This is Alex, from Progi. We occasionally hear good questions out in the field.

In 2021, why should I buy recycled parts to repair my customers’ vehicles?

Pretty darn good question.

We sometimes get the feeling that body shops won’t buy recycled parts because of productivity constraints. The market is increasingly demanding and production capacity is challenged every day. But why?

One reason might be that the older, more manual generations were able to turn a recycled part into a masterpiece in no time. It is not quite so with today’s younger generation. Don’t get me wrong, there are some young generation manual geniuses who are able to compete with any other generation.

Nowadays, body shops are faced with questions when the time comes to buy recycled parts. Talented manual workers are hard to find, and labour is generally scarce. Sometimes a body shop will settle for a mechanic just because they know how to install and remove auto parts.

The art of rebuilding a damaged part to make it look new again is limited to the technician’s skills, and by the increasing pressure for shops to be competitive. Cycle time, production efficiency and output are all enemies of conventional part repairs.

Some shop managers wonder: can my team take on this recycled part? Will I waste money or even worse, time? They believe that their productivity may be at risk.

And yet, insurers often require the purchase of recycled parts. This reflection makes shop managers scratch their head. How to purchase recycled parts and stay a happy shop manager? First, the winning conditions must be met:

  • Knowing your technicians’ limits for repairing and refurbishing parts.
  • Purchasing through ProgiParts where you see the parts availability, quality and price in just a few clicks.
  • Finding a recycling partner that you can trust for the quality and delivery of your parts and who will readily help you when issues arise.

This is the most important point. A good partner will deliver your auto parts within 24 to 48 hours (even during the COVID-19 pandemic). A controller will ensure that the parts are of the right quality, year, make, model and side of the vehicle. Good recyclers will offer a top-notch service because providing parts is their priority. They also are constantly looking for solutions to help you. They give your business a fair price compared to the market, so you can manage your margins more easily.

With all these elements, we are ready to become seasoned buyers of recycled parts. I know, once bitten, twice shy. But just because you’ve had a bad experience with a supplier doesn’t mean they’re all the same. I am convinced that you will find a recycler that meets your expectations.

Reason 1: It’s the right part for the right client.

  • The insurer

Although the work provided by insurers represents the lion’s share of the market, they often request that older units be repaired using recycled parts. Overall, this demand contributes to their sound cost management, and we all benefit from it. Our premiums are less expensive.

  • The client

I was born right across the street from a mechanic and body shop in Shawinigan-Sud. When I turned 16, I became the happy owner of a beautiful 1983 anthracite Ford-Mercury Topaz.

I took my shiny car on adventures that inexorably ended with body repairs. I didn’t have a lot of money, but I had the will to do the repairs myself. My father would tell me: “Go ask across the street if they can find the part you need in their junkyard.”  With a bit of elbow grease and my father’s help, my car was gleaming again. This short story says a lot about your market; part prices can influence a customer’s decision to have their car repaired or not. Knowing that a recycled part is often half the price of a new part, recycled parts can generate business opportunities for your company.

Reason 2: It works better than you think.

Know that the quality recycled part you purchase was once a new part produced by the manufacturer. This means that it is good and highly durable, and it will most likely be easy to install. If you’re lucky, you might even get it in the right colour.

Reason 3: Doing our part.

Buying recycled parts is a healthy way for businesses do their part in preserving the environment. Using recycled auto parts prevents the consumption of water, energy and raw materials needed to produce new parts. Waste is reduced and reused, and a new life is given to parts that can no longer be used.

These are also flagship businesses for local commerce, as when we purchase from auto recyclers, we support local businesses.

Author: Alexandre Rocheleau
Collaboration: Patrick Turcotte, Charles Aubry et Samuel Robitaille
Translation: Sophie Larocque
Editing: Émilie Blanchette