Nebraska Auto Body Association Industry Day A Success

Over 70 Nebraska collision repairers and vendors gathered at Mahoney State Park, February 1st for a power packed day. The agenda was focused on the current trend of insurance companies imposing their will on repair shop part locating and purchasing procedures.
The speakers included repair shop owners, part suppliers, a lobbyist who represents the Iowa Collision Repair Association in Des Moines and David Domina, an attorney who is familiar with the NABA and our small business concerns and issues.
The consensus was that electronic part locating and procurement technology has entered the collision repair industry and is here to stay. The issue of concern was keeping the potentially beneficial part purchasing technology separated from insurer mandates that specify which programs are to be used by repairers.
Because of the State Farm endorsement and requirement for their DRP network shops to use the PartsTrader product, it was the one most frequently referenced. It was clearly noted, however, that PartsTrader is only one of five or six electronic part locating/purchasing brand names currently competing in the market pace.
One of the repair shop owners providing information had nearly two years of experience using the PartsTrader product in one of State Farm’s test markets. His conclusion was that it is much like any other tool; the better you understand it, the more you can use it to your advantage.
The focus of the meeting was established as information and analysis and there was no tolerance for State Farm or PartsTrader “bashing”. However, there are numerous observations that bring out problems with that process as it is currently being used. For more insight into those concerns, a copy of survey results from the CRASH Network and ABRN magazine follows:
* SURVEY FINDINGS: A survey conducted by CRASH Network and ABRN magazine last week found that 89 percent of the users of PartsTrader who responded rated their overall satisfaction with the system as “poor” or “very poor,” and said their opinion of the system had not improved over time. More than 90 percent said PartsTrader’s impact on their efficiency and cycle time was “poor” or “very poor,” and more than 97 percent said they would not recommend PartsTrader to a shop not required to use it. Seven out of 10 also rated it “poor” or “very poor” in terms of “ease of use” (although 52 percent said the support and service provided by PartsTrader was satisfactory or

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