Six Tips to Get Your Auto Parts Inventory in a Better Order
It can feel as though nobody notices if you do a great job managing your company’s auto parts inventory.
It is possible to reduce the stress of looking for parts, waiting for them to arrive, and trying to track the current process. This can have a significant impact on your business’s customer service, employee morale and revenue.
Even though there will be some adjustment, the benefits of taking the time to create the best inventory management system possible can be huge.
Here are six things to keep in mind when you redesign your inventory management strategy to increase your bottom line.
Each part of your inventory may not be as important to your business. You can organize your inventory by priority to make inventory decisions such as reorder points or quantities.
Oil and filters that are used every day should be kept in stock. They can also be ordered frequently to ensure they don’t run out. Some parts, such as brakes, gaskets and bearings that are required for maintenance, but not as often, will have lower stocks. There are also special-order parts that should be ordered only when the job is finished. These are large or expensive parts that take up capital and space. This includes parts that can only be used in certain situations or with specific vehicle models. Consider delivery times, the likelihood of parts being returned, and whether or not it is in danger of becoming obsolete.
This may seem obvious, but the more information you have about your inventory, the easier it is to work with smaller quantities.
- It can sometimes be difficult to determine how much stock you should keep for a specific SKU. Even if you prioritize parts.
- This is due to seasonality and constant introductions of new vehicles.
Good news is that inventory data can be accessed to help you forecast. The more accurate your inventory records, the better. This will prevent over-ordering, reduce obsolescence risk and optimize manufacturer return programs.
Although it may seem simpler to just let anyone grab the parts that they need, it will lead to more problems in the long-term. This means that you will spend more time trying to fix the problems.
Only parts counter employees should have access and be allowed pull and replace parts. The employees who work in parts are properly trained and held accountable. While this may create conflict between teams at first, it will ultimately make everyone’s jobs easier.
Fill In Details
Most inventory management software has many fields for each part. You will need to know the SKUs, barcode data and supplier information. Cost, cost, reorder points, etc. It can be tempting to not fill out all the information, but it will save you time and help you track your products.
Count, Count and Count!
Many parts departments in automotive only have one annual inventory count. It can be stressful to think about doing more. Counting more often can reduce inventory losses and help identify problem areas.
Rotating inventory counts by section is a good option if you don’t have enough time or resources. You can also focus on SKUs with losses that are often problematic.
Sometimes, we become so familiar with our suppliers that delays or other problems become routine. It is important to audit your suppliers internally and find out if they are consistently late or putting parts on backorder.
You should look for a new supplier if you notice patterns that disrupt your productivity or inventory management.
- It is a good idea to have written procedures for each responsibility. This will ensure that everyone in your team follows the same process.
- The parts department’s efficiency can be affected by small discrepancies in the way stock is received, pulled, and returned. It is worth taking the time to update and type procedures. Follow up to ensure everyone is using them.
- Not the least, be open to suggestions for improvements that could improve your processes. These jobs are performed every day by your staff, so they may have valuable insights on how to improve the process.