As a road course race driver, instructor, and high-performance driving coach, I have had the opportunity to work with all types of drivers at various talent levels. Over the years, I have learned many of the same lessons from the racetrack can be applied to an automotive recycler getting the most for recycling scrap catalytic converters. Specifically, lessons learned about preparation, knowing critical details, focus, and keeping your eyes up.

The drivers that visit victory lane often know the car and equipment need to be exhaustively prepared. The driver knows they must be physically and mentally focused on enduring the challenges of racing. If the level of preparation is off by even a tiny percentage, the desired results will not be there. Race drivers watch videos, review data, practice on simulators, and drive the track mentally over and over. That is just part of preparing the driver.

As a business leader, before you go into an important meeting—such as leading your entire team or a discussion with a customer, you need to think clearly about the outcome you want and the details of making that happen. Every detail must be correct every time. Your preparation to get the most for your converters should include asking these questions: Are you in control of your converter sales, or are you at the mercy of your buyer? How much insight do you have into the actual value of your scrap catalytic converters? Do you sell your units by the piece for a “fair market value,” or are you selling on recovery?

Do you understand the details of different methods for recycling converters and how they affect your bottom line?  There are many ways to sell converters. Let us go over a few basic methods.

Selling by-the-piece: The most common way of selling scrap catalytic converters. Units are commonly sold to peddlers, collectors, core companies, and some processors for a “fair market value.” The problem with this method is the subjectivity of the prices. Price lists may be based more on the competitive landscape of one’s region than on the intrinsic precious metals value. Converters that are purchased this way are often easily upgraded and downgraded to “make the sale.”

Selling by auction or collective bid: In recent years, many recyclers have found some peace of mind and increased profits in selling through an auction or bidding process. The theory is that the sale goes to the highest bidder, and you receive the “best” price. The downside to this method is that the buyer will most likely turn those converters around and sell them on recovery or assay, which means you most likely left money or margin on the table.

Selling on assay: In the past 10 -12 years, selling on recovery of the precious metals or assay has been the method that we have promoted. In the end, it is the only way to determine the actual value of the scrap catalytic converters being sold. With assay-based selling, you commonly sell to a professional processor or smelter.

What is your company’s corner two turns ahead? A new piece of technology? New business metric? Launch an expansion?  Maximizing your catalytic converter profitability?

Keep your eyes up—Put in place mechanisms to help your team attack the corner. Don’t drive in the mirror.  While you are aware of what is behind you, you are working towards the future. Focusing too much on the past will only distract you and slow you down. Shift your attention forward to the place you want your organization to be.

As a business leader or race driver, if you do not apply lessons from your experiences, your growth will be limited.   “In racing, there are always things you can learn every single day. There is always space for improvement, and I think that applies to everything in life.” — Lewis Hamilton, Formula One World Champion.

If you have questions about this article or anything pertaining to the recovery of precious metals and materials from automotive recycling, we, at United Catalyst Corporation, are here to help you. United Catalyst Corporation is a processor of scrap catalytic converters offering global refining services. Our recycling solutions are accurate, scientific, and verifiable to ensure the highest earning. United Catalyst is a processor you can trust.  To subscribe to our daily newsletter or get Platinum Group Metal prices texted twice daily to your phone, TEXT 60-Second or Daily to 864-834-2003. You can also call or email us at [email protected].