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Working with part suppliers: Questions from the repair shop's perspective

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - 07:00
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Today the aftermarket is a different industry than it was five years ago. Let’s ask and answer some questions to bring clarity to the new reality.

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  1. Part suppliers are an essential part of the execution process for a repair shop. How can a repair shop ensure to receive the best technical support and buy the right product at the right cost?

The shop owner and part supplier must learn to develop a professional business win/win relationship by having discussions as to where and how the service shop is going to move forward and what the supplier needs as well. What does the shop need in technical training and where can they find that training? The supplier may be able to source out courses on behalf of the shop owner if it’s not practical to bring an instructor in. The shop owner must understand the supplier needs volume with full payment each month. The right cost may not be the cheapest part cost but the total “value” the supplier can provide the shop owner is because of the shop’s loyalty to that supplier.

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  1. How can you get part suppliers the information they need so they can process your order and deliver faster?

In reality, this is again a conversation as to what kind of parts the supplier should be stocking for the shop owner. Does the supplier truly understand their shop customers' business? It is also a technology question and the supplier and shop owner should engage in the conversation as to “how” they can embrace the right technology that serves both of them efficiently.

  1. How can technology help the relationship between the supplier and the repair shop?

Technology development creates improved “efficiencies” for both businesses. When both businesses are efficient, profitability improves. Again, take the time to discuss and have conversations between both the shop owner and the supplier so they both can explore solutions that help both of them.

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