When it comes to automotive vehicles, there are a lot of working parts to think about that make the whole into something you can use. Each of these parts is complex in its own way, which means they can function, or not function, and affect the vehicles as a whole.
With this in mind, it makes sense that if your business works in auto parts and auto part management, that you know how to stay organized when a customer needs a certain part for their ailing vehicle. With so many parts to keep track of in the common car, truck or other autos, it is imperative that you have a functioning auto parts management system in place. This will ensure that your customers always get what they need when they visit your store as well as that you provide the right parts a vehicle needs when it needs them.
Having an auto parts management system is just the beginning: parts organization is what will make the whole operation run smoothly and efficiently for you and your customers.
7 Best Practices to Keep Your Auto Parts Management System Organized
Auto parts inventory management likely feels daunting because of all the parts you have to think about at one time. Every little part counts because, without just one, the whole vehicle may not work. What’s more, managing auto parts inventory well can become a little costly if you’re doing it well (meaning, keeping track of every last thing), which can cause stress and make quite a bit of room for error.
In fact, when auto parts are poorly managed, it can lead to some serious problems with your management system altogether. These include:
- You not knowing what’s in stock at any given time
- Over-ordering or under-ordering parts
- When over-ordering, running the risk of purchasing too many obsolete or unnecessary parts
- Being unable to find certain parts that you know have been counted as part of your inventory
Each of these blunders spells out issues for your business because it makes you inefficient to your customers, either by not having the parts they need, carrying the wrong parts entirely, or being unable to provide them with the parts they need when they need them because said parts cannot be located. All of this is to say that the bottom line is your auto parts management system needs to be as organized as it can possibly be for best results.
How to Organize a Parts Room
The following seven tips will help your auto parts management system get to a place of optimal parts organization:
1) Implement a Barcode System
One way to make inventory management easier, more streamlined, and more organized is to implement a barcode system. Barcoding and scanning take organization and accuracy to a new level because your inventory is digitally kept track of in more ways than one. Automotive parts barcoding systems are always used with inventory management software, which means all the necessary inventory information you need already exists in the easily-accessible cloud. You can keep track of everything about your inventory, which is extra useful when you’re managing many auto parts at once. With barcoding system alongside your management software, your parts department has access to labels with barcodes, assigned numbers, printed labels with part names and barcodes, location and brand specifications, reorder points, low inventory alerts, and inventory reports set to your time limit of choice (weekly, monthly, annually, etc).
2) Utilize the ABC Analysis Method
While all the parts of a car are important, there are some parts that you absolutely cannot have out of your inventory numbers. In other words, you need to identify and then manage your most important assets. The best way to do this is by using the ABC analysis method. It offers an easy and streamlined way to know which pieces should be available at all times. This could mean that these certain auto parts are more popular than others or else more likely to need to be replaced or reordered. So how does the ABC analysis method work? Simple:
- A Parts: These make up 80 percent of all parts used but usually take up 20% or less of inventory stock.
- B Parts These make up about 25 percent of all parts used but take up 30% of inventory stock
- C Parts: These make up about percent of all parts used but take up 50 percent of inventory stock.
When you look at your inventory this way, you can see what is being used often, but what makes up a smaller part of the overall stock (A parts). With this information, you know what needs to be reordered and restocked the most often.
3) Track Pricing Every Day
To keep your management system organized, you always have to keep track of pricing. This ensures that you are never over-spending on a part. If the price you’re seeing from your vendor does not match the average price of the part, you can ask questions and make adjustments so that your money is always being put to good use.
4) Work With Vendors to Snag Great Deals
Working with vendors often helps to keep costs down, so you should implement this practice early on. As you check prices every day like we talk about above, you can measure the usual prices of your parts with what your vendor is offering. This way, you can make sure your auto part prices are consistent for you and your customers. Working with vendors also helps your inventory and stock space because they can deliver parts you need while storing and stocking inventory for later.
5) Housekeeping and More Housekeeping
Good housekeeping simply means that you are on top of your department at all times so that everything is smooth, efficient, and streamlined. When business is run this way, everything moves along more easily for you and your customers. Good housekeeping, then, is just a consistent way to check that everything is working well. Housekeeping can look like keeping your inventory warehouse or stockroom clean, auto parts properly organized, checking weekly or monthly on what parts need to be replenished, and keeping your storage room clean and tidy overall so that everything is easy to find and access. Housekeeping is always easier when you’re using inventory management software because it helps you keep track of things in easy-to-use and understand way.
6) When Organizing Parts, Do So Strategically
There are many auto parts to keep track of, so part of your organizational management relies on your organizing your parts as strategically as possible. This means keeping like parts together (like electrical parts, engine parts, interior parts, etc). You can do this by creating lists and grouping similar parts in certain categories in order to better keep track of them. This also goes for where these parts are stored: perhaps all motor parts are in the back of the warehouse while all electrical parts are in the front. The main idea is that you do not want to have to go searching far and wide for similar parts because of poor organizational skills.
7) Boxes for Large Parts, Bins for Small Ones
This goes well with our sixth tip because it’s all about strategic organization. While we talked mainly about strategically organizing the large parts, you also want to do the same with the smaller parts. With this in mind, you can break the strategic organization down even further. Larger parts like engines, electrical pieces, and the like can be stored in boxes while smaller pieces like screws hose clamps, nuts and bolts, bulbs, wires, and more are stored in plastic bins where they can be seen and identified easily. In short, the big pieces can go in labeled boxes while the smaller pieces and materials are stored with a bit more detail.
As you can see, your auto parts management system can always be improved to become more organized. When it comes to auto parts, organization is your best friend. When done well, your business runs smoother, your customers are happier, and business management is a breeze.