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Ten Habits of Highly Successful Wholesalers

Ten Habits of Highly Successful Wholesalers

You may be considering getting into the wholesale business, or you may already be in it and want to expand your business. So how do you gauge your own success? The following is what our OEC field and account managers see the most successful parts wholesalers exemplify. How do you compare?

Customer Service is “King”

From guaranteed service to dedicated knowledgeable staff, smart parts managers know speed and accuracy are the top contributors for customer satisfaction followed closely by price.

Minimum of 2 delivery trucks

To satisfy twice-a-day delivery for crash parts and hourly “hot shot” mechanical parts, parts managers start with a minimum of 2 trucks. This enables simultaneous delivery, covering a 10 mile range, with each truck traveling in opposite directions. For mechanical hot shot deliveries, consider smaller, cost-efficient vehicles.

Shared Delivery

Share delivery costs as part of a franchise-exclusive co-op. Dealers work together to share drivers, trucks, and insurance which can increase your delivery area while decreasing your delivery cost.

Outside sales representation

Whether you share a sales rep, a consultant, or do-it-yourself, you MUST have “feet-on-the-street” promoting your business. These reps are there to quickly and efficiently serve – and maintain – existing customer relationships. Yes, this can have a cost; however to build your business, successful parts managers know they need to spend to grow.

Parts ordering technology

Parts ordering technology, such as CollisionLink, can help ensure parts order accuracy and, in some cases, competitive OE pricing at aftermarket prices. All of which add up to happy customers.

On Hand Inventory

We’re the first to tell you that technology can help maintain desirable inventories. But wholesale demands a substantial investment estimated anywhere from $200,000 to $300,000 in monthly parts purchases. You’ll also better satisfy customer demand and qualify for OEM incentive plans with a healthy inventory of parts.

Discounts that focus on the customer, not the part

Wholesale in it’s definition means lower margin. Successful wholesale parts managers have learned that profit margins will vary anywhere from 14% – 17% with the goal of satisfying the customer first, and profit margin second. If you consistently follow this practice, loyal customers and positive word-of-mouth will fall into place.

Don’t Ignore Mechanical

Typically lower in profits, mechanical parts are also more demanding often requiring service delivery levels of 1 hour or less. While less economical at face-value, mechanical parts also represent fewer returns and credits. Smart wholesalers use part-time drivers and smaller, more cost-efficient vehicles for delivery to maintain a presence in this growing market.

Guaranteed Service, regardless of delivery size

Reliability keeps customers coming back. So today you deliver a $10 part that costs $15 to deliver. Next week you’ll deliver a $3,000 order to the same customer that also costs $15 to deliver. Part costs will differ, but your service never should.

Think outside of the box

Smart wholesalers constantly look for new ways to perform the same job better. They’re reviewing delivery schedules that work well at night or early in the morning to avoid traffic. They’re setting up co-op’s to share delivery costs and outside sales. They’re hiring part-time drivers to maintain service while avoiding overtime. They’re using technology to increase speed, order accuracy, and upsell opportunities. Bottom-line, they’re always innovating, and so should you.

Ready to amp up your parts department? Check this article out or give us a call to help you get started.