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Green parts market gathers momentum

FAB parts
Minor blemishes don't make a part unsaleable but the customer must know exactly what he's buying.
With so many false dawns in the green parts market, it was like a breath of fresh air to visit a company that’s taken the bull by the horns and is carving out its own market within this potential growth area.

The company is Gloucestershire based FAB Recycling who you may know better as one of the UK’s leading BMW specialists. This specialism led them naturally into servicing the independent BMW trade outlets both here and abroad, which in turn led them into the area of standards.

FAB Managing Director, Jason Cross told atfPro, “Our customers have developed over the years to be more akin to partners which gave us the opportunity to work closely with them. We learnt what was good and also what was bad practice, we now work to a closely controlled set of standards covering all aspects of the business including our parts and their delivery. Only with this close co-operation and a commitment to supply what our customers demand have we managed to develop the trade side of our business.”

You may recall this time last year that FAB secured a Government backed national framework agreement for disposal and recycling of police vehicles. They now service 40 of the country’s forces and in that time have reduced their parts bill by over £1.4 million. That’s not to mention the savings that forces have made from vehicles not having to be replaced prematurely, and significant reductions in downtime. One force alone has saved over 30 vehicles from premature replacement.

Jason Cross with part
FAB's MD, Jason Cross knows that it's all about confidence when it comes to regular repeat trade customers.
The net has since been cast farther and wider with more fleet contracts now being serviced, FAB themselves have now extended their operation to cover all brands, no longer just BMWs. Jason said; “We operate the same strict standards for all of our customers. Fleet and trade customers will only become regular repeat business if they have confidence in what they purchase. They know how the part will be presented and when it will be with them. We never substitute a part and all parts come with a full audit trail. We operate our own delivery vehicles and guarantee a maximum 48 hour turn around to anywhere in the UK”.

A point Jason made about standards was that they must accommodate different customer requirements. For example with a door, one client might require it to be fully stripped whereas another may want certain items to remain. It is essential that we work closely with each individual customer. This commitment shows in their 0.03% return rate - that’s lower than with new parts!

FAB have a closed website for their trade and fleet customers called ‘Mygreenfleet’ which allows on line ordering and also handles all admin and reporting. There are some really neat features here such as seeing just how much you have saved on a particular part or over a particular period. We shall probably look at this system in greater depth another time, it’s a great interface for Mygreenfleet customers.

The company not only sells to fleets the idea of operating in an environmentally sustainable way, they practice what they preach. Apart from operating to ISO14001 environmental standard, they also claim to be the only carbon neutral auto recycler in the country and that’s quite an achievement. Jason isn’t on an environmental crusade, although he is under no illusion we only have the one planet to live on. He said, “During the past 12 months we have increased our sales by over 50%”. That would be impressive if the business was just a few years old, but FAB has been growing for over 22 years now which really does make it a head turner.

So where to from here? Jason wants to keep the growth going but is restricted by his own stock. He has been disappointed so many times when trying to sell other dismantlers stock ,that he is now very wary. He said, “I cannot risk any part going from another yard direct to one of our customers, as we must be sure it is to our exacting high standards. Otherwise it is FAB that will lose credibility with the customer, one with who we worked so hard to convince in the first place to buy from us.” He will speak to companies that are interested to work with him, but you would need to demonstrate a serious commitment to the standards of both your company and the parts you supply. If you think this sounds like the way you would like to go, email Jason here.

September 2013

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