Environmental and Safety Compliance

I want to talk about the importance of environmental and safety compliance, and its return on investment, as well as the cost and potential liabilities. Let’s start off with the question of what exactly does compliance mean for the Automotive Recycler? For this article, we will talk about two main areas of compliance, the first … Read more

Changing Of The Guard

As my term as President comes to an end, I would like to share some of my thoughts and talk about what we have accomplished as an Association, (Year in Review). I just want to talk about some of the challenges that we have faced, and how the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) has responded to … Read more

Treasure or Trash: The Quest For New Hires

Now that things are back to normal, or so they say, let’s take a look at the employment market in this post-pandemic world, as well as what is next. Earlier in the spring, things started getting back to normal, and the biggest thing that we all realized, besides the supply-line issues, is that now we … Read more

Order Fullfillment

A Happy Customer is a Steady Customer We will talk about Sales, getting orders, fulfilling them, and managing the sale after the sale. So, to start off with, what drives sales? The obvious answer here is having what the customer needs. Once you have taken the order, now the real work begins, which is fulfilling … Read more

Quality is Job #1

Auto Recyclers have two main sources of revenue: mechanical (driveline suspension), and collision parts (body parts and sheet metal). Let’s look at the challenges and opportunities of selling crash parts, and how we can improve it. There has been a-lot of talk about “selling deeper” into the car. I say “let’s try to sell better … Read more

Next Man Up

As many know, I am about to assume the role of President of ARA. While this is an honor, and I am truly humbled, it got me thinking about our Association and the industry, with its past, present, and the future. One thing I always keep in mind is to “always remember your roots, never … Read more

The ARA Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program

The Right Stuff: What it Takes to be a Mentor Back in 2018, ARA launched the Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program. RD Hopper was the founder of this program. His vision was to bring together some of the best operators to act as mentors to those that were in need of help. The object here was to … Read more

Marketing 101

Our goal as Auto Recyclers, obviously, is to sell as many parts as possible. To do this and to increase our opportunity for a larger piece of the pie, we have barriers to overcome. Some barriers, like the OEM repair procedures, are imposed by others, but at the same time, I feel in a lot … Read more

The Five Year Plan, Four Years Later

Back in January of 2017, I wrote an article about the Five-Year Plan, and what does the future hold for Auto Recyclers? So, now four years later, I just want to recap the problems facing us and what changes we have seen. We will start off by looking at problems that were facing us and … Read more

ROI: Realizing Organizational Importance

I want to talk about the importance of safety and compliance and its return on investment, as well as the cost and potential liabilities. Let’s start off with the question of what exactly does compliance mean for the Automotive Recycler? For this article, we will talk about two main areas of compliance, the first being … 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

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

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

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

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

Focus on Fundamentals Part 5

THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: SURVEYS, REVIEWS & FEEDBACK In previous articles, we covered Sales Basics, Employees, Inventory, Procedures and Processes. All of these areas revolve around the three Ps, which are People, Process, and Product. We will tie all of this together with the importance of Customer Service and the perceptions that are created for individual … Read more

Quality is Job One

The Importance of Consistency in your Process In previous articles, we covered sales basics, employees, and inventory. We will now talk about your procedures and processes and how doing these things properly can lead to a quality product and top-notch customer service. First, ask yourself this question: Which people in your company are involved in … Read more

Ransomware: Hacked & Jacked

At 3:30 on Sunday, July 7, I was ready to leave after working all day. At this moment, I saw on my server screen what turned out to be one of my worst nightmares. It said all of my files had been encrypted. After making a few calls, one of them being to the person … Read more

Employees — A Company’s Best Asset

While this will show up on any Balance Sheet or Financial Statement as an expense, your company’s most valuable asset is your people. They represent your company and project an image of who you are and what you do. This image and perception can be either positive or negative. The employees in your company make … Read more

Focus on Fundamentals: Core Competencies

In my role with ARA as a mentor, I created some basic instructions for Recyclers that I am mentoring. After looking at this first one, I said to myself, “This is something that is relevant and of use to all recyclers, myself included.” I think that we all from time to time need to focus … Read more

Your ARA Past, Present & Future

I’m back at work here after attending the ARA Legislative Summit and Hill Day, and this got me to thinking about our association, its history, where it is now, and where it is going. 75 years is indeed a long time for an association to have survived. Even back in the earliest days of automobiles, … Read more

The ARA (Peer to Peer) Mentoring Program

There have been a lot of changes recently with ARA, our National Association. ARA and its leadership are focused on how to better serve its members, and the biggest need as I see it is in training and education. ARA is reinventing itself, and more importantly, each and every Recycler in this industry must participate, … Read more