Auto Recycling World speaks to Adrian Prisecaru about his thoughts on the Romanian vehicle recycling industry and what challenges he faces as an auto recycler.
Adrian Prisecaru is quite used to recycling being the owner of Priscom in Barlad, Romania which he formed in 2007. However, in 2017, he branched out into auto recycling when he saw an opportunity to bring new methods of vehicle recycling to the country. Since that time, he has had to face many challenges; one of them being the changing perception of how people perceive the auto recycling industry.
Auto Recycling World spoke to him to find out about these challenges, his thoughts on the vehicle recycling industry in Romania and to gain an understanding of his determination to bring it up to date.
It doesn’t take long for Adrian to mention a problem so common faced by auto recyclers all over the world – illegal operators. He explained that many small sites are operating illegally and on a scale that it is difficult for the government to control. Also, there is an inherent suspicion of dealing with the government and reluctance amongst recyclers to register their companies. However, Adrian is trying to buck this trend and is setting an example by being transparent.
Adrian wants illegal operators to understand that to become legal is a relatively simple process that requires only a small amount of investment. And by investing in the correct equipment, it will encourage them to move away from older and more environmentally destructive methods of recycling vehicles, which sadly still exists in the country.
There is a need to raise awareness, to eradicate the traditional perception of vehicle dismantling and show how the industry plays an essential role when it comes to protecting the environment. If this was to happen, Adrian hopes there should be a level of pride amongst the auto recyclers and respect in having the correct licenses and upholding their environmental responsibilities.
Adrian set about building up his parts portfolio by purchasing cars both privately and through local auction sites. The majority of his purchases come via the UK; this is because they are cheaper than native Romanian vehicles as the steering is on the opposite side and are better quality. Also, the availability of such cars is high because of nationals working in the UK returning home with their vehicles.
Adrian believes in providing quality to his customers, and that is why he has seen his company grow. He is happy to provide a warranty (something that many illegal operators do not). Because of this, he has been able to form a customer base who know that they can buy with confidence in the knowledge that they will receive quality parts.
To help him understand the challenges that he faced, and how he could further improve, Adrian set about contacting other auto recyclers. After an initial enquiry to the ARA in the USA, he was able to arrange some visits to Charlton Auto Parts in the UK and AMBIT in Poland. From these visits, Adrian was able to find out about various methods of vehicle recycling which were common in these countries but not so in Romania. He gained an understanding of the processes used in these operations, and Adrian estimated that Romania’s vehicle recycling industry was around 20 years behind.
The visits overseas also made him realise the importance of a healthy inventory system. He is not only working hard to improve how customers can find parts online by using specification numbers for parts but is currently working on his software system. It goes hand in hand with educating his customers on how to order parts where the usual process is using the phone. He now encourages them to use his website or online buying portals and use parts’ numbers. Hence, it is easier for them to find the correct part. He thinks that by being able to improve this facility, he can add an even higher level of service to his customers.
He concluded that compared to other countries, Romania’s auction process was slow due to confirmation of winning bids taking up to five days – yet another indicator he felt Romania was behind in and could be improved.
However, even with the realisation of the challenges Romania’s auto recycling industry faces, Adrian thinks there is much opportunity. By understanding the problems and from learning from others, he thinks the industry can significantly improve.
Providing a better quality of service to customers can only help improve the image that dismantlers currently hold. By challenging the public and his fellow dismantlers to understand the environmental benefits vehicle recycling provides, Adrian thinks it will help encourage others to improve their approach and service they offer and take more pride in their operations.
Adrian’s message is clear:
“We don’t want to be seen as scrap dealers but as recyclers We need to be thinking about how we can improve all of the time and promote our services and processes. I like to learn new ways of doing things and create as much environmental impact as I can.”
He gave an example of this was when he came across an article on ATF Professional about how to recycle cardboard to package parts. He contacted the author of the feature to find out more and now has implemented this himself to help increase his recycling credentials.
Adrian concluded that there is much hope and opportunity for vehicle recyclers in Romania. The future is bright, but there is much to tackle and improve. He is not afraid to learn new things and help to improve himself and others and to promote the importance of vehicle recycling in his country.