To URG Partners,
The United Recyclers Group staff and managers were as surprised as the rest of the industry by the announcement that Actual Systems has been acquired by Solera.
As many of you are aware, URG lost its minority ownership share in the North American subsidiary of Actual Systems (known as Actual Systems of America – ASA), during binding arbitration in 2001. The arbitration was to resolve disagreements over debts that had been accumulated in the early development of Pinnacle. The arbitrator decided in favor of Peter Riddle and URG lost its ownership share. Peter Riddle has held 100% ownership of all of Actual Systems LTD since that time, including the North American subsidiary that URG originally had a share of. Although completely separate entities since that decision, for the last 11 years URG and Actual Systems have maintained a strong relationship and have continued working together in the spirit of “by recycler’s for recycler’s”.
URG still had the Interchange license that ASA needed for use in the Pinnacle system, and also had a copy of the code for the Pinnacle Classic system as it stood at the time of the arbitrator’s decision and all rights to develop that URG version of Pinnacle at any time. That early version of Pinnacle is now very outdated but URG still has it. URG also has all of the documentation from all CFC meetings where specs and designs for system enhancements were brainstormed.
URG had always hoped to eventually be able to purchase some ownership share again should ASA ever become available for sale. Peter Riddle had been made aware of this on many occasions. URG had also attempted to negotiate a right of first refusal in case a buyer ever approached Peter with an offer. URG would then have had a chance to match the offer and own ASA itself. Although URG was unsuccessful in these attempts, Peter Riddle was definitely aware of our interest. URG remains committed to protecting our member’s interests and the interests of the Auto Recycling industry as a whole, especially from unfair restrictions of trade.
URG has always strived to provide value to its members for the dues they pay. In addition to providing members with the interchange license they use in their Pinnacle systems, URG has built a strong portfolio of ongoing programs for the recycler by the recycler. These include the URG Salvage Auction, the Mitchell Repairmate Link, the best and easiest NMVTIS reporting program, the imaging program to share images from your MVR with other URG partners with a hot key, and the new core value program. There are also numerous discount programs from UPS, CH Robinson, Brock, The Connection, APU, Car-Fax, and more. If you are not using all of these programs, try them out and add up the savings. It will more than pay for your dues.
Each year for the last 10 years URG has taken on big projects such as getting wheel and wheel cover images and ID numbers included in our URG interchange license and in opening the EDEN network to communicating with URGnet. We take these for granted now but they were huge endeavors at the time and it was URG that took these issues on.
URG also built and maintained the industry’s first e-commerce website. Watch for a future press release about an advanced new program by recyclers for recyclers. It’s been 15 months of design and programming in the making and will be ready to roll out soon.
URG has been working for years with several different technical companies and independent programmers to develop all of these programs and we own these programs ourselves. They were not designed or built by ASA and they were not sold to Solera.
URG management and staff will be working many hours and meeting frequently over the next few weeks. We appreciate professional input from our members. We ask that everyone remain calm and that our members refrain from venting with email blasts. Let’s stay professional and United. Please be gentle to our staff in Denver. They are not the proper focus for any emotional venting. We will keep you updated with regular communication as we have information for you.