During any Fixed Operations visit I always take a look at special order parts. This is an area that most parts managers really don’t have much control over what is ordered. Most of it is ordered by the service operation, typically a technician or advisor. I feel sure that no one has ever had a technician come to the shop parts counter on a Friday afternoon about 3:30 and ask for an oddball part. He knew you would not have one. BUT, magically you return to the counter WITH THE PART!
He is stunned and says “You have that part? I’m not going to do that this late in the day. Just tag that part with a special order form and send a card in the mail. I’ll do it next week”. Never happened to you? If you answer that NO….you’re lying!!
These parts could be for any repair. In most cases they may be a warranty part. These parts have a tendency of not being normally stocked on a daily basis. That would come down to demand to determine stocking status. Even though you may give the advisors a daily report of what has arrived the parts just age, like wine, on the shelf. How do we reduce the special order parts inventory? That’s the million $$$$ question.
Here is a successful way to approach this to get results. Review the special order bin weekly. Create a report, by advisor, of all the parts. You can put a tech labor time associated with the type of part. If your DMS allows, make sure you list how many days it’s been sitting on your shelf. Now present these reports to the Service Manager/Service Director/Fixed Operations Director. This will allow them to review each report with that advisor. They will be blown away by how many shop production hours are on the special order shelf.
If you still don’t see any reduction in the dollar value of special order parts you may have to go to a drastic step…get your Dealer involved! Be diplomatic and remember you still have to work with these guys in service.
How many inactive DOLLAR$ are on your special order shelves?