State Farm Pilots Parts Program for Repairers
February 19, 2013

by Casey Neeley,

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. has completed a pilot program partnering the insurance provider with PartsTrader, a web-based replacement parts provider, for all collision repairs, including auto glass.

“Select Service repair shops use the PartsTrader platform to locate, choose and purchase parts for repairs,” explains Jennifer McDade, State Farm public affairs. “They prepare the estimate, including parts and labor, for which they are reimbursed by State Farm.”

“The PartsTrader platform connects repairers with multiple suppliers and they choose the parts they want to purchase,” says McDade. “State Farm does not require repairers to use a certain supplier and there are no requirements to simply purchase the lowest priced parts. The repairer maintains control over which supplier is selected for parts purchases.”

“Electronic parts ordering does not change our established process for reimbursement for vehicle repair, which includes labor and parts,” she adds.

Currently, State Farm officials say the program is being steered by feedback.

“State Farm is focused on pursuing initiatives that promote a competitive marketplace and improve repair efficiencies to benefit our policyholders. State Farm repair programs, including electronic parts ordering, are designed to improve the value to policyholders and enhance the customer experience,” says Amy Preddy, media specialist for State Farm. “Therefore, as this phase of the rollout continues, we are most focused on gathering feedback from repairers and working with PartsTrader to continuously improve the electronic parts ordering process, while repairers maintain their focus on quality, efficiency, and price in servicing our shared customers.”

The program began early last year in a few cities.

“We began a pilot of the program in spring 2012 to allow us to engage stakeholders and collect feedback. We have been listening to users and making enhancements throughout the process and to date, are pleased to have worked with more than 600 repairers,” Preddy says.

She notes that, currently, the program is limited to select markets.

“Electronic parts ordering has been introduced at Select Service repair shops in five markets in the U.S.: Birmingham, Ala., Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Grand Rapids, Mich., and Tucson, Ariz.,” she says.

Expansion seems likely in the near future.

“We continue to evaluate expansion and have just recently expanded this process in a larger metropolitan area—Chicago—to ensure the platform can be scaled appropriately,” says Preddy.

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