COLLEYVILLE, TEXAS – Dan Stander, AAM, ASA’s collision division director and owner of Fix Auto Highlands Ranch in Littleton, Colo.; and Denise Caspersen, ASA collision division manager, recently received updates from State Farm about the insurer’s current pilot, which uses the PartsTrader electronic parts ordering application. Representing State Farm on the call was George Avery, claims representative, and State Farm staffer Duane Willemain. The November update is the first of several expected from the insurer, which has committed to keeping ASA members abreast of the pilot and its potential effect on future State Farm Select Service participants.
The ASA collision leadership and staff continue to focus on providing ASA members and the industry with accurate information about the pilot, while engaging and advocating on behalf of collision repairers.
The pilot, currently in four states and set to expand into Chicago, Ill., next month, will increase involvement to nearly 600 Select Service collision repair facilities of the 10,300 shops participating nationwide in the State Farm Select Service program.
The following updates were provided to ASA during the call:
- Pilot locations of Charlotte, N.C., and Birmingham, Ala., now have the ability to do 30-minute quotes – resulting in all four original pilot markets now having a 30-minute quote window.
- Regarding estimating systems, Audatex, a Solera Co.; CCC Information Services; and Mitchell International all have two-way integration in all four markets.
- A change has been made in the process of writing estimates to better accommodate alternative pricing. According to State Farm, if a shop has alternative pricing available through a different source, State Farm is recommending Select Service shops write estimates with those prices – therefore utilizing price matching.
- In Chicago, business meetings are set with multi-shop organizations and all Select Service repairers. Chicago is recognized as a heavy consolidator market. Items for the meetings include:
– An overview of the program
– Handouts about the program
– Preparation material for a Dec. 10 “live” date
– PartsTrader started hosting meetings Nov. 12 for dealers and parts suppliers.
– Select Service shops have been asked to identify suppliers.
– To date, 466 letters from State Farm to suppliers have been sent out.
– 500-600 suppliers have been identified in the Chicago market.
– To date, 475 of 477 Select Service shops have registered.
- Regarding cycle time improvements, State Farm said it was hard to prove, at this point, any cycle time improvements linked to the application. State Farm does not expect an immediate or large reduction in cycle time.
- Regarding “saving of total losses,” State Farm said that at this point there is not enough data to validate this. Nor is there data that demonstrates an increase in recycled or alternative parts.
- PartsTrader is moving forward with integration into the various collision management systems.
- No evidence to date on reductions in parts profit.
- The length of the Chicago pilot is unknown. According to State Farm, once a change is introduced into the application in pilot, it is necessary for the change to “mature” to determine the impact of the change. This, then, impacts the end date.
- The PartsTrader application has undergone a minimum of seven updates since the initial pilot release in March 2012.
- PartsTrader announced it will not charge suppliers until 2014.
“For the ASA collision membership volunteering on the operations committee, the focus continues to be one of information, engagement and impacting the outcome in the most positive way on behalf of repairers. It was apparent early on that the ‘train had left the station’ in regard to stopping this application from being piloted. The ASA team made the decision to focus on accuracy and engagement, and will continue to do so as this pilot continues and future items arise,” said Caspersen.
Collision repairers may share their comments or concerns regarding the pilot by contacting Caspersen at denisec@ASAshop.org; or by phone at (800) ASA-SHOP, ext. 106, or (817) 514-2906 (direct). Additional ASA announcements regarding the State Farm pilot are conveniently located at www.ASAshop.org. Click on “Tools & Resources,” then “State Farm Pilot Program.”
To learn more about ASA’s dedication to service and repair professionals, the value of ASA membership and how to join, visit www.ASAshop.org or call (800) 272-7467, ext. 361.
The Automotive Service Association is the largest not-for-profit trade association of its kind dedicated to and governed by independent automotive service and repair professionals. ASA advances professionalism and excellence in the industry through education, representation and member services. For additional information, including past news releases, go to www.ASAshop.org, or visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.