Holly Monaghan, Director of Rhodes Accident Repair Group (PJ Rhodes Ltd) with four bodyshops based in the Midlands and Rugby region provides us with her point of view on green parts, why customers need to be made aware of them and why these parts should be considered over OE parts.
An individual in the industry with young children (and after all, it is these who we are leaving this terrible legacy to, reference climate change) recently posted a question to me – ‘Holly do you still use ‘scrap’ parts for Ageas?’. This was on a social media post where this person is very active.
So, you see, there is a lot of work to do to make people understand that green parts are the way forward.
Our journey with green parts started a few years ago when, as part of the Ageas steering group, we were invited into a meeting to discuss this new way of thinking.
The agenda was ‘green parts’, ‘recycle’ and ‘repair over replace’ on their customer’s cars with Hills Salvage, as the main partner, now known as the Green Parts Specialists (GPS). We left the meeting with a framework of how this was going to work and started operating from then.
I, like many others, was sceptical about the quality of the parts, but more importantly, the customers and what their view would be. We decided to create a leaflet and got every customer to sign on collection ‘yes or no’ to green parts being fitted on their vehicles.
The answer was a resounding ‘yes, no problem’, possibly 99.9% – very rarely did we have anybody say no.
To understand where the ‘scrap parts’ come from, I suggest you go to Hills Salvage (GPS) up north. The place is slick, vast and has great quality control and parts are carefully removed and packaged. Everything about their process is top drawer, it’s not a scrapyard, these are top quality recycled parts taken off carefully and catalogued by professionals.
I’m not saying that everything is perfect, we do have issues. We do have parts that are not as described and we do send parts back, but the team at GPS are quick and on it and they are always changing and improving.
Most of the pushback, it seems, is from our industry. Why? I have no idea. If they are not safety-related, if they are of good quality and they are cheaper, surely, it’s a win-win. The parts suppliers and manufacturers are all working closely together, TPS is a great example, reducing discounts.
It is getting much harder to make any money now out of OE parts… Again, who can blame them, they are also running a commercial business. Notwithstanding this, the whole world now needs to recycle; we all know this.
So again, why is everybody pushing back? Why so much negativity?
Insurers, too, need to make an honest living, their margins are tight. It’s very easy to blame them for everything that’s wrong in our industry, but there are lots of good people out there. With the advent of aggregator sites, it seems to me it’s a race to the bottom, everybody is trying to sell premiums cheaper and cheaper.
Green parts aren’t going anywhere, GPS and the likes, are getting stronger and stronger and well done to Ian Hill and the team at Hills Salvage who put their money where their mouth is and invest massively in new equipment and buildings.
I wish we were in that market (huge growth), but we wish them continued success.
Joe March, Head of Commercial and Network management at Hills Salvage and Recycling said:
“There are no secrets behind what we do at Hills Salvage and Recycling, commented Joe, we simply provide a service that meets or exceeds the standards experienced through the purchase of an OEM part. Yes, there is a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes. From sale to the warehouse to UK wide dispatch, we have refined and continue to evaluate our processes to develop the best possible journey for our customers.
As an early adopter of green parts in their supply chain, PJ Rhodes have established themselves as a real advocate of the green parts process, realising significant commercial and environmental benefits along the way. It is great to read the comments and experiences of Holly and her team at PJ Rhodes and more importantly the engagement from their customers, which demonstrates the public appetite to embrace green parts usage in exchange for greater environmental benefit. As we progress on this supply chain journey, the need to challenge perceptions and influence opinions from within our business will naturally reduce as more consumers seek from their insurers to take the environmentally responsible route for repair, which can only be a good thing.”