By Chris Bavis
Success demands that you have the right mix of parts right now. Ask yourself:
- Are all needed parts immediately available—or are your techs waiting for a part that’s not in stock? How often does it happen?
- Do you meet NADA’s Parts Department guidelines?
- Your First-Time Fill Rate (FTFR) should be 90 percent. That means that a technician gets everything he needs 90 percent of the time. That’s all the parts, not some of them, nine out of 10 times.
- Parts managers should do on-the-spot surveys at the parts counter. When a tech comes to the counter asking for parts, what percentage is filled? If he asks for four parts and gets all four, that repair order gets 100 percent. The tech could fix the vehicle immediately.
- If the tech gets three out of the four requested parts, he can’t fix the vehicle. That RO doesn’t get 75 percent—it gets zero. The tech has to wait or find something else to do. That’s time lost.
- If your FTFR is below 90 percent, review how you’re phasing in parts and whether you’re making timely decisions.
- It’s all about part numbers.
- Is your DMS being told about each part number that is requested?
- To achieve a good FTFR, you have to tell the DMS about every legitimate part number that’s asked for.
- Make sure to enter all requests into the system. That way you can follow up on them to know what you didn’t have, what was a legitimate demand, why the customer had to go elsewhere.
- If the customer goes elsewhere, you’re losing business.
- If you make a costly emergency purchase of a part you should have had in stock, you lose gross.
Instructor Chris Bavis teaches Fixed Operations Parts in week 2 of 6 in the program and can be reached at [email protected]. Call 800.557.6232 or visit to download the schedule and applications for all programs. Bavis will lead a week-long seminar on “Advanced Parts Management” at NADA McLean headquarters Oct, 15–19. Call 800.557.6232 or sign in to and register for the seminar in the NADA U Store.