Tonkin and CCC partner to bring improved parts ordering to repairers
Portland, Ore.—Business continues to grow for Tonkin Parts Center, and with that comes challenges, such as accommodating the more than 2,000 phone orders coming into its call center and maintaining high standards for quality and service. The solution was to bring e-commerce to its parts ordering process.
“We’ve been thinking about e-commerce for several years,” said Keith Burtram, senior manager, Tonkin Parts Center, which is one of the largest auto parts warehouses in the western U.S., representing 13 makes and more than 120,000 part numbers in stock making up a $15,000,000 inventory. “Our primary goal has been to make it easy for collision repairers to buy parts from us. We think the right parts e-commerce solution will do that, while allowing us to deliver the quality and service our collision repair customers have come to expect.”
To meet that goal, Tonkin integrated with the CCC True Parts Network, a parts supplier platform that works directly with CCC’s collision repair software, allowing thousands of repairers to view and order parts from one system in real time.
It effectively displays the Tonkin parts inventory to existing and new collision repair customers while estimates are being written in the CCC ONE solution. As a result, there is greater control over call volume, he said, creating more opportunities for call center staff to focus on orders with complexity, with an increase in sales of nearly 4 percent and a nearly 30 percent increase in repairer participation through the preferred channel.
“The CCC integrated and real-time parts ordering solution has positively impacted Tonkin’s sales volume and revenue,” Burtram said. “We’re taking a series of steps internally to grow our business, and the CCC solution has contributed to our success. In the last several months we’ve seen sales volume increase for those customers using the solution. And, more customers are adopting the CCC solution.”
Early attempts at e-commerce, such as using online catalogs, had limitations for larger collision parts orders, as it required customers to visit multiple parts websites to find information, and the data in the catalogs wasn’t always as complete as Tonkin would have liked. For example, Burtram said, parts for newer model vehicles didn’t show up right away in all online catalogs, which presented a problem for customers.
“We started talking to CCC and quickly realized that their parts solution was what we’d been looking for,” he said. “The CCC solution is a winner because it’s integrated into the product that repairers already use, day-in and day-out. They don’t need to learn a new tool to do business with us, they simply view and purchase from our live inventory. They can even see our invoices, by PO number, in the same system.”
For Burtram, the integrated nature of the CCC solution means better data and a more focused customer service team.
“Because the data is real time, customers don’t have to call in to check parts availability – it’s right on their screen, thanks to our DMS-certified integration to CCC via WHI Solutions’ Nexpart platform. We have a very experienced call center team. We can now take full advantage of that expertise, focusing their time on more complex orders, quality control and general customer service,” he said. “I think this is one of the industry’s ‘no-brainer’ solutions. This functionality already exists in the CCC product – the tool most shops already use. It shows available parts, pricing is upfront and invoices are posted automatically.”