If you’re a Parts Manager working in an auto dealership, it can sometimes be hard to get noticed by your GM, because there's so much going on. There's a lot of competition in the marketplace, and it's important to stay on top of your job to continue on the path to success. As a Parts Manager, you hold a very important role, not only overseeing people in your department, but also the entire activity of all parts in stock, out of stock and then some. One of the top ways for Parts Managers to do a great job and be noticed by the GM at their dealership is by successfully managing a profitable and organized parts department and keep up on dealer service best practices. In order to keep your parts department profitable and your GM happy, here are a few things you can focus on:
Be the Master of Your Inventory
- As Parts Manager, you will need to be two steps ahead of the service department to ensure that all needed parts are in stock in order for service work to be completed and on time. Maintain an overall vision of all parts currently in inventory and how fast they are moving.
- Keep track of parts and their whereabouts. Do not let anyone in the service department remove parts from inventory without going through the necessary protocol.
- Keep fast moving parts in stock.
- Identify immobilized parts and apply sales strategies to recover the initial investment on the parts.
- When purchasing, do not just go with your gut instinct, analyze data and keep clear of overstock and lack of stack. Keep the balance! Examples of data from your inventory management system you can use to analyze and stay ahead include: past sales activity, existing stock, purchase history, popularity/demand, seasonal variations, costs, phase in/phase out reports, stock levels, inventory movement, and receipted orders.
- Stay informed about recalls and industry news.
Keep Parts Prices Low
- Work with the right vendors. Your vendors should have your best interest in mind, and be ready to help you improve performance whenever possible. Lean on your vendors to help yourself move forward.
- Know your manufacturer programs and how you can earn purchase discounts, and familiarize yourself with factory incentive programs.
- When returning parts, know the specific criteria and process set forth by the manufacturer, as well as cores and warranty parts. Manage returns in a timely manner to keep the service drive pumping.
Know Your Inventory Management System
- Have expert level knowledge of the inventory management system used at your dealership.
- Understand its capabilities and use those to your advantage to help drive profit.
- If you’re trying to earn more money, or get promoted, the quickest way to get higher-ups to take notice is to save money, or make more money. Your inventory management system can help you do that.
Customer Satisfaction is the Key to Getting Noticed by Your GM
- Customer compliments are gold. Provide an excellent customer experience to earn praise that will get you noticed.
- Notify the appropriate person (customers / coworkers) in a timely fashion when parts arrive.
- Be an expert by having outstanding product knowledge, and be informative when answering customer questions.
- Build trust with your customers and establish relationships to encourage repeat and referral business.
Build Your Career With Confidence
Being a Parts Manager, Service Manager or Parts and Service Director is a good, solid career. You get to be around what you love and help people during the stressful experience of a broken automobile. Working at an auto dealer can be fun and full of camaraderie.
Parts Managers who have an ambition to do more can continue building with career advice from sources like:
- How to Increase Parts Department Profit Margin
- Strength and Weaknesses of Inventory Management Systems
- Better Parts Management and Profitability