On average, 30% of a dealership’s inventory is made up of obsolete parts, and that number can grow rapidly. Every parts manager knows how frustrating it is to sell obsolete parts, especially when so many people are turning to aftermarket retailers for parts and accessories. If parts obsolescence is giving you trouble and you’re trying to find ways to cut down on that 30%, here are three tips to lower obsolete parts.
Completely eliminating obsolete parts may be the dream, but it’s not a realistic goal. The truth is, it takes a while to get rid of obsolete parts. If you’re going to try and sell obsolete parts, online and in-store, you need to set realistic, achievable goals.
What do parts managers need to consider when setting sales goals on obsolete parts?<>
If the majority of your obsolete parts customers are repair shop owners as opposed to individuals with older model cars, your goals need to reflect those consumers’ needs. If you know you can only sell 5% of your obsolete parts in store but you can sell 15% of your obsolete parts online, then you need to adjust your goals to meet those criteria too.
The bottom line is, make sure whatever goals you set for your sales team are achievable. It’s better to shoot too low than to shoot too high.
There are two driving causes of obsolete parts, inventory errors and parts that have never been picked up. These two things make it much harder to keep track of what’s on the shelves. Managing your inventory to reduce these errors is crucial to curbing the percentage of obsolete parts behind the parts counter.
How can you improve your inventory management and keep track of your numbers? Implementing the right tools is the first big step. However you choose to keep track of parts, new software, detailed spreadsheets, and back-up forms, these can all help you and your team get the right numbers. Have systems in place to double and triple check your shelves, that way there’s less room for mistakes.
Above all, be sure to have a standard operating procedure for your parts department. If a part is never picked up, have a plan in place to help your employees deal with these orders correctly. Set up email and phone reminders to customers about their part pickup time. If a part doesn’t move, have your employees place it in a separate category to be sold later online through your own store or a separate marketplace.
Selling parts online might seem like a waste of time, or it might seem scary, but with the right tools under your belt, you can become an online selling wizard. The biggest advantage to selling obsolete parts online is that you can sell across multiple platforms and marketplaces. You don’t just have to sell on your dealer site. In fact, you shouldn’t!
You can sell obsolete parts on:
- A separate parts web store
The more places you can sell online, the more competitive you can be and the more parts you can sell. You can offer better prices for your customers by having so many different purchasing outlets. This can give you a leg up in selling obsolete parts over your competitors. It also puts you on the radar for Google shopping, which your customers can find easily.
Offering a good price isn’t the only thing to clinch your customers. Here are some additional things to keep in mind when you sell online:
Obsolete parts don’t have to be a headache. You can be the leading dealership when it comes to parts management and obsolete parts sales. Follow these three tips and you’ll be on your way to lowering obsolete parts in no time.