Obsolescence is the single greatest detriment to parts department profits and health and, while many sources of obsolescence can only be managed and prevented by parts managers, over-ordering or misdiagnosis from technicians can contribute a large part of that pesky unneeded inventory. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes you just end up not needing all the parts you originally thought you would, but learning how to better investigate repair needs and communicate with customers, parts managers, and fellow techs can prevent unnecessary errors that can eventually lead to stagnancy in your career.
Getting to the Core of the Issue
Obsolete inventory is ultimately the responsibility of the Parts Manager to identify and remove. They are also responsible for identifying and working with the sources that are creating the domino effect which often reflects directly on technicians. Getting rid of obsolescence is also costly- both in time and capital. With restocking fees, holding costs, and the wasted time of everyone involved, it’s as Ben Franklin famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Plus, when valuable shelf space is holding idle inventory, there isn’t space to hold parts that are actually selling. Many parts managers have systems for tracking orders by technicians, and if you’re heavily and continuously ordering parts that become obsolete, it can impact your career goals negatively.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
At the end of the day, everyone in the parts and service department benefits from higher efficiency and better service. Having the parts you need when you need them improves customer morale, job completion, and coworker interactions. Sometimes mistakes happen when technicians request parts and whoever is responsible for ordering is using a catalog that calls the part needed something else. At the end of the day, it all boils down to better communication. For techs, ensure your part-requesting systems allow space for clarification and questions as parts are being sourced.
PartsEdge helps everyone in the parts department by expertly managing the parts inventory to ensure you have the parts you need when you need them. We find that dealers and techs often know what they need to do to improve, they just don’t have the time, tools, or support to do it. PartsEdge was created by a DMS specialist and a Parts Manager who realized there simply isn’t enough support for dealers and their teams to create a data-informed, profitable inventory. We provide custom reports that make inventory decisions easy and the ongoing support to guide you through changes in your dealership. Our service helps you take your inventory from reactive to proactive.