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I was hoping some of you might share your process for parts deliveries and returns within your shop. I made some changes due to COVID to minimize vendors having too much contact with my employees. But now looking beyond COVID I am reconsidering my entire system. Does a vendor deliver a part to your front counter/service writer? To a technician? Or do you have a dedicated "drop off" location? Also, how are returns handled? Thank you in advance for any suggestions/advice you can give me.  

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I always want parts coming through my front counter people.  If it's direct to the tech, we can't keep track of what's coming and going and get it to the computer. Techs need to be turning wrenches. Not entering parts into the computer or locating parts or ordering parts.  If they are waiting on parts for one job, they are figuring out what's needed for another.  Each tech has multiple work orders they may be working on at once.  As parts come in, they can complete jobs.  My service writers or myself are ordering parts, dealing with customers and checking parts in and arranging the schedule based on where the  parts are.  The service writers job is keeping techs busy and efficient.  We have a shelf for parts for customer jobs and once all parts needed are received, we get the vehicle in and the work done.  I have 3 techs and limited space. We work on everything from lawn tractors to atvs and utvs and automotive.  many of our jobs parts are 3 days to a week out. automotive is usually same day or next day on parts, but sometimes longer.  Whatever you do make your deliveries and your process consistent.  One parts supplier always drops the parts in the shop and leaves. I've asked many times for them to come to the front end. I'd order from them more often, but not if they can't deliver my way.  It almost always throws us off schedule wise as the service writer doesn't know the parts arrived and the tech may or may not know either.  I've found the stack of parts sitting there late evening (as I live in the same building and am always working), and come to find out the delivery driver told the tech that wasn't working on that vehicle where the parts were. He forgot to mention it as he was busy on an ATV he was working on.  

 

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We’ve trained our drivers to put the parts on the parts shelf and take the paperwork to the front counter.

If they don’t, we call the vendor and ask when the part will get there and tell them we don’t have it.  Then we install the part in the meantime and return the extra part.

It doesn’t take long for the drivers and store managers to catch on.

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  • 1 month later...

We have a dedicated parts vendor entrance with a shelf for deliveries and one for returns. All vendors have been put on notice that unless there is a purchase order on their delivery ticket, we don't pay for the part. Like jfuhrmad said above, it doesn't take long for them to catch on. You might want to meet with your reps for the vendors and let them know what you are doing. We find there is a lot of turnover in the stores and they have to be reminded every few months.

We order 90% of our parts electronically through our point of sale software It is set up so that any part that is ordered is either assigned to a work order or, in the case of a wrong part, it gets put into the return portion of our software. I look at the parts waiting to be returned report every Thursday and go over it with the shop manager and find out why certain parts have not been returned that week. usually, it's because we are so busy he just hasn't had time to print up the the return slip. We print our own return tickets so that the new steering rack you are sending back doesn't get recorded as a core instead because the driver was lazy and didn't open the box.

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  • 2 months later...

Small owner run shop here. (I'm owner, general manager, service consultant and I also help the techs when I can)

We have a shelf for incoming parts, and another one for returned parts. The drivers for our various parts vendors know to drop them at the incoming parts shelf, and then come get me to sign their invoice. 

I personally verify the part is there (and what I ordered) before signing the invoice. 

We segregate the return parts by 1.) Which parts supplier it goes to, and 2.) What type of return it is (New Unused Part, Core, Warranty bad part) so when the driver is their dropping off parts they or I can quickly glance and see if we have anything going back to them.

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