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Overcoming the 3 Largest Issues Related to Parts Ordering

May 22, 2023
Shop Tips & Best Practices
4 min read

Parts procurement can be a huge source of pain in an auto shop. Most issues related to parts procurement can be bucketed into three areas: assessing availability, training staff, and keeping a healthy inventory.

The good news is, you can kick most of these problems out the door by adopting an online parts procurement solution like PartsTech. Here’s how: 

Quickly Assessing the Accurate Availability of Parts 

It’s an age-old struggle: Feverishly working to get your techs the parts they need when they need them — all while vehicle owners are breathing down your neck asking, “When will my car be ready?” 

The sooner you have the parts in hand, the sooner your technician can productively get a car in and out of a bay.

Aftermarket inventory management problems were a debated topic at AAPEX way back in 2002. More than 20 years later, many shops have turned to sophisticated systems such as PartsTech. These systems make it easier to find the right parts fast. 

Shops that have yet to shift still struggle with multiple browser tabs open on their computer with their shoulder jamming a phone to their ear as they call suppliers to try to find the right parts. 

Having the ability to order parts quickly from multiple suppliers in a couple of clicks helps you avoid repair order delays. With this, it’s important to have an accurate list of available parts. This is where cloud-based parts databases, like PartsTech, have the upper hand.

Let’s pause to examine the meaning of  “the cloud” and “cloud-based”. “The cloud” refers to servers accessible over the Internet and the software and databases that run on those servers. The advantage of using a “cloud-based” auto parts database is that your shop can rely on the latest, up-to-date product information from each of your preferred parts suppliers in real time. 

When it comes to quickly assessing parts availability using PartsTech, here is what you can see when you log in and search for a part on the website: 

  • Real-time pricing and detailed product information 
  • Which products are in stock in local supplier stores 
  • Which products are in stock at distribution centers
  • Which products are out of stock or back-ordered

And you can do this from any device with an internet connection! 

Training Staff on Ordering Parts

The tasks of organizing, forecasting, and tracking parts require expertise, and the learning curve is high due to the number of makes, models, and engine types on the market today. But investing time in training your team on parts and parts ordering processes and procedures will pay off. 

This is where an online parts ordering database eases the process of ordering the right part, so every member of your staff can feel confident while working faster.

“Awesome tool! [PartsTech is] Easy to use. Easy to train my guys on! If one store doesn’t have what I’m looking for, I can tab over and shop another store. I feel like PartsTech has a great system in place.”

– Andrew M., General Manager

Some auto parts software systems require users to type in the exact name of a part to get a match. PartsTech, on the other hand, can source parts with a VIN or license plate number. It’s that easy. 

 “One of the best features of this tool [PartsTech] is being able to look up parts from multiple vendors based on the VIN of the vehicle and getting an accurate lookup of parts…”

– Gabriel Y., Service Manager

What’s even better, PartsTech, integrated with a shop management system, allows your staff to save even more time on every estimate while reducing stress and the number of mistakes. All of this translates into a better experience for your customers.

Keeping a Healthy Auto Parts Inventory

When you run short on auto parts, you risk losing sales and frustrating customers. Yet, carrying a large inventory ties up capital you could invest elsewhere. 

Changing to an inventory strategy that focuses on “just-in-time delivery” can help reduce overhead inventory by quickly getting the parts you need for a specific job — when you need them. 

Just-in-time inventory management frees up your cash flow without tying it up in unused auto parts. It also reduces storage costs since parts will go into a vehicle right after arriving at the shop.

Using PartsTech will significantly reduce the time it takes to find and order parts, which means you can have parts en route to your shop must faster. 

With PartsTech, you get:

  • The ability to search for a part across all of your preferred suppliers in place
  • The latest and greatest, detailed product information
  • Real-time pricing and availability from over 30,000 suppliers

Integrating PartsTech with a shop management system gives you even more power over your inventory management because you can automatically reconcile your stock and reduce the odds of running out of crucial parts at crunch time. Automated inventory controls in your shop management system allow you to know when to leverage PartsTech to reorder parts based on turnover, age, and versatility — before they run out.

Using a fast, smart parts procurement platform sets you up for success every day. Get the parts you need when you need them. Start ordering parts through PartsTech.

Open your free account. 

Still, have some hangups about ordering parts online? We’ve found that hesitations around online parts ordering can be boiled down to two debunkable myths. Read more.

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