QRP Of WI Works For Recyclers
Ask any auto recycler what his or her biggest challenge is and chances are the response will be the same, “Salvage.” Whether the problem is cost or supply, salvage acquisition has consistently been a major issue for the auto recycling industry.
That’s why Roger Ross, of QRP of WI, has been creating connections between auto recyclers and the insurance industry for 15 years. QRP of WI’s Salvage Solutions program allows only auto recyclers to bid on salvage from insurers, credit unions, banks and car / truck rental companies.
The program is owned and operated by Ross, who has managed it since 2000. Ross had decades of experience in the insurance industry when QRP of WI asked him to manage its year-old project. At that time, QRP of WI was a newly-formed auto recycler group - of about 12 yards - that was focused on selling more parts through insurance companies. It was based primarily in Wisconsin, but allowed yards from Illinois and Minnesota to join as well.
“The group had a number of programs that were pretty unique at the time,” said Ross. “My appraisers started using them and they were fantastic.”
Ross managed the salvage program until QRP decided to call it quits in 2011. Ross and his wife, Lee Ann, then bought it and continue to run the program today.
“The Salvage Solutions program is a conduit that connects the insurance industry (the sellers) with qualified auto and truck recyclers (the buyers),” explained Ross.
The Salvage Solutions program is open to all auto recyclers. There are no QRP of WI membership requirements, but to bid, auto recyclers have to be part of their state, or an adjoining state, association or ARA, to make sure the auto recyclers bidding are professional.
“As an insurance manager, my company was always concerned that we were selling vehicles to people that were following the laws,” explained Ross.
There is no charge to bid on salvage in an auto recycler’s home state; QRP of WI is concentrated in the upper Midwest. But auto recyclers can pay a nominal subscription fee to bid on inventory in all states. If a qualified recycler wins the bid, they pay an award fee to QRP of WI, which Ross said is less than what a typical salvage pool charges. Once the recycler wins the vehicle, they deal directly with the insurance company. Insurance companies aren’t charged to list their salvage, that’s because they don’t have to accept a high bid. Ross explained that sometimes the insurance companies are just looking to determine the cost to repair a vehicle versus salvaging it. He said that 65 - 70 percent of high bids are accepted.
Like the Salvage Solutions program, some of QRP of WI’s previous programs are now being managed by other companies, but Ross still promotes them. For example, the One Source Auto Title Service and Quality Towing and Recovery programs have a synergistic relationship with the Salvage Solutions program. The titling program can handle an awarded-vehicle’s paperwork and the towing program will give auto recyclers a bid to tow the vehicle to their facility.
Between Ross and his wife, work continues to expand the Salvage Solutions program. He travels to insurance industry trade shows and uses his insurance connections to secure salvage; then he approaches auto recyclers in the same area. Ross said the program has garnered nearly $4 million both in 2013 and in 2014 in award dollars to sellers. While the Salvage Solutions program is concentrated in the upper Midwest - there are hundreds of recyclers registered - it has also expanded into North Dakota, Colorado and Iowa.
“We want to give salvage access to auto recyclers in their home state,” said Ross. “Others are happy to see vehicles in every state. We give those big recyclers an opportunity to stay involved well beyond their home state at very low cost.”