Last week we talked about the Equipment Parts Store – EPS. These stores were going to be modeled after the NAPA stores. They would have a pleasant instore merchandising area, a customer meet and greet area, a self-service kiosk for customers to surf the internet and place orders, a small warehouse area with fast moving common parts, a hose making operation, a small clothing and accessories area, and area with safety and environmental (green) products, everything to make a convenient and pleasant shopping experience available for the customer. The locations would be selected strategically so that they were in a good location relative to customer offices, shops and jobs.
Further in the parts business we should begin a hardware supply item service to the customers with a delivery box truck and an employee who is a sales trainee. Many of the dealers across the country use these services themselves. I find this quite astounding as in the parts department most of these items are already carried in inventory. The parts department should be in this business themselves. If an outside company can perform this function economically I don’t understand how the dealer is unable to do the same.
Then there are self-serve kiosks for select items in mini malls and other significant spots. These can be controlled by your business system and issue parts and supplies to a customer account or credit card. Have you seen these types of kiosks? They are a wonderful addition to the self-serve world we are in today.
Finally there is the option of putting inventory right on a job site. Have a mobile parts store in a 20’ container with the facility to serve a specific job. Staff it with skilled personnel and serve the customers. That would make a difference. This is about a partnership between customers and dealers that is intended to help the customer make money on their jobs while becoming more significant in the eyes of the customer in their business.
This is part of the Service-Dominant marketing we talked about in our most recent Marketing Missile. The time is now.