Is getting a used auto part a straightforward process? US-based auto recyclers and parts suppliers, Fenix Parts Inc’s Chief Operating Officer, Paul Delaney, provides Auto Recycling World with his take on how their company goes about sending out parts and how, in his opinion, working as a network with other recyclers in the US offers a better customer experience.
A lot of Salvage yards around the US, receive hundreds, if not thousands of orders a week to supply auto parts to customers. Parts may be for their own vehicle or for a vehicle they are repairing. As a customer, they may believe that the process is pretty straightforward – a query, followed by a few additional questions for clarification, a brief negotiation and then agreement on a price and time of pickup or delivery.
The customer in this transaction likely envisions someone either removing a part from a wrecked vehicle or pulling it from a warehouse and then getting it ready for delivery. What might be a surprise is that the process is seldom that simple. You see, there are more people that need used parts than there are used parts to go around. Also, a salvage yard can’t just source the used parts they need, they have to buy entire vehicles. It’s probably not a surprise that buying a whole vehicle, wrecked or not, costs more than you’d pay just for a couple of parts. This makes it impossible for any single salvage yard to always have the parts your customers need.
The good news is that recyclers are resourceful. We don’t want to disappoint our potential customers. As a result, recyclers will buy parts from and sell parts to their competitors to keep the customer happy. As recyclers began to expand their business, the needs of the customer would often be greater than what could be found in any one town. To remedy the situation, larger companies would pool the inventory from multiple locations. To ensure timely delivery parts are loaded onto trailers at night, sent to a common location where they are sorted to match the part with the location closest to the customer. This practice started with the first two industry consolidators, LKQ and GreenLeaf Auto and continues today with Fenix Parts.
Soon, some of the larger progressive independent recyclers banded together to form trade organizations, like Team PRP, that would pool available inventory. They’d also hire third-party logistics firms to arrange their nightly swap. Due to the overwhelming success of this process, several regional firms such as Midwest Runner and Recyclers Cross dock began linking even more recyclers together to facilitate an even better customer experience, regardless of the size of the recycler. These networks continue to expand today.
Magically, the part that was ordered ends up where it’s needed. So we should give thanks to the hundreds of drivers who criss-cross the United States each night and the dedicated dock workers who work the graveyard shift to ensure that the used auto parts ordered are available when and where they’re needed.
To find out more, visit www.fenixparts.com