Nothing is possible in the parts and service business without people. We closed our last post with the fact that we have standards of operations that address the people subject. These are “traditional” standards which are based on traditional operational methods and systems and processes.

But our operations need to be tuned up. Let’s start with productivity. Do you think that with your current structures and personnel levels you will be able to handle the business that will come with increased sales and market share we discussed last time? I submit to you that it will never be achieved if all you do is continue to do what you have always done.

The Industry started in the late 1970s and early 1980s to look at sales per employee as the holy grail of headcount. However, most companies looked at those standards and said to the operational people that they needed to operate at higher and higher sales per employee levels. That the higher the number the better it was.


The truth is that if you do not have enough people to do the job properly the people will decide what is important that needs to get done. What that is to them is satisfying the customer that the yare dealing with at the moment. If there is no time for anything else – such as calling back on backorders or calling out to customers who have not been seen or contacted for some time, or anything else to protect or grow your market share – so be it.

That is exactly what we have today with most parts businesses worldwide.

Is it any wonder that the authorized equipment dealer has a parts market share is in a range of 20% to 40%? Quite frankly they don’t deserve even that much.

Let’s go back to the fundamentals of the numbers of people to employ. Let’s look at financial standards based on the compensation packages offered to employees. This compensation package covers all payroll expenses, sales, wages, commissions, as well as all benefits such as medical, vacation, paid time off, etc.

The following are standards that are normally what I see in best practice dealers.

 Parts < 7%
 Service < 15%

If you are higher than the above measures then you need to focus on innovation. Improve methods, processes, systems and everything you can to achieve the personnel numbers above. The only way you can achieve radical improvements in operational performance is if you get all of your employees involved in the process. If you are lower then you are unable to satisfy the customer needs and need to hire more people. It is that simple.

The Time is NOW.