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Solera Holdings acquire Actual Systems - so what?

At any one time there could be 3-4,000 eyes looking at Pinnacle
The news of just another takeover can usually be ignored but this one may have big effects on every vehicle dismantler in the UK. But first, the facts.

Provider of software and services to the automobile insurance claims processing industry, Solera has acquired Actual Systems who supply many dismantlers with their Pinnacle Software package to manage daily site operations and seamlessly trade recycled parts. Many may not be aware that Actual Systems has successfully expanded beyond the UK with large sectors of the markets in USA, Australia, and several European countries - they tell me at any moment there’s between 3 - 4,000 eyes are looking at a Pinnacle screen somewhere!

So why do I say that this piece of news could affect us all? We need to look at what else Solera own. In the States they own the Hollander software package for yards which is a direct competitor to Pinnacle but I believe that this is only one of the reasons why Solera wanted Actual. We need to look closer to home for the bigger answers and readers may be surprised to know that Solera also own Audatex, who supply the systems to process the majority of the motor insurance claims in the UK, and HPI, the largest vehicle information source in this country.

With this knowledge it is worth reading the quote in the acquisition announcement made by Tony Aquila, Solera’s founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The acquisition provides us with additional opportunities to create value for our clients and increase revenue per transaction for Solera operating entities outside of North America, especially as more countries embrace green parts recycling alternatives and engage in cross-border parts trading.”

Hopefully, you see where I believe this is going. The industry is one step away from green parts being used en masse for vehicle repairs and this appears to be the beginning of a package that will automatically link the auto recycler, body shop and insurer together.

No doubt this is early days. We have already seen Key2Key and Reco creating links with the repair trade but this is working on a much grander scale. The UK is being gobbled up - take a look at what’s happening. The big UK dismantlers all but refuse to hunt together like a pack which leaves the market wide open. Copart have come, then more recently LKQ and now Solera. These are businesses that know the potential from already exploiting it in their home country.

There are big changes coming and there will be winners and losers. The CARS show (June 14-16) is focussing heavily on the green parts potential with a dedicated forum made up of representatives from all sectors affected and Peter Riddle, founder and Managing Director of Actual Systems will be taking a seminar titled, Consolidation, Friend or Foe. Both these are not to be missed if you see your future in vehicle dismantling.

Things are truly on the move and I am under no doubt that the green parts market is about the blossom - make sure you blossom with it!

Visit Actual's website to find out more about Pinnacle.

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