For Fire, Safety and Productivity — Don’t Carry a Torch

When salvage yards find themselves leading the local news, it’s rarely a good thing. Salvage yards are a staple of local fire coverage for obvious reasons: lots of flammable materials and no shortage of heat and spark producing processes and tools, including the use of oxy-acetylene torches. The use of acetylene torches for removing parts … Read more

Be Kind to Your Mind

Before writing any article, I ponder whether it would benefit me rather than helping everyone else. Usually, it is self-help for me. I must ask if COVID-19 has been getting to you. It has me. Have you been drinking, smoking, or eating more than usual? I have, and I have also been having too much … Read more

Do You Need Free Advertising?

I know, I know, you don’t have much money for advertising. But… surely you are interested in it if it’s free? Don’t underestimate the value of press releases for your business. In fact, you should set a goal of issuing one every other month, no less than 6 times a year. It’s easy and costs … Read more

The Scoop on Interest and Metal Price Discounts

In converter recycling, the best recyclers are partnering with companies that educate. We encourage our customers to sell on assay, the analytic procedure that measures the content or quality of a metal or ore contained in the catalytic converters. In this, the fourth installation of our series, Getting the Most from Your Converters with A … Read more

Associations: Who Needs ‘Em?

I’m writing this article to talk about all of the challenges we are facing as an industry, all the adversity that we will need to overcome, as well as the uncertainty about current events facing all of us with COVID-19. One thing is for certain, we are living in a different world now. These are … Read more

Make More Money on eBay With

Here is a great story. Two months ago, I received a call from Doug Williams, an old customer who owned Eagle Auto Parts located in Martinsburg, WV. Doug and his wife, Lori, purchased Eagle Auto Parts back in 1983. I have been there many times and would speak to all their employees and follow up … Read more

Summer 2020 Takata Airbag Round Up

FAQ – Are you still paying a bounty on Honda airbags? I’m not getting as many hits on my Honda’s. Since the RAS Airbag Recovery program began, the Automakers have frequently added and redacted VIN’s from our database. The primary reason for redactions is that the vehicle has been repaired so the automaker is able … Read more

Selling to a Global Market

Well Toto We Are Not in Kansas Anymore Recycled OE parts have never been in demand more than they are now. Anywhere and everywhere, if you have high quality products you can find a buyer. With eBay selling over 12 billion dollars in auto parts and accessories online last year, you can sell all over … Read more

Heard About the 21/90 Rule?

CREATING NEW HABITS WHILE SHEDDING OLD HABITS IS CRITICAL TO BUSINESS AND TAKATA AIRBAGS Creatures of Habit We all know about Bad Habits because we tell ourselves that we will change some of them in our New Year Resolutions. Some of us are successful at stopping bad habits but it usually doesn’t happen without starting … Read more

Service Under Pressure

Few things cause changes as rapidly as crises. For the most part in our lives, things start down a path we maintain a certain sense of inertia. This is often true of business relationships, partnerships, customers, vendors in that they tend to stay unchanged until certain inflection points. I think we can all agree that … Read more

Is Bigger Really Better?

Chapter two of my book How to Salvage Millions from Your Small Business discusses this month’s topic. Bigger can be better, but many times it simply isn’t. First, you have to make several decisions: Do you really want to be bigger, with the commensurate problems? Are you willing to tolerate more mediocrity that will inevitably … Read more

Auto Catalyst Value Chain: COVID-19 & Beyond

The Experts Weigh In Recently, I had the privilege of moderating and participating in a global webinar regarding the auto catalyst value chain. Some of the analysts, refiners, and fellow processors that I respect most were on the panel. Dr. Jonathan Butler, Head of Business Development for Mitsubishi Corporation, kicked off the webinar with an … Read more

Bye Bye Guest Login — Hello CorePro for Recalls

History When the Takata Airbag Recovery Program launched in 2015, our IT Department swung into action to create software for recyclers to process airbags. However, they recognized that there were customers enrolled in CorePro submitting cores and airbags, and recyclers who only wanted to process their airbags. So two logins were put on the same … Read more

Theresa’s Top 5 Tips on Social Media

I know that with COVID-19 going on, a lot of us are spending more time online. I have heard from several customers that online sales have really been picking up for them the last couple months. I thought that I would share some of my tips on social media for auto recyclers. 1. Never post … Read more

Let’s Cal it the “New Normal”

Do me a favor, please! I am asking all recyclers to refer to this unpresented time as the “New Normal”. I really dislike using the word “abnormal” because what we are going through right now is not abnormal. However, it is the future. Our customer base is telling us that this is “Amazon Time” because … Read more

Have you Passed Your COVID Test?

Man alive, if ever there was a global stress test, surely this is it!  How healthy are you? How healthy is your business? How secure is your job? How stable are your customers?  At different points, we have all had to consider these questions from a variety of lenses without the benefit of past data … Read more

Employees: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR I started in this business back in 1973 and like the saying goes, if you live long enough, you pretty much will see and hear everything. In May of 1983, I left my former employer of seven years to come to work as a salesperson here at Northlake. I … Read more

My Business is Down, What do I do?

I continue to hear from folks who say their business is tougher than it has ever been. I always chuckle when I hear from a recycler that business in his area is off, after I’ve just spoken with another recycler in the same area who is having record sales and/or profits. How can this be? … Read more

Productive Communication Skills for Virtual Meetings

With the surge of online-virtual meetings comes a need to review our communication skills. When the novelty of the first live virtual meeting is over, most of us would agree that while helpful, it might not have been the most productive time spent. This technology is not going away anytime soon, so it is best … Read more

Converter Recycling: COVID-19 Challenges and Solutions

Finding Time for What’s Important This is a time of incredible uncertainty. With limited work crews in many recycling facilities, having the manpower and finding time to process cars is a challenge. Keeping the company books in order is equally important so that you can make a contingency plan for varying volumes. It can be … Read more

Leadership & Growth

Creating a Climate for Potential Leaders You will not grow your company unless you are able to grow people. Even if you are to go into the marketplace to hire an experienced manager/leader you will still need to provide a climate and culture that allows them to grow into their new position. The author John … Read more

Are You a Butterfly?

Life, as we have known it, has come to a screeching halt because of an invisible threat. We can’t see it! But we surely can see the effects of what it’s done. Thousands of people have been infected and thousands have lost their battle against it. As if they haven’t already been involved enough in … Read more

Not All Batteries can be Recycled the Same Way

Lead battery recycling is one of the biggest success stories of our generation.  Ninety-nine percent of all lead batteries manufactured are recycled to make into new batteries. All elements of the lead battery can be recycled, including the sulfuric acid. The same cannot be said about other battery chemistries.  Though some other batteries like Nickel … Read more

What Will the new Normal Be?

Whether you are a small business owner, a fortune 500 company, or the average working person, this is the question that you are now pondering. This has hit us fast and hit us hard, and the bad thing is that we are really not sure when it will end. Also when this is over what … Read more

Covid 19 Relief

To our valued customers, With the coronavirus (COVID-19) affecting communities, families, and people around the world, this is a difficult time for all of us. Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected. At, our priority is the health and well-being of our employees and customers. We have taken several steps … Read more

SOLD to the Highest Bidder…Maybe!

Let’s look at current practices in place at the Salvage Auctions we attend. Vehicles are put up for auction on the sale date. Now, these auctions are live, online-only. You can, of course, preview these vehicles before the sale, but you have a limited amount of time to do so. Who are the buyers at … Read more

Electric Vehicle Update

I am working on this article in March in the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak. I hope that by the time this reaches you, things have gotten better. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families as they always are, and as such, I promised to give an electric car update in the … Read more

Don’t Panic, Be Prudent

For the past several months, America has been experiencing eye-opening financial burdens because of a virus threat they can’t see. During strange and unnerving times such as these, Americans always step up to trudge forward. We’re resilient no matter what comes our way. That brings me to what my friend within another industry requested from … Read more

Converter Recycling: Playing the Long Game

A Historical Perspective Nearly thirty years ago I started my career as a Customer Service Representative at Putman Investments in Boston. The Gulf War was in full swing. Like life in the time of COVID-19, the world was on shifting sand. In handling calls, we were trained to calm investors’ fears and remind them that … Read more

ClearSpan Reacts to COVID-19 with Disaster Response Structures

ClearSpan Structures has quickly adjusted their manufacturing facility to provide governments, medical centers and communities with rapidly deployable disaster response structures and medical buildings. ClearSpan is now able to ship these buildings in fewer than 24 hours, and because of this quick turn around, the company already has buildings being used to respond to the … Read more

Ask for the Sale

The first article in this series listed more than 25 tactics to increase your business success, all of them based on my experience. I started with nothing and didn’t get to college, so I know you can achieve maximum success, regardless of your education. E-mail me to get the first article (or any of the … Read more

How Money Works

Last week, I had two recyclers, who read this column, go online, and order the book, How Money Works, Stop Being a Sucker, which was written by Steve Siebold and Tom Mathews. Though small, the book is great, packed with valuable information for all ages, and an easy read. They paid $16.99 for each book, … Read more

Be a Lifesaver

The good news for our Auto Scrap and Shredder customers is that they are not encumbered with “parts inventory” issues. Vehicles arrive at your facility and trigger a very systematic process to minimize labor while maximizing profit on the vehicles journey to the baler or shredder. Our Takata Airbag Recovery Program fits best at the … Read more

Make Sure Your Sales Team Knows Why They Are Qualifying

Close the knowledge gap: get your salespeople to qualify customers more effectively to improve close rates and generate more sales revenue. Having trained hundreds of salespeople in the recycling industry, and after listening to thousands of hours of recorded sales interactions, I’ve encountered a symptom that is as prevalent with new salespeople as it is … Read more

The Ability to Build a Brand is Dead. START SELLING!

Conventional or traditional advertising for most recyclers, including print and direct mail, has declined in value and ceded ground to the web for most recyclers. The other advertising mistake I see businesses, including recyclers, making is trying to build a brand or just making sure that prospects are seeing their name out in the marketplace. … Read more

HEV BATTERIES: A Shock to the System

I recently attended a research study on reuse and recycling of batteries in electric vehicles on November 7th and 8th at Argonne National Laboratories in Lemont, Illinois. Delanne Bernier and I were there to make a presentation and represent ARA at this event, which was called the “Recell” Conference. This was a well-attended event by … Read more

Maximizing Bounty for Full Service Recyclers

NEW “RECALL CART” SIMILAR TO COREPRO WITHOUT CORES Our Technology Department here at RAS deserves a lot of credit for the success of the Recall Program. Kudos to Dave, Don, Tom, Deb, and Michael for all that they do. You don’t see their faces at the trade shows, but their knowledge and expertise are visible … Read more