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Body panels, glass and bumpers the problem area!

Tailgate on pallet
There's got to be a better way for large and delicate parts.
Regular readers will be aware that we have been looking into the problems of parts deliveries over the last few months and this issue, after talking to many of you, we think we’ve narrowed the problem down.

As the title says; body panels, glass and bumpers. OK there are other problem items, in fact most things over one metre in length, but let’s face it, there’s plenty of couriers out there who will take the small, less fragile items in standard boxes, cost effectively, and also for those really heavy items, such as engines that a pallet service is the only real answer. So we come back to body panels, glass and bumpers.

What’s interesting is that these are the items which would most likely be required by body shops and are therefore the items where we, as an industry have greatest potential to increase sales. But as we know, the body shop not only wants the part to be classified in a way that they know exactly what they’ll get, but they also want it delivered without any damage and delivered when it is meant to be delivered. That doesn’t necessarily mean next day; it may be on a four day delivery, but the body shop needs to know when they will receive it so that they can plan their work schedules.

There is also an added requirement for both the body shop and the courier. The body shop must be able to assess the part and sign it off as acceptable at the time of delivery. It is in no-one’s interest for a courier to leave a delivery without a signature of acceptability.

As this is an area where the industry should be wanting to grow, and we have mentioned many a time in the past the size of this market in the States, then one would assume it would be in the interest of the dismantler to find a collective solution to this delivery issue. Please bear in mind that the body shop market also requires a recognised standard for parts so they can order with confidence. This standard is already available for anyone to use but currently very few are. One company that does use it is FAB Recycling who have successfully built a good business on trade sales by working to these standards. Delivery was a weak link for FAB and the only answer was to set up their own national deliveries to ensure correct handling of their parts. If you want to know more about the standards then you can read about them here http://www.atfprofessional.co.uk/1408damagelocator.aspx

Other companies and groups have tried various ideas centred around using each other as hubs and delivering other yard’s part in their locality, but although these ideas work abroad, they don’t seem to be able to hold together in the UK.

I visited Nantwich based, CarTransplants and spoke to their Sales Manager, Steve Thackara about these problems. CarTransplants have been involved in various trial over the years to promote sales into the trade sector and recognise that there is no one solution for parts deliveries. Steve said, “We need to use a variety of couriers to meet our needs but large, easily damaged items are a major headache for us. The industry could do with a specialist courier that can handle these items in a way that they can be delivered without risk of damage and yet still be cost effective.“

Steve went on to suggest something like a curtain sided Sprinter that’s partitioned along its length so that panels could easily be slotted and strapped in place. This would also allow for the panel to be removed easily and quickly without disturbing other panels and would negate the need for excess packaging. This would have the added bonus that the part would be ready for checking at the time of delivery.

This is one person’s idea of a practical solution, maybe you have your own solution, I would love to hear it - you can email me here. I have spoken to bodies that may be interested in setting up such a network but they would like an idea of the volumes involved so they can work out if an affordable service could be offered. I don’t know the answers but we are currently creating a small survey which will be anonymous. We will notify you shortly when it's available. Please take a few minutes to complete it. Hopefully we can move this forward once we have your answers. Maybe then we may find a courier to fit in to our needs.

March 2016

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