Baltimore, Maryland -- November 9, 2016 -- The importance of keeping up with advances in technology took centre stage during the 73rd Annual Convention and Exposition put on by the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA).
ARA premiered a new segment during the event held in Baltimore, Maryland, a Technology Forum that offered automotive recyclers a full day of hands-on and instructor training on inventory management software and other software products.
The Technology Forum featured speakers from some of the most well-known companies offering software for the auto recycling world. By and large, these sessions focused on how to get the most out of the software that's currently available.
Roger Schroder of Car-Part.com opened with a look at the Car-Part Toolbox. The session was a little over two hours but covered an enormous amount of ground, including how using parts images can increase sales, how Car-Part Pro helps sell parts to the collision industry and information on how the company's MyParts App can help take recyclers "into the app revolution."
Schroder also discussed the company's Car-Part Interchange Plus provides interchange for parts that didn’t have it before, how to get the most out of cores, how Checkmate Sales Pro is changing the way recyclers manage their inventory and the numerous reporting and bidding tools available to automotive recyclers from Car-Part.com.
Car-Part.com also offered the Checkmate Sales Pro Boot Camp during the afternoon. Boot Camp was an interactive session providing recyclers with the the opportunity to try out Sales Pro. The company also offered an hour-long Q & A session with Car-Part experts, allowing recyclers the opportunity to expand on what they had learned.
Hollander also had a major presence at the Technology Forum, providing information on using its Powerlink tools to intake vehicles, manage existing inventory, update and manage part prices and using Hollander CoreConnect to maximize revenues from scrap vehicles. A session on Powerlink System Management provided training on the system and how to adjust the program's settings for maximum effect.
Hollander also provided attendees with tips for establishing a successful online presence. This is a concern for all businesses today, but it is arguably even more important for automotive recyclers. A solid online presence effectively puts a recycler's inventory in front of the world and can lead to increased sales.
CRUSH Automotible Recycling Management System and Power-DB presented sessions that were shorter but no less insightful. CRUSH discussed how to use its existing, new and upcoming technology to run yards more efficiently and get data to make better decisions. The companty also presented information on its upcoming Enterprise solutions for multi-yard users. Power-DB covered how to wring the most effect from the company's dashboard and analysis package, as well as sales and inventory tools.
The 73rd annual conference also featured 24 speakers, including two keynotes: Tanvir Arfi of Solera and Joe Pickard of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI). Arfi pointed to how today's vehicles are essentially rolling personal computers, and how success for automotive reccylers will rely on embracing the technological revolution to connect with new buyers and deepen existing relationships. Pickard drew on his experience with ISRI to provide an overview of the key factors impacting the commodity and recycling markets, including demand drivers for scrap and pricing trends.
ARA is headquartered in the US, but the Auto Recyclers of Canada (ARC) is a member organization. A number of Canadian automotive recyclers were featured during the event.
The Ladies of the Automotive Recyclers Association (LARA) Breakfast recognizes the contributions and achievements of women who are industry leaders. This year's guest speaker for the LARA Breakfast was Natalie Miller from Miller’s Auto Recycling in Niagara Falls, Ontario. She discussed the particular challenges facing women in the industry today and her personal challenges when the family owned business was in need of change to survive.
A presentation by Andrew MacDonald of Maritime Auto Parts looked at the "Next Generation of Auto Recycling" and outlined some of the challenges facing the industry as it moves into the future. Among the challenges outlined by MacDonald are lowered margins for purchases, increased data sharing, dependence on technology and new interchanges based on OEM data.
Dalbert Livingstone of Island Auto Supply has been appointed Canadian Regional Director for ARA. In this role, he will serve as a liaison between ARA's executive committe and Canada's auto recycling contingent.
ARA also took the opportunity to welcome its new President, R.D. Hopper, owner of Sonny’s Auto Salvage in Jacksonville, Arkansas. Prior to his installment, Hopper had served as Secretary, Second Vice President and First Vice President of ARA and will now play a leading role to help guide and shape the Association’s initiatives and direction.
“I am honoured to take the reins as ARA’s next President, but more importantly, I am honoured to work for ARA members and all professional automotive recyclers, to help sustain and grow this wonderful industry,” said Hopper.
For more information on ARA, please visit a-r-a.org.