OEC Blog

“That’s just not the way we do things” isn’t how we do things anymore

“That’s just not the way we do things” isn’t how we do things anymore

The title seems confusing, right? “That’s just not the way we do things” is something we hear A LOT in the field from both dealers and shops. But little do shops and dealers realize, they’ve been doing things differently all along.

Mechanical shops have been using aftermarket websites to look up and order parts for years. It wasn’t an easy transition, so the aftermarket providers did a lot to motivate and drive customers towards their new websites. Online ordering was something they knew would be important to save time and money not only on their side, but also on their customer’s side.

Fifteen years ago, if you asked a shop how they ordered parts, they would likely say: “I call my local parts store, talk to Jimmy, and he gets the parts for me.” Today, there are very few shops that would tell you they still call their aftermarket provider when they need parts.

The same theory doesn’t translate to dealerships

When I’m visiting shops, I ask “How do you order parts?” and 90%  would say “online” without hesitation. Then I ask, “What about from your dealerships?” and the same 90% say “oh no, when I need a part from the dealership, I call and talk to Jimmy so he can get the parts for me.” Sound familiar?

The aftermarket websites are now engrained into the shops’ daily workflow, and parts managers don’t think twice about ordering online. And what’s funny is those same people ordering online at work, might not order anything online in their personal lives!

Shops can’t imagine NOT having websites to order from

When you think about it, when a shop says, “that’s just the way we do things” when it comes to ordering parts, it now means the opposite of what it used to. I think it’s safe to say that most shops couldn’t imagine not having websites to research and order parts from.

Here are some situations that used to be time consuming and frustrating, but don’t have to be if you’re online:

  • When a shop is open late, and your parts counter isn’t (sometimes at 5:01 pm).
  • When a customer calls during lunch, and only one person is covering that time, so the customer has to wait on hold.
  • When you need to look at how a part is assembled, and your old fax machine is out of toner.

There are simple ways for dealerships to resolve the issues above by getting online, and we have some excellent tips. Since we’re creatures of habit, it’s a safe assumption to also call us creatures of efficiency – since we have been doing that the whole time without even realizing it.