Technology And Analytics

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Marty Hollingshead is the owner of Northlake Auto Recyclers, Inc. in Hammond, Ind. He is a director for the Automotive Recyclers of Indiana (ARI) and a member of the ARA. His facility is also an Indiana Clean Yard - Gold Level as awarded by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Contact him at or 219-937-3960.

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We as auto recyclers have more technology available to us now than ever before, and technology and analytics are great tools, if used and interpreted properly. While we now have more technology, we have less information available to us to make informed, good decisions. For analytics to be truly effective, the supporting data must be accurate and complete. This is the biggest threat and problem facing auto recyclers now, and in the future, for our industry.


Information Denial By OEMs To Auto Recyclers … Why Us?

Auto recyclers have more and more information taken away from us by the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), such as part numbers, list prices and the build information for vehicles. Just look at General Motors’ (GM) new dynamic pricing tool that it deployed recently. GM list prices are no longer be available to us. I believe that other OEMs will follow suit and do the same. Will the next step be the loss of the part numbers? Just look at Mitsubishi’s info to see the full effect of this. On all newer Mitsubishi vehicles, auto recyclers have no interchange. Can you use and apply analytics without an interchange? The answer is “no.” These issues will affect us all, in spite of what Yard Management System (YMS) we use.


Hollander Does A Great Job - With What It Has To Work With

No matter what YMS you have - Powerlink, Pinnacle or Checkmate, they all use Hollander’s interchange. As we lose information from the OEMs, the interchange will come to us at a much slower and less reliable rate. YMS providers have to try to find work-arounds, but if they had the information that should be available to us, this would be a non-issue.  This is puzzling to me as to why auto recyclers are targeted. Most competition to the OEMs is from aftermarket and re-manufactured parts. Recycled parts make up a small percentage of the market share. The cause and effect of this limited information sharing, puts an undue hardship on, not only auto recyclers, but the YMS providers as well.

Let’s look at this a minute. Just think how much better our software would be if we had all the information that the OEMs make available to the insurance and the repair industries. Just the build information alone would be huge. Our YMS system would now have a greatly improved, comprehensive, reliable and user-friendly work flow, not only for the inventory, but also for the sales process.

Wouldn’t it be much easier to make informed decisions on buying vehicles, if the auction houses had the build information available to us for the salvage they sell? Wouldn’t they realize a greater return for their sellers (insurance industry)? Can they get it? Yes. Will they provide it to us? No. Why not?

This is a hardship that is unfairly forced upon us. The owner of a vehicle can go to any dealer and get his build info. Auto recyclers own the vehicles in our inventory. We all have a right to the build information for these vehicles, if nothing else.

Auto recyclers provide a cost-effective alternative for insurance companies and auto repairers alike. We also provide a supply stream of core parts to the OEMs for re-manufacturing purposes. We should not be viewed as adversaries, but as partners.

This is a compelling reason for all auto recyclers to unite and challenge this problem. We all need to be active with our state associations as well as ARA. This affects our future! What will be the outcome for us all if nothing is done on our part?

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