Auto Service World
Feature   December 1, 2010   by Auto Service World

Supplier Evaluation Standards and International Effort to Promote Quality Parts Announced

Know Your Parts, the industry awareness and education campaign launched by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) in 2009, has introduced its latest tool to combat the spread of low-quality aftermarket parts.

“AASA developed the Supplier Evaluation Standards in an effort to provide all channel partners with standardized criteria for supplier selection,” says Steve Handschuh, president and COO of AASA. “By using this form to query suppliers before making a final buying decision, aftermarket channel partners and resellers can ‘know their parts,’ and protect their business’s good name as well as the good reputation of the entire aftermarket,” he adds.

Handschuh also discusses the expansion of Know Your Parts internationally through AASA’s cooperation with European organizations. “We are very pleased to work with our counterparts, CLEPA and the German Automobile Industry Association (VDA), to promote the campaign globally and to demonstrate to European parts suppliers, repair shops, and drivers alike the importance of quality name brand parts,” he adds.

The standards focus on these specific question categories, including:

• Product specifications and quality

• Line content and completeness

• Application research and catalogues

• Product availability and distribution

• Sales representation and manpower

• Marketing programs and support

• Technical support and training

• Product liability and warranty

• Intellectual property protection

• Terms and conditions

“Determining a part’s quality can be difficult. Generic, low-quality parts may appear identical to quality parts–but it’s impossible to see the poor quality inside,” Handschuh continues. “These parts pose a potential threat to the safety of the motoring public and repair professionals.

“We address these safety concerns, as well as the irreparable damage low-quality components can cause to the entire aftermarket industry’s image, in our latest Special Report, Aftermarket Industry Image: Why Premium Aftermarket Products Deliver the Best Value. We are releasing this report at AAPEX 2010 to help spread the word about the importance of quality parts backed by Full Service Aftermarket Suppliers,” Handschuh says.

Copies of the report can be downloaded at