You are on page 1of 79

PARTS EXCELLENCE

FACILITIES
DEVELOPMENT

General Motors Dealer Development Systems

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Reference Library

This reference library is to be used in conjunction with and is complementary to


the Service and Parts Excellence Standards Manual. Essentially this library is a
collection of Dealership management and operating ideas gathered world-wide.
If, after reviewing a specific standard you have areas in your Dealership
organisation that fall into the needs improvement category, then there will be
ideas in this library that may help you solve your problems.
While the reference libraries contain hundreds of good ideas, it should never be
assumed that the ideas and examples presented are the only or desired means of
solving your problem. You may have some better ideas to achieve a desired
operating standard. This reference library provides How to make it happen
guidance.
The contents of this reference library contain the Parts Excellence area of:

FACILITIES DEVELOPMENT

2001 General Motors Automotive Limited


This publication is copyright. Other than for the purposes and subject to the
conditions prescribed under the Copyright Act no part of it may be
reproduced by any means without prior written permission. Enquiries should
be addressed to General Motors Automotive Limited.

General Motors Dealer Development Systems

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Preface

PARTS EXCELLENCE
- A LONG-TERM APPROACH TO TOTAL
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
Parts Excellence, a Dealer development system, is designed to organise your Parts
Department into seven functional areas that are discussed as separate Parts
Excellence modules. The seven modules of Parts Excellence are:
Dealer Development
Parts and Document Flow
Inventory Analysis
Purchase Planning
Personnel Development
Facilities Development
Market Development
Each module includes:
A 4-page Certification Report
Evaluators
A Dealer Action Guide (the main text)
Dealer Decision Grids

THE CERTIFICATION REPORT


The Certification Report is the way a Dealerships progress on the Module can be
reviewed. The Report is also the way a Dealership is certified as meeting the
required performance level for a Module.
The Certification Report includes:
(page 1) Dealer name and address, review and/or certification status,
plant representative and Dealer representative. A copy of the completed
document - whether for review or certification - must be forwarded to local
management as well as Detroit management. This information can also
assist in communicating those areas requiring additional focus in order to
achieve total customer satisfaction
(page 2) A summary of Evaluators, in graph form, by each standard area
of performance on which a Dealership will be measured. The document, if
kept up to date, can provide a quick and accurate summary of where the
Dealership is positioned, at any time, with regard to certification
(pages 3 and 4) The means for reviewing Dealership performance in the
standard areas to be measured
The principal areas that will be measured are shown under the column
titled Section.

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Preface

Each principal area is comprised of specific standards that must be


maintained by the Dealership. These are indicated under the column
of Qualifiers.
Each specific standard, or qualifier is comprised of the evaluators used
to measure Dealership performance for that specific standard. Since
the evaluators require action by the Dealer, they are listed under the
notation Dealer Action.
Please note that each evaluator is assigned a point value in order to
avoid arbitrary measurement. A Dealer must achieve a minimum of
80% of the Modules total point value in order to achieve
certification.
To make the Certification Review form most useful, several columns
have been included to the right of the point value so that the Review
can be used as a check sheet for determining areas that require
attention.
Certification in a Module requires achieving 80% of the Modules total
possible points (page 4) as well as 80% of each sections possible point
value (page 2).

THE EVALUATORS
A page of Evaluators will be found at the beginning of each section in the
Module. These are duplicated on pages 3 thru 4 of the Certification document
and indicate both the Qualifier and the Dealer Action to be measured.

THE DEALER ACTION GUIDE (Main Text)


The Dealer Action Guide serves as reference for developing Dealer action plans
that fulfil the measurement criteria of each Module. The ideas, approaches and
techniques provided in the Guide are suggestions to help augment your
thinking regarding improvements to be made.
Carefully read the Qualifiers and Dealer Actions (evaluators) as well as the text
information in the Guide to clearly understand the intent of the standard areas.

ii

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Preface

You can then decide if it feasible and practical to use the suggestions in the
Dealer Action Guide to bring your Dealership up to Parts Excellence standards.
You should find that many of the Guides suggestions offer practical application
in your Dealership. If you choose an alternate approach for improving the
situation it must be approved and documented by the Parts Excellence
representative.
Do not think you have to limit your use of this Module to the Evaluators
marked Qualify By or Will Not Qualify. There is always room for
improvement even in the best organisation. Review how you now run your parts
operation and compare it to the way the material in the Module relates to these
methods. You may find some new suggestions or you may be able to modify
some of the suggestions to improve your already successful business.

DEALER DECISION GRIDS


In addition to general text material, there are also Decision Grids which provide
specific suggestions to help organise and enhance a Dealerships approach to
solving problems and making changes.

APPROACH
It is suggested that you approach the materials in all Modules in an orderly
manner which consists of:
1
READ
Module
Contents
Justification

2
REVIEW
Forms
Operating
Assessment

3
ANALYSE
Evaluators
Standards
Potential

4
CHOOSE
Alternatives
Grid
Decide

5
IMPLEMENT
Suggestions
Specifics
Monitor
Outcome

This module has been developed by Mike Nicholas, Inc., Gresham, Oregon, in
co-operation with Asian Parts & Accessories Operations, GMC.
R. J. Kager
L. J. Sorchevich
Detroit

iii

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Module Six - Table of Contents


TITLE

PAGE

Preface
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations

i-iii
iv
v

CERTIFICATION

Dealer Certification Review - Module No.6

1-4

INTRODUCTION

Facilities Development
System Overview

5
5

PHYSICAL LAYOUT

Evaluators
Analyse Resources
Relative Location - Dealership
Relative Location - Customers
Relative Location - Internal
Decision Grid

7
9
17
18
19
20

PARTS STORAGE

Evaluators
Storage Planning
Storage Equipment
Storage Areas
Specialised Bins
Supplies
Parts Organisation
Expansion
Decision Grid

21
23
29
35
37
38
39
41
44

CUSTOMER AREAS

Evaluators
Signage
Displays
Counter Design & Location
Decision Grid

45
47
51
58
61

SAFETY & SECURITY

Evaluators
Safety
Security
Decision Grid

63
65
69
72

APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B

iv

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Module Six - List of Illustrations


PAGE
Systems Overview
Parts Facilities Guides Planning Potential
Parts Facilities Guides Inventory Value
Basic Floor Plan
Detailed Floor Plan
Space Allocation Guides
Parts Department Relative Location
Sample Manual Planograph
Modular Drawer Cabinet
Aisle Saver
Parts Carousels
Service Department Monorail
Double Decking Requirements
Potential Area for Expansion
Free Standing Deck
Retail Area Planograph
Counter Dimensions
Space Recommendations
Maintenance and Safety Schedule

6
10
11
12
13
16
17
27
31
32
33
34
41
42
43
55
60
60
68

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK

vi

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Introduction - Facilities Development

PURPOSE
The purpose of this Module is to establish:
An understanding of the basic concepts that pertain to Facilities
Development
Methods for fully utilising the resources of space and equipment in a Parts
Department
The relationships between Facilities Development and sales, profit and
Customer Satisfaction

REALISTIC BENEFITS
Properly administering Facilities Development will result in:

Increased operational efficiency


Reduced parts handling time
A safer, more secure, Parts Department
Properly stored parts
Regular maintenance of equipment
Improved sales
Improved profit
Improved Customer Satisfaction

FACILITIES DEVELOPMENT IS VITAL


Space is a limited and expensive resource. Most Dealerships do not have the
luxury of being able to expand their Parts Department. Because of this, the
Dealership must take full advantage of the space available in the Parts
Department.
Proper management of the facility leads to improved operating efficiency. If less
time is spent receiving, stocking, maintaining and retrieving parts, then greater
profits can be realised through reduced personnel expense. Less time retrieving
parts also leads to greater Customer Satisfaction.

SYSTEM OVERVIEW
An overview of the Facilities Development System is shown on the next page. In
order to present a logical review of the materials, the System will be discussed in
the four major sections:
Physical layout
Parts Storage

Customer Areas
Safety & Security

Each of these areas has an impact on sales, profit and Customer Satisfaction. The
diagram on the following page points out the relationships.

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Introduction - System Overview

PHYSICAL
LAYOUT

PARTS
STORAGE

OPERATING EFFICIENCY

SAFETY &
SECURITY
CUSTOMER
SATISFACTION

SALES

CUSTOMER
AREAS

PROFIT

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Physical Layout - Evaluators

QUALIFIER

DEALER ACTION

ANALYSE
RESOURCES

Parts Department space resources


are analysed to determine if they
are most effectively utilised
Facilities Guides
Floor Plan

10
15

RELATIVE
LOCATION
DEALERSHIP

Parts Department to be easily


accessible to all other departments,
especially Service and Body Shops

20

RELATIVE
LOCATION
CUSTOMERS

Parts Department to be organised in


a manner that is convenient and logical
for customers
Retail and Wholesale Counter
Cashier

15
10

Parts Department to be organised in a


manner which maximises work-flow
efficiency
Technician
Shipping and Receiving
Parts Managers Office

10
10
10

RELATIVE
LOCATION
INTERNAL

Assessment Score (100 points possible)


Certification requires a score of 80 or above

VALUE

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Physical Layout - Introduction

INTRODUCTION
In this section methods for optimising floor space will be addressed. In some
Dealerships, the Parts Department accounts for up to thirty-three per cent of the
total Dealership building space. Efficient use of that space is critical.
In most Dealerships, personnel expense accounts for the greatest portion of total
Parts Department expenses. Proper layout of the facility maximises not only
space but the efficiency of personnel as well.
Every Parts Department should show evidence of planning. Efficient layouts do
not just happen, they are planned. Plans should take into account current and
future needs of the Parts Department.

PURPOSE
There are two objectives to the layout of the Department:
1. To get parts from inventory to a customer (SALES)
2. To do it at minimum cost (OPERATING EFFICIENCY)
The layout of the Parts Department is the key element in obtaining the least cost
of handling parts. There are a number of good reasons for improving the
effectiveness of layout planning. Space is becoming more expensive with higher
building materials, labour and land costs. Also, when a layout is changed or an
expansion has to be made, we need to minimise the effect of the change on the
parts operations.
The strongest reason to obtain the best possible layout is that most of the
handling operations that are performed in the Department are repeated daily all
year long. If the shortest and most direct method of handling is not practised,
each increment of wasted time by people quickly reduces the total effectiveness
and profit of the Parts Department. Ineffective planning of Department layout
can build a space penalty which may take years to overcome.

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Physical Layout - Analyse Resources

FACILITIES GUIDES
Facilities Guides are used to aid the Dealership in determining the appropriate
amount of space to devote to the Parts Department. They are used to assist the
Parts Manager in determining the adequacy of existing facilities and estimating
what is needed for projected growth.
Total Parts Department square footage (metres) recommendations are based on:
1. Planning Potential
2. Inventory Value

PLANNING POTENTIAL
Planning Potential is a reasonable expectation of annual new car or truck unit
sales level for a Dealership. It is particularly helpful to use Planning Potential as
a basis for total Parts Department floor space when a major expansion or new
facility is being considered.
Planning Potential guidelines have been included for reference purposes only
and should not be the principal factor in estimating floor space requirements for
an existing Parts Department. The guides cannot replace individual experience
and familiarity with local market conditions. Each Dealership must analyse its
own current parts business and set goals for future sales levels.

INVENTORY VALUE
Facilities Guides based on Inventory Value are also available. As it is used here,
Inventory Value refers to the dollar value of on-hand parts and accessories at the
most recent factory price. The guidelines were developed based on the following
assumptions:

No obsolete parts
Balanced inventory of normally stocked parts
3 to 4 turns per year
Maximum of 10% inactive parts
30% wholesale business

The following pages provide Facilities Guides based on both Planning Potential
and Inventory Value.

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Physical Layout - Analyse Resources

PARTS FACILITIES GUIDES


Based on Planning Potential
Planning
Potential

Cars and Lt.


Duty Trucks
Sq. Feet

Cars and Lt.


Duty Trucks
Sq. Metres

50
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
1,000
1,100
1,200
1,300
1,400
1,500
1,600
1,700
1,800
1,900
2,000
2,100
2,200
2,300
2,400
2,500
2,600
2,700
2,800
2,900
3,000

1,200
1,600
2,000
2,800
3,800
5,000
5,800
6,600
7,400
8,200
9,000
9,300
9,600
9,900
10,200
10,500
10,800
11,100
11,400
11,700
12,000
12,500
13,000
13,500
14,000
15,500
16,000
16,500
17,000
17,500
18,000

112
149
186
260
353
465
540
614
688
763
837
865
893
921
949
977
1,005
1,033
1,060
1,088
1,116
1,163
1,209
1,256
1,302
1,442
1,488
1,535
1,581
1,628
1,674

3,000
and Over

Add 500 sq. ft. Add 50m2


Per 100 P.P. Per 100 P.P.

10

Full-Line
Heavy Duty
Trucks
Sq. Feet

Full-Line
Heavy Duty
Trucks
Sq. Metres

1,700
2,000
2,500
2,900
3,800
5,000
5,800
6,600
7,400
8,200
9,000

158
186
233
270
353
465
540
614
688
763
837

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Physical Layout - Analyse Resources

PARTS FACILITIES GUIDES


Based on Inventory Value
Inventory
Value $

Total
Sq. Feet
Required*

Total
Sq. Metres
Required*

Total
Sq. Feet
Required**

Total
Sq. Metres
Required**

25,000
50,000
75,000
100,000
125,000
150,000
175,000
200,000
225,000
250,000
275,000
300,000
325,000
350,000
375,000
400,000
425,000
450,000
475,000
500,000

1,790
3,000
4,040
5,040
6,010
7,020
7,970
8,890
9,700
10,550
11,300
12,030
12,830
13,520
14,270
14,980
15,680
16,300
16,900
17,500

167
279
376
469
559
653
741
835
902
981
1,051
1,119
1,194
1,258
1,327
1,394
1,459
1,516
1,572
1,628

895
1,500
2,020
2,520
3,005
3,510
3,985
4,490
4,850
5,275
5,650
6,015
6,415
6,760
7,135
7,490
7,840
8,150
8,450
8,750

84
140
188
235
280
327
371
418
451
491
526
560
597
629
664
697
729
758
786
814

* Using Standard Bins


** Using High Density Bins

11

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Physical Layout - Analyse Resources

FLOOR PLAN
Regardless of size, most Dealership Parts Departments have a similar set of
functional requirementsbasic, common business needs that must be supported
by the appropriate facilities. Limitations are imposed on any Parts Department
by the physical size of the Dealership and the available floor space. Further
limitations are introduced by building design and construction. The Parts
Manager must make the best possible use of that floor space to meet or exceed
Departmental objectives.
A Floor Plan is an architects rendering of the fixed construction features of the
building. The basic floor plan is normally an overhead view, looking straight
down at the floor space, drawn to scale and showing the exact location of walls,
doorways, windows, pillars and other non-moveable building elements. The
Floor Plan of a typical Parts Department is shown below.

BASIC PARTS DEPARTMENT FLOOR PLAN


Body Shop

Parts Department

Order
Dept.

Inventory
Mgmt
Office

Parts
Mgrs.
Office

Retail &
Wholesale
Counter

Cashier

Other construction drawings show the location and capacity of electrical wiring,
fixtures and outlets, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning elements. All of this
information can be important in planning the cost-effective use of existing floor
space, particularly where only rearrangement and a minimum in alterations are
desired.

12

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Physical Layout - Analyse Resources

If the primary planning tool, a basic Floor Plan, is not available, one can be
developed. All that is needed is a tape measure, a sketch pad and the time to
measure and record dimensions and locations, transferring the data into Floor
Plan format on graph paper to maintain the scale relationships. In any case, the
Floor Plan should be a reference drawing, altered only when changes are made
to the fixed construction.
Arrangement of storage equipment should be planned by using a layout
drawing. A layout is a working drawing, a tracing or reproduced copy of the
Floor Plan.
A layout of the Parts Department should be used to plan, in advance,
rearrangement of functional elements such as bin and rack locations, aisleways,
shipping and receiving areas, counter service space and so on. A detailed layout
indicates the placement of storage equipment within the Floor Plan.

DETAILED PARTS DEPARTMENT LAYOUT

13

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Physical Layout - Analyse Resources

OVERALL FLOOR PLAN


Scaled to size cutouts of bin units, desks, chairs and almost every other moveable
item of equipment can be prepared. Moving these cutouts around on the layout
drawing, to arrive at the best arrangement for space utilisation is the most
practical way to plan for optimum function and usage. There are also computer
software programs available that can be used to develop Floor Plan layouts.
Obviously, the planned allocation in any particular Dealership should be
determined by actual and projected needs. Comparisons are helpful, however, in
evaluating how other successful Dealerships parts operations are handling the
same kind of space utilisation challenges.
The following is not a complete list in evaluating a Floor Plan; however, here are
some items to be considered:
Parts Managers office should be located so as to afford maximum
visibility of Department
The inventory control system should be located near the Parts Managers
office when practical
A separate area should be used by telephone order interpreters for
incoming wholesale parts orders, whenever practical, to avoid confusion
at counter
Complete physical security
The Cashier should be located near the retail counter
Shipping and receiving areas should provide easy access to public streets
and adequate area for vehicle manoeuvring
Large body panels should be stored in a location convenient to the
shipping area and as near the Body Shop as is practical
Elevators, winches, forklift trucks or conveyors should be employed as
practical
Department should be inaccessible to anyone other than Parts
Department employees

14

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Physical Layout - Analyse Resources

TO IMPROVE AVAILABILITY OF FLOOR


SPACE
If the Dealership does not currently have adequate area to meet the needs of the
Parts Department:
Make sure all existing obsolete and excess parts are removed from
Inventory. Re-evaluate your need for additional area
Buy, rent or lease additional area
Measure the area currently used for bulky parts storage-fenders,
mufflers, etc.
Determine if this area might be used more profitably for storing faster
moving, smaller parts
If a favourable decision is reached, consider using nearby suitable
buildings or an area within a building for storing bulky parts
Consider double-decking the existing area. Adequate height must be
available to permit building a mezzanine and adhering to local building
and safety codes
Use a trailer for obsolete parts

TOTAL AREA
The Floor Plan of the Parts Department must be efficiently laid out. An efficient
Floor Plan can have a significant effect on how quickly parts are located, picked
and re-stocked. Also, it will reduce both customer and technician waiting time.
The Parts Department requires approximately twenty to thirty-three per cent of
the total Dealerships building area depending on the planning potential.
Efficiency in the Parts Department begins with its relationship to the Service
Department. A central location that allows fast distribution to service
technicians in the customer service area and the Body Shop is the best.
The configuration of the service area will influence the amount of efficiency and
control that is possible. For instance, a long drive-through in the Service
Department with the Parts Department at one end tends to reduce parts
distribution efficiency in proportion to its length. This is important to keep in
mind when planning for eventual expansion of the service area. The question
should always be: How will the service area expansion affect parts distribution?

15

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Physical Layout - Analyse Resources

SPACE ALLOCATION
As a rule of thumb, the total floor space allocated to the parts operation is
distributed in the following proportions:

PARTS DEPARTMENT
SPACE ALLOCATION GUIDES

AREA

% of Total
Parts Space

Regular Parts Bins


Bulky Parts
Other Bins and Racks
Shipping and Receiving
Counter
Supplies
Office
TOTAL

25
25
25
10
6
5
4
100

All percentages include aisles

New storage concepts such as Modular Drawing Cabinets, Aisle Savers and
Carousels will be discussed in the parts storage section of this Module. These
modern storage units allow a Dealership to store more parts in much less space.

16

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Physical Layout
- Relative Location, Dealership
RELATIVE LOCATION - OTHER
DEPARTMENTS
The Parts Department must be located to provide convenient access to the
Service and Body Shops, whiles also allowing easy access for wholesale and retail
walk-in customers. Oversights in the planning stage can create a significant
amount of additional operating expense through inefficiency.
The primary Parts Department customers are the Dealerships own Service and
Body Shops. They require replacement parts, materials and accessories to service
and maintain customers vehicles. Adequate servicing of vehicles is a major
concern to the Dealership. The location of the Parts Department, relative to the
Service and Body Shops, is an important factor for efficient operations.
The arrangement shown below replaces the Parts Department in an
advantageous location. This location permits more efficient service and parts
distribution for internal sales as well as for wholesale and retail customers.

PARTS DEPARTMENT RELATIVE


LOCATION
Body Shop

Parts Dept.

Quick Service

Service Dept.

17

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Physical Layout
- Relative Location, Customers
Within the Parts Department there are three areas which external customers
must approach:
Retail Counter
Wholesale Counter
Cashier
The customers perceptions of ease of doing business with the Dealership are
affected by these areas.

RETAIL AND WHOLESALE COUNTER


If the Retail and Wholesale Counter (often the same counter) area is so small
that it creates customer traffic problems and it cannot be expanded, relieve
some of the pressure by making the waiting area comfortable and pleasant. Use
a numbered tag system to determine who is to be waited on next. If space
permits, install food and beverage vending machines to increase customer
comfort and Dealership revenues.
Consider moving microfiche readers and catalogues to a separate parts
administration area to provide additional counter space.
Use imagination to discover ways to display parts and accessories without using
valuable counter space. The key to successfully planning this area is to keep it
convenient and functional for both the Dealership and its customers.

CASHIER
The Cashier area should be located near the:
Retail and Wholesale Counter
General Office
Repair Order Rack

Correct location of the Cashier makes it convenient for customers to pay for
parts and accessories and also prevents them from leaving without paying.
By locating the Cashier near the general office it is easier to review customers
accounts. Past due receivables and customer credit limits become readily
accessible.
Locating the Cashier near the repair order rack speeds up paper flow. When a
repair order is closed and the hard copy is turned in, it can be handed
immediately to the Cashier for labour posting and parts pricing.

18

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Physical Layout
- Relative Location, Internal
The location of three main areas within the Parts Department have a
significant impact on operating efficiency. They are:
Technicians Counter
Shipping and Receiving Area
Parts Managers Office

TECHNICIANS COUNTER
If possible, separate technician and customer traffic. A counter for each allows
both to be serviced without having problems arise from the different nature of
each customers transaction.
Keep the Technician and Retail/Wholesale Counters close enough to one
another to allow one counterperson to service both of them.
As much as possible, store fast-moving parts and supplies near the Technicians
Counter to save time for both the counterperson and technician.

SHIPPING AND RECEIVING


Although the Shipping and Receiving area is part of the inventory storage space,
it should be clearly separated. Ideally, Shipping and Receiving functions should
be separated from each other and identified with signs to avoid confusion. If this
is not possible, separate doors for this area may provide enough separation. Or,
at a minimum, different coloured stripes on the floor can be used to designate
the appropriate area for each function.
The Shipping and Receiving area should be close to the outside receiving door.
This promotes quicker unloading and loading, better security against
wandering delivery people, and better control for checking in deliveries. The
receiving clerk should have a desk and workspace for shipping information
books, packing slips and other paperwork.

PARTS MANAGERS OFFICE


The location of the Parts Managers Office should provide adequate visibility of
the Parts Department while working on administrative activities.
If possible, the office should be designed for privacy (when needed), for
planning, for working on sensitive financial information, for paperwork and for
employee counselling.
If the Department is short of space, consider placing the inventory control
system in the Parts Managers Office. This critical, time consuming function
should be isolated from the rest of the Department so it can receive the
concentration it requires.

19

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Physical Layout - Decision Grid

RESPONSIBILITIES
EXPECTATION

RESPONSE

PHYSICAL LAYOUT

Department is organised to facilitate


sales

PURPOSE

Department is organised to maximise


operating efficiency

APPROPRIATE
AMOUNT OF
SPACE, BINS AND
RACKS AVAILABLE

Adequate total space based on


inventory value
Adequate total space based on planning
potential
Sufficient number of regular bins
Sufficient number of bulky bins
Sufficient number of other bins and
racks
Suitable shop counter space
Suitable retail and wholesale counter
space
Satisfactory shipping and receiving area
Satisfactory office space area

20

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Parts Storage - Evaluators

QUALIFIER

DEALER ACTION

STORAGE
PLANNING

Parts Department space resources are


planographed to determine if they are
most effectively utilised

STORAGE
EQUIPMENT

STORAGE
AREAS

PARTS
ORGANISATION

EXPANSION

VALUE

Parts Department utilises appropriate


types and adequate number of bins and
racks
Regular Bins
Bulky Bins
Racks
Special areas are designated for the
following types of parts
Special order
Warranty
Return
Cores
Supplies
The Parts Department has
A logical and easy to use bin
locating system
Same quantity and location
in bins as in system
Correct labels on bins
Parts Department is capable of
expanding upward and outward

Assessment Score (100 points possible)


Certification requires a score of 80 or above

21

10
10
12

6
6
6
6
6

12
5
4
10

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Parts Storage - Introduction

INTRODUCTION
Storage space in a Dealerships Parts Department is always at a premium. There
never seems to be enough room. Even in a new facility, empty space fills up
almost overnight.
Methods for storing parts will be covered in this section. In some Parts
Departments, parts storage accounts for up to eighty-five percent of the total
Parts Department area. As space and manpower are so important to the Parts
Department, it is vital to have good organisation and location of parts, proper
storage equipment and room for expansion.
One of the responsibilities of a Parts Manager is planning for effective inventory
storage. This plan should consider not only current parts storage requirements,
but also those needed for the future.

PURPOSE
The objectives of this section on Parts Storage are:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

To plan for storage areas


To utilise proper storage equipment
To have special purpose areas
To locate and retrieve parts accurately and easily
To plan for growth

22

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Parts Storage - Storage Planning

STORAGE PLANNING
Good planning avoids the use of critically needed parts storage areas for other
Dealership needs. These needs often include utilities (e.g. electrical and
telephone terminal areas) and remote service equipment (e.g. air compressors
and bulk fluid storage tanks). These installations frequently end up in the Parts
Department almost as an afterthought in overall Dealership design. The location
of utilities somewhere other than the Parts Department will facilitate future
expansion.
The Parts Departments space resources should be analysed to determine if they
are being utilised most effectively. The Parts Manager should make every effort
to ensure that all available space in the Parts Department is being used as well as
it could. It also implies that consideration for expansion (upward and/or
outward) has been made.

PLANOGRAPHING
Before growing outward and upward, the existing storage areas in a Parts
Department should be utilised in a logical and efficient manner.
A Planograph can be of considerable help before setting up bins in a new facility
or making major alterations in an existing one. A Planograph is simply a drawing
which establishes how parts best fit into existing bin space.
Planographing, computerised or manual, is virtually the only available method
that systematically assures adequate storage space for every part in a specific
inventory. The benefits of Planographing include:
Maximising storage efficiency
Reducing labour expense
Planning for future storage requirements
A Planograph drawing, one for each bin unit, represents a full front view of
where every part will be located in each bin space or opening. Necessary shelf
heights and spaces between dividers (where appropriate) are laid out in advance,
to accommodate the various sizes and quantities of each item to be carried in
stock. Surplus or open space on the shelves, usually designated by an S is
included for future growth and expansion. Ideally, the inventory should include
no obsolete parts and a minimum of inactive parts.

23

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Parts Storage - Storage Planning

To obtain good information for developing a Planograph the Dealership should


have a computerised parts inventory control system. The system should have
been operating for at least one year. It also should be able to generate a piece sales
report (i.e. number of piece sales over the past twelve months by part number).
If any of these conditions are not met the Dealership would be better off not
investing the time and money on a Planograph.
There are three primary methods of organising parts:
By piece movement
By size or weight
By group and part number sequence

Normally, parts are stored by a combination of these three rather than by just
one. The Parts Manager must prioritise them. Historically, group and part
number sequence was of primary importance followed by size/weight and then
piece movement.
Modern facilities are being driven more by efficiency than by group and part
number logic. Given this, the first priority is piece movement followed by
size/weight then group and part number sequence. Fast moving parts are close to
the front and slow movers are toward the rear. Bulky parts have special storage
areas. Parts that are not fast, slow or bulky are then organised by group and part
number.
These three criteria must apply whether the Parts Manager chooses manual or
computerised Planographing.

24

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Parts Storage - Storage Planning

COMPUTERISED PLANOGRAPHING
Computerised Planographing is a recent innovation that provides parts storage
suggestions in very little time. Creating a computer generated Planograph is the
quickest and easiest way to plan the storage space required for a Dealerships
inventory.
Many bin companies provide Planographing services. There are also companies
that specialise in creating Planographs for dealers.
The physical dimensions of the majority of service parts can usually be obtained
from the vehicle manufacturers parts operation. The Planograph computer
program combines this information with the Dealerships bin dimensions.
With Computerised Planographing individual bin units are blue-printed to
show the spacing of shelves, locations of dividers and the part number shown for
each opening. Part numbers are assigned to bin locations dependent upon their
piece movement, size/weight and group sequence based on the priority chosen
by the Parts Manager.
A computer can automatically add the desired percentage of open bin space
desired for future expansion. A twenty-five percent surplus is recommended as a
minimum.

25

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Parts Storage - Storage Planning

While it is faster and easier to have specialists perform the Planographing, a Parts
Manager can prepare his own Planographs using simple tools and information
available within the Dealership. This Manual Planographing requires a great deal
of time and a considerable amount of calculations. However, it can produce the
same kind of customised results as a computer based Planographing process.
The first step in Manual Planographing is the preparation of a complete listing
of every part number in inventory. The listing should not include parts to be
returned or scrapped, or special order parts that normally are not carried in the
inventory. The Parts Manager should decide the criteria by which parts will be
stored. The use of an inventory pad will be helpful and reduce writing. During
this phase, the following information should be determined for each part or
accessory:
Piece sales by part number
Group and part number, in sequence
Quantity or guide level to be carried in stock
Number of units per package
Items to be stored in drawers
An R notation for sheet metal and other parts to be stored in racks
A B notation for items to be stored in bulky bins
An MR notation for moulding racks
With a computer based inventory control system, the inventory company can
furnish an up to date list of part numbers by piece sales, as well as the
recommended stocking quantity for each part. A listing by numeric sequence
will also be helpful.

The second step is determining the physical size (length, width and height) of
each part or package. These dimensions should be recorded next to the part
number on the inventory listing or inventory pad.
The third step is combining the stocking levels and dimensions of each part to
determine the bin size opening needed for each part number.
After all information has been compiled an organised parts storage system can
be properly planned. Prepare an outline drawing of the front view of each type
of storage unit. The dimensions should be drawn to scale on graph paper to
simplify the Planograph layout.

26

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Parts Storage - Storage Planning

SAMPLE MANUAL PLANOGRAPH

Provision should be made for a 3 inch (7.6cm) dust plate at the bottom of the
bin. Also allow for the 1 inch (2.5cm) flange on the front of each shelf and on
each bin side and divider, although this will vary with different equipment
designs. A copy of the drawing for each type of standard bin or rack can be used
to make the actual Planographs for individual units of that type. Follow these
steps:

Plan the regular parts bins first


Number each bin Planograph consecutively
Start with regular parts bin number one

Determine a top shelf position by the height needed for the first four or five
number openings. If, for example, the first parts were to require 6 inch by 6 inch
(15.2cm x 15.2cm) bin openings, the uppermost shelf should be positioned 6
inches (15.2cm) down from the top. Draw a line on the Planograph to show that
shelf location. Develop a percentage of surplus space, shelf by shelf, so new part
numbers or an expanded stock of existing part numbers can be added without
major rearrangement .

27

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Parts Storage - Storage Planning

MANUAL PLANOGRAPHING
Continue the same process for each shelf, looking ahead on the inventory list to
select the most efficient shelf space for each row of parts depending on the
priority of criteria.
After regular parts bin number one has been planned completely, number two
should be laid out then bin number three and so forth, until all the regular parts
in inventory (or recommended for stocking) have been included in the storage
plan.
Storage of bulky parts can be planned manually following the same procedures
used for Planographing the regular parts bins.
From the inventory printout or pad, all the items with a B notation are
assigned shelf space on the bulky bin Planographs. Follow these tips:

Group number and part number sequence should be maintained within


the bulky bin storage section

Surplus space should be allowed for addition of new parts or increased


quantities of existing inventory

Bulky parts bins are usually for parts of such a size that bin dividers are not
required. A bin label, in the middle of the assigned space on a shelf is used to
designate the parts location.
A similar process should be used for sheet metal and moulding racks.

28

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Parts Storage - Storage Equipment

Bins and racks are the building blocks used to put a stock room together.
Commercial bins and racks are available to provide optimum storage for almost
any type of automotive part. Most are manufactured in standard sizes to fit
together for compact arrangement.

REGULAR BINS
Regular bins are available in a range of standard sizes. Almost any shape and size
can be ordered to fit a particular requirement. Adjustable shelves and dividers
provide the flexibility needed for the most effective use of total bin space.
Regular Bins used for storing small parts are designed with a shelf depth of 6
inches (15.2cm) to 36 inches (91.4cm). They are available in 6 inch (15.2cm)
increments.
The most commonly used unit is 36 inches (91.4cm) wide by 84 inches (2.1m)
high by 12 inches (30.5cm) deep. Each unit requires 3 square feet (27.9 sq. dm)
of floor space and an aisle width of 36 inches (91.4cm).

BULKY BINS
Bulky Bins are used to store parts that usually do not require bin dividers. They
typically come in depths of 18 inches (45.7cm). 24 inches (61cm) and 36 inches
(91.4cm).
The most commonly used unit is 36 inches (91.4cm) wide by 84 inches (2.1m)
high by 24 inches (61cm) deep. Each Bulky Bin unit requires 6 square feet (55.8
sq. dm.) of floor space and an aisle width of 36 inches (91.4cm).

RACKS
In addition to Regular Bins and Bulky Bins other storage units called Racks are
used for odd shaped parts. Although prefabricated Racks are available for a Parts
Department, most are assembled from components to meet the specific needs of
a Dealership.
The majority of Racks are constructed in the Dealership using commercially
available steel framing materials. Most uprights and cross members can be
obtained in convenient pre-cut lengths. Most types interact and require no
special tools to assemble. From a range of steel thicknesses, a selection can be
made to support virtually any weight.

29

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Parts Storage - Storage Equipment

Racks can be used to store the following:

Mouldings
Wheels
Tail pipes
Mufflers
Tyres
Sheet metal
Windshields
Pallets

The actual design of a Rack will depend on the storage required and the available
floor space. Ingenuity is the key to effective Rack design. Carefully consider the
shapes, sizes and weights of the parts to be stored. Then draw the possible
construction layouts on graph paper. This should result in a Rack that meets the
exact storage need and uses a minimum amount of floor space.

ADDITIONAL STORAGE IDEAS


Store heavy items on the lowest shelves and bulky items overhead or hung in a
rack. Never cover ventilators with bins, cases or other storage racks.
Another way to get more storage from the same amount of space is to change to
smaller depth bins. By replacing 18 inch (45.7cm) or 24 inch (61cm) deep bins
with 12 inch (30.5cm) bins an extra row can be added in the same space.
Open space above existing parts bins might be a source of additional storage
capacity. With 2 feet (61cm) of space over the bins, units known as quarter bins
can be added. These 18 inch (45.7cm) high bins are available in depths to match
the units on which they are placed. As the name quarter bin implies, about
twenty-five per cent can be added to the existing storage capacity without the
need for additional floor space.
When quarter bins are used step stools are needed for bin access. The most
convenient type of stool is on castors that lock when anyone steps on the stool.
These stools can be rolled easily to wherever they are needed and yet are stable
and safe during use.

30

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Parts Storage - Storage Equipment

MODERN EQUIPMENT
Many new pieces of equipment are available for parts storage. These high density
storage and retrieval systems are configured to take advantage of the space
available in the Parts Department.

MODULAR DRAWER CABINETS


Modular Drawer Cabinets allow more parts to be stored in less space. They hold
approximately twice the amount of inventory in the same amount of floor space
as conventional storage systems.
They are available in various dimensions and drawer configurations. Within each
drawer, a number of parts may be stored. This helps to speed order picking and
stocking and therefore lowers labour costs.

MODULAR DRAWER CABINET

31

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Parts Storage - Storage Equipment

AISLE SAVERS
Aisle Savers are moveable storage systems that create space by eliminating the
need for aisles. This type of system also condenses the amount of space needed
to store parts into almost half of that required using standard aisles.
Only one aisle is needed in this type of system. Shelves on wheels are connected
to a track. A parts picker can open to the aisle required for the desired part. This
system works well in small Dealerships.

AISLE SAVER

32

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Parts Storage - Storage Equipment

PARTS CAROUSELS
Parts Carousels are a series of bins on a motorised track. Parts are stored in
containers on adjustable shelving. The parts picker simply dials the bin desired
and the parts carousel automatically brings it to the counter.
This system increases storage capacity by nearly one third compared to
conventional storage. It also reduces the time required to pick parts. Carousel
systems work well in Dealerships with a large inventory of fast moving parts.

PARTS CAROUSELS

33

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Parts Storage - Storage Equipment

SERVICE DEPARTMENT MONORAILS


Service Department Monorails are overhead dispatch systems that automatically
deliver parts to the technicians work area. The part is placed in a special basket
that hangs from the Monorail. The basket travels along the monorail from the
Parts Department to its pre-determined destination within the Service
Department for use by the technician.

SERVICE DEPARTMENT MONORAIL

This system eliminates the need for parts runners and does not require
technicians to walk to the counter to request parts. An intercom system or
computer terminal between the technicians work area and the parts counter is
necessary for this system to operate properly.

34

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Parts Storage - Storage Areas

Within the Parts Department, specific storage areas should be dedicated to the
storage of Special Order Parts, Warranty Parts, Return Parts, Cores and Supplies.
Because these parts are not kept with normal inventory they require their own
locations.

SPECIAL ORDER PARTS


Special Order Parts should be maintained separately from the rest of the stock.
They can be organised alphabetically and by the customers last name to facilitate
storage and retrieval. Standard procedures should be established to notify the
customer that the ordered part has arrived.
Even though customers often have paid a deposit and are aware that their Special
Order Parts are available, some are negligent in picking up the part or arranging
for its installation by the Service Department. All Special Order Parts should be
reviewed periodically. After reasonable customer notification and follow-up
(approximately 60 days) parts not picked up, if returnable, should be returned.
A specific person in the Parts Department should be responsible for the handling
of Special Order Parts. When received, follow up all special orders with both a
mailed notice and telephone call to the customers home or business.
Special orders that sit for long periods of time waiting to be picked up by
customers take up valuable space. The space required will vary greatly depending
upon the volume of Special Orders, length of time held and follow-up
effectiveness.

35

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Parts Storage - Storage Areas

WARRANTY PARTS
Dealership procedures for the handling of parts replaced under warranty terms
are critical to customer satisfaction and Dealership profit. These parts should be
stored in a separate area until their disposition is determined. The area, of course,
should not interfere with traffic flow, but it should be accessible, secure, well
ventilated and well lit.
Having an area assigned for storage of Warranty Parts reduces obsolescence and
helps avoid loss due to misplacement. A central location for Warranty Parts
improves control over these items and provides a place for those scheduled for
return or inspection.
The Warranty Parts area should be separate from the general parts storage area
because of the static nature of Warranty Parts. It also should be located near
shipping and receiving.
Administration of Warranty Parts is usually hampered by lack of space.
Overflowing bins or empty boxes in the Parts Department are a common
problem. Allow about three per cent of the total Parts Department for the
Warranty Parts return area. There are many configurations which can be used to
create an efficient Warranty Parts area. Depending upon individual needs and
Warranty Parts volume, consider the following examples as possible solutions.

TEN BIN SYSTEM


In the Ten Bin System, the storage area is divided into ten sections with each
section numbered to correspond with the last digit of either the repair order
number or the warranty claim number.

10

36

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Parts Storage - Special Bins

CALENDAR SYSTEM
The Calendar System has a bin number that corresponds to the day of the
month on a repair order or the warranty claim.

10 11

12 13 14

15

16

17

18 19

20 21 22 23

24

25

26 27

28 29 30

31

Regardless of the system used, it is imperative to purge parts from warranty bins
regularly.

RETURN PARTS
Return Parts bins should be used to consolidate parts to be returned for credit.
Items designated for return may include:

Special Order Parts (not normally stocked) which have not been picked
up by the customer
Parts received in error
Parts ordered in error (and coded returnable)
Items damaged in shipment (awaiting disposition) from the factory.
Incorrectly unitised parts

CORES
Cores and other exchange parts should have their own storage area. An area near
shipping and receiving is a logical choice. Existing policies and procedures
should dictate how frequently they are returned.

37

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Parts Storage - Supplies

SUPPLIES
It is common practice to store office supplies, sales promotion materials, forms
and housekeeping supplies in the Parts Department. But it is not good business
when these supplies occupy storage space that could be better used to store
money-making parts and accessories.
Common office supplies and forms should be stored in the general office area.
Housekeeping supplies should also be stored outside the Parts department.
Bulk stored fluids such as oil, anti-freeze and transmission fluid should be kept
in above ground tanks or in drums located in the Service Department. Usage
should be controlled by a meter system and monitored by the Parts Department.
In the ideal Parts Department, the only items that should be stored, other than
parts and accessories, are the counter tickets required for the month and
disbursable shop materials.

38

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Parts Storage - Parts Organisation

BIN LOGIC
In addition to having proper equipment and storage areas for parts, a Parts
Department should have a logical bin locating system. This not only contributes
to efficienct operation, but also to improved customer service and profit.
There are two primary methods by which bins are organised:
1. Group numeric sequence
2. Bin number location
Using a group numeric sequence, parts are first organised by group number and
then sequentially by part number within each group. There are a number of
benefits to having a Parts Department organised in this fashion:
Easy to locate parts
Easy to stock parts
Parts of similar function are stocked together
A second method is to organise by bin number location. This type of logic is best
utilised in a Dealership which has a computerised inventory control system.
Whereas the previous method is organised by group number, this method
organises by movement and size. Parts are stored where they best fit into a bin
rather than rearranging the bins to fit group numbers.
The advantages of storing parts by bin number location are:
Faster moving parts are located near the counter
Any part can be stored where it best fits into the storage system, provided
ample space is available for the size of the particular part

BIN LOCATION
Bin Locations should be specific and should be easy to locate for new employees.
Combining numeric and letter codes seems to work best. For example the first
letter might indicate the following:
A Regular storage area, main level
B Upstairs storage area
C Counter area high density storage cabinets

39

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Parts Storage - Parts Organisation

The next number would indicate groups of bins or cabinets within a single
section. For example the number 15 could indicate 15 sets of bins from the
front of the Parts Department. The following letter could indicate the shelf or
row of a cabinet. These letter codes usually start with A at the bottom and go
up from there. Finally, a number code could indicate from left to right how
many slots over, or in, the part is located.
Bin location A15C4 could indicate that the part is stocked on the main level, 15
sets of bins from the front, third shelf from the bottom and fourth location from
the left.
Bin location C4B1 - 3 could indicate the fourth high density storage cabinet in
the counter area, second drawer, first row, third section.

BIN CHECKS
It is a good practice to occasionally conduct a Bin Check. The purpose is to
ensure that the Bin Location and quantity shown in the computer system match
the physical location and inventory.
Randomly select twenty-five part numbers. Find their location and on hand
quantity in the computer system, and compare it to the actual physical
inventory. Any discrepancies with the bin location should be corrected
immediately. Discrepancies with quantities need to be investigated further.

BIN LABELS
Bins should be identified with readable labels. Bin Labels should be used to
identify all parts storage locations.
Good labelling assists not only parts locating but restocking and inventory
taking. Poor labelling can result in:

Lost sales of stocked parts


Emergency orders of stocked parts
Picking incorrect parts
Unintentionally stocking a part in multiple locations.

Bin Labels are available from vendors or the Parts Manager may prefer to create
his own.

40

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Parts Storage - Expansion

Important features for planning expansion include:

Ceiling height
Reinforced floors
Outside wall for expansion

Another important consideration for expansion is the ability to double deck the
Parts Department.

CEILING HEIGHT
Although parts facilities are typically planned for only one level, a provision
should be made for increased ceiling height. A minimum height of 17 feet
(5.2m) of unobstructed space will allow upward expansion for an eventual
second level for parts storage. 25 Feet (7.3m) would allow for triple decking.
This also lends itself to more efficient use of working floor space. The cost of
extra ceiling height is small when weighed against the possibility of insufficient
space or the additional cost of construction at a later date.

DOUBLE DECKING REQUIREMENT

41

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Parts Storage - Expansion

REINFORCED FLOORS
Reinforced Flooring is also considered an essential construction feature to permit
double decking. Local building codes specify the load bearing capacities of
various types of reinforced flooring. Codes should be considered before plans are
finalised. Again the initial construction price is small compared to the cost of
additional modifications at a later date.

OUTSIDE WALL FLOOR EXPANSION


A second deck may not be sufficient for parts storage. The Parts Manager may
need additional storage space to accommodate increased sales. When designing
a new facility, one wall of the Parts Department should always be a non-loadbearing outside wall to allow for expansion. In the following diagram, the shaded
portion shows an area for possible expansion.

POTENTIAL AREA FOR EXPANSION

Body
Shop
Service
Dept.
Parts
Dept.

Office

Showroom

DOUBLE DECKING
Double Decking or mezzanine storage is a method of creating a second floor
for parts storage by using metal grating above the first floor parts bins. This
method has the advantage of being economical while not restricting heat,
lighting, visibility or voice communication as a solid floor would. There are,
however, physical factors that must be considered:

Existing ceiling height


Floor load limitations
Stairway locations
Sprinkler head locations
Ventilation duct locations
Lighting arrangement

42

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Parts Storage - Expansion

The specifications and locations for all of these must be analysed. A separate
network of lights might be needed for each level. The existing location and
capacity of sprinklers and vents will determine the extent of alterations or
additions which may be required.
Installation of a stairway to the mezzanine level should connect the lower main
aisle to the upper main aisle. These aisles must be wide enough to sustain a heavy
flow of traffic and be arranged to provide the highest level of convenience and
accessibility. A vertical lift or conveyor can provide more efficiency for receiving
and picking of inventory.
A pallet setdown area on the upper level will be needed when materials are
elevated by a lift truck. This setdown area should be located directly above or as
close as possible to the shipping and receiving area. Regardless of type, the
unloading area should be large enough to allow convenient unloading and
temporary stocking.
There are two basic types of Double Decks. One type is supported by framing
over the top of existing shelving. The lower level provides the support.
A second type is freestanding. It is designed to span the first floor without relying
on existing shelving or racks for support. Following is an example of this type:

FREESTANDING DECK

Most bin supply companies are able to specify a multideck renovation that
complies with local building codes. Typically, Dealerships rely on the suppliers
expertise to advise on Double Decking.

43

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Parts Storage - Decision Grid

RESPONSIBILITIES
EXPECTATION

RESPONSE

MAXIMUM
OPERATING
EFFICIENCY

Fastest moving parts are stored near counters


Nuts and bolts are stored near counters
Shop supplies are stored near counters
Bin number sequence is logical
Bin locations are easily found
Obsolete inventory is regularly removed

SPACE IS WELL
UTILISED

There is room for expansion


Bins are not overstocked
Parts are not on the floor
Parts are not on top of bins
Bins, shelves and dividers are easily adjusted

SPECIALISED
BINS ARE
AVAILABLE

Warranty bins exist


Return bins exist
Special order bins exist
Core bins exist

PART NUMBER
INFORMATION
IS ACCURATE

System on hand count equals actual shelf


inventory
System bin location is correct
Multiple bin locations are recorded

44

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Customer Areas - Evaluators

QUALIFIER

DEALER ACTION

SIGNAGE

Dealership provides adequate


Parts Department signage
Outdoors
Parking
Entrance
Indoors

5
5
5
15

Parts and accessories are displayed


throughout the Dealership
Parts Counter
Customer Lounge
Showroom
Cashier
Service Reception

20
5
10
5
5

Various types of parts displays


are utilised

15

Counter area is easily accessible to


customers and designed to be customer
friendly

10

DISPLAYS

COUNTER
DESIGN AND
LOCATION

Assessment Score (100 points possible)


Certification requires a score of 80 or above

45

VALUE

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Customer Areas - Introduction

INTRODUCTION
Customer Areas should be clean, attractive and visually stimulating for
customers. These areas are often overlooked by Dealers and Parts Managers.
They should be viewed as opportunities to enhance the image of the Parts
Department in the eyes of the customer and to sell additional parts.
Signs and displays show customers where the Parts Department is and what is
has to sell. Customers can be made aware that the Dealership is a merchandiser
of parts and accessories.

PURPOSE
The objectives of this section on Customer Areas are:
1. To have signs in the Dealership which make it easier for customers to
do business with the Parts Department
2. To have displays throughout the Dealership which promote parts and
accessories sales
Proper signage facilitates doing business with the Dealership. It also enhances
Customer Satisfaction.
Nearly two out of three buying decisions are made at the point of purchase.
Dealerships should take advantage of the variety of opportunities they have to
sell parts and accessories throughout the facility.

46

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Customer Areas - Signage

SIGNAGE
Signs used to inform, such as the location of the Parts Department, are a courtesy
to customers. Signs make it easier and more pleasant for people to do business
with the Dealership and minimise the communication load on employees.
They are also important merchandising tools. Signs can be used to direct peoples
eyes toward displays or specials.

GENERAL GUIDELINES
All signs should have a specific purpose. They should be:
Useful
Positive
Professional
Customers should be provided with information that the Dealership wants to
convey. Signs can also be used to make them feel comfortable in an unfamiliar
setting. They should be used only where there is a genuine need. Customers
could be annoyed by signs that demand their attention but provide no useful
information.
Keep signs positive. Negative impressions should be avoided. Signs which read
Customers not allowed or We do not accept... are negative signs. Instead,
signs should provoke a positive reaction. The previous examples could be made
positive by saying Employee Area or We accept...
Signs should be professionally created. They should also conform to the
appearance of other signs used in the Dealership. Parts Department signs should
be prepared in co-operation with other departments.
Because a sign is intended to inform it should be placed where it is needed and
will be seen. The message should be stated as simply as possible. This is true
regardless of whether the sign is outdoors or indoors.

47

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Customer Areas - Signage

OUTDOOR CURB
This type of sign is designed for outdoor use to attract people to the Parts
department and identify its location. Curb signs should be located at all
entrances to the Dealership facility.
If the curb signs are of the portable variety, a Parts Department employee should
be assigned the responsibility of placing the signs in designated locations when
the retail parts area opens. They should also be returned to a secure location
when the area closes.

POLE OR WALL
The pole or wall sign can be utilised either indoors or outdoors to identify the
retail parts location to customers. As the name implies these signs are mounted
on either poles or walls around the Dealership. If the retail area is open at night,
consider using lighted signs.
Utilise a pole or wall sign outdoors where a curb sign is not practical, or use the
pole or wall sign to offer further assistance to customers in locating the Parts
Department once they are at or near the Dealership facility.
Note: Before placing any outdoor curb, pole or wall signs, the Dealership should
check with the local government to ensure compliance with local ordinances and
regulations.

PARKING
Identified parking spaces should be reserved for wholesale and retail parts
customers. Since parking convenience can make a substantial difference in
outside sales, these spaces should be located as close as possible to the Parts
Department entrance.
A sign should clearly indicate that this area is for Parts Customers Parking. The
parking area itself should be paved or blacktopped and each parking space
defined by painted lines to obtain maximum use of the area. A professional
parking lot striping service can provide expert advice.
It should be stressed that employees are not to use these spaces, even for
temporary parking. This area should be checked periodically to see that it is
adequate for parts customers and that it is not used for other purposes.

48

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Customer Areas - Signage

ENTRANCES
Whenever possible, a separate entrance from the parking area to the Parts
Department permits easier access for wholesale and retail customers. Controlled
access makes it easier to monitor this traffic for security reasons. It also tends to
reduce unnecessary congestion in the Service Department. A prominent sign to
this entrance assists customers.

OVERHEAD
An overhead sign is designed to hang from the ceiling to tell customers that they
have found the retail parts area. The sign should be placed at the entrance to, or
inside of, a retail parts display area.

FEATURE BOARD
A feature board is typically placed near the entrance to the Parts Department or
near the counter. This type of sign is hung on a wall or mounted on a tripod
stand. It can be a letter board, chalk board or even an electronic sign that has
messages moving across it.
It permits the Parts Department to communicate a variety of information to
customers such as:

Store hours
Promotional messages
Special prices or sales
New product offerings

The feature board should be positioned so that customers can easily read it when
entering the retail display area.

SHELF TALKERS
As the name implies, shelf talkers are signs that direct customers eyes to
particular items displayed on shelves. They often use starbursts and bold letters
to draw attention to special items.

INDOOR DIRECTIONAL
Indoor directional signs are designed to guide customers around the Dealership.
Indoor directional signs should be placed in hallways, walkways, the customer
lounge, the showroom or any area that has direct access to a retail parts display.

49

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Customer Areas - Signage

Proper signage is necessary to help the customer find various departments and
facilities within the Dealership, plus make them aware of services offered and
procedures and policies affecting their transactions.
The following list denotes locations, services and policies to be appropriately
designed:
Locations
Customer Parking
Entrance
Parts Counter
Other Departments
Customer Lounge
Cashiers Window
Restrooms
Services
Days Open for Business
Hours Open for Business
Sales and Discounts Offered
Employees Names and Years of Experience
Policies
Customer Relations Policy
Special Order Policy
Credit Policy
Acceptable Methods of Payment
Pricing Policy
Return Policy
Safety Precautions

50

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Customer Areas - Displays

Parts Departments can truly manage the facility well with a variety of displays.
Seeing the merchandise often reminds the buyer of what he/she needs. Displays
create a desire to buy and because people are more likely to buy something if they
can see it, displays can sell parts and accessories.
To attract attention, displays should be bright, clean and colourful. They should
be located conveniently near electrical outlets in case additional lighting is
needed, or for use with displays which have moving parts requiring electrical
power.

DISPLAY LOCATIONS
There are a variety of areas where parts and accessories can be displayed. It is
important to consider the type of customer that will be in a particular area and
the types of parts he/she is most likely to purchase.
There are five primary areas where parts and accessories should be displayed:

Parts Counter
Customer Lounge
Showroom
Cashier
Service Reception

PARTS COUNTER
The Parts Counter is the most obvious location to set up parts and accessories
displays. Displays near the retail counter should feature do-it-yourself (DIY)
products, car care products, accessories which require only minor installation
skills, chemicals and solvents. The types of products that may be included are:
DIY Products
Belts
Hoses
Filters (petrol, oil, air)
Ignition Parts
Mufflers
Lubricants

Car Care Products


Waxes
Polishes
Fabric Sealant
Paint Sealant
Glass Cleaner

51

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Customer Areas - Displays

Accessories
(minor installation)
Baby Seats
Floor Mats
Emergency Kits
Floodlights (Hand Held)
Touch-Up Paints
Mudflaps
Driving and Foglights
Wiper Blades

Chemicals and Solvents


Loctite
Lockeze
Anti-freeze Coolant
Oil Supplements
Gas Supplements
Coolant Rust Inhibitor

These products should be merchandised in the parts counter area, since


customers are typically these to purchase parts for either the repair or
maintenance of their vehicle.
Frequently requested small parts can be displayed on the ends of bins facing the
Counter. Tasteful displays not only increase impulse buying but also improve the
appearance of the Parts Counter.
If the Counter is consistently manned, put parts in front of the Counter so
customers can see the merchandise up close. Be sure that the merchandise is
priced.

CUSTOMER LOUNGE
The Customer Lounge is another obvious choice to display parts and accessories.
Since the Customer Lounge is most often frequented by service customers, tie
parts prices to labour prices for installation. Handsome display cases can be
ordered for use in this heavy traffic area.
Accessories that require either major or minor installation skills may be displayed
in the Customer Lounge. Some ideas are:
Accessories
(major installation)
Luggage Rack
Cruise Control
Running Boards
Brush Guards
Roll Bars
Stereo Systems
Trailer Hitches

Accessories
(minor installation)
Baby Seats
Floor Mats
Emergency Kits
Touch-Up Paints
Mudflaps
Driving and Foglights
Cigar Lighter Element
Wind Deflectors

Chemicals, solvents and car care products are also excellent items to display here
since customers are conscientious about their vehicles, as evidenced by their
presence in the Dealership.

52

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Customer Areas - Displays

SHOWROOM
The most frequently missed merchandising opportunity is the parts and
accessories display in the New Car Showroom. Not only do such displays greatly
improve sales and profits for the Parts Department, but they also improve gross
profit retention on new and used vehicle sales. Whenever possible, the
merchandise should be installed on the vehicles and sold as an added option.
This allows the customer to view the accessory if it is an appearance item, or
operate the accessory if it is a functioning item.
Installed accessories on vehicle inventory should feature:
Accessories
(major installation)
Aero Packages
Stereo Systems
Luggage Rack
Running Boards
Brush Guard
Roll Bars
Cruise Control
Trailer Hitches

Accessories
(minor installation)
Pin Stripes
Floor Mats
Wind Deflectors
Driving and Foglights
Trunk Release
Wheel and Door Edgeguards
Custom Wheels

A stand alone kiosk is excellent for displaying radios and theft deterrent systems.

CASHIER
The Cashiers window is an excellent place to sell impulse items such as
windshield washer fluid, polishing cloths and other low cost items that have
wide customer appeal. Simple selling messages may read:
Have you forgotten touch-up paint?
Taking a trip? Take extra windshield washer fluid with you.
A supply of the product should be stored in the Cashiers office for easy, quick
selling. A low cost employee sales incentive works wonders.
The Cashier should be located near the wholesale/retail parts counter, the
general office area and within easy reach of the repair order rack located at the
Technicians counter.
If the Cashiers window is not within sight of the parts counter, directions and
signage should be explicit enough for the customer to follow. Painted lines on
the floor or signs can provide directions. In any case, the customer should not
be expected to walk great distances through the shop or other areas where
vehicular traffic is present.

53

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Customer Areas - Displays

SERVICE RECEPTION
Parts and accessories featured in these displays should be inexpensive impulse
items that involve little or no installation. Everything should be priced. The
message Free Installation, No Waiting can be an effective persuader. Car care
display stands can be used to promote impulse buying.

PLANOGRAPHING RETAIL AREAS


The manner in which product displays are arranged will impact both the retail
customers buying decisions and the efficient operation of the Parts Department.
To begin the actual planographing process, measure the display area and outline
the area on a planographing grid.
The following page provides an example of planographing for retail displays.

54

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Customer Areas - Displays

RETAIL AREA PLANOGRAPH FOR 600 SQ. FT.


Door

Door
Parts
Dept.

Window

Parking

Door

Window

30 ft.

20 ft.
GON: GONDOLA
WU: WALL UNIT

PPD: PRODUCT PLATFORM DISPLAY


FMR: FLOOR MAT RACK

55

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Customer Areas - Displays

DISPLAY TYPES
The Parts Department needs to be aware not only of where it will place displays
but also how it will display parts and accessories. There are a variety of ways by
which items can be displayed.

SELF SERVE/MASS MERCHANDISING


Many Dealerships are becoming more and more interested in a visual or display
type merchandising operation because of its potential for producing greater
profit.
Effectively utilised, this type of merchandising requires changing from an ordertaking retail operation to one employing the principles of mass merchandising.
It will take time, effort, money and commitment from Parts Department
personnel, but the important result will be a more efficient and profitable parts
operation and more satisfied customers.

ENDCAPS
The two ends of gondolas are referred to as endcaps. These are very valuable
spaces in that they typically have very high visibility.
Since the eye level position is the most valuable area, a typical strategy is to put
specially priced items on the lowest shelf. Related items with higher gross profit
margins can then be placed at eye level.

SEASONAL
Seasonal displays should be oriented to the customers upcoming needs. For
example, once the weather turns cold, displays featuring anti-freeze, windshield
washer fluid, block heaters and other cold weather accessories are appropriate.
On the other hand, in Spring or early Summer, a display of cleaners and polishes
would be effective.

EXPLODED PARTS
An exploded parts display is made by arranging the component parts of the
unit in the order they would be assembled in a vehicle. This type of display can
be used to point out to the customer the exact parts that need replacing, or to
explain their function. It also makes replacement of the complete assembly more
practical.

56

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Customer Areas - Displays

CUTAWAYS
Some parts, like oil filters, all look alike on the outside. Cutaways allow
customers to see what is inside and compare directly with competitive products.
Cutaways are often available from manufacturers or a Dealership can create its
own.

WORN vs. NEW


This type of display shows the probable condition of the old part in the
customers car and points out the advantage of installing a new part while the car
is in the shop for repairs. For maximum effectiveness, a display of this kind
should feature fast moving, high volume items like mufflers, brakes, shock
absorbers and belts. Customers will usually respond to low pressure salesmanship
that emphasises the fact that timely replacement normally saves costly repairs in
the future.

57

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Customer Areas
- Counter Design and Location
TECHNICIANS COUNTER
The majority of parts transactions take place at the parts counters. Counter areas
should be sufficiently stocked with the necessary supplies to conduct business.
Additionally, a separate Technicians Counter encourages priority service being
provided for the shop. Priority service keeps technicians from waiting in line
while the service customers repair is being expedited.
Parts counters provide workspace on which to identify and deliver needed parts
and to transact necessary paperwork. It is also very desirable to have a separate
retail/wholesale counter. Technicians waiting at the same counter as retail
customers can lead to poor public relations and customer dissatisfaction.
Technicians represent a large percentage of the Departments total parts sales.
Because a technician typically works on a flat rate, waiting time at the parts
counters literally comes out of his own pocket. Excessive waiting time reduces
Service Department productivity at a significant cost to the Dealership.
Technicians should be provided with immediate quality service. They should not
be required to wait if at all possible, especially for other customers of the Parts
Department.
Located near the Technicians Counter should be:

Repair Order Copies


Standard Parts (nuts, bolts, clips)
Shop Supplies
Technical Bulletins
Campaign Notices
Special Tools (if monitored by Parts Department)

If possible, separate technician and customer traffic. A counter for each


minimises problems which could arise from the different nature of their
transactions. Keep the technicians and retail/wholesale counters close enough to
one another to allow one counter person to serve both.
Providing priority service to technicians is not an easy task. It takes dedication
and teamwork between the Service and Parts Managers.

58

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Customer Areas
- Counter Design and Location
Analyse your current efforts at the Tehnicians Counter to see what can be
improved. Areas on which to focus include:

Wait time
Size and location of counter areas
Quantity and quality of counterpersons
Manpower scheduling
Shop loading
Volume and flow
Bin arrangement
Stock location
Document flow

WHOLESALE/RETAIL COUNTER
Most Dealerships maintain a common counter for wholesale and retail
customers. Occasionally, larger parts operations will have separate counters
which are preferable. Whatever system is employed, it must be adequately
manned and provide efficient service.
Handle customers in an equitable manner. That means next-in-line service and
confidentiality of their transaction.
Located near the Wholesale/Retail Counter should be:

Counter tickets
Illustrations
Cross-referencing charts
Suggested list of related parts
Displays and advertised specials
Car care products and impulse items
Cashiers window
Customer entrance
Customer parking

If the Dealership has only one counter, a partition splitting the counterspace
should be considered. If building design permits, placing counters at right angles
to each other is a good workable combination for efficient counter service.

59

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Customer Areas
- Counter Design and Location
Counter tops should be 24 to 30 inches (61cm to 76.2cm) wide and 40 to 42
inches (101.6cm to 106.7cm) high with ample toe room at the base. Total
counter length will depend upon the volume of business and the number of
work stations required to accommodate counter personnel.

COUNTER DIMENSIONS
24 30

40 42

There should be 9 feet (2.7m) of space on the customer side of the counter and
6 feet (1.8m) behind it for counter personnel. Provision should be made for
catalogues and price schedules on or next to the counter top work area.

SPACE RECOMMENDATIONS

Bins

Customer
Area

60

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Customer Areas - Decision Grid

RESPONSIBILITIES
EXPECTATION

RESPONSE

SIGNS HAVE A
CLEAR PURPOSE

Directs customer to correct location


Encourages sales
Explains Dealership policies

RELEVANT ITEMS
AVAILABLE AT
TECHNICIANS
COUNTER

Repair order copies


Standard parts (nuts, bolts, clips)
Shop supplies
Technical bulletins
Campaign notices
Special tools

TECHNICIANS
COUNTER IS
REGULARLY
ANALYSED

Wait time is minimised


Size and location of counter area is sufficient
Quantity and quality of counter personnel
is appropriate
Bin arrangement and stock location
maximise efficiency
Document flow is logical and adequate

Counter tickets
Illustrations
Cross-referencing charts
Suggested list of related parts
Displays and advertised specials
Car care products and impulse items

RELEVANT ITEMS
AVAILABLE AT
WHOLESALE/
RETAIL COUNTER

61

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK

62

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Safety & Security - Evaluators

QUALIFIER

DEALER ACTION

SAFETY

Parts Department provides for the


safety of employees and customers
by having:
Policies and procedures
Adequate aisle width
Safe stairs
Adequate lighting
Adequate ventilation
Proper material handling
Equipment
Regular Safety Inspections

SECURITY

Parts Manager protects Parts


Department assets by having:
Security procedures
Access control
Secure shipping and
receiving area
Exception reports
Regularly reviewed
Regular security meetings
Secured storage
Security systems

Assessment Score (100 points possible)


Certification requires a score of 80 or above

63

VALUE

15
5
5
5
5
5
10

15
5
5
5
10
5
5

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Safety & Security - Introduction

INTRODUCTION
A safe and secure environment is advantageous to customers, employees and the
dealership. Lack of adherence to seemingly minor details could result in injury.
Facility related injuries can result in bad public relations, lost employee time and
even lawsuits.
The advantages of a secure Department are obvious. Assets are more closely
protected and the opportunity for theft is decreased.

PURPOSE
The objectives of this section on Safety and Security are:
1. To have a Parts Department that is safe for both customers and
employees.
2. To protect the assets of the Dealership by having a secure Department.
Precautions and regular inspections will reduce the occurrence of accidents in the
Parts Department. The safety of both customers and employees must be given
very strong consideration. Policies and regulations regarding safety should be
made clear to all employees. The facility should be designed to reduce the
likelihood of an accident. Visible signage should make customers aware of
hazards.
The Parts department contains many items of value. Every effort should be made
to reduce exposure to theft. The incidence of theft diminishes as opportunities
are reduced.

64

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Safety & Security - Safety

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES


The Parts Department should have written Policies and Procedures covering
safety regulations and practices. These should be reviewed annually to ensure
they comply with current laws and adequately protect customers and employees.
Policies and Procedures covering safety should be designed to prevent accidents
from occurring and provide guidelines for employees in case of accidents or
emergencies. Typically included are:

Housekeeping
Storage and handling of hazardous materials
Emergency services
Emergency equipment
Use of first aid kit
Emergency evacuation

Good housekeeping is especially important in the Parts Department as a


contributing factor to safety. Parts should always be stored where they will not
interfere with the passage of personnel or become damaged. Avoid the
temptation to leave an incoming part temporarily in the way (even if it is large
and heavy). Also, do not allow sharp objects to project into aisleways.
Safe, healthy working conditions and safe parts storage and handling are interrelated considerations. The implications of damaged merchandise are obvious.
The financial and legal ramifications of injured personnel are not always as
apparent. The Department should have storage and handling requirements of
the various materials stored available. Check government requirements regarding
these, if applicable.
The Department must have written emergency procedures which should be
followed in the event of serious accident, fire or natural disaster. The procedures
should designate specific assignments for selected personnel (and alternates).
Drills or practice sessions should be held from time to time and recorded in a
monthly log or check-off sheet.

65

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Safety & Security - Safety

Employees should be provided with an emergency service plan which tells them
what to do and who to call in various types of emergencies. This plan, which
should also be posted inseveral highly visible locations in the Department, needs
to include provisions for contacting:
Ambulance
Clinic
Doctor

Fire Department
Emergency Hospital
Utility Companies
(Gas, Electric, Water)

It should also contain a plan for the expeditious evacuation of customers and
employees should an emergency occur.

AISLES
Inadequate aisle width not only impedes efficiency but can cause unsafe working
conditions. Aisle width should be at least 36 inches (91.4cm) for regular bins; 42
inches (1.1m) for modular drawers and 36 inches to 48 inches (91.4cm to 1.2m)
for bulky bins and racks.
The maximum length of a row of bins before a perpendicular aisle breakthrough
should not exceed 15 feet (4.6m). This allows for ease of traffic flow.
There should be a minimum of 6 feet (1.8m) between the shop or wholesale
counter and bins. A master aisle from the front to the rear of the Department 48
inches (1.2m) wide also makes larger Parts Departments more efficient. For
safety as well as parts stocking and picking efficiency, aisles should never deadend.
Another way to get more storage from the same amount of room without
reducing aisle space is to change to smaller depth bins. For example, by using
bins 12 inches (30.5cm) deep rather than 18 inches (45.7cm) or 24 inches
(61cm) deep, an extra row or two can be added in the same available floor space
without affecting the working area required for personnel to perform their tasks.

STAIRS
Stairs, like aisles, impact efficiency and safety. Stairs should be a minimum of 48
inches (1.2m) wide to accommodate bulky items such as body panels. Stairs
should also be sufficiently wide for safe, easy exit during emergencies. They
should never be used for storage.

LIGHTING
Although adequate lighting and ventilation may be required by law, a well lit and
properly ventilated Parts Department is not just a functional requirement, it is
also good business.

66

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Safety & Security - Safety

The minimum required lighting level measured in foot-candles will differ


depending upon working location or visual demands. In general, the available
light level needed in the parts storage area is sixty-foot candles. Overhead lights
in these areas should be positioned over the aisles (not over the bins) for effective
illumination. The office, sales, cashier and customer service areas should have a
light level of about one hundred foot-candles. These are suggested levels. The
amount of illumination required by government regulations must be used as a
basis for actual comparison in any particular Dealership. If skylights or windows
usually provide much of the light, measurement should be made at night to
assure adequate illumination in the absence of natural lighting.
If there are any questions about the adequacy of lighting anywhere in the Parts
Department, a lighting survey should be requested from the local electric
company. This service is usually offered at no cost.

VENTILATION
A good ventilation system to remove dust and any aromatic substances such as
lacquers and thinners, should maintain the percentage of air contaminants in the
Parts Department well below any hazardous level. However, spillage can occur
and the ventilation system must be capable of quickly removing the noxious or
contaminated air. Automotive exhaust or paint fumes entering through the
counter openings or doorways is quite another matter, requiring continuous
ventilation for a healthy work environment.

MATERIAL HANDLING
Material Handling equipment may be as simple as a two-wheel hand truck or as
extensive as a forklift. For some of the larger Parts Departments, the use of a
conveyor is not only practical but essential to improving productivity, especially
where ground floor space limitations exist. For instance, a double deck storage
facility can move parts in and out far more efficiently and safely using a conveyor
or freight elevator.
Some parts such as engines and transmissions must be handled with mechanical
assistance. Based on obvious needs, the Parts Department can easily justify
investing in Material Handling equipment which adds safety and efficiency. The
use of two wheel hand trucks for example can reduce handling costs by as much
as 50%. A four wheel hand truck, properly utilised, can reduce material
handling by 70% of the expense of moving items by hand. A forklift can reduce
manual handling costs by as much as 85%, if substantial volume of heavy parts
is involved.

67

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Safety & Security - Safety

REGULAR INSPECTIONS
If everyone is responsible for maintenance and safety, but no-one is accountable,
then it will not get done. Assignment of these inspections and the intervals at
which they will be conducted help to make certain that they occur.
Post schedules for formal housekeeping and safety inspections. Top management
should be included on occasion. This impresses the seriousness and importance
of this activity and ensures that recommendations are followed.

MAINTENANCE AND SAFETY SCHEDULE


Area

Person
Assigned

Technician Counter
Wholesale Counter
Retail Counter
Shipping/Receiving
Bins
Office
Display Areas
Lighting
Walls
Floors

As Needed

Pitzer
Smith
Smith
Jones
Johnson
Jones
Kronenberg
Jones
Jones
Jones

X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X

Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly
X
X
X
X
X
X

X
X

X
X

Signed____________________________ Parts Manager Date____________


The Parts Manager should routinely inspect all areas of the Department to avoid
the development of even temporarily hazardous conditions. It is a good idea to
keep a monthly log or check-off sheet to record these inspections.
Annual inspections by the insurance companys safety officer, local fire marshall
and other appropriate agencies should be invited as a source of valuable
assistance. If additional fire extinguishers or smoke detectors are recommended
for specific locations they should be installed as soon as possible.

68

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Safety & Security - Security

SECURITY PROCEDURES
Security Procedures should be developed to minimise the loss of parts and
accessories due to theft. Some items that need to be controlled are:
Counter tickets
Computer systems
Locks and keys

Repair orders
Purchase orders

Each part in stock should have proper document control from the moment it is
received until it leaves. No part should enter or exit the Parts Department unless
it has an invoice. This ensures that there is an audit trail for every transaction.
Computer passwords must be changed frequently and at irregular intervals. Parts
Managers should not give their passwords to other employees. This eliminates
opportunities for someone to illegally override the system.
It is advisable to change the locks on the Parts Department regularly. Keys should
be limited to owners and key Parts Department personnel only. When keys are
issued, each employee should sign them out. Upon termination, keys should be
collected.

EXCEPTION REPORTS
A computer system can be used to hide theft. The Parts Manager needs to review
certain Exception Reports daily to catch any suspicious activity before it becomes
a serious problem. These reports should identify cost overrides, price overrides
and plus and minus adjustments to the inventory. By reviewing those reports a
Parts Manager can identify who initiated a transaction.

ACCESS CONTROL
The use of only one or two points of entry is a step towards a more secure
Department. Many Parts Departments function very well being sealed from the
outside as well as from other departments of the Dealership. Doors to the Parts
Department should be locked at all times and access should be limited to
authorised personnel only. Sales and Service Department employees do not
constitute authorised personnel only. Sales and Service Department employees
do not constitute authorised personnel, nor do customers.

SHIPPING AND RECEIVING


The Shipping and Receiving area presents an opportunity for theft if not
properly controlled. If not secured, unauthorised people can enter the
Department and parts can too easily exit.

69

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Safety & Security - Security

The Shipping and Receiving door should be secured except when in actual use
and when in use, an employee should be working in the area the entire time that
the door is open.
The Dealership should have established procedures for both receiving parts and
making shipments. For example, only authorised personnel are allowed to check
in and put away stock.
There should be a roll-up door where truck drivers can easily approach without
having to manoeuvre around obstacles. Although not always possible, a dock is
preferable. Also the delivery entrance should be sheltered from inclement
weather to avoid damaging products.

SECURED STORAGE
Securing expensive fast moving parts and accessories is important. Items such as
radios and purchase order books are very desirable and are highly susceptible to
theft. The temptation to steal these items is reduced if the opportunities are
minimised.
A locked room or cage is one method of securing high value parts and
accessories. With proper key control, locking cabinets also serves to protect these
items. Some modular drawers have locks on them and this may also serve as a
component of a Secured Storage location.
Someone should be responsible for locking these storage units every night. Also,
only selected people should have access to the Secured Storage area.

SECURITY SYSTEM
Many types of electronic Security Systems are available. A motion sensor is a
common device that activates an alarm when movement occurs in the controlled
area. Other conventional systems use switches and metallic tapes which activate
when doors or windows are open or glass is broken. Remote listening devices can
be used to detect sound in the monitored location. Some silent Security
Systems make an automatic phone call to the police. Other electronic equipment
includes closed circuit television and merchandise alarms.
The most common security devices are not electronic. They include locks,
chains, cables and deadbolts.
A reputable security company can be consulted to determine the adequacy of
existing security measures. Also, make use of the local police for their advice and
expertise.

70

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Safety & Security - Security

SECURITY MEETINGS
From time to time the Parts Manager should discuss security with his staff. Such
discussions are most easily included in regular Departmental meetings. Since
periodic security orientation and constant stock safeguarding are mandatory, all
employees should be encouraged to give these matters their careful attention.
If pilferage is a problem, it should be discussed at every Departmental meeting.
Theft is cause for immediate dismissal and there should be no exceptions to this
rule.

71

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

Safety & Security - Decision Grid

RESPONSIBILITIES
EXPECTATION

RESPONSE

SAFETY
INFORMATION
AND KITS ARE
AVAILABLE

Written safety policies and procedures exist


Emergency procedures are posted
Emergency telephone numbers are posted
A first aid kit is visible and available

WORK AREAS
ARE SAFE

Aisles are clear


Aisles and stairways have ample headroom
Boxes and parts are not extending from bins

PARTS
INVENTORY IS
SECURE

Access to Parts Department is limited to


Departmental employees only
Keys to Parts Department are closely
controlled
Open display areas are constantly monitored

72

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Appendix A

PARTS DEPARTMENT FACILITY CHECKLIST


CASHIERING AREA

PARTS MANAGERS OFFICE AREA

Area clearly identified with signs


In or adjacent to the General Office
Near or adjacent to the Parts Department
Near Retail Parts Counter
Near Wholesale Counter
Area clean and well maintained
Wholesale and Retail Parts Counters visible from
Cashiers Office
Wholesale and Retail customers have a paid receipt
before picking up part

INVENTORY CONTROL AREA

RETAIL/WHOLESALE COUNTER AREA

Counter large enough to handle traffic


Fast-moving parts close to counter
Fast-moving parts secure
Shop supplies stored close to counter
Retail/Wholesale Counter visible from this counter
Repair order rack nearby
Technical bulletins and campaign notices available
Special tool rack

SHIPPING/RECEIVING AREA

Work space large enough


Work space well lit
Area separate from general traffic
Area for inventory control system (terminal, in-house
computer, manual, pad) is convenient and large enough

INVENTORY STORAGE AREA

Area clearly identified with signs


Retail/Wholesale Counter large enough to handle
customers
Counter area conveniently displays parts and accessories
to customers
Displays protected from casual pilferage
Area generally appears spacious and open
Area is pleasantly decorated and clean
Electronic parts system, microfiche and catalogues
conveniently situated

TECHNICIANS COUNTER AREA

Located to provide maximum visibility of Parts Department


Counters visible from office
Private office

Located near docks or receiving doors


Receiving clerk has a desk
Area uncluttered
Shipping area clearly marked
Receiving area clearly marked
Shipping and Receiving areas separated
Shipping and Receiving isolated from regular inventory area
Area only accessible through the Parts Department and
exterior door

Special order parts area separate


Special order parts area organised
Special order parts area clean, uncluttered
Warranty parts area separate
Warranty parts area accessible
Warranty parts area clean, uncluttered
Ceiling height above 17 feet (5.2m)
Aisles at least 3 feet wide (91.4cm) between parts and
accessories bins
Main aisles at least 4 feet (1.2m) wide
Aisles (not bins) lighted overhead
Stairs (if any) wide enough to accommodate moving bulky
parts (at least 4 feet (1.2m) wide)
Sheet metal stored close to shipping area
Glass has special storage area
Bins have provision for future expansion
Area accessible only to authorised personnel
All entry doors are necessar y
Office supplies, sales promotion materials, counter tickets,
repair orders and housekeeping supplies and materials not
stored in area

GENERAL PERFORMANCE CHECKS

73

Parts Department areas physically separate from all other


departments
Parts Department convenient to all other departments and
customers
Convenient parking available for:
Wholesale/Retail customers
Shipping and Receiving
Department employees
General signage directs customers to the Parts Department
and counters
All access doors lockable

PA RTS EXC E L L E N C E

THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK

74

FACILITIES DEV E LO P M E N T

Appendix B

ENGLISH TO METRIC
CONVERSION TABLE
LENGTHS
1 Inch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.54

Centimetres

1 Centimetre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.394

Inch

1 Foot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.305

Metre

1 Metre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39.37

Inches or 3.28 Feet

1 Yard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.914

Metres

1 Metre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.094

Yards

SURFACE AREA
1 Square Inch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.45

Square Centimetres

1 Square Centimetre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.155

Square Inch

1 Square Foot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 929.03

Square Centimetres

1 Square Metre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.764

Square Feet

1 Square Yard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.836

Square Metre

1 Square Metre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.196

Square Yards

VOLUMES
1 Cubic Inch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16.387

Cubic Centimetres

1 Cubic Centimetre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.061

Cubic Inch

1 Cubic Foot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283.16

Cubic Centimetres

1 Cubic Metre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.772

Cubic Feet

1 Cubic Yard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.765

Cubic Metre

1 Cubic Metre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.308

Cubic Yards

75