Feedback: CSI Reports Empower The Recycling Industry

David Gold, Standard Auto Wreckers

The Locator

The auto recycling business is transforming itself to better serve the collision repair industry and we are doing it with your help. Every quarter, each Gold Seal auto recycler submits a list of its top 75 customers for an independent survey by Customer Research Inc.

These surveys are becoming the most valuable resource we have to teach us about our customers’ experience. This ultimately leads to greater levels of service to our important customers’ professional repairers.

The Automobile Recyclers Association (ARA) is our national non-profit trade association and the recognized voice of the international automotive recycling industry. Our association is dedicated to the professional auto recycler and the pro-environmental benefits that are derived from our products and services.

Gold Seal membership status is available to those auto recyclers who partake in ARA’s Certified Automotive Recyclers (CAR) program. Established in 1994, the CAR program was created to produce a set of standards for general business practices as well as environmental and safety issues and to provide guidance fore member facilities in adhering to these standards.

The ARA Gold Seal program is only available to those ARA auto recycler members who have completed the CAR program. It ensures excellence in customer satisfaction through improved customer service, quality parts with accurate descriptions, reliable on-time deliveries and written product warranties.

Our CSI reports have told us that our customers require problems to be handled in a professional and timely fashion. This is a reasonable request. Many progressive auto recyclers now have B2B departments where staff are thoroughly trained to handle all customer related issues. This relatively new process by recyclers is helping to position our industry in a comparable format to the “big box” automotive parts stores and hopefully even better!

Since there is so much opportunity for our parts to be included on insurance estimates electronically, we have had to ensure that we are able to communicate the quality of our parts, inclusive of accurate parts descriptions. In order to do this, auto recyclers have created easy-to-use parts grading guidelines including an important Damage Locator Chart that is intended to ensure that we clearly describe the existing situation with our parts.

This was designed specifically to communicate with your industry. Are you aware of these parts grading initiatives? If not, this may be one reason why we are scoring low in these areas and we need to bring you all up to speed on how this works. Hold your local auto recycler accountable to provide you information on the ARA industry accepted standards codes.

Since many of the pieces we are delivering to your shops are large in nature, automotive recyclers have realized that you do not necessarily need the part in 30 minutes from the time of order. Rather, delivery should be more in line with your scheduled workflow.

Our inventory management systems have made provisions for an expected delivery date to accomplish a just-in-time delivery scenario to service your needs, and we are now more than ever happy to accommodate your requests.

Based on your suggestions, many auto recyclers have now outfitted their delivery trucks with the best racking available to mitigate damage while in transit. We have also equipped our trucks with specialized power tailgates and dollies that help the parts delivery process and avoiding the use of your employees to unload the parts. This is good for you and more efficient for us as well.

One of the most important lessons we have learned is that all professional automotive recyclers are in the business for the long run. Because of this, we are very flexible with our warranty and return policies.

Many of us in the automotive recycling business are now offering extended warranty packages that should sway even the most reluctant customer of yours that our used OEM auto parts are the way to go.

Recyclers are a competitive bunch and we are indeed monitoring our CSI scores. There is nothing more motivating than getting feedback from your customers and the communication that has been fostered between our respective industries has been phenomenal. When we get feedback, we are now empowered to do something about it. Demand that your local auto recycler partake in these relatively inexpensive programs, so they can better serve you!

None of us, recycler or repairer, can afford not to be involved in these processes.


David Gold is the owner of Standard Auto Wreckers (www.StandardAuto, a large buyer of used and older vehicles for parts and recycling purposes with locations in Toronto and Niagara Falls, N.Y. David can be reached by phone at 416-286-8686 or via e-mail at

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