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Dismantling from a different angle

end of life vehicles
The end of life vehicle offers a great deal of potential that we are still not capitalising on.
I heard an interesting analogy the other day from a forward thinking vehicle dismantler. “Why hasn’t our industry been B&Q’d yet?” he asked. Not being too sure what he meant I asked him to explain. “Not so many years ago there used to be a hardware store on every high street. OK, you could buy just a couple of screws if that’s all you wanted but the range was limited. Then B&Q (and their competitors) came along. Suddenly you could get everything and anything, all in the one place. It was the end of the small hardware store but the customer now could be sure he would get what he wanted and the competition keeps price competitive. Why hasn’t the green parts market developed in this way with big outlets with comprehensive ranges of parts, all to recognised quality”? He asked.

The dismantler making this point was John Goodliffe of Cardiff based GMH Partspeed and he went on to give his reasoning why our industry, when so many others have, hasn’t developed in the same way. “Unfortunately our industry has never really been attractive to outsiders as a career path so has remained inward looking. Yes, there are some talented people but we don’t seem to have the shakers and movers who drive other sectors of industry forward. Perhaps because we have always been looked upon as the bottom of the heap, picking up what nobody else wants”, John remarked. He raised the following points which should be of great interest to other dismantlers.

We have a serious technology gap in our industry. By that we mean the amount of technology we use compared to the amount of technology that’s available. There are plenty of examples of this and we are not talking about whether you have a computer or not. That should have happened years ago. Today there are QR codes (square barcodes) that can be scanned by your mobile phone to take you straight to a website, there’s radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags that can track items automatically - imagine what that could do for your stock control and then there is the internet and eBay (see last month’s article). This is what we mean by a technology gap. Are you making use of these things? Because we have not grasped and used technology to our advantage we have fallen behind the rest of industry.

To explain his views further, John told me of his plans for the future. “I want the ‘carless’ dismantling business” he said, continuing “ All is carried out inside a conventional industrial unit. As the vehicle is received it is first assessed - is it salvage or is it a breaker? If the latter, then our computer tells us what we want to remove from the vehicle. These parts are then removed and we look to see a profit from that vehicle within 7 days. That will leave a lot of residual items that we don’t want blocking our stores. We will select suitable items for core and the rest we will sell off cheaply on eBay. We won’t waste valuable storage for slow moving cheap items, they are either sold or recycled”.

“Sell it cheap on eBay” did raise my eyebrows but after quizzing John a little further, it all started to make sense. He explained to me that you have to understand both your markets and your products. One important market for John is green parts for the garage and repair trade. “This market is not focussing on price (although you must be competitive) but is more concerned with service - when will I have the part - can I be sure of the quality etc” said John. “These are the parts which we want to have available and our Pinnacle system means we know just what we need to remove when a vehicle comes in. What it does as well though is make it very easy to sell the rest on eBay. Why I say sell it cheaply is that I don’t want the parts hanging around (as previously mentioned) so anything I get (provided it is higher than the scrap or core value) is a bonus. There is another bonus here, I can undercut the black market sellers,” said John.

You may come to different conclusions but what John has raised here is something that we all should be doing, analysing with far more detail how we run our businesses. The opportunities for the dismantler are vast and the systems to help are available - but it’s up to you to make it happen!

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