The first quarter of 2018 is over. A number of people are having strange weather patterns which could allow a strong start to the second quarter. We find that the first quarter of the year is our best sales period and we are very busy. Now that the second quarter is here it is time to start working towards following up with more good sales periods.
What problems did we have running the sales numbers of the last few months? What systems need rebuilt or potentially redesigned? How did each of the employees perform over the first few months? Is our salvage purchases matching our part sales? Are we above or below? Did we preload inventory in the 4th quarter? Did that inventory perform?
These are all questions that you should be asking yourself right now. It is still early enough in the year to make changes and get on track. You do not know what your numbers are you are taking a lot of things to chance. Making a solid plan that has accountability leads to successful growth for a company. Many times it takes an outside set of eyes to help understand the numbers and help feed your growth.
Now is the time to stick to the basics in sales. We are coming to the end of the peak collision business and cold weather failures. The importance of converting calls to sales becomes more important when those opportunities decrease. Fewer calls means fewer opportunities which means selling the part is very important. The whole world is staring to understand that we can move used auto parts around the country in a number of cost effective forms and fashions.
Now is also the time to have the sales team focusing on selling warranties. We always think about making a nice profit but it is the correct thing to do for the customer the overwhelming majority of the time. Who does not want to do the right thing for the customer?
We also need to make sure we are reestablishing our good production habits. The winter weather creates shortcuts. Sometimes those shortcuts become the new way to do things and that is not in your best interest. Once again keeping it simple and getting the vehicles properly dismantled is key. Having the pullers staying efficient keeps things flowing.
We need to remember that the overwhelming majority of the time people are calling us is because they know we have the part and the price of the part. We cannot expect them to wait on us we need to be prepared to deliver them the part.
Keeping things basic will also allow repetitive behavior with a hope of starting to give consistency to what we do. Consistency is what the customer is continually telling us they are looking for. It is also a good time to look at what you are doing in dismantling.
How many parts do you sell per car? Is it enough? How many parts to you pull in dismantling? Do you pull more than you sell? That fills up warehouses. A bad first quarter could have led to some warehouse fill ups.
Now is also a great time to look at your pricing. There are many items that require movement prior to activity starting on them. Remember more people are calling for what we have not asking for prices. That translates into you having to fix the price before the salesperson has a chance to take the call.
Time to keep it simple but more importantly it is time to look at and make improvements in your business. There are many things changing in our industry and they all require us to make sure we have keeping our sites running well.
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