I Got a Deal for You!
This month's article is coming to you as a
public service announcement from Automotive Recyclers Association
(ARA). From its inception in 1943 as the National Auto and Truck
Wreckers Association (NATWA) to its current "Automotive Recyclers
Association," the evolution of the association has closely followed
the evolution of our industry. As our business systems have
grown from inventory by memory, "Sorry, I don't know if we have
that, the boss is in the bathroom," to state of the art computer
inventory and parts locating systems- "Yes, we can have that
part shipped in for you from the dark side of the moon by tomorrow
morning," so has our association grown from being staffed by
volunteers that would have to chip in for coffee to highly skilled
professionals that have to chip in for coffee (some things never
change). So, what is this all leading to? I'm glad you asked.
ARA regional directors and the executive committee
have recognized how difficult it can be to write a check for
association dues when your insurance premium, business statements,
payroll or the plethora of other bills are all due at the same
time. Their solution is that great American standard, the installment
plan. You are still in touch with the world of automotive recycling
and all of the news and developments related to all of our sister
industries. You have help and representation when you need it
and a place to turn in troubled times. ARA is your international
This brings me to a very interesting email
I received from Steve Johnson of Johnson Auto Recycling in Asheville,
North Carolina. In February, FedEx Ground called Johnson Auto
Recycling explaining that FedEx could no longer accept their
air bags for shipping unless Johnsons contacted every auto manufacturer
to get their exemption number for every air bag they were shipping.
Steve and his staff could not imagine having to do this with
each sale or even who to contact and how to reach them. Steve
Johnson (being an intelligent and long time ARA member), called
ARA headquarters— toll free— and explained their predicament.
ARA told Steve that they had received a blanket exemption number
for all ARA members. They also had ARA's Michael Wilson contact
the safety manager at the Asheville terminal of FedEx. Within
45 minutes, Johnsons had received a call from the FedEx safety
manager reporting that everything was fine and that they would
be happy to ship their air bags at any time. What would they
have done otherwise? What if there was no ARA to turn to? What
if it was just us against big business, manufacturers, government,
insurance and the rest of the world? Could we exist? Could our
Now is the most important time for us all to
work together and to strengthen our voice to the world. Renew
your membership, become a member or look at new career fields.
I am told Wal-Mart is looking for greeters.
Gary Wiesner is co-owner of Pro-Auto Recyclers, Williamstown,