ARA Conference: A global view of the recycling industry

November saw me in the USA attending the annual ARA (Automotive Recyclers Association) Conference. This year it was held in Dallas, Texas and I think about 17 countries had attendees present. You cannot but compare the issues and impacts that other countries are enduring in our industry and guess what-they are the same the world over. They continually talk of:

  • The price of salvage.
  • The lack of trained staff.
  • The inability to retain good employees.
  • The cost of Insurance (in particular health insurance  in the USA).
  • The impact of consolidation.
  • The degradation caused by the OEM’s negative marketing campaigns on our industry (and we are selling their product after all). 
  • The inability of the regulators (read politicians and bureaucrats) to understand and realise the value that our industry brings to the legitimate supply chain and the environment.
  • The growing cost of employees.
  • The price of scrap.

I have been a member of the ARA in excess of 30 years and still enjoy the camaraderie and the total involvement and commitment of the presenters and the ARA staff every time I visit. YOU should place a visit to an ARA Conference on your bucket list. All Aussies (and Kiwi’s) are made most welcome. Unfortunately we only had 2 Aussie and 2 NZ businesses represented this year. The ARA executive has once more asked me to represent Region 14 which included NZ, and the Pacific Rim- a role I enjoyed serving my industry in 2001-2005 and then again in 2011-2015.

It would appear that there is definitely encouraging data out there that will contribute to a greater re-utilisation of recycled parts, which augers for a brighter future for our industry. I believe that we will need to embrace newer technologies to make the best benefit of this. The importance of owning and being in control of your own data seems to be of extreme importance to the many people I was able to communicate with.

It is great to be getting back to the best country in the world and committing to represent our industry in the role of MTAQ chair of the Automotive Parts Recycling Division (APRD) and hopefully to witness continued growth and prosperity not only for my companies but the industry as a whole. I am excited about the future even though it will bring enormous changes and challenges however I believe those who travel and involve themselves in the big picture will be rewarded with a bigger piece of the pie.

Our colleagues at Anzac Avenue Wreckers were able to supply a rare Hyundai engine to Dave Wood for the MTAQ racing team. Good work Jamie and Tracy, yet another example of the importance of our industry as a player in the automotive parts supply chain.

Keep Striving,
Lawrie Beacham, Jeeepart Recyclers.
MTAQ APRD Division Chair