By Jeff Sanford
Plymouth, Minnesota -- February 24, 2016 -- The advent of online marketplaces has changed many industries. This has been true in the case of providers of recycled parts in North America, but get ready for the next level of connectivity in the parts market.
In a recent conversation with Canadian Auto Recyclers magazine, Tanvir Arfi, President of Service Maintenance Repair and the InPart platform at Solera, took time out to talk about the evolution of online recycled parts distribution. Solera is the parent company of Hollander, which distributes products aimed at the recyclers market. Arfi outlined some of the advantages now flowing to recyclers as a result of new levels of digital connectivity.
“The value in this for the parts suppliers is the connectivity. Traditionally a lot of recyclers have served the people who walk in the front door at the physical location, or call in by phone. But what we're doing for the recyclers is opening the door to the wider world, to the global market via eBay,” says Arfi.
For Hollander in the eBay marketplace, the parts suppliers are usually recyclers, independent aftermarket parts sellers and dealerships. The buyers are often mechanical repair shops, collisions repair centres and the “do-it-yourselfers.”
“This last group is quite a large chunk of the market, says Arfi, “Frankly, it's a very important segment.”
The advent of this online marketplace is changing the nature of the business of recyclers. “If you look at recycled parts on eBay, it's a huge market. Parts providers are connecting with the consumers of parts ... that's what this product does,” says Arfi.
Those on the platform now have their inventory exposed to a global buyer base in approximately 190 markets. Regions of the world where the auto market is less developed than in North America have an opportunity to find parts that may not be available locally. Those in North America can ship to the rest of the world. It is an amazing shift in the basic dynamics of the market.
“There are 12 million unique visits per month from people looking for parts on eBay, according to comScore data. We are very, very excited about this relationship,” says Arfi. “This is part of the innovative spirit in Solera. For a long time, recyclers have been focusing on their traditional markets and supporting customers that way. But as the e-commerce market expands, we have built on this relationship with eBay. We have leveraged that relationship, and that has brought a lot of value to the recyclers.”
Coming down the pipe is another exciting evolution in the marketplace. Giving a glimpse of the future, Arfi notes that Solera/Hollander will “very soon” launch a service connecting recyclers to repair shops. “Generally repair shops buy from independent aftermarket, but we'll be opening our recyclers into that part of the repair market. For those in that market that want a recycled part, that's going to be available soon,” says Arfi. “I believe this is going to be a massive opportunity.”
The coming platform is expected to have hundreds of recyclers connected to 55,000 repair facilities across North America.
“Each shop will get three or four passwords for their mechanics. There are already 200,000 techs using a Solera product in those shops. The transactions are expected to be in the millions,” says Arfi. “The connectivity is amazing.”
For more information, please visit hollandersolutions.com.