15 Minutes With Ginny Whelan

Photo: Antonimages.com

The frustrations with salvage procurement may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a new program by ARA called ARADirect. The program eliminates the middleman in purchasing salvage. We sat down with Ginny Whelan, the industry consultant serving as director of procurement for ARADirect, to find out more.

What is the difference between ARADirect and a salvage pool?

We are not just setting up an auction and letting everyone in. This is a resource for professional licensed recyclers only. It allows them to buy right from the source, from insurance companies, rental fl eet pools and hurricane catastrophe purchases.

What was the driving force behind the creation of ARADirect?

Recyclers are buying many vehicles from many sources with the Internet. But what they’re seeing is escalated fees, which reduces the ability to bump up the purchase value. Being nickeled and dimed to death, then paying transportation fees above and beyond the cost of transportation, is not good for business.

How will ARADirect change the auto recycling industry?

Buying direct eliminates those escalating fees. Had this been in place for Cash for Clunkers, members might have had opportunity to offer to dispose of vehicles in an environmentally safe way. ARADirect will do the NMVTIS reporting, so the responsibility is not on the buyer.

How will the program work?

There is no physical location for ARA Direct; it is Internet-based. It is free to enroll. There is a necessary screening process to ensure you are a licensed buyer, but your privacy is ensured.

Then, you input the zip codes of interest to you, and you’ll get e-mail notifications when a vehicle is added. You pay a fee only when you win a bid. The introductory rate is a flat fee of $50 per vehicle if you’re an ARA and state affiliate member. The website also has a trucking calculator connected to reputable providers that will provide transportation bids. You’re required to pick up the vehicle within two days.

When will it be completely up and running?

You can register and purchase at any time. The site is currently up and running.

What do auto recyclers need to do to make it a success?

What gets a seller excited is a huge group of buyers. We want all professional recyclers to use this platform, which will in turn attract more sellers. Our goal is to register 4,000 recyclers.

Where will the vehicles come from? 

The vehicles will come from fl eets of rental cars or insurance companies. They will be vehicles with a total loss claim, so you will be able to look at the collision repair and insurance estimate on the cars.

Who can participate? What if participants can’t meet the program’s requirements? 

The platform is opened to professional licensed buyers and to affiliate buyers, not just ARA members. However, you get the biggest discount if you are an ARA and state affiliate member. This site is not built for people who can’t meet the program’s requirements. But if you’re a professional licensed recycler, I would hope you would do the math as a buyer, and say I could save 50 percent if I should join these two associations. In this way, ARADirect is addressing the need for salvage and also supporting state and national associations.

What else should auto recyclers know about this program?

Register online at ARADirect.net.

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