Salvage Wire

Salvage Wire
Helping Automotive recyclers become leaders in their industry

Friday, 27 November 2009

ELV's and the environment

Approximately 2 million vehicles are scrapped annually in the UK, just looking at the numbers is mind boggling, that means 10 million tyres, 7 million litres of oil, and up to 4 million airbags are removed from vehicles and recycled every year.

A recent study by the University of Colorado said that recycling oil from ELV’s in the states saved over 3 million tonnes of CO2 – enough to offset the entire CO2 output of the US for 45 hours this year.

The UK Government has put some very tough targets for reduction of emissions that mean all areas of business have to make their own contribution over the coming years, and the motor salvage industry is already making a contribution to this.

85% of each ELV is already being recycled, and the EU target for 2015 is 95% of the vehicle to be recycled, tough, but achievable target.
One significant advance towards this target would be the use of ‘green’ parts in insurance repairs, and there are a number of projects ongoing that are investigating this in more detail. I believe that there are a number of areas where the motor salvage industry can improve and really push the use of green parts, and these are inventory and parts quality.
Admittedly there are a few salvage operations in the UK who are setting the standards, but the vast majority need to review their operations and put some significant improvements in place.
Inventory: Many salvage companies operate the inventory management system that is in the bosses head, so when the phone calls, or e-mails come in the yard cannot answer the question without going into the yard to check the vehicles and see if the part requested is still available, and then quality may be questionable as it has not been checked.
Operations need to have a full inventory of each vehicle, detailing the vehicle age, mileage, specification etc, and what parts are available. Better still, these parts should have already been removed, cleaned, tagged and stored, and the inventory system marked with a quality standard, 1 for as new/very good, to 3 for poor quality.
The leap in customer service that would produce will be very noticeable, any enquiry can be met with an immediate response giving full details of the parts available, if this enquiry then progresses into a sale the parts are easily removed from stock, packed and shipped.
On my travels around the UK, I estimate that only 10% of the salvage businesses operate a full inventory system that can meet future customer service requirements, which means that 90% can improve in some way, those that are not looking at how their business can improve will fail to lower UK emissions, and will not survive into the new, lower emissions, world that will be our future.

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