State Farm is expanding its electronic parts procurement pilot program. According to the insurer, Select Service shops in Chicago will begin using the PartsTrader solution in December.
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"The Chicago metro area was selected because it is so much larger than the other four markets where we are using the program now," said State Farm spokesperson Dick Luedke. "We wanted to try scaling the program and the technology in a larger market."
There are approximately 450 shops in the Chicago area, compared to 150 shops in the other four markets where the program has been deployed. Those locations include Tucson, Ariz.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Charlotte, N.C.
Last week, State Farm also issued a letter to its Select Service members providing updates about the electronic parts ordering program, as well as a "frequently asked questions" document that addressed some of the elements of the program that have caused the most controversy among shop owners.
Among the issues addressed: whether the insurer can see pricing and margin information (the company says it doesn't have visibility into those figures), efficiency issues, quote timing, supplier selection, and supplier access to price quotes.