Are Your Parts In the Right Hands?

First of a two-part series on determining if you have the right parts manager in your dealership.

Would you trust a stranger with $250,00 of your money to invest however they wanted?


This is essentially the type of power a parts manager has.

In his book, “Good to Great”, Jim Collins talks about the importance of having the “right person on the bus.”

If you don’t have the right person, you have too much at stake to risk to unqualified hands.

Qualities of a Good Parts Manager:

  1. Understands parts department’s impact on operations. A team mentality is essential to a profitable dealership – “silo managers” are not acceptable.
  2. Above-average organizational skills to keep all parts department details in an organized state at all times.
  3. Embraces technology and uses the business management system to its fullest.  As systems grow and evolve, dedication to keeping up is a must.
  4. Mechanical aptitude and product knowledge aid in anticipating customer’s needs and up-selling.
  5. Trustworthiness.  With potentially hundreds of thousands at stake, this is obvious.
  6. Ability to deal with both “internal” and “external” customers.  Recognizing the shop as the “biggest customer” and dealing with irate customers is invaluable. 
  7. Ability to lead and manage.  Helps employees develop their talents while still accomplishing department goals as a team.

A good parts manager builds on these strengths and strives for improvement.  An awareness of the qualities that comprise the “MODEL” manager is key to developing into one!