Dealership Management Systems are constantly evolving. Although these changes are made to benefit dealers, without a plan for continued education, they can actually result in a less productive inventory by confusing the user, obscuring the goals, and slowing the parts department.  Dealertrack recently announced the release of their new DMS parts toolkit which includes Parts Inventory Aging, Parts Order Reconciliation, and Parts Order Templates. This got us thinking: do parts departments have a plan for consistent education in their DMS? If not, how can they get there?  Today we’ll explore how you can create a plan that enables you and your entire department to stay up to date with your DMS and utilize its capabilities to the highest extent possible.

Make education consistent

One of the biggest roadblocks to parts operations evolving with their DMS is a lack of time dedicated to education. Without education prioritized, it can be impossible for Parts Managers and their teams to find the time to learn new DMS tools and navigate changes. Most find themselves in a reactive state- only learning the system as they need to and never really getting the big picture. We recommend committing time for your parts teams on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to simply check in on the DMS and ensure they are proactively learning about any changes and furthering their general understanding. Most DMS systems have an extensive online learning portal, like for instance, Dealertrack’s Learning Center or CDK’s University. We find many operations only scratch the surface of what their DMS can do for them, leaving potential optimization and profits on the table.

Create a proactive ethos

It can be hard to solve problems until they arise, but time and time again we’ve seen parts departments handicapped by a reactive approach to the DMS and parts inventory management at large. Simply put- reactive parts management put out fires, but never addresses the root cause of the flames. It’s important to shift your thinking from ‘how can I solve all the issues on my plate today?’ to ‘how can I prevent these issues from coming back?’. Of course, parts managers and their teams need to be able to be responsive to the problems at hand, but often being too focused on solving today’s problems can produce a blind spot to how the problem started in the first place and keep the hamster wheel spinning. We highly recommend reviewing your operation to identify where you might be in a reactive space and empower your team with time, tools, and support to shift to the proactive. 

Find support

You might be thinking ‘This all sounds fine and dandy but we simply don’t have the time or support to stay proactive and up to date on every DMS change’. If you relate, it just might be time to call in some reinforcements. Parts Managers are climbing an uphill battle to get stock orders right and fight obsolescence on their shelves, much less find the time for ongoing education. Shortages have only added to this struggle. While the hiring crisis has made it difficult to find good employees, PartsEdge is your dedicated inventory optimization partner and secret weapon for moving your Parts Department from reactive to proactive. Designed by a Parts Manager and a DMS specialist who saw the gap between the demands on Parts Managers’ and the lack of resources to get everything done, we take all the guesswork out of DMS management and sourcing setup and optimization and, as a result, our clients see on average a 20% drop in total inventory, 15% less idle inventory, a 50% increase in ROI, and a 20% increase in parts sales. That means more of the inventory you really need and less of that you don’t. We’ve been helping Parts Managers make their inventories work better for over 20 years and our testimonials speak for themselves.

Want to learn more about how PartsEdge helps Parts Managers and their teams? Send us a message.