Improving Transaction Time in your Parts Department

In parts, it’s important to minimize the amount of time it takes to help a customer.  Nobody wants to wait in line for 30 minutes or more!  Did you know that in the average dealership, the Parts Transaction time is 7 minutes?  How does that translate to real time?  If you have 4 people in line, that means the last person will wait about 28-30 minutes to get their part.  Now, if you could reduce the transaction time to 4 minutes per transaction, you would shorten the last person’s wait to around 15 minutes.  Which do you think your customer would prefer, a 30 minute wait in line or a 15 minute wait?  The answer is obvious – a shorter wait always wins!  The parts transaction time is a neglected yet critical element that needs to be measured and managed. Keep in mind that transaction time is the average amount of time it takes from when a customer arrives at our parts counter until they leave the parts counter- either with the part they need or an answer to their problem making them satisfied with the solution.  You should strive for a transaction time of around 4 minutes.  While that can be tough to do in the beginning, it’s a target that, once achieved, will have a huge impact of both your customers and your dealership. I challenge you as a manager to determine your current transaction time and work to improve it using the staff you currently have.

Once you have done that, invest a little time to clean up and organize your counter area.  This is a good start to reducing the transaction time in your parts department AND providing better customer service.

1) Walls

Do you have walls behind your parts counter that could be used differently? Often, the walls directly behind the parts counter are loaded with items that are not fast selling.  Move those to a different place and load the wall with fast moving parts – this will save you steps and time!

2) Underneath the counter

If someone looked under your parts counter, would they find these shelves packed with parts manuals that are important, but not used on a daily basis along with junk that somebody left or just put under the counter to get out of the way?  Clean out those manuals and all the extra accumulation of clutter and use that space for fast moving parts.

3) Counter Top

Finally, clean off the top of the counter.  It is easy for things to pile up there, but you and your customers need that space to do business.  Plus, it can be a great place to highlight a commonly purchased product that you have competitive pricing on.  Get the top of your counter cleaned, organized and looking good.

Remember, anything you can do that reduces the amount of time it takes to move a customer from the parts counter back out the door is a bonus for both our dealership and more importantly our customers.

It’s time to take your parts department to the next level!