How Does Your Parts Supplier Help Develop Your Business?

Automotive & HD Business Management Articles.
Bob Greenwood. June 21, 2012. ( over 9 years ago ) 1,706 views

I have been talking with a number of very “Progressive” Jobbers throughout North America (you know, the ones that REALLY get it) and their frustration is at the boiling point with so many independent Jobbers who will not help our Aftermarket sector develop. These OLD style mind-set suppliers are still hiring people that they will not train properly about how a shop must think, work and measure their business today, calling their field people “sales reps”. Their only job is to “sell as many parts as possible to anyone who will buy them” ending up going to market with the “price, price and it’s all about price only” message. In other words, in the end, it’s really only all about them, their day-to-day survival as a parts supplier and the value of their company’s year-end rebates from manufacturers based on their annual “volume”. Their business relationship with the shop owner is extremely weak, if any at all. That has been proven with these suppliers screaming, “These shop “installers” only want the best price and aren’t interested in anything else”.

The better suppliers realize that if they don’t understand their ASP (Automotive Service Provider) “clients” business and support them by helping them to learn how to professionally manage and grow a profitable bottom-line shop business, there will be many less shops to sell to in the future. These suppliers have also “done the math” on their own parts business to realize that the average shop in Canada has a minimum potential aftermarket monthly parts purchase volume of $14,000. The math proves you make more money as a parts supplier selling more volume to one shop that pays in full each month, than to sell less volume each over 10 shops that build up receivables. To achieve the proper business loyalty and parts margin required as a supplier, you have to earn that shop’s business by bringing true business value to the shop owner. These suppliers also have learned how to calculate the math as to whom they want to do business with in the first place and set the ground rules to ensure a win/win strategy takes place.

My questions to shop owners out there are:

As a shop owner, do you really believe a better price on your parts purchases is going to “save” your business?

What true “Business Value” does your part supplier bring and offer to your shop? I’m not talking about toys, trinkets and trash; I’m talking about real business value that does and has made a dramatic difference to the net income of your business over the past 2 years?

Is the supplier you deal with as first call, bringing to market the “parts supplier business model” the Aftermarket needs to embrace?

So, how do you feel about this? Don’t mention any parts supplier names, but by contributing a comment signed off with your name, your supplier may finally get the message you want them to hear.

Bob Greenwood

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Bob Greenwood
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada