In this article, we will talk about the difficult (and at times complicated) moment of choosing the best suppliers for an auto workshop.
The Automotive world is truly varied: in fact, there are an infinite number of possible suppliers for an auto mechanic workshop.
With the free market, anyone can go around selling spare parts… but you have to pay close attention to some aspects.
In fact, the independent mechanical workshop needs to have a spare parts supplier, or more, who are valid partners in everyday work.
For this reason, it is necessary to choose them carefully according to one's workload and needs.
Authorized workshops, or those that belong to a specific network of workshops, already have concessions in place with suppliers.
In this case, the supply of spare parts is easier and complies with all the standards of the parent company or the workshop network.
In this article, however, we want to make a general overview of all the advice that should be applied, in order to find the best business partner as a supplier.
In the event that the workshop does not belong to an authorized network, a network or even a consortium, here are the rules that should always be applied during the supplier selection phase.
The first aspect is order management: simple and immediate. No workshop has time to waste, precisely because it must be focused on optimizing times and costs.
If we are therefore to look for a spare part, we must not have a complexity of the search and also of ordering. The supplier must be able to interface with the workshop in a simpler and easier way.
Many suppliers could have a website, within which they have a management system to directly request the spare part. Others may have an efficient switchboard service, which responds immediately and sends the spare part right away.
In any case, the ultimate goal is simple and fast management of the search phase for a piece.
The second aspect is clearly the speed of delivery. We cannot order a part today and receive it in ten days, as the customer may go to another workshop. Delivery speed must also be at the top of the priority scale.
The faster the spare part arrives, the faster and more timely we are able to intervene. Consequently, the customer will be pleasantly satisfied with our intervention and the ability to find spare parts. The second consequence is that this customer will come back to us. Customer loyalty is a priority and fundamental aspect for all workshops.
The third aspect is the vastness of the catalogue, also combined with the availability of the articles. If a certain supplier has a huge catalog, but many parts are not available, as the supplier in turn struggles to find them, we probably need to think about whether to enter into an agreement with this supplier.
We are in a period where there is difficulty in finding spare parts and the Automotive market is suffering from a whole series of supply problems. However, this absolutely must not be an aspect that affects our productivity, or at least we must try to limit it.
If a certain supplier does not have an gearbox for a Fiat Panda, it does not mean that that part is not available anywhere on the market. Probably another supplier has this mechanical part in stock: simply try to make agreements with suppliers who normally have high availability of items, to be as serene as possible.
The last two aspects we want to highlight are the discounts and the facilitated payment method.
When we talk about discounts, we are talking about a large percentage of the price that is discounted, even in the face of important purchases. If anything, we can buy a large number of spare parts and keep them in stock, as our workshop has a good number of customers. Instead of buying 4 disc brakes for a Volkswagen Golf every day, we can probably buy 20 or 30 if a person comes every week and asks to change the discs on the Golf.
In this way, our margins increase and consequently also our profitability.
Lastly, we have the payment methods that need to be facilitated. The advice is to have a chat with the suppliers, in order to have a clear and transparent management of payments, which must clearly be facilitated for both.
It could be a payment by bank transfer at the end of the month, or there may also be other agreements such as payment via PayPal and so on.
In this case, each single workshop can have its say towards the supplier and try to obtain the maximum favorable economic condition.
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