As life continues to evolve and technology becomes a part of our everyday lives, so too is the Salvage Yard industry changing and evolving. With this change comes great fear of the unknown and the notion that the old ways are better than the new. Gone are the days of traveling across the country to go to auctions and just hiring anyone off the street with mechanical knowledge to run the sales counter without any training. With thus change also comes excitement and enthusiasm for what could be an amazing journey. There are steps that need to be taken in order for the transitions and changes to become effective. These changes and transitions take time and patience and the understanding that with the right training and the right frame of mind these changes can make a drastic improvement to your organization.
The first step in advancing into the new era is developing an online presence. This means utilization of Social Media such as Facebook and Instagram. Also posting parts online for sale using companies such as Ebay, Craigislist and Amazon. Market research is a change in the industry that requires dedication and consistency. One of the aspects that must always be taken into play is to do research on your customers and to determine which market they are in—whether it is wholesale or retail or a good mixture of both.
Inventory and Interchange
Inventory is one of the most important jobs within the salvage industry and a department that is often overlooked in terms of needing change or improvement. There is tremendous potential for ROI gained and lost by how and where we inventory parts. From doing your homework on late model or foreign and exotic vehicles to understanding where and how those parts should be listed. This is becoming more of a research and data position than ever before.
One of the areas that it is vastly gaining momentum is the developing and tiering of trading partners. There are many yards that have not even opened up to the idea of building relationships with trading partners. This is a huge market that can vastly increase your business and build and develop a whole new customer class for your organization. When planning to tier your trading partners make sure to review which partners or trading groups will help you satisfy your customers. A good example of this is to know who you can trust to get you their parts in a timely manner with quality and cleanliness.
Training and Development
Training and Development is something that is very new to the industry and should be taken seriously and utilized. The first step in training and development is creating policies and procedures for each department within your organization and training your staff in those departments. The sales staff need to have policies set in place with goals right alongside in order to show your sales staff which direction you are heading and making a plan for growth. Building training manuals for each department so quality and timeliness can be a constant factor within your organization. Once the manuals and goals are set in place it is important to have weekly manager as well as staff meetings in order to make sure that your leadership and staff are on the same page and working in the right direction for the organization.
Training has many forms and each department needs their own training manual but the one department that needs consistent and weekly training is your sales staff. These individuals are your front line, the people that are in constant communication with your customers. Hold weekly 1-on-1 meetings to set goals, review recorded phone calls, and coach them to ask for the sales.
The right individuals are an extremely important aspect of this industry and finding the right people can be tedious and time consuming, but the need to be constantly hiring is a necessity. Too many times organizations try and replace an individual that has left which can leave the yard short-handed and create a bit of chaos. Constantly hiring can avoid this chaos and keep the organization going even when tenured employees either leave or retire.
Creating a Sense of Pride
All of this cannot be possible unless a sense of pride in the organization can be created. In order for that to happen it must be built from the top. Nowadays individuals are not staying at jobs as long as they used to. They are moving around trying to find a place they enjoy. Creating this sense of pride within the organization. This can have an increase in product quality with parts going out to customers in a timely fashion and with the quality promised to the customer. Changing the mindset and culture within the organization is not an easy task. It takes work and a lot of patience, but the benefits can be rewarding. Far gone are the days of the junkyards.
Robert Counts Chad Counts Rich Tyler Johnny Logel
Robert Counts, firstname.lastname@example.org; 512-693-6915
Chad Counts, email@example.com; 512-963-4626