The Society of Collision Repairers (SCRS) has sent out a letter to its members and the industry to offer more information on the State Farm parts bidding process and bring everyone up-to-date on the latest goings-on. The letter is as follows:
Members and repairers,
Hopefully you have all seen the information provided by SCRS that informs on what we have learned about the State Farm parts bidding process currently being "tested" in Grand Rapids, Mich., Tucson, Ariz., Charlotte, North Carolina and soon to be launched in Birmingham, Ala.:
SCRS Analyzes Potential Economic Impact of Parts Bidding Sincerely, Aaron Schulenburg
SCRS Interviews New Zealand Collision Repairer on PartsTrader
Scott Biggs with Assured Performance wrote a great additional op-ed piece titled, "State Farm – Parts Trader: It’s About Losing Profit, Control, and Your Very Survival," which outlines his take on the program that is being rolled out here in the United States. This issue was certainly a focal point of most of the meetings SCRS participated in while in Oklahoma City last week. In fact, during the SCRS public board meeting, we directly asked representatives of State Farm "if the collision repair facilities don’t like or support the process, if the vendors don’t like or support the process, if the part manufacturers don’t like or support the process, would State Farm continue to roll it out without industry support just because they could?"
The answer was yes. Their representative stated, "Yes. I can tell you that State Farm is moving forward with this. We think it is in the best interest of our customer. I know we don’t have agreement, and that is fine, and I carry that information back. (And) something could happen that I can’t predict. But I can tell you that, right now, we are moving forward with the process with our Select Service providers."
In fact, during another public discussion, State Farm representatives urged paint jobbers to "calm their repair customers down," claiming that SCRS had involved themselves in an area that is really between them and their Select Service shops and has created unnecessary hype with misinformation. There is no misinformation here, folks, and this issue is much bigger than just State Farm and their contracted shops. In fact, State Farm has stated in written communication to parts suppliers (not under contract with them) that "All orders related to State Farm claims from Select Service repair facilities will be placed via PartsTrader. In addition, repairers are able to use PartsTrader to seek quotes and place orders for repairs not related to State Farm."
We have shared the information we have received directly from repairers, manufacturers, suppliers and dealers in the market areas where this is currently taking place, and I can tell you, the only people who disagree with the analysis is State Farm.
The good news is, there is time to bring your concerns or comments to your collision repair association, time for you to discuss this situation with your parts dealers and suppliers, time for your suppliers to encourage their associations to get engaged in this issue, and time for the industry to decide if we have finally had enough of other entities interjecting themselves into our business with unreasonable and invasive mandates. More information to follow soon.
Executive Director, Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS)