CIECA Recycled Parts and Inventory committee
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Ginny Wheelan, a consultant to the Automotive Recyclers Association, and chair of the CIECA recycled parts and inventory committee to discuss what her committee has been working on.
Your average car owner would be surprised to find out just how sophisticated and state of the art the recycled parts industry is. And like most industries with that computerized sophistication came its own industry based computer language developed and built in the early days of computerized inventorying. The recyclers developed their own interchange numbers. The problem is that language didn’t communicate at all with the estimatics systems used by autobody shops. That is until CIECA got involved. Prior to this involvement, the recycled parts industry had their own system for identifying parts and quality grading systems that did not rely on manufacturer part numbers. But the system was no less sophisticated. This caused a problem for an estimator who looked up a part for an estimate. The OEM and aftermarket parts showed up right there in the system but recycled parts did not. Recycled parts resellers were worried that there were serious missed opportunities for recycled parts sales. But the question was, was this just a recycler problem or an industry wide problem?
CIECA’s Charley Quirt put out a call to order among the CIECA membership and received an overwhelming amount of responses; nearly double the usual number of responses. This is largely due to repairers and insurers continual quest for ways to reduce repair costs. Without the integration and CIECA standards, most shops had to send a runner to the yard or the yard had to deliver the part for visual inspection before the purchase, a time consuming and cumbersome process. With the computerization and software, you no longer need to send a runner to pre inspect a part. The condition is built right into its coding the price is right there in system to compare to OEM and aftermarket parts.
CIECA and ARA have been working hard, one call a week every week for the last three years. The first mission was to enable electronic procurement of recycled parts in the estimatics systems. The second mission was to create tools for participation. Because of the highly technical nature of the integration, it was at first difficult to find a person from the recycled parts industry to sit on a CIECA committee. There were excellent recycler representatives but they felt there weren’t tech people enough to make any progress. The ARA remained committed to making this happen and brought Ginny on as a consultant to ARA to allow this committee to accomplish its tasks. ARA and CIECA are deeply rooted in enhancing business practices so it was a good partnership. ARA supplied the representatives, CIECA supplied the tech people and after 10 months of committee meetings they were able to bring over the entire pre existing recycled parts platform. At that time the first document was completed. The result thus far is a 40 page pdf document containing all the standards and codes. The first draft sold over 10,000 copies when it debuted.
Another major milestone was getting I-Car involved who have now integrated these codes into their training. Recycling yards are branding the integration guides with their own logos and giving them to the body shops they do business with. Most recently ARA and CIECA have created a graduate intern program where a student will take the recycled parts integration guides and create a business model taking the standards to the business side, one that will be totally functional and totally electronic. The next point of business for this committee is to iron out the process and coding for parts returns, cancelations and billing.