Auto Recyclers Toolbox
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Posts in Aug/Sept 2019
Industry Question: “Do Industry conferences and trade shows meet the needs of you and your staff? Why or why not? What changes do you suggest?”

The auto recycler is not attending the state meetings like they once did. The national events are still well attended. The number of new people is still growing at URG & ARA but the overall number of auto recyclers looking to advance their education, network with like businesses and try and learn how to grow from others seems to be waning. It would be nice if the local events could draw better and our industry would benefit from that time spent together, generating ideas to enhance the market, instead of taking business from each other.

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Aug/Sept 2019Mike French
Ransomware! Hacked and Jacked!

I was at work Sunday and at 3:30pm, when I was ready to leave after working all day, I saw on the screen of my server what turned out to be one of my worst nightmares. It said all of my files had been encrypted. After making a few calls, one of them being to the person I hired to protect my network, I found out that I got hit with ransomware!

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Why your employees don’t make decisions

Dear Answer Man, I am so frustrated! I sat down to read the articles in the ToolBox and have been interrupted three times, by questions which have come up before, and I have told the same people how to handle those issues, or make that decision. It’s like they forget everything they have learned every night. I actually read about a condition which causes that and surely it’s contagious, because the whole staff seems to. Horacio

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A Little “Out of the Yard” thinking

To those who step up to serve ARA members, potential members, and our industry - THANK YOU!

Thank you for your conviction and for putting aside your regular day's work to serve. Thank you for your compassion and dedication. Thank you for realizing the need and serving. Thank you for using your expertise, talents and knowledge to improve our industry. Thank You for knowing the experiences you will have and the people you will meet will be an opportunity to make you an even better leader and mentor in our industry. Thank You for the inspiration you bring. As you travel in this country and other nations, thank you for helping to educate and inform industry associations and individuals. Thank you for informing legislators and others who govern and who affect our industry's various functions.

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YOUR INVENTORY - What you buy, how you show it, and how you price it

The important thing to remember here is that sales and revenue are a by-product of your inventory and your process.


When I was new to the business, a wise person told me, “Always remember, you make your money when you buy the car.” He also said, “The parts that come off of these cars are only worth so much. It doesn’t matter if you paid a million bucks for the vehicle or if you got it for nothing. The part is still worth what it’s worth.” He also told me to make sure I pay attention to, and follow the prices that the salvage is bringing, so that when cars are going cheap, you can “lay in the weeds” and load up when salvage is going cheaper. Another thing that he said was, “Buy the car when you don’t need it.” In the beginning, I did not understand this, but I quickly learned what he meant, because, when I was out of stock on things, so were a lot of others. So, naturally, I would have to pay more to get what I needed.

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Announcement: Non-Bounty NHTSA Alerts

The RAS Bounty program for defective Takata Airbags is based on VIN verification of vehicles by the Recycler. We provide the tools and software to verify those VIN’s against our recall buyback database. The industry is to be applauded for a significant increase in participation this year. The number of defective airbags being recovered and sent for destruction has skyrocketed! But we are not taking our foot off the pedal. We are continually refining our program to make it easier and more efficient for recyclers to identify and process these dangerous products.

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ARAEF’s Next Direction – 2020 and Beyond

Everyone learns differently and at different paces. ARAU online curriculum is accessible 24\7 365 days a year. Each course features audio, visual, and text to aid in the learning process.

Latest Technology

The platform uses the latest web technology, allowing courses to be viewed with a variety of media such as tablets, smartphones, and laptops.

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On Your Mark, Get Ready, DON’T Go!

I get a few calls a month from “I want to be an entrepreneur, and this is my business idea”.

My investor friends tell me that the world is full of great ideas, and the world is awash with money to fund them. There are very few people that can connect the ideas and the money and find success. Actually, it’s by far and away the most important ingredient, being able to make things happen and connect the dots.

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Why you must guarantee what you sell

It is so important for you to have a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee in place, no matter how much it seems to cost you.

He bragged about the savings!

A while back, a friend of mine told me this story. He decided to call a used parts provider after seeing their advertisement about their good deals and excellent prices. He was very excited after talking on the phone with the helpful and friendly sales person. He was happy that he would save some money and even get the part he wanted delivered to his door. He placed the order for the part he wanted and afterward showed the ad to a friend. He bragged to him about the savings and encouraged his friend to take advantage of these same good deals that he had discovered.

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What I Learned About Business from Working in Sports

You may not be able to tell by looking at me, but I was once part of an NFL team! I started my career at GreenLeaf Auto Recyclers and LKQ, but after I left, I spent four years working for the Dallas Cowboys. I was on the ecommerce team that ran the pro shop website before I came to Copart. It was more of a retail and fashion gig than a punt and pass drill, but I learned a lot about business by working in sports. I’m here to share my playbook with you, and I invite you to copy any plays you find useful. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a Cowboys fan to participate!)

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Creating a Sustainable Environment

Nothing living thing ever reaches a stage of development where they no longer change. They are either growing or they are dying. Staying alive takes energy, it takes having the right environment and the correct intake.

Your business is the same. It is either growing or going away. There are no resting places in business. Growing and sustaining a business takes two things: Leadership and Management

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All of us NEED to Help Each Other!

I just finished book #40 by my favorite author. It was just as good as the other 39. I still enjoy his writings. I must admit Max Lucado is still my favorite author after reading #40 - Unshakable Hope. Purchased by my daughter, it was presented to me for Father’s Day. This book a keeper with a sweet, encouraging story. It will lighten your spirit and awaken an unshakeable hope deep inside of you - no matter what you’re experiencing today.

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An Up and Down Roller Coaster Ride

Hello Fellow Auto Recyclers. I hope your business is going well! Here, in Iowa, it seems to be an up and down roller coaster ride. The price of scrap is still in the tank. Ebay sales here, are doing better than last year. I’m just trying to figure this whole thing out. I’m working on the U-Pull-It yard. I’m buying older vehicles and not dealing in late models. It takes away some of the sheet metal business; but, from what I hear from some late model recyclers about their return rates, I don't think we are missing much.

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Catalytic Converter Values Continue to Rise

Steel may be depressed, but Catalytic Converter values continue to rise with the rise in Platinum Group Metal (PGM) Prices.

Even as steel continues to dip another 3.4% over the last two weeks, or 27% since peaking in late March, scrap catalytic converter values continue to rise with the strength of the Platinum Group Metals (PGMs). Palladium itself up over $200 since last month rising for a fifth straight week as of the writing of this article, July 10. Industrial demand is strong, especially in Asia, as it increases the use of PGMs in auto catalyst to meet the China 6 emissions requirements. Investor sentiment is positive.

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Industry News

RA UPDATE: On June 21, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in South Dakota v. Wayfair that South Dakota can mandate that businesses without a physical presence in that state -- but with more than 200 transactions or $100,000 of in-state sales -- must collect and remit sales taxes on transactions to the state.

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