The parts business has become a rather predictable and unexciting business hasn’t it? If you go into a major metropolitan area anywhere in the world and visit the equipment dealerships you will find a sameness that is rather boring.
How can we break this mold? Well I think we need to ask the employees and the customer what they think as everyone of you knows. What they ask for we should deliver.
However, let’s tell down the walls of the box and look to the convenience issue for customer in dealing with you. Typically they have stopped coming into the dealership. They use the phone. Why is that?
I think along with the convenience to them of not having to fight the traffic from their job to the dealer we have taught them that there is nothing to gain by coming into the store. They don’t get any better service do they? In fact we will leave a counter person to answer the phone. So we treat the customer who came to our store to a lower level of service. We don’t have an exciting waiting area or instore merchandise nicely laid out for them to browse through while they wait.
Altho0ugh it might be radical to many of you I think we should open parts stores. Let’s call them the EPS here (Equipment Parts Store). Choose a location that is central to the customer machine population. Or close to the job sites, perhaps even on the job site. Perhaps have an employee on the customer job site itself. Let’s take the store to the market directly. Who was it that ordained that the only parts store we have is in the main dealership building? Why don’t we have a whole series of stores all around the territory? After all the bearing houses do that. The hose and fittings suppliers do that. The hardware and supplies suppliers even take their product right to the customer shops and technicians. Who told is that we couldn’t have more stores? Perhaps it is just stale thinking or maybe it is not thinking at all. Let’s start being more of a convenience to our marketplace and to the customers within it. The time is now.