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Old 05-08-2014, 09:09 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 136
Default Breaking down the barriers between parts and service departments.

I would like input regarding an old idea that is starting to become somewhat common in larger stores....

...Closing down the "technician side" of the parts department.

I have seen this plan implemented at a large Toyota store, 50 techs, 6 parts advisors, 2 support staff still actually in the parts room running parts to the crew in the stalls.

I have seen stores that have the parts crew in the shop with a completely different title as "production manager"... dispatching tickets, billing out parts, helping with MPI inspections, loading parts on pre-RO's, tracking additional sales closing ratios, etc.... with their pay plan completely modified from "parts pay" to labor based.

I have seen stores where they only move 1 parts person to the shop handling express service...

And, I have seen the typical, parts person in the middle of the shop where all that is accomplished is that he is in the middle of the shop and the tech saves walking time.

Are there any stores out there that have implemented this new theory? What size is your store? what challenges did you face? How many stages did it take you?

I believe that this is truly cutting edge thinking. In the right shop, well implemented, it produces hours, sells more labor, makes people and departments more efficient, enhances communication with advisors and customers, increases closing ratios on up-sell attempts, provided better MPI inspections, etc....

FixedOpsGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014, 10:57 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 501

the FOD here wants to do that, but I'm against it (I'm a PM btw, but I've been a FOD before, just for background).

My main reason is simple, sometimes your tech's NEED to walk around, and I've actually helped a tech figure out an issue when we are looking up parts for a job, because he got away from his stall and the shop noise to actually THINK through the issue.

Secondary reasons are many - biggests ones are Service Advisors that are so afraid someone will 'steal' their jobs, that they write RO's instead of setting appointments....we pull the parts and they ......SIT....and sit...

Not enough parts employees now....(last month we sold over $225k with only 2 counter guys and me). Having enough trouble now trying to get things done in parts.
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:16 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2007
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FixedOpsGuy - Great thread - I love hearing about different ways to increase productivity that have worked at other dealerships.

I'm tight on time at the moment so I'll only share a brief thought and then add more later.

I recall a dealership in Hawaii that had an odd physical layout where some of the tech stalls were almost 100 yards away from the parts counter. I encouraged the dealership to hire a "parts runner" so the technicians wouldn't have to waste their valuable time walking to the parts counter.

Ultimately the idea was implemented and then failed. It's not that it was a bad idea, it was just poorly implemented and there was no "buy-in" from the employees. The Service Manager reported that the time the techs used to spend walking to the parts counter was replaced by standing in their stalls drinking coffee and waiting for parts.

Bottom line - In my opinion any system you want to install to improve productivity should be reviewed with the employees beforehand and adjusted so they feel some sense of "ownership" for the idea and will work to see it succeed instead of standby to watch it fail.
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