The Pitched Battle for #1 in Collision Parts Ordering

Who will top Collision Parts Ordering?

The Collision Parts Ordering marketplace has just become a lot more interesting.  Could OE Connection’s recent acquisitions establish CollisionLink as the dominant platforms in the collision parts ordering marketplace or will CCC continue to build on their market momentum to vault themselves in the top spot?

The Collision Parts Ordering Market Leaders

OE Connection and CCC One have been locked in a battle over marketplace superiority.  As the first company to market, OE Connection’s Repair Link was able to establish market dominance.  Not to be outdone by CCC who added collision parts ordering as a vertical to their dominant estimating platform.  With CCC acquiring contracts from OE Connection and OPSTRAX with market share against OE connection the battle was set for market dominance.  However, recent acquisitions by OE Connection could level the playing field and change the battle for the number 1 market position.

CCC Market Position

CCC has established itself as the most complete and well positioned collision parts ordering software.  With over 50% of estimates prepared in the CCC platform feeding a complete set of tools, CCC has been able to offer shops and part suppliers an end-to-end market solution.  Their ultimate offering includes everything a shop needs to repair a vehicle from estimating, shop estimating, repair procedure delivery, post-repair inspection tools and parts ordering.

This complete set of tools and sales infrastructure paired with ongoing ordering volume has allowed CCC to be effective in capturing contracts from competitors including OEM pricing programs, body shop consolidator groups and insurance company relationships.

OE Connection Market Position

OE Connection was the first company in the market to offer electronic collision parts ordering.  Initially a joint venture between Ford, General Motors, Chrysler and ProQuest, OE Connection was established with the mission to automate collision parts ordering for original equipment parts.

With nearly a decade head start on the competitors, OEC was able to secure contracts with nearly every automaker in the US and Canada and develop unique and innovative programs for automakers.  With multiple recent acquisitions, OEC now offers a competitive suite of capabilities and could help establish the competitive offering to hold CCC at bay.

Recent OE Connection Acquisitions

Summit Consulting

The acquisition of Summit Consulting gives OE Connection the ability to develop and support automaker body shop consulting services.  Summit Consulting provides body shop consulting services.  The company also provides PSX CRM solution that supports the ability of a wholesale dealer sales team to provide consistent quality service to their wholesale body shop customers.

Parts Eye

Parts Eye adds market share and capabilities to OE Connection’s Dealer Parts Locater services and helps OE Connection provide more complete dealer inventory data.  This is particularly important in the current market where supply chains have been stretched by the pandemic.

Parts Eye is a premium parts locator in the marketplace and offers dealers the following abilities:

  • View the inventory of other dealers locally and nationally to speed orders to their wholesale customers
  • Trade obsolescence with other dealerships to lessen the dealer need to purchase gray market parts.
  • Stocking tools to help dealers plan and maintain the right inventory levels to both maximize sales and minimize costs.

Assured Performance

Assured performance provides a tighter connection to the independent shops through the Assured Performance Network of certified body shops.  At the core of Assured Performance is a registered body shop buying group that allows participating body shops to pool their buying power to decrease their costs for parts and supplies.

Assured Performance also offers automaker and independent facility certification programs, OE Part Pricing programs and OE shop certification services.

Verifacts Automotive

Verifacts Automotive provides OE Connection with the ability to distribute quality repair information to shops and support post-vehicle inspections.  The company provides a wide variety of repair quality related services with an emphasis on OE repair information and post-repair certifications.  The core focus of the founder and the company is to help support the delivery and maintenance of OE repair quality among independent body shops.

OPSTRAX

The merger of OE Connection and OPSTRAX could be a game changer for both companies.  In addition to bringing order volume and factory programs, OPSTRAX brings supplier logistics management, an all-channel ordering system and an ordering interface that is well liked by shops.  OPS TRAX also brings exclusive ordering relationships with several large body shop chains.

 Collision Parts Ordering
OE Connection has made recent acquisitions in the collision space

CollisionLink Collision Parts Ordering Opportunity

Once seamlessly integrated, OE Connection will be able to compete head-to-head with position to compete directly against CCC with capabilities and market presence.  This will provide RepairLink the ability to offer automakers with a one stop shop with unique capabilities and solutions.

Dealer and Shop Consulting

The acquisition of Summit Consulting and Assured Performance Network offer OEC the ability to offer both dealer and independent shop certification programs.  In addition, these companies bring active programs for Toyota, General Motors, Ford and Stellantis.

Enhanced Parts Locater Business

The addition of PartsEye to the OEC family expands the OEC market presence for dealer parts locator systems by adding Nissan, Kia, Hyundai, Subaru and Mitsubishi trucks to the OEC D2D link program.  In addition, PartsEye brings dealer enhanced capabilities that will help CollisionLink increase inventory display capabilities.

Repair Data Delivery and Post Repair Inspection

Verifacts Automotive offers OEC the ability to distribute repair information to shops at the time of repair and provide post-repair inspection and certification services.  Verifacts also brings OE data relationships and an infrastructure to land and display repair information.

Fleet Management and Delivery ETA

OPSTRAX brings multiple capabilities to OEC including the ability for dealers to manage their distribution fleets and offer shops with dynamic ETAs for their parts delivery.  This greatly simplifies the collision parts ordering process since shops can view their parts ETAs without calling the dealership.

All Channel Collision Parts Ordering

The addition of OPSTRAX allows OEC to offer shops the ability to order all of their parts from one ordering platform.  Adding aftermarket and salvage parts addresses to their Collision Parts Ordering Platform addresses a major competitive weakness that CollisionLink faces versus both CCC and PartsTrader.  With the acquisition of OPSTRAX, OEC can offer a one-stop-shop for body shops.

CCC Market Position

CCC has great market momentum having recently signed new automakers, insurance companies and body shop chains.  Their shop first approach has allowed CCC to offer a complete and seamless solution for shops that includes estimating, workshop management and parts ordering in a complete package.  This shop first approach grown out of an estimating platform has allowed CCC to make inroads throughout the marketplace and capture contracts from automaker, insurance companies part manufacturers and body shop groups.

And although the process started with an estimating platform, the CCC solution offering is now much broader and includes:

  1. Repair Data Delivery: The ability to provide repair information and trouble codes to the vehicle at the time of repair
  2. Visual Inspection: The ability to use an AI tool to identify damage and prepare a visual damage estimate
  3. Vehicle Scanning: Tools that allow shops to certify that all electronic systems have been returned to pre-loss condition
  4. Shop Certifications: The tools and programs needed to manage independent and dealer shop certifications
  5. Body Shop Management: Body shop workflow management including parts ordering, technician scheduling and job management tools.

Remaining Industry Gaps

The collision industry has a persistent efficiency issue associated with incomplete and inaccurate initial estimates.  And while the root cause of these issues is different, the net result is the same – efficiency losses associated with fixing unknown issues that could be addressed early in the process.

Incomplete Estimates

It is easier for estimators to write an initial estimate based on visible damage to get work started and deal with the supplemental repairs as they come.  This is the center of why estimates are incomplete.

The industry approach has largely been to use the contributing factors as a reason not to fix the problem and to create processes and solutions that address the inevitable problems.  However, there has yet to be a successful, sustainable, and easy way to implement processes that fixes the input errors caused by partial, initial estimates.

Inaccurate Parts Data

Estimates are written with inaccurate part data, which creates a lot of unnecessary downstream issues in the collision parts ordering process.  Dealers have the information and expertise to fix part number errors and shops rely upon this service.  But this process creates, ordering delays, part returns, incomplete orders and the ongoing need for part change supplements.  Providing OE quality data to shops in an all-makes format can greatly improve accuracy in the collision parts ordering process.

The potential value to shops and the supply chains are significant and OEM Part Catalog publishers such as Infomedia and Snap-On can provide the OE data necessary to improve the estimating process.

Tipping the Balance of Power

Reducing the number of viable parts ordering systems from 5 to 2 will undoubtedly result in a shift in channel power in the collision repair industry.  The question is who will benefit most.  Will it be the ordering systems, who will now be at the center of industry parts commerce, the automakers who will are the standard for parts and information quality, the aftermarket who will have increased access to customers, body shops who have been increasing their market clout or insurance companies who will continue to manage the purse strings?

Are you interested in discussing what the recent moves by OE Connection mean to your business?  Find out more about our consulting services and schedule time to talk and we can share our thoughts about this acquisition.

Karl Krug

Karl Krug

Karl Krug is the Chief Strategy Officer of 3NG Consulting and specializes in automotive parts and service solutions and marketing. 

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