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How Crash Parts Suppliers Stack Up

Survey yields surprising results about shop owners’ and managers’ satisfaction with OEM, aftermarket and recycled parts suppliers.

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Given all the complaints in the collision repair industry about the delivery and quality of crash parts, the results of a survey conducted by BodyShop Business were a bit unexpected – showing that, overall, respondents are satisfied with the parts process and their parts suppliers.

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The survey was mailed to a sample of subscribers to measure our readership’s opinions about three specific sources of crash parts: aftermarket suppliers, recycled suppliers and OEM dealers. The research was conducted on behalf of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) Parts Committee, and the findings were presented at a general meeting in California by John Bosin, committee chairperson and manager of OEM & Industry Relations for Akzo Nobel Coatings.

The CIC Parts Committee focus is identifying and minimizing the friction points in the parts process. “And there clearly are some,” says Bosin, “but this Crash Parts survey indicates that, overall, the parts process seems to be working pretty well. The committee will continue to identify and investigate current and anticipated parts issues, but it’s nice to be reassured that the parts process is working and that vehicles are being repaired in a timely and cost effective manner.”

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Respondents were asked to rate their primary and secondary sources for parts in six attributes using the scale of Very Good to Very Poor with intermediate points:


Very Good = 1
Good = 2
Neutral = 3
Poor = 4
Very Poor = 5

The attributes on which the parts sources were rated were: Sends the correct part; gets the part to me in a reasonable amount of time; the people I deal with are knowledgeable; there’s no problem returning a part; the parts I get from them are of good quality; and the parts get to me undamaged.

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The composite average rating across all six attributes and primary and secondary sources was:


Average Rating

Sources of aftermarket crash parts 2.1
Sources for recycled parts 2.2
Sources for OEM parts 1.4

Note: A lower score = a better rating. The OEM sources had much better ratings on a composite of all attributes. Keep in mind, however, that a “2” is still a rating of “good,” meaning that respondents rated aftermarket and recycled parts suppliers, overall, as “good.”

Jason Stahl is managing editor of BodyShop Business and Georgina K. Carson is editor of BodyShop Business.

*This survey was conducted in June 2006, and the results were based on 109 responses returned from a first-class mailing of 1,000 letters (11% return rate) to body shop owners and managers of random collision repair shops with yearly sales in excess of $500,000. No incentive was offered. Responses were received from 39 states.

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