Friday, May 30, 2014

"The Evolution Of The Modern Day Parts Manager" Part Two: Circa 1990 - 2000

In my opinion, the 1990's was a "breakout" decade for technology and many new innovations that are still being expanded on today. Many of these technological break through's impacted the "Evolution Of The Modern Day Parts Manager" heavily and most in a very positive way.

Dealer Management Systems, (D.M.S.) were now common and a necessary integral part of a dealers' operation. Being able to manage the dealer's second highest asset, the parts inventory became much easier and measuring sales and gross numbers more obtainable.

With the dealers' new addition of the Dealer Management System, (D.M.S.), the connection between the dealer and the manufacturer became instantaneous through the Dealer Communication System, (D.C.S.). Submitting and receiving parts orders was now easier and more efficient than ever before.

As the D.C.S. expanded in the 90's, manufacturers were now able to provide dealers and parts managers more options for ordering and receiving parts with shorter lead times and dedicated service.

Overnight deliveries for most areas throughout the U.S. and Canada was standard as the dealer was now able to offer customers a better level of service.

The "re-emphasis" on service seem to be rejuvenated in the late 80's and really came alive in the early 90's. Dealers' knew they had to regain the service customers they lost over the past few decades by becoming more competitive on their pricing as well as offering minor services without an appointment.

Who would have thought back then that dealers' and parts managers would be in the tire business?

Manufacturers' and dealers' also realized that survival in the 90's meant having a solid and profitable fixed operations. A once familiar term was "re-born" as "Service Absorption" was alive again and became part of the vocabulary as well as a big part of the dealers' overall bottom line.

The 90's were also a "big boom" era for cell phones, (or should I say "car phones?) and the internet. These two explosive advances in technology really "took off" in the decade of the 90's.

Being able to access either was not for everyone as the first "car phones" were quite expensive to purchase and use and the internet was very slow with limited accessibility.

By the mid to late 90's, the internet and cell phone technology expanded through satellite communications and micro-chip technology.

Competition grew as cell phones got smaller and more affordable and the internet goes wireless as "social media" is born. "Websites" are now the new crave as advertising takes  a new look as we approach the new "Millennium."

So how did all this new technology and innovation effect the "Evolution Of The Modern Day Parts Manager?"   

In order to succeed, today's "Modern Day Parts Manager" is no longer the guy or gal the dealer sticks in the Parts Department and simply tells them that they are now a "parts manager".

They are also not the guy or gal that is there to "fetch" parts for the techs or answer the buzzer at the retail counter once in a while.

Managing a profitable parts department requires a skill set that utilizes all the aforementioned innovations to develop and maintain marketing strategies, customer retention and overall department profitability.

Providing the "right parts the first time" is also a key factor in service productivity and profitability, another attribute necessary to the "Modern Day Parts Manager".

In my opinion, the 90's actually brought out the "Evolution" part of the "Modern Day Parts Manager". The parts manager now had to know what a financial statement or "D.O.C.", (Daily Operating Control) was and understand it.

They now need to read and know a Parts Monthly Analysis Report which measures results such as True & Gross Turns, First Time Off Shelf Fill Rates, Stock Order Performance, Level of Service, Sales Activity and Gross Profit Margins just to name a few.

There were a few parts managers' dating back to the 70's and 80's that were very profitable and instrumental to the dealers' overall bottom line, but the 90's seem to be the decade where the parts manager evolved into a key management position.

The success and "Evolution Of The Modern Day Parts Manager" continues toward the "Millennium" and believe it or not, it gets even more competitive, requiring more skill sets.

The 90's really opened our eyes to seeing what it takes to be a successful parts manager, but believe it or not, it will take even more when we continue with part three next month!

Don't miss next month's issue of "Smart Parts" where we will explore....

"The Evolution Of The Modern Day Parts Manager"
Part Three: Circa 2000 - 2014

Dave Piecuch is the Vice President of Automotive Consultants Group Inc. and is the Head Coach for Smart PartsTMThe only "Results Based" High Return Training, Coaching, and Consulting company in the world!  Dave can be reached at Cell 786-521-1720 or E-mail at Vist our Website at

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