As providers of high-quality, efficient repairs on import nameplates, you are also discerning buyers of premium parts, tools and equipment, purveyors of optimal customer service and smart businesspeople, so the way you run your business and your impressions of the marketplace truly make an impact.
A recent readership study of ImportCar readers asked, “Do you have plans to expand your shop this year?” An impressive 33% of respondents indicated “yes”; a positive sign for the market’s growth potential.
In terms of how the respondents who replied “yes” plan to expand, 46% said they intended to add more services, 32% will add more bays, and 82% want to find additional qualified technicians; a challenging task, indeed.
For those who plan to add more services and/or more bays, they can anticipate additional customers and more repairs. More repair volume means that they will be buying more parts. And, offering additional services will likely also require the purchase of additional tools and equipment to get those jobs done efficiently and effectively. Access to additional and detailed repair information also will be necessary to expedite professional repairs and prevent comebacks.
When buying parts from your local parts sources, business relationships really come into play. Time is money, so you want the right parts and you want them to be delivered as quickly as possible. You have a lot of expectations of your suppliers, but do you ever think that they may have certain expectations of the way you do business with them? Even though you are the customer, consider how your business practices affect the service your suppliers can deliver, and consider their impact on how your expectations are fulfilled.
Think about these considerations as you work on strengthening the partnership with your parts sources: o Are you accurately diagnosing the “cause” of the vehicle’s problem before placing a parts order?
- Are you carefully ordering all the parts you need for a job, so you won’t have to call your supplier back and expect him to make another (costly) delivery run for one forgotten item?
- Are you giving your supplier the correct information (i.e. ordering by part number, rather than by application), so that the correct part can be delivered?
- Do you openly listen to your parts supplier, if they have a suggestion on additional necessary parts to help you accurately complete the repair the first time?
- Are you careful not to order more than you really need for a particular job, to help cut down on returns?
The degree to which you cultivate solid partnerships with suppliers will determine the level of service you can provide to your customers.