Customer transactions and sales trends are more closely monitored than before, making Business Intelligence (BI) tools critical for helping dealers access customer data and for giving parts personnel clear insights in order to make proactive, informed decisions.
There’s a common story about a parts department and a parts manager who routinely sold a shop customer parts over the course of years or even decades. But like many business relationships a lot can – and, in fact, always will – change in just a few years. As the story goes, this wholesale dealership, like many dealerships, relied on its usual shop customers to submit and buy parts with regularity. In turn, the dealership processed and filled the orders without much thought, remaining comfortable in its belief that it was meeting its customers’ needs as its parts vendor.
Until one day, this dealership’s parts manager noticed that its once-reliable shop customer stopped ordering parts from the dealership. A little hurt, the parts manager called the shop to discuss the drop in transactions.
“Why’d you stop ordering from me?” the parts manager asked. “Why didn’t you tell me?” “I did tell you,” the shop owner said. “I’ve been telling you for years.”
When the parts manager returned to his books, spreadsheets, purchase orders, carbon-copied invoices, and so on, he noticed that in recent years the shop owner started scaling back his order volume, little by little, until he stopped ordering from that dealership entirely.
Trends and customer buying patterns, like the one above, are not unique to the automotive parts industry. Market forces disrupt sales trends. A business’ bottom line pushes customer loyalty to its limits. Costs can run – and ruin – the day for a business or even threaten its very existence.
While the problem may not be specific to the automotive aftersales business, there are solutions designed specifically to address industry-specific performance and sales issues. BI solutions are proven to be extremely beneficial in increasing dealership wholesale performance by providing insights into a dealership’s parts sales business and customer trends.