Getting paid for more OEM Parts in the body shop today has become easier than it ever was. But the pressure from Insurance carriers to control costs by using cheaper aftermarket (A/M) and used (LKQ) parts is greater than ever. The simple fact of the matter is that there is not a single aftermarket part can pass a close inspection and a side by side comparison to the OEM part that it’s being substituted for. And an LKQ part if properly estimated for disassembly, reconditioning, preparation for refinish, and all necessary parts are transferred from the original damaged part, is almost always not as cost effective as using an OEM part.
Aftermarket parts have differences, like the number of rows in a radiator, or the presence of an emblem in the lens of a headlight, or the simple weight comparison on a fishing scale of the difference between OEM and A/M fenders. Insurance Policy verbiage that the part maybe of like kind and quality and be permanently marked with a manufacture can easily be defeated by side by side comparison. Furthermore, every single aftermarket part must be test fitted and the insurance carrier is obligated to pay for whatever labor operations are required for a test fit (like building the entire front end of a vehicle and disassembling it again before paint).
LKQ parts present a different challenge. First and foremost any weld on used part is basically unusable due to checking the OEM procedures to install the part. If a used weld on part calls for any type of attachment method that can’t be done with a used part, then a used part is out of the question. Bolt on used parts have different challenges. Typically repairers are not fully away of the “included” and “non-included” operations when calculating charges for using a used bolt on panel. If these charges are properly figured, many times a used bolt on panel also becomes not cost effective.
Training for your body shop estimators and parts personnel on how to properly estimate, inspect, and charge for A/M or LKQ parts will lead them to selecting more OEM parts from your parts department or outside OEM vendors.
Aaron M. Sworden, Body Shop Specialist
Fixed Performance Inc.
Cell: (724) 448-9550
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Rob is President and Founder of Fixed Performance Inc. which he began over 15 years ago. His passion for customer care and helping others has assisted hundreds of dealerships with their fixed operations performance. His common sense coaching and training lifts people up as individuals and team members. With over 30 years of dealership management experience, he understands and respects the daily challenges of fixed operations. Placing a strong value in people and best practice processes always provide growth. His articles have been published regularly in national publications and weekly newsletters are read by thousands.