What comes with a car Tune Up?
It’s tempting to maintain a classic just the way it is. People work pretty hard at keeping classics in great condition, tracking down original parts so that they look just as they did 20, 30, 50 years ago and more. The idea of updating a classic to conform to modern expectations never crosses their mind – they want to capture the look and feel of bygone era, when things seemed so much simpler.
Nostalgia has some serious pull when it comes to classic cars, but it’s not something you necessarily want to invoke with an auto parts retailer or the supply chain that feeds it. The rest of the retail world is updating their methods to keep up with the pace of modern business, but auto supply stores are slower on the uptake. Here are three ways to tune up the auto parts store with effective supply chain management:
1. Keep an eye out for new trends (with the help of suppliers)
When it comes to the auto parts business, just like every other retailer, there are stock products that are a standard in every store. For example, windshield wiper blades, brake disc pads, motor oil, and so on, are always kept in stock, and are regularly replenished.
While some of parts have been stocked for years, smart retailers are watching car buying and maintenance trends knowing they need to provide items for the up-and-coming cars and new models. We’ve been working with a leading auto parts retailer, who uses the SPS Commerce Analytics solution to partner with suppliers to help identify sales trends, potential stock-outs and new opportunities by jointly analyzing their point of sale (POS) data.
That’s because they understand the value in having suppliers of regular stock products understand what’s being sold, where and when. By looking at POS data, the retailer (and its suppliers) can see if parts are selling as forecasted, if they’re about to sell out of a certain part, or even if they’re not selling any of a particular part (which may alert them to other problems in the store or e-commerce website).
This collaboration is an added advantage for any auto supply retailer because it helps them determine what’s moving, what’s not, and can help them avoid running out of – or buying too much – inventory.
2. Have inventory visibility across all vintages
I’ve also learned that people are holding onto their cars longer, because they don’t want another car payment and they want to save money. So more individuals are electing to fix their cars up instead. This means auto parts retailers need inventory visibility to an expanding number of items across their supply chain, including inventory at other stores, the retailer’s distribution center and even from their suppliers.
When a retailer uses an inventory management system like ours, they can see where the exact part the consumer needs is located and chose the best delivery option for the customer which could be placing a drop ship order with a supplier, shipping the item from another store or providing a next day in-store pickup option.
3. Streamline shipping and special orders
Finally, auto parts retailers can reduce, and almost eliminate, the number of special orders in their supply chain. All items are accessed via a central system, eliminating the ‘special’ aspect of the order. Instead all items are ordered and fulfilled using the same process. This can save time and money on shipping and special handling, as well as centralizes invoicing.
These are just a few of the benefits of modern and effective supply chain management. Implementing the right solutions to improve efficiency can increase customer satisfaction and profitability. With better trading partner collaboration, visibility and streamlining of the supply chain, you can make sure customers are able to get what they need from you and not your competition.