Looking forward has always been a priority for Michael Carcone.
Michael Carcone owns and operates Carcone’s Auto Recycling in Aurora, Ont. It’s a family business, started by his father Tony, in 1978. Today it employs more than 49 people across two divisions, including auto recycling and an ISO designated wheel refinishing department. Recognized as a highly progressive auto recycling businesses in Canada, Collision Management sat down with Michael and asked him about his view on the industry and where things might be headed.
Was joining the family business something you always wanted to do?
Yes, for as long as I can remember. I’d go to work with my father and clean his tools (he used to be a technician) long before he decided to go into business for himself.
Since you began working in the industry, what are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the way auto recycling operates?
Technology is by far the biggest change—it now defines everything we do. From sales to inventory and everything in between, technology has entered the business and is changing the way we do things on a daily basis.
From your perspective, how is the growing complexity of vehicles impacting the ability for auto recyclers to provide their collision repair customers with the parts they need, when they need them?
The impact has been both negative and positive. Due to the complexity of vehicle designs as well as new substrates and repair processes, there are parts we can no longer sell or get requests for, such as quarter panels. Today, we’re essentially limited to parts that bolt on. On the positive side, we also have a vast number of SKUs we can sell today like sensors that wasn’t necessarily possible in the past.
In your view, how have modern inventory management tools changed the face of automotive recycling and what are some of the things you can do today that weren’t possible in the past?
In the last 10 years, inventory management has changed dramatically. What was once a tool for inventory alone has now become an indispensable part of the overall business. From bidding to inventory, to sales and now parts procurement and e-commerce—it impacts everything. Today our management software holds a lot of data that’s simply priceless for our business.
With the OEMs seemingly playing a greater role in the collision repair process, including parts sourcing, what do you think needs to be done to ensure recyclers continue to play a vital role in the circular economy?
The perception of what recyclers are and the role we play needs to stay strong. As an industry we need to collectively stand together and spread the word of what we do, how we do it and why we do it.
As more hybrids and EVs enter recycling yards, what do you think needs to be done to ensure they are properly and safely processed?
In a nutshell, training, training and more training. These vehicles come with many unique opportunities and considerable exposure to injury and even death if not handled properly. Staying on top of procedures and learning how to harvest parts from them will be crucial to our future success as recyclers when it comes to dealing with growing numbers of these vehicles.