General Motors (GM) recently announced a new initiative to effectively change the way collision repairers obtain list pricing on parts from the manufacturer. The tool – www.MyPriceLink.com (MPL) – would eliminate GM’s provision of a list price to information providers (IPs) in favor of a Web-based portal that would allow GM to provide a more dynamic list price direct to the repairer based on the market at the time the estimate is written.
GM executives arranged several meetings with the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) prior to the initial launch, and during the 2014 SEMA Show, GM’s Wholesale Dealer Channel General Director Kris Mayer sat down for an exclusive interview with SCRS. As he explained, the new process has been designed to simplify the repair process for customers while also providing competitive pricing and encouraging the use of OEM parts.
“Today, we provide a list price and then a body shop can use our Conquest program to try and get a more competitive price to compete against the aftermarket parts,” Mayer said. “With MPL, we’ll be able to provide a competitive price without having to use any Conquest initiatives or program disruptions at the end of the estimate process. We’ll provide more competitive pricing up front, versus after the fact.”
In response to questions about the decision-making process leading up to the unveiling of MyPriceLink.com, Mayer stressed the intent of providing more fluid pricing and improving a “clunky” process.
“We felt that it was [previously] an after-the-fact way to be competitive,” he said. “With this, based on market conditions, we can look at the market or a particular price and its competition and offer a price based on our intelligence and market pricing. Our pricing is currently updated once a month; in the future, we’ll be able to update pricing much, much more dynamically.
“Our focus is on the GM customer and the collision repairers fixing their vehicle; our end result is to offer the best OEM part that has been designed, built and produced for that vehicle so that it can be repaired in a safe manner to pre-crash condition. The safety of our customer is the most important consideration, and they should be offered the best and safest parts up front.”
When asked if MyPriceLink.com would affect shops’ profitability, Mayer maintained that the aim of the program is to ease repairers’ troubles, not increase them.
“It really isn’t our intent to change margins, and acquisition pricing to the dealers is not changing,” he said. “[MyPriceLink.com] does affect our ability to be more dynamic and provide mark-up pricing, but we don’t see it changing margin structure for the people who are involved. That is not our goal – we’re just offering the price in a different way. Shops just want to be able to get a decent price, be competitive, repair the vehicle and move onto the next. They shouldn’t have to be procurement experts.”