It’s late May and I wonder what the new normal will become, how it will affect my family, friends and business. The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest economic and social disruptor of our lifetime. Eighty years ago,
Winston Churchill led the United Kingdom through World War II, another massive economic and social disruptor to affect most of civilization. The quotes in this article are all from Winston Churchill. Sometimes you need to get inspiration from the past to tackle the present.
“Never, never, never, never give up.”
We, the Automotive Recycling Industry, are survivors. Unlike other industries, we can change our business models adapting to market trends. We will survive attacks from the OEM’s that restrict the ability to utilize the parts we sell in repairs. We will survive unfair regulations that environmental groups try to implement on our industry. We will survive unlicensed recyclers that operate under the radar and tarnish the name of our industry. We will survive limited interchange for the product we sell, which is discriminatingly withheld from us. We will survive COVID-19 and the new normal ahead.
“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles with it.”
ARA is the automotive recycling industry’s eyes, ears, and voice. ARA represents all businesses, including their owners, employees and families that rely on auto recycling to support their way of life. It goes way beyond our members and carries a huge responsibility.
ARA’s duty is to accumulate information and distribute it to the automotive recycling industry. We have stepped up our game during the COVID-19 crisis and will continue to implement new correspondence methods for the future. Check out ARA’s COVID-19 Dashboard (www.a-r-a.org/covid-19-dashboard.html) for all the latest news.
Vince Edivan, ARA’s director of member relations, has communicated through Zoom, Facebook and YouTube with short video updates, webinars and Executive Committee Town Halls (all of which can be seen as recorded videos on our Facebook page). Vince has great ideas, he’ll be promoting and informing our industry in some surprising ways throughout the summer.
Our ARA staff has scoured the news and leaned on resources to prepare and distribute daily COVID-19 email updates. It seems like the world was changing daily, if not hourly, and we wanted to keep everyone informed.
This is ARA’s responsibility and duty for our industry. After that, it is up to individuals to open and read the emails, go to the website, watch the webcasts and EC Town Halls, ask questions, and implement that knowledge into your business model.
“If you are going through Hell, keep going.”
We know that many of you today are struggling to pay bills and keep the doors open. Not every business received the taxpayer PPP assistance money, and those of us who did should be grateful for the life line thrown to us. ARA, through a very generous donation from Car-Part.com, created the ARA COVID-19 Relief Fund. AB CatTech and Rebuilders Automotive Supply quickly stepped up, donating money that triggered matching funds from
Car-Part. Since then, others have donated and today it totals $65,000 – all to benefit auto recyclers and their employees and family. If you have a need, from help paying rent to bringing back a furloughed employee, apply at www.a-r-a.org/ara-covid-relief-fund.html.
Auto recyclers help auto recyclers. Just look at the Professional Salvage Yard Information Facebook Forum, started by Greg Condon, which boasts 2,500 members. I remember when recyclers were combative towards each other, highly protective of their customer base, etc. Today, cooperation is seen through the ARA Mentoring Program, trading partners, cross docks and consulting groups. We ask each other questions and openly answer them. In many cases, we are each other’s best customer.
“I was not the lion, but it fell to me to give the lion’s roar.”
This was not my year to be President of ARA, but the obligation landed on me to take the wheel and steer the ship. Sometimes, the order of events takes a detour and your name is called to step up early. Luckily, the ARA EC is transparent regarding ARA’s direction and industry information so that any team member, be it Jono, Marty or Shan, could have taken the wheel before their planned time. The New England Patriots have a slogan “Next Man Up.” When a team member falls, another takes their place. No player is bigger than the team.
When I joined the EC, I pledged to work every day and give my best representing the Automotive Recycling Industry. Thank you for giving me the opportunity.