In our 20+ years of working in this industry a lot has changed but one thing that has remained consistent: parts managers have A LOT on their plate. Not only that, with the increasing complexity of the DMS, manufacturer programs, parts shortages, and online sales the job has gotten even MORE complicated with many PM’s being pulled in many different directions at once. We often see a breakdown in communication between parts managers and upper management as the result of too many moving parts and not enough time to work proactively in the department. Even in operations with thriving parts departments we see time and time again parts and service profits hitting a ceiling due to complacency (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it thinking) when, with a little support, those departments could drive the profits for the entire dealership! Most dealers, general managers, and fixed ops directors know their parts manager is stretched too thin, but knowing how to best support them can be a challenge in and of itself. Today we’ll discuss how you can identify signs that your parts manager needs more support, how to find support, and how to implement it.
As upper management, it’s your job to keep the entire operation working towards a bigger picture of increased profitability and growth. But how can you know where you’re heading if you don’t know where you currently stand? The most obvious way to get a sense of how your parts operation is running is to simply ask your parts manager what areas they need more support in. A question like ‘what tools and support would you need to be able to be focused more on the overall health of the operation?’ can be much more productive than simply asking ‘what do you need?’. Remember, getting proactive is the goal so if your parts manager is simply surviving the day-to-day, they likely won’t be able to identify what would help with the long-term proactivity of their work. It’s your job as upper management to help them get out of the muck in order to identify areas of weakness and potential growth.
Understanding the value
In our experience, parts managers are under-appreciated. While they are responsible for the second largest investment the dealer makes (the parts inventory) plus so much more, they are often expected to manage so many moving parts that the parts inventory health falls by the wayside. Approaching your parts managers with the understanding of their value is essential to identifying and providing the tools and support they need to excel. Especially if your parts manager is already doing a great job, it’s essential that you approach the topic of growth with the utmost respect for their vital position in your operation.
Every operation, manager, and marketplace is different so being open to discovering the unique support that is needed for your parts operation to accelerate is paramount. Across the board, we see parts managers running up against the same obstacle: not enough time. Finding ways to remove demands on their time is a great place to start. Once you’ve freed them to get in a more proactive zone of thinking, the other tools that are needed to continue the growth will become obvious. Do your best to remain open and flexible as you navigate exactly what is the best fit for your operation.
Another obstacle that often plagues parts managers is the language barrier of parts-talk vs the business-talk of their GM’s and dealers. PartsEdge not only gives back to your parts manager countless hours lost to DMS and inventory management, it also helps upper management better understand exactly how things work in the inventory. Our reporting is clear, simple, and informs proactive decision making. As a result, our clients see an average 20% drop in total inventory, 15% less idle inventory, a 50% increase in ROI, and a 20% increase in parts sales. If you’re ready to put our parts power-tool to work, send us a message! We’ve been helping dealerships for over 20 years and our testimonials speak for themselves.