Generally speaking, missed sales opportunities are a result of not fulfilling the demand of a parts request, whether it is from the customer directly or for a specific job.
A lost sale, however, doesn’t just mean that you haven’t sold the part, it means that you have diminished your customers confidence in you. While customers are willing to forgive a lack of supply, repeated instances may see them move to a competitor.
The reality is that sometimes you just don’t have the part. Maybe you can’t find the part on site even though there is some in the system or you are waiting for stock. Perhaps you don’t carry the line. Maybe you have ordered the part but low supply has resulted in a back order.
In other situations you may have the part in stock but product price or poor customer service has your customer looking elsewhere.
Whatever the reason, finding ways to reduce the number of lost sales is critical to your parts department success, and the success of your company as a whole.
Here are four ways to help reduce lost sales:
1. Record Your Lost Sales
As we mentioned above, there are a number of reasons that a company can lose a sale. That is why, whenever you have a lost sale, it is important that you log it in your system and include details about why the sale was lost.
This will give you the opportunity to better understand lost sales as they apply to your dealership, and it will allow you to focus your attention on key areas to increase revenues and customer satisfaction.
2. Organize Your Parts
There is nothing worse than losing a sale because a part you were supposed to have in stock is no longer there or has been misplaced. Taking the time to conduct a physical inventory count to ensure your records are accurate and organizing your parts, so they are easy to access and navigate, is critical to minimizing lost sales.
3. Improve Your Forecasts
For many parts departments, the most common reason for lost sales is a lack of inventory when the customer ordered the part.
Understanding how your parts sell is critical to resolving this problem. To get to know your inventory better, use historical trends to determine how many of each part should be in stock and when parts should be reordered.
Once you have gathered this information, ensure your system is set up to alert you when an order needs to be placed so that you always have the necessary parts in stock.
4. Have Back Up Suppliers
Loyalty in the automotive industry is often rewarded, but it’s important not to leave all your eggs in one basket.
The fact is, sometimes a supplier cannot get the parts you need when you need them. In these situations, it is important to have back up vendors who can supply you with what you need before you lose a sale.
Be sure to research additional suppliers for fast moving parts to ensure you have access to them.
For more information on minimizing your lost sales, or to have one of our consultants come in and help organize to optimize your parts department, contact us today.