Less than 10%… That is the average dealer mechanical parts market share in their PMA (Primary Market Area). That means over 9 out of every 10 vehicles repaired in your territory are taken to an independent shop and repaired with aftermarket parts.
The next time you go to visit your largest body shop customer, take a look at how many mechanical shops you pass on the way. Or ,even more interestingly, how many shops are in a 4 or 5 block radius. In the United States, there are over 13 mechanical repair shops for every 1 body shop, so the probable answer is “quite a few”.
The average shop completes 10 ROs per day and averages around $250 in parts per RO. By capturing a small percentage of this, you could be delivering an extra $1,000 in parts per shop – and you are already in their neighborhood delivering parts.
But capturing business in the mechanical sector takes some work. There are a lot of very good suppliers with great service and to get that business, you must offer your own unique value to the marketplace.
As with any business, the bottom line is giving your customers what they need. For mechanical shops, this means selling a value product that they can sell to their customer while making a great profit.
Excellent value propositions always start with good quality merchandise. As the factory authorized distributor of OE parts, you ARE the parts quality standard in the industry. You are simply selling the best, and repair facilities and customers know this. This is an advantage that is exclusive to dealerships. Your challenge is to turn this quality into an unbeatable value proposition.
Knowledge and Service:
There are two things that define wholesale service. The first is a knowledgeable staff. The second is being available to your customers.
As with parts, factory data is the best information available in the industry. It gives your parts interpreters a head start on the rest of the industry, and the level of knowledge they need to support your service department makes them some of the most knowledgeable parts people in the industry.
You may have heard the adage “time is money”. Nowhere is this truer than when delivering wholesale parts. The single most valuable area in a shop is the repair lifts. If a lift is occupied, waiting for parts, that lift is not productive for the shop. So the time between diagnosis and receiving parts, is an expensive time for a shop. The more you can do to minimize that time, the more mechanical wholesale parts you will sell.
Turning your Advantages into Sales
You already have the best parts in the business and the best information on the vehicles you service. Turning those natural strengths into advantages can pay huge dividends.
There are some simple things that you can do to help:
- Every Parts Department is busy in the morning, but afternoons are more manageable. Calling a shop to pre-plan the following day can fill your delivery routes and result in higher sales.
- Plan your delivery routes more effectively. Ask your body shops if they need their parts first thing in the morning. If they can wait until the afternoon, spend the morning delivering parts to mechanical shops.
- Most telephone companies offer reporting to track hold times. Watch your hold times and if possible, adjust your staffing to answer calls more quickly.
- Don’t wait for the phone to ring. Call shops in your area and tell them about your great service.
Senior Market Strategist
Karl Krug is a Senior Market Strategist at Infomedia Ltd. Karl has over 20 years’ experience working with OEMs, Distributors and Dealers to define and execute growth strategies for genuine parts and service sales.
While working for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Karl was a key founding member of the OEM Collision Repair Roundtable, and led Toyota’s Collision Parts strategies and communications with body shops, insurance companies and automakers.
As a recognised thought-leader in the Wholesale Parts industry, Karl works with Infomedia’s product team to ensure the next generation Fixed Operations solutions meet evolving industry needs.