall current “climate” between repairers and insurers.

“The opportunity for ASA to participate in a discussion with ASA members and vendors in the pilot area of Grand Rapids, MI. is invaluable in understanding the overall climate impression around the State Farm pilot,” said Caspersen.