Labor shortages and a shifting market have meant many dealerships have promoted or hired new-to-the-position parts managers, resulting in a dire need for training and support. We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: the role parts managers play is crucial for overall dealership health- and we find they are often undervalued, undersupported, and blamed for the results. Responsible for the 2nd largest investment a dealer makes (the parts inventory), parts managers can have an enormous positive or negative impact on your bottom line. Giving them the proper support to excel in their role is a non-negotiable if you want to strengthen your operation. So without further ado, Here’s our list of the top five things parts managers need to succeed.
In a recent poll we conducted on LinkedIn, 92% of respondees said they didn’t have a defined training process for new parts managers. While a chunk of the job really can only be learned through hands-on experience, without a systematic onboarding process crucial concepts are bound to fall through the cracks. Even if you choose to outsource training or consulting, you’ll be giving your new parts manager a fighting chance at transitioning into the position with a proactive rather than reactive approach. Looking for a place to start? Launching September 8th, our seven-week workshop “Cutting Edge Inventory Control, Pricing, and Management Strategies” will help any new parts manager start off on the right foot by exploring in-depth concepts and best practices crucial to successful inventory management.
Bringing in new parts managers to simply maintain a status quo won’t get you, or them, very far. It’s crucial you inspire your PM by ensuring they have access to simple, big-picture reporting on their inventory and a good awareness of the department dynamics as well as areas that need to improve. These goals shouldn’t be exclusively profit-driven, either. Employee retention, department communication, and inventory maintenance are all crucial markers of the success of a dealership.
In our discussions with hundreds of parts managers across the country, the one thing most all agree on is a struggle to find enough time to run their departments best. Between employee management, inventory management, service coordination, and all the many unforeseen challenges that always come up in a day, parts managers are often barely able to get through the bare minimum to keep things running. Establishing an understanding that your parts manager needs time to excel will lead to thriving all around. This often means outsourcing, expanding, increasing tools and support, and dedicating weekly time blocks for simply reviewing and brainstorming.
Functional and collaborative professional teams can outproduce any hostile or dysfunctional workplace. For new parts managers, a top-down approach of mutual support, education, and respect are essential for success. Working towards a culture of collaboration helps parts managers delegate better, improves overall morale, and improves service, efficiency, and customer service.
Let’s face it, the parts management gig isn’t what it was years ago. With increasing DMS complexities, growing inventories, tightening margins, and increasing obsolescence (in part due to manufacturer programs), parts managers are facing a unique challenge to be a jack of all trades and a master of all of them. In inventory management, for instance, many of the challenges PMs face working with the DMS are time-consuming and tedious, but ultimately predictable- and completely avoidable with the right tools. That’s where PartsEdge comes in.
PartsEdge is the powertool for your parts inventory and was 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. PartsEdge saves Parts Managers hundreds of hours each year by taking all the guesswork out of DMS management and sourcing setup and optimization and allowing them to focus on creating a successful operation. 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 powertool to work, send us a message! We’ve been helping dealerships for over 20 years and our testimonials speak for themselves.