Leigh Ann Sharon, Landress Auto Wrecking: One of FADRA’s original members is still going strong and coping with the pandemic. “In response to the COVID-19, we set up a pavilion with table and chairs just outside of our office entrance for customers. They either place their orders by phone, OR we have an attendant out front that serves them by taking their order and bringing out their part to them. If it is a larger item, such as an engine or transmission, he then directs them to the loading area. After he processes their transaction, of course. We have designated hours each day for this service.   It is working nicely; customers appreciate the extra effort!

Donna Spivey, Spivey’s Auto Salvage: “We are extremely proactive and buzzing in our customers in a controlled manner. Customers seem to be perfectly fine with that practice. We are fortunate to have a great facility for our employees and are distancing everyone’s work area. Sanitizing any communal areas after each use and simply enduring with as positive attitude as possible.”

Jim Butler, Butler’s Auto Recycling: “We’re blessed up here in the Panhandle; as of today (March 27), none of our team or their families have been affected. We have a few already working from home and we have been taking a few extra precautions. 

  1. Frequent wipe-downs of all the high-traffic areas. 
  2. Constructing barriers to help with social distancing
  3. Providing our delivery drivers with PPE and changing how we handle payments. Customers place payments and are provided envelopes. We have suspended the practice of the customer signing the tablets. 
  4. Rearranged the dining area to help with social distancing. 
  5. Asked for electronic payments as much as possible to reduce the need for touching cash, checks, or cards. 

Steve Holland, Brandon Auto Salvage: My shipping office usually has two people in all the time, and we had a meeting and I said to only have one person at a time. They put up a chain in the doorway to help remember not to walk in there. We’re having people work at least six feet apart, but they’re human and they sometimes forget to stay far enough apart. My people are normally walking around working, whereas a few have decided to wear a mask. We roped off the front counter to keep customers six feet away.

I had two employees who thought they had coronavirus two months ago. It knocked them down in a bed for two days, and one guy came in to work but had to go back home. Fortunately, we still have customers walking in and calling us.

Eddie Rodriguez, Branif Auto Salvage: “We are doing well. We are still open but preparing for changes which may come. Sales have slowed but we are ready. I saw Shan at Cocoa Auto Salvage last week and she was also in preparation mode. We agreed this will make us stronger and more efficient.”

Francine Ingui, 98 Auto Recyclers: We are trying to come up with ideas to keep business going and our employees gainfully employed and healthy, of course this is a challenge!

We have locked our showroom and are requesting retail customers to call us ahead of time so that orders can be prepared, and we will call when ready. In the case that they haven’t called ahead or read the post on our Facebook page, we have signs on our door asking them to call from the parking lot and wait in their cars until order is ready 

They can either prepay with credit or come in after the part is brought out to the vehicle. We are encouraging only necessary parts at this time; no window shoppers. If a customer needs to come in to pay, there is a “one person at a time” rule and we have made a barrier of tires and car seats leading up to credit card terminal/sales area.

We are still delivering to wholesale customers, and of course we ship UPS Daily nationwide as well as LTL FREIGHT. We are taking this very seriously and can’t stress enough the concern we have for our employees as well as patrons.

It is, however, disheartening to see many patrons annoyed and not taking this as seriously as they should. It is a battle we fight every day as we try to accommodate the public and keep ourselves and our employees safe without laying anyone off. Safety is our priority, as well as the well-being and job security of our employees.

Wishing our salvage community safety and good health in this unsettling time.

David Foster, Foster’s Auto Crushing: “We are doing great personally but business is super slow. Everything here [in Jacksonville] is basically shut down as well. It is getting crazier every day. On the other hand, we opened a new u-pull-it yard. He can be reached at [email protected]

Mike Gagel, Gagel’s Auto Parts: Things we have done to protect our employees and customers.

  • We require every person that enters the office to wash their hands.
  • We have provided gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer to employees that may come in contact with customers.
  • We limited the amount of people in the sales area.
  • We arranged the sales area so as the customers are 6 feet from the counter.
  • Cut sales showroom hours.
    Some parts are taken to the vehicles to help with distancing.
  • We limited our deliveries, shipping more on UPS so we have less stops. 

Marcy King, RAS: As we all adapt to the "New" reality of the coronavirus, here is what is happening at Rebuilders Automotive Supply (RAS).

  • Majority of office personnel is now working from home, we are on our second week and it is working out great. Hours are the same 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Our Check-in Teams for COREs, CATs, and AIRBAGs continue to operate in our Production Area.
  • For physical distancing, our Rhode Island warehouse staff has been divided into two shifts, 6:00 am to 12:30 pm and 1:00 pm to 7:30 pm.
  • Our facilities are staffed from 6:00 am to 4:30 pm with a Registered Nurse.
    • All employees working will be subject to a DAILY temperature check prior to the start of their shift
    • All employees will be subject to a periodic medical questionnaire
  • Our Buy Door for local vendors is OPEN  - Visits by APPOINTMENT ONLY. Regular business hours 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • All visitors, including vendors, suppliers, customers, truck drivers, delivery people, and any other person with a valid business reason to enter the facility will be subject to a temperature check and a medical questionnaire.
  • All exterior doors will be closed and locked, and the entrance to the facility will be strictly through the main lobby.
  • Signage indicating the traffic flow for employees to get to their workstation is posted
  • While a travel ban on flights has been implemented for trade shows, customer meetings, etc. we are still here on the phones, serving our customers every day.
  • Road buying has been suspended.
  • Freight continues to roll at RAS - inbound and outbound.
  • Recalled airbags, cores, and converters continue to arrive at   RAS for processing.
  • Payments are being dispatched as usual
  • For catalytic converters, our smelters and refiners are continuing operations.

Let’s All Be Safe! RAS values the health and safety of all!  Please take care of yourself and your loved ones! Please exercise caution while out and about!

Car-Part.com: Roger and Jeff Schroder sent an email to all customers as the shutdown advanced all over the country.

“With the coronavirus (COVID-19) affecting communities, families, and people around the world, this is a difficult time for all of us. Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected. At Car-Part.com, our priority is the health and well-being of our employees and customers.

“We have taken several steps to help lessen the potential impact of COVID-19 on our communities and our business. In accordance with orders and other guidance from authorities, we have moved our entire workforce to working remotely. We have also instructed our sales and support teams not to visit customers in person at this time. In accordance with our own pandemic response plan, we are minimizing physical requirements at our two redundant Car-Part owned data centers and increasing our virtual/remote capabilities.

“We have decided not to reduce our workforce at this time. Rather, we have made significant investments in equipment and technology so that we can continue providing our services and support while our teams work remotely. Our goal is to continue providing the industry-leading tools, training, and support that you need to maximize sales and efficiency during this difficult period. 

“We also realize that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in hardship for many of our customers. To help alleviate some of this hardship, we have adopted the following COVID-19 relief initiatives:

  • Temporary Reduction in Fees. Car-Part.com will provide part suppliers with a 10% discount on service fees during the months of April, May, and June 2020.
  • Account Holds. From now until June 30, 2020, Car-Part.com will allow part suppliers to place their accounts on hold and remove their listings from our marketplace for up to 90 days (and any such accounts may be re-instated during this 90-day period without the normal activation/re-instatement fees).
  • Free Upgrades of Select Tools and Services to Maximize Sales and Efficiency Opportunities. Car-Part.com is providing current auto recycling customers with free upgrades to certain products and services for a limited time. These upgrades are being offered to assist you in maximizing your part sales opportunities and operational efficiency using your existing vehicles, parts, and people. Please contact your Car-Part sales rep for more details.

“In addition, Car-Part.com is still providing our industry-leading training at no charge to our customers. The current situation may provide an opportunity for you to catch up on training opportunities that you haven’t had time for yet. Our online training resources are available at http://products.car-part.com/webinars. If you are interested in training on tools or services that are not currently listed there, please contact your Car-Part sales or support rep. If you need help getting your employees set up to work remotely, or to update your Car-Part.com software, please call us.

“We are also working with industry organizations to help the auto recycling industry. We are donating up to $30,000 to an ARA COVID-19 relief fund (representing a $10,000 initial donation and up to an additional $20,000 to match donations from others). We are also donating up to $10,000 CAD to an Auto Recyclers of Canada (ARC) COVID-19 relief fund (representing a $5,000 CAD initial donation and up to an additional $5,000 CAD to match donations from others). 

“We are committed to supporting our customers, employees, and communities. We will continue monitoring the guidance provided by public health officials and governmental agencies, so we can be the best partner in finding solutions to problems arising from COVID-19. We will also strive to update you promptly with any updates to our relief initiatives. To follow future updates, visit our website at Car-Part.com or follow us on social media. We invite you to use the hashtag #RecyclersCare to join the conversation and share how you are helping in your community. 

         “Please take care of yourselves, and each other, and we will make it through this difficult time together.

Gregg Dietrich, Car-Part.com: “We are all doing ok here. I work from home anyway, so nothing has really changed for me on that front. Well, except that I have all of my kids home with me now! Luckily, they each have school laptops already, so moving them to remote learning was actually pretty seamless. They were used to doing most of their work online already. I will say though that if my kids were younger and I had to help them with all of their schoolwork and also work from home…that would definitely be more challenging. 

“Honestly, I have kind of enjoyed having everyone home and not having sports to run to and everyone on a crazy schedule.  It seems like my girls are always out somewhere, so I am taking advantage of having everyone here and sitting down and eating together and doing things we might not have done anymore now that everyone is getting a little older.  Trying to see the silver lining.   

“We will get through this.  I am kind of thinking though that I want to stay in for a few weeks after they lift the social distancing stuff and open everything up!  I am not sure how that is going to work…”

Marcin Ladowski, CarBrain: “At CarBrain, we help supply recyclers with inventory by buying damaged cars across the country. Normally we do this from our office based in Miami. However, like many businesses in the United States, we've been impacted by the coronavirus. 

In order to protect the health of our employees, we have adapted our call center operations, enabling our staff to work from home without interruption. That means CarBrain operations have not been halted by the coronavirus. Instead, we continue to purchase vehicles on a daily basis. 

We partner with local recyclers nationwide, helping businesses receive the inventory they need. We've moved our call center fully online and intend to continue working with our recycling partners moving forward.”

Betsy Finnell, Hotlines: Our Hotlines team has been working from home.  So far, it’s been very productive for our whole team. In fact, we are going to keep everyone’s home-office configuration in place once the stay at home orders are rescinded. This will give us the flexibility and responsiveness should we need to do this again in the future for either a resurgence of the virus or even for Midwest snowstorms.  

We have had a number of Hotlines members reach out to us due to concerns of shrinking local sales at their yards. Interestingly, these same members had extensive sales opportunities in the form of Hotlines AutoMatches (other recyclers on Hotlines looking for parts in these member’s inventory). Many of these members had not been proactively responding to these Hotlines AutoMatch sales opportunities prior to this. When we pointed out these sales opportunities, many of them have started taking advantage of these sales to supplement their reduced local sales. They are selling parts which were not moving locally at reasonable prices that they are happy with. Several of our members in harder hit areas are generating enough sales through Hotlines to keep their business running.

Additionally, more of our members are turning to Hotlines as a buying tool, purchasing parts from their exchange partners at better prices and giving those exchange partners sales opportunities that they wouldn’t have normally had.

Chrysten Newton, PMR: PMR has worked in accordance with government regulations to ensure the safety of our workforce and suppliers. As an essential business, we have limited day-to-day onsite staff to abide by social distancing standards and follow a daily cleaning regimen to safeguard all facilities. Although we have endured some restrictions, all three of our locations are fully operational and still processing shipments to best service our partners. We hope everyone is staying healthy and safe and offer our support to all members. We will get through this! Sending positive energy during this difficult time.

Orlando Camacho, Manheim: At Manheim, our first priority is to keep all Manheim employees heathy and safe, Cox Enterprises has closed down the facility and has promise to pay all employees until May 1. We have been doing our auction sales via simulcast, with no buyers or sellers at the location. Manheim Central/Manheim Orlando has been communicating daily with our buyers and sellers. making sure they are connecting with them on everything we can to help them through this difficult tim .

Amanda Zmolek, Copart: Amanda referred to Copart’s official statements and guidelines: “Although our auto auctions are 100% online, at Copart we’re doing our part to make sure both our Members and employees stay safe. Measures we’re taking include eliminating nonessential foot traffic to locations in accordance with government requirements and state guidelines. Furthermore, all locations will be limiting the amount of people who will be allowed in the lobbies at any given time to help promote social distancing. 

“All Copart locations are open, and vehicles are still available for pickup. Copart will continue to play a key role in keeping our highways and roadways clear, and in helping repair shops get the parts they need to keep vehicles operating. embers can come to a Copart location to preview a vehicle. If you choose to visit, please bring your own safety vest or wear bright colors. As an alternative to previewing a vehicle in person, our online platform allows you to view HD pictures as well as obtain other necessary information online. You may also purchase a Copart Vehicle Condition Report for certain vehicles on the lot description page.

         “You can still bid, win and pay for your vehicles 100% online. During this time, we ask that you pay online if you can—we offer two online payment options (debit and credit), as well as payment via the Copart Mobile App.

         “You can schedule a pickup through the Copart Transportation App to minimize wait times and in-person contact. If you need to pick up a vehicle yourself, you can also access the gate though the Copart Mobile App and get a QR code for the gate pass. Additionally, there are delivery options available on our lot details page.  

         “In addition to bidding, paying and arranging transportation online or through a Copart app, we also offer other common services that don’t involve visiting a Copart location:

Kirk Monger, Hollander: These are definitely strange times for all of us. 

Hollander started the week of March 9 having anyone that would be considered high risk to transition to working from home. As things started to escalate in the media that week, Hollander associates that were uncomfortable staying in the office and were able to work from home, were allowed to start working from home. Every day more associates transitioned to working remotely. On March 18, Minnesota Governor Walz put a shelter at home order to take effect at midnight on the 20th.  Since March 19, all Hollander associates have been working remotely, and will be remote until the planned May 4 return date. 

         Hollander (Solera) at this time has not issued a blanket statement to our customers, but for the past few weeks we have been fielding calls from customers looking for help from us, and we are dealing with each customer individually according to their situation. Sales have been very slow. We recognize this is a time when customers need to be offering online selling, and we are offering a very aggressive campaign to help more sellers get set up and selling on eBay. We are also creating and posting eLink eBay training webinars, as well as Powerlink and Production Management webinars. 

Stay healthy and safe.