Matthias Hummel, Key Account Manager at KUMAsoft GmbH, based in Germany, tells Auto Recycling World about the creation of ClaimParts software and supplier of high-quality, used auto parts and how the continued use of these parts puts us into a more sustainable future.
Matthias, can you explain a little about ClaimParts, its customers and how it fits into the vehicle recycling process?
ClaimParts addresses how to make claims management sustainable for repair shops and insurance companies.
In 2020, the ClaimParts’ project was created by net.casion and KUMAsoft, experts in their markets.
net.casion has been one of Germany’s leading residual value exchanges for years, with innovative solutions for insurance companies, car dealerships and expert organizations. And KUMAsoft’s dismantling and multi-channel sales software up2date RecyclerEdition, has been available to dismantlers and car manufacturers for over 20 years.
We started from different sides of the market, but we came to the same conclusion:
Dismantlers and car manufacturers are doing a good job. They produce high-quality car parts. On the other hand, there is a significant demand for used parts by repair shops and insurance companies.
What’s missing? Integrated processes to connect supply and demand. ClaimParts is this missing link!
ClaimParts has access to an extensive network of high-quality dismantlers using different Dealer Management Systems. And ClaimParts can automatically process damage calculations from calculation providers, like DAT or Audatex. Within seconds the customer gets a complete overview of available used parts together with AI-based “ClaimParts Best Offers”.
ClaimParts turns to repair shops, offering “green repairs” to their customers and to insurance companies using cycle economy to reach sustainability goals combined with cost cutting.
ClaimParts is not only one more marketplace for used car parts; ClaimParts will change the market in the long term:
Dismantlers will become valuable and important partners for insurance companies and repair shops. Damaged cars will stay in their home market as a source for used parts. And ClaimParts will analyze stock and demand to optimize car purchases, dismantling plans and data quality.
ClaimParts will help all participants in the market to improve the sustainability of their business economically and environmentally.
You have been producing software for the auto recycling industry for 20 years; what changes have you seen in that time? Also, what role does technology play for vehicle recyclers in the 21st century?
We started in 1995, organizing on stock exchanges for spare parts in different industry sectors. For a customer in 1999, we developed the first online-based marketplace for used car parts in Germany.
The German market was totally fragmented. Most of the dismantlers did not use Dealer Management Systems (DMS).
Almost 100% of sales had been made over the counter, with customers going to the dismantlers’ facilities.
Within the next ten years, the market changed completely. On the one hand, DMS, covering the dismantling process, like our up2date RecyclerEdition, helped dismantlers to optimize their internal processes and to use marketplaces as sales hubs.
Connecting dismantlers and marketplaces (and now workshops and insurances) was very important. The so-called VDI guidelines for used parts, published in 2003, set the standards for comfortable data exchange.
Today, dismantlers sell more than 90% of their products online, primarily through marketplaces all over Europe. Stock data are updated via an interface, and dismantlers process orders in real time. Orders leave the warehouse the same day and arrive with the customer one or two days later within Germany. And being integrated into marketplaces, in other countries Europe-wide, delivery is also standard for dismantlers.
In times of offline sales, the dismantlers’ individual know-how about parts fitment was necessary to increase sales.
In the new online world, selling mainly to end customers, there is less direct communication with the customer. He knows which car he has and which part he needs. As a supplier, you have to offer fitment data to the marketplaces. Otherwise, – No match – no sale!
And what is the next step with business customers? The demand is defined by OEM numbers. Dismantlers need to be connected to external databases and digital twins to be able to offer the required and changing references to be successful. We’ll see new alliances in the value chain and new IT services that will support dismantlers to reach the next level.
What is the current position regarding reused parts in Germany, and what potential is there? Also, what is ClaimParts doing to make this a reality?
The German market knows about 1000 certified dismantlers producing used parts. There are a lot of small companies, primarily focused on separating materials but not selling parts or even offering high-quality data.
Compared with European countries, like Sweden, which has a long tradition of using used parts by business customers, or France, which has regulations to offer used parts on customers’ demand and increasing rates for used parts, the German market is still in its infancy.
There are a lot of medium-sized suppliers with an interesting used parts stock. And we see an increasing B2B demand on repair shops and insurance companies. But suppliers and potential buyers do not find each other.
ClaimParts is on the way to closing this gap:
The process needs to be easy – check availability of used parts and one click to place the order. This process has to be integrated into the customer’s existing IT world.
ClaimParts is a European project. The German market is only the pilot. But others will follow.
You describe yourself as being involved with ‘industrial manufacturing’. Can you explain this a little more, and how does it add value to vehicle dismantling?
Twenty years ago, few car manufacturers engaged in vehicle dismantling; this was left to vehicle dismantling organisations.
But manufacturing and producing cars means that an immense number of tests are required on cars that come back from sales channels for various reasons.
More and more car manufacturers found out that it was a waste of money and resources to dispose of these vehicles. They started to set up their own “dismantling factories” or those set up by external partners.
KUMAsoft is the leading DMS provider for car manufacturers, implementing industrial manufacturing. And we provide a special version of our dismantling software, up2date RecyclerEdition: process-oriented, audit-proofed and hosted in accordance with Automotive industry standards.
Industrial manufacturing of used parts is very important for the upcoming changes: Used parts need to be of high quality and low mileage so that the reputation of these parts and the vehicle dismantling industry increases!
Car manufacturers are producing and selling used parts by themselves. Some of them have started offering used parts as an alternative in their own workshops. This will affect business and end customers’ attitudes regarding used parts usage.
With a wealth of experience, what would you say are the most encouraging aspects you are seeing in the 21st century regarding vehicle dismantling and recycling? Is the industry recognized for the many benefits it can bring, and how do you see this evolving?
Vehicle dismantling has changed completely since the early 2000s. Dismantlers have optimized their business and now provide more and more high-quality services and parts.
Business enablers like marketplaces have made it easy for end customers to get access to and order used parts.
It took a long time for business customers to recognize that dismantlers are not just the last step of the vehicle’s life cycle but an essential part of the circular economy.
As the ClaimParts team, we will do our best to spread this new image in the market and establish valuable processes for sustainable damage management according to our ClaimParts slogan: “Second Life. First Class.”
For further information about ClaimParts, visit www.claimparts.com