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Could your parts department use a spring cleaning?

Article Highlights:

  • Is your parts department a bottleneck in your operations?
  • Dealerships can unlock missed profits that are possibly being overlooked.

Now that the winter chill has melted away, and the flowers have started to bloom, it’s the perfect time to wipe the slate clean for your dealership. While spring cleaning may typically bring to mind tidying up your home or office, don’t overlook the opportunity to clean up your dealership’s parts department too.

As a busy dealership, it’s crucial to constantly assess and optimize every department for maximum efficiency and profitability. When clutter and disorganization take hold, it can lead to costly mistakes and lost revenue. Let’s address some common issues dealerships face after the first quarter of the year and explore why spring cleaning your parts department should be on your to-do list this season.

Sweep away inventory chaos.

Even after conducting your annual physical inventory, it’s not uncommon to discover parts in the wrong bin or location shortly thereafter. To tackle this problem, select a manageable portion of your inventory every week and conduct spot checks, making sure to update locations as needed.

Additionally, if you don’t have a parts tracking system, consider looking into one to help manage inventory more effectively, ensuring parts are organized and more easily accessible. By maintaining a well-organized inventory system, you can reduce the time and effort spent on locating and managing parts, giving a significant speed boost to productivity in your dealership’s operations.

Clear out core clutter.

Core returns can be a hassle, and finding time to deal with them can be challenging. By cleaning up your dirty cores, getting them out of inventory, and receiving credit for them, you can better manage your parts department. Aim to return dirty cores at least weekly to prevent them from accumulating and tying up valuable resources. To facilitate this process, create a system to track and organize dirty cores in a designated area. This will make the process more efficient and help your dealership maintain a healthy cash flow by recovering deposits and ensuring a clean inventory.

Moreover, training your staff on the importance of handling core returns promptly and effectively can make a significant difference. By fostering a sense of responsibility and accountability, your team will be more likely to prioritize core returns, resulting in a well-managed and profitable parts department.

Spruce up delivery times.

If your first delivery truck isn’t leaving until 8 a.m. because your special orders aren’t checked in until then, consider scanning your order in the morning rather than using paper and pencil and manually accepting parts in the computer. Starting that first delivery even 30 minutes earlier can get you an extra delivery run done each day. Enhancing your delivery process can lead to increased customer satisfaction, as they will appreciate your dealership’s prompt service and attention to their needs.

Faster delivery times can also provide your dealership with a competitive advantage over others with slower delivery services. By making the most of your resources and streamlining delivery procedures, you can strengthen your dealership’s reputation and foster customer loyalty, further contributing to long-term success.

Clean up the back counter.

The back counter can often become cluttered, not just with parts, but with technicians standing around waiting for them. Improve organization and efficiency by having parts ready before the technician arrives, using electronic communications to streamline the process. This will eliminate long waiting times for technicians, allowing them to get back to doing their important work.

A well-organized back counter can also help reduce the risk of misplaced or lost parts, further increasing efficiency in the department. Providing a clean and orderly workspace can improve employee morale and create a more professional atmosphere. This positive work environment can impact both employee performance and customer perception, ultimately contributing to a more successful and profitable dealership. By addressing these common issues in your parts department, you can ensure a more organized and efficient operation that benefits your entire business.

As the busy season approaches, your refreshed parts department can become a more productive and profitable part of your dealership. Parts inventory management in particular can feel like a chore, but with a little spring cleaning, you’ll be automatically updating your parts inventory before you know it. So don’t wait any longer, start spring cleaning your parts department as soon as you can.

As April showers bring May flowers, spring cleaning parts brings a fresh start!

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Product Planning, Reynolds and Reynolds

Jeff Adams is a Product Planning manager for Service applications at Reynolds and Reynolds.

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