Kaylee Felio: Alright! So we have Jeff Denis here with Marcotte Ford. We also have resident parts expert and founder of PartsEdge, Chuck Hartle and we’re going to talk with Jeff just a little about his operation- how he’s adapted through the pandemic, and have him explain a little bit about what we do for him. So, Jeff, I’m gonna have you talk about your operation and how the pandemic has affected you.
JD: So I’m Jeff Denis, I’ve been Parts Manager at Marcotte Ford since about 2008 and it was my first job in the parts department so when I started here I had zero parts background. So that was quite a shock in the beginning. I went from a service advisor to a parts manager in one day, so… [laughs].
KF: That’s the way to do it!
JD: Yeah! Sure! Jump right in. So right now our parts operation- we have three different buildings: we have our main dealership building, where we do all our cars and light trucks. And then we have a commercial truck repair center, which is about a quarter-mile down the street, which has another separate parts department. Then we also have a warehouse for our wholesale parts that is on the same side of our street. So we’ve got 3 different buildings that we run parts out of and there’s quite a bit involved in transferring parts in between the buildings and doing the wholesale operation- in addition to Amazon and eBay and other forms of internet sales also.
KF: Wow. And so how did you find PartsEdge? What was the reason for hiring PartsEdge?
JD: In the beginning, I actually looked for something to try and educate myself because I literally had zero parts experience when I moved into the parts manager’s job. I had done it for probably six months and I knew that what I was doing, I probably wasn’t doing it very well and I needed help. My biggest problem was the stock order. I couldn’t tell you why there were certain parts on my shelf or why we didn’t have a part on my shelf. When a technician would come up and say “Hey I’ve done the same part three times this week why don’t we have it?” and I didn’t have a good answer for them. So when I looked into it I came across PartsEdge and I saw some of the things on the internet. I actually spoke to Chuck two or three times at length before we even signed up and I just had a really good feeling that he was going to help me with the issues I was having as far as why I didn’t have parts or why I had too many parts and control the inventory because I didn’t have a good handle on it. I had taken over for a previous parts manager that had a lot of these systems in place and I either didn’t understand or didn’t agree with how that was run so I wanted to start over. Chuck got me set up with a whole new source table and a new stock ordering program that made it much much easier for me to understand why I had parts and how I was phasing in parts. So it made a world of difference- I could spend hours agonizing over a stock order and still have it come out poorly or, once I got working with Chuck’s system, I could do it in a half-hour and have a much cleaner stock order and know why I had the parts here. It made a huge difference in my ability to order the right parts and have them in stock and not be collecting parts that I didn’t necessarily need or had too many of them creating obsolescence. Over that time frame, it was a huge difference in how I handled the parts department.
KF: So we’ve been working together for about 10 years now, over ten years?
JD: I believe it’s right around there.
KF: How would you describe what we do for you? In your words, if you were talking to a parts manager what would be some of the things that you would use to describe what we do?
JD: Well I think probably the biggest thing for me or one of the biggest is the time that I save. That time can come from a number of different places where if I try to make a report in CDK- I could maybe do it. It would probably take about 10 times the amount that it should and it probably wouldn’t come out as it should, or, I could email PartsEdge and say ‘I’m looking for a report within these parameters” and usually the same day I’ve gotten a report in my system that is exactly what I want. So I can either spend all this time to come up with a report that would maybe be half as good or, in the time it takes to send an email, I can have a report that’s much better than what I could have come up with. I’m saving time there, and also a lot of things we’ve done is automate parts in the inventory. All of my parts counter people are adding new part numbers every day and there just going into a basic source. So we use to manually do it where I would run reports and have somebody change them manually all the time to try and put parts in the right source. Well, we either ran out of time and we didn’t do it or we never got all the part numbers so what would happen is we’d be selling parts either at the wrong price because they were in the wrong source. It was a time thing where you never had enough time to keep up. With the automation that PartsEdge has put together- I don’t even think about it anymore. My guys put the parts in, the routine runs at night, and all the parts are in the right source the next day so if somebody goes to sell something they’re going to price right. Whether it be a wholesale job or a shop job. That alone not only was a time-saver, sometimes it was just not getting done at all. So there’s a number of things where I just would have spent time trying to catch up with that stuff where now it gets done and it gets done in a timely manner. It doesn’t get done you know a month from now when somebody finally has time for it- it’s done that day. That’s a huge help for us as far as we could be selling a part out of the wrong source and it’s gonna price it out and I’m gonna catch it a month and there’s a potential to lose money there and I probably wouldn’t have even known it. Having that automation is a huge help for me.
KF: That’s awesome. So would be the biggest impact on your operation with what we do for you? Time-saving?
JD: Well, it’s hard to say one over the other. The time for sure because in the beginning when I honestly didn’t have a good grasp on the job itself, having PartsEdge helped me through that and allowed me the time to actually focus on other things on the job that I may have not have had time for- looking for new wholesale customers, making sure everything was going well in both our shops where if I’m sitting here with stacks of paperwork pouring over them because I know it has to be done but I wouldn’t have gotten other things to potentially help grow the business.
KF: And that’s very common! We find that with parts managers- you know- they know what they need to do and sometimes they can do it and sometimes they don’t have the time so we bring that consistency so that it can get done every day.
JD: Exactly. Earlier today I emailed Chuck and said “I’m looking for these three sources to be doing these certain things”, now I could potentially go in there and because it’s not something I do every day. I could either open up a case with CDK and have them try and help me or I could try and stagger through it myself and figure out how to do it or I can send an email to Chuck and within the same day it’s already done, fixed, and I can move on to something else. Sometimes when you’re dealing with CDK especially- the level of service that I’m getting is frustrating- either due to the time or the lack of knowledge of the person trying to help me. They just don’t know what I’m looking for or how to go about it where I’m not sure that there’s anything that I could ask that PartsEdge hasn’t already run into.
KF: That’s awesome. So is there anything you’d like to close with? Any advice you’d like to give newer parts managers out there? Cause I know there’s probably a few [laughs}.
JD: Well I would definitely recommend PartsEdge. I mean there’s a number of reasons- time-saving is one of them. But the knowledge that they’ve been able to impart with me on a number of different things- it’s not just part numbers, x’s, and o’s. I tell people all the time I learned more from PartsEdge as a parts manager starting at ground zero than anyone else and that knowledge helped me understand how to do my job better- which obviously my boss appreciates that I’m doing a better job than when I started- but having that knowledge behind them and the ability to ask them those questions and get them answered is- it was huge for me in the beginning.
KF: Awesome! That’s great. Well, we appreciate your time and value you as a customer. You have a great inventory and you’re always awesome to work with.
JD: I tell everybody all the time when everyone is talking cost-cutting and things like that we’re looking for things to cut, and I tell everybody all the time when they’re looking at invoices and stuff I say “the last thing that I would ever cut would be PartsEdge, I need that no matter what”.
JD: So when they’re looking to hit expenses or whatever that’s the one that no matter what can’t go away. So it means that much to me here and the ability to run a parts department out of three different buildings is huge for me.
CH: Yeah. Thank you, Jeff. Wow.