Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Ultimate Parts Manager: Part Three

As we come down to our final segment of our three part series on "The Ultimate Parts Manager", I really spent some time thinking over just how to conclude the series. When you stop and think about it, this is no "cookie cutter" position and there has to be much more than just three parts to the "make up" of this dealer manager.

In the first two parts of the series, we spent time looking at the background, education and as far as what specific personality traits seem to be common. We also touched on how most Parts Managers seem to "stumble" onto this dealer position in the first place.

In part three, I decided to look for the "intangibles", or, the qualities of "The Ultimate Parts Manager" that don't seem to follow the normal resume, script or path taken by most other Parts Managers. So let's take a look at some of these qualities that I feel, do not ordinarily accompany this position.

One last note before we move you are reading, don't ask yourself if you already fit these qualifications, or perhaps you may feel you already DO these things. Ask yourself how good are you AT these things....


With all the "prerequisites" that we talked about in the first two parts of the series, it's pretty obvious to me that to be in the Parts Manager position, the background, education and certain personality traits are a given.

 Most Parts Managers that I have met and including myself, were drawn to that role because we "fit" the position in all those three areas.

In my opinion, true leadership abilities are not trained, passed down or learned. To me, leadership abilities are "born" into some and not all, or perhaps "acquired" by others. Either way, true leaders have a presence about them, never to be mistaken as a follower.

Even though, leadership abilities are necessary in all our dealer management positions, it's not so common in the Parts Manager position. Let me explain a little further with the following scenario...

Picture in your mind a typical dealership, which we will call ABC Motors Dealership in Anytown, USA.

 In the Grand Opening photo, they highlight all the managers with no owners present, just the management staff including the General Sales Manager, Office Manager, Service Manager, Collision Center Manager and Parts Manager.

In that picture, other than physical appearance, which manager would you normally see as a "stand out" or most noticeable? Did you also notice how I laid out the order of managers in the previous statement? How common is it that we see or hear the Parts Manager mentioned last?

My point is that "The Ultimate Parts Manager" MUST be a standout in their overall dealership role and not just a leader inside those Parts Department doors.


Our second "intangible" quality of  "The Ultimate Parts Manager" should not be taken lightly either. I know that many or all of us are going to say that we have goals. My partner Guy and I have our own definition of what a "goal" is and that is ..."it's just a dream with a deadline"!

"The Ultimate Parts Manager" not only has goals, but they are written down. Many studies have proven over and over again that "written goals" are achieved at a high percentage compared to goals not written down.

In the terms of "The Ultimate Parts Manager", these goals are usually tied into meeting, achieving and surpassing all parts guidelines such as first time off shelf fill rates, gross and true turns, stock order performance and parts movement cycles just to name a few. The same is true for meeting or exceeding all sales, gross and net targets consistently.

Lastly, on the topic of goal orientation..."The Ultimate Parts Manager" is not the only one with their goals written down. All the other Parts Department Staff Members do the same with their own goals as "The Ultimate Parts Manager" makes it a requirement. By the way, just another "leadership" quality thrown in here as well.

Number Three: ETHICS 

In my opinion, we don't hear enough about ethics these days. I can still remember many years ago, my Service Manager actually conducting class after hours along with our owner just on the dealer's "code of ethics". The following is an internet definition by "Investopedia" on code of ethics:

"A code of ethics document may outline the mission and values of the business or organization, how professionals are supposed to approach problems, the ethical principles based on the organization's core values and the standards to which the professional will be held."

After I read this definition as well as a few others on "code of ethics", I realized just how this term has seemed to disappear over the past several years. To me, this topic has to be the biggest "gut checks" for all of us and not just "The Ultimate Parts Manager", but it is definitely one of traits of this super manager.


The fourth "intangible" quality of "The Ultimate Parts Manager" that I want to shed light on is Salesmanship. Believe it or not, I'm not just referring to the "ability to sell" parts as I am referring more to "The Ultimate Parts Manager's" ability to "sell themselves". 

"The Ultimate Parts Manager" has the ability to sell themselves to not only their customers, but to other employees as well. That "built in" ability leads others and creates a teamwork atmosphere second to none. Trust is extremely high which leads higher efficiency and overall goal achievement for all involved.

Success is a constant for "The Ultimate Parts Manager" because it is an expectation and a reality. Profitability is actually a "residual" of all the above and of course, our last quality of "The Ultimate Parts Manager" is their ability to manage......


Our last "intangible" quality of "The Ultimate Parts Manager" is their ability to manage People & Process. All the above achievements, success and leadership abilities mean absolutely nothing without the right people following the process.

I believe it cannot go understated that this is an absolute MUST to be "The Ultimate Parts Manager". The people we employ and staff have to trust their leadership to take them down the road to their eventual success and future.

It's the worst possible "trickle down" imaginable if this "intangible" quality is not evident. Lack of the proper people and process can lead to a lack of leadership which leads to a lack of trust.

Once the trust in leadership is gone, so goes the process accompanied with undesirable results. Once all this goes down? guessed it!....No more "Ultimate Parts Manager"!

I guess it's not so easy to be "The Ultimate Parts Manager"! Even though we have dissected the make up of this super manager, is it possible that this Parts Manager is out there?

Well?...I believe so, but more importantly, I believe that assessment can only come from within. Are you "The Ultimate Parts Manager"?

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