Articles about us and the industry
Ron writes articles for publication in various industry magazines, newsletters and other publications to advance his ideas in the salvage industry and to market his consulting services. Here’s an example from the Florida Auto Recyclers and Dismantlers Association.
Ron Sturgeon knows exactly where his best customers are and which of his direct-mail pieces and magazine ads have had the most impact.
Most of my competitors think their customer is anyone who has a car,” says Ron Sturgeon, chief executive of AAA Small Auto World. But because he’s been tracking sales for five years, Sturgeon isn’t so vague. He knows which car dealers, garages, and repair shops buy his salvaged parts, where they are, which ads they’ve responded to, and how much he paid to get them to phone him.
By applying high-tech inventory tracking to a low-tech industry, Ron Sturgeon has grown his Fort Worth-based auto-salvage business into an $8-million company and one of the industry leaders. After hiring a consultant to write some customized inventory-tracking software (which never worked), Sturgeon bought a pricey industry-specific hardware-and-software package. It was worth the $70,000 that he spent on it in 1987, he says, because it was well designed to anticipate his company’s growth, tracking things now he’d never have thought of eight years ago.
Industry executives say it’s the same almost everywhere. There’s still gold in wrecked cars, but it is getting more difficult to mine.
Ron Sturgeon, a Texan who is an industry consultant and an investor in a chain of yards, says retail business has fallen in the past decade industrywide from as much as 30 percent of revenues to no more than 10 percent.
The Internet has brought huge change to the industry, good and bad. Consumers can order parts from anywhere in the country online, expanding any yard’s potential customer base but also placing yards in high-cost areas such as New York in competition with businesses in areas where land, utilities and labor are cheaper.