Longtime staff builds longtime customers
Creve Coeur, Mo.—Weber Chevrolet’s Parts Manager Elmer Breece and Sales Manager Tim Hilyard have been working diligently to ensure that they have their parts availability and delivery network streamlined for efficiency.
“We recently added an off-site warehouse, just a few miles up the road from our Creve Coeur store,” Hilyard said. “It’s given us an extra 20,000 square feet of space where we have expanded our sheet metal, bumper, and body part offerings.”
The new warehouse brings the overall inventory at Weber Chevrolet up to $3.5 million, which is 40 percent mechanical and 60 percent collision. “If our customers need it, we have it or can get it to them fast,” he added.
Weber has 10 delivery trucks that are dispatched for deliveries in a 75-mile radius with twice-a-day delivery. It also has local drivers in place on standby for hot-shot deliveries, Breece said.
All delivery trucks are equipped with a GPS monitoring system to ensure the customer knows exactly where their parts are at any given time. “We added the GPS a little while ago because we were spending way too much time tracking drivers by phone. It also tied up our phone lines for customers trying to call in. We’re now are able to let a customer know where their delivery driver is so that they can plan accordingly and not tie up a bay if they don’t have to,” Hilyard said.
Fulfilling orders is an experienced parts staff of nine counter representatives who have a combined parts industry experience of 375 years.
“Our counter guys are very good at what they do. The relationships they have built throughout the years and the knowledge they have not only to help find a part, but technical skills also, really set them apart from the crowd. They all have dedicated lines that a customer can call in to also, so that they can make sure that they are taken care of,” said Hilyard.
Breece added, “When we bring someone on, they stay. Our turnover rate is very low, so those relationships can be built without the risk of talking to someone new all the time.”
Experience and knowledge starts at the top with Breece having more than 40 years experience in the industry, all gained with Weber Chevrolet.
“I started working here as a kid putting away stock, sweeping floors, and doing a little bit of driving. My dad, Bill, was the parts manager for over 40 years here as well, so I am second generation. I took over as parts manager in 1990.”
Hilyard has been with Weber Chevrolet for almost 12 years, but he got his start working at Heff’s Automotive as a driver, eventually working his way up to outside sales.
Hilyard and Breece are getting the word out about the “my GM Partner Perks” program, which effectively replaces all other GM programs such as Genuine GM Rewards. Previously, shops earned points for specific powertrain and collision parts purchases. With “my GM Partner Perks,” customers earn points with no restrictions on the full portfolio of GM parts including GM Genuine Parts, ACDelco, Chevrolet Performance and GM Accessories. Benefits extend beyond just redeemable points, Hilyard added.
“The program also includes national marketing support, training resources, and business tools that can help drive profitability, productivity, and increase a mechanical or collision shop’s bottom line.”
Breece said, “We are a Level 1 GM Powertrain dealer, so we have an expanded availability and special pricing options that other dealerships may not be able to offer.”
One of the special powertrain programs that Weber can offer is “overPower the Competition,” which allows price matching and other special pricing that can be passed along to a shop.
Price matching for collision and mechanical parts is another perk that Hilyard says they can offer. “We want to ensure that repairs are being completed in the safest possible way with the highest quality parts and if that means we have to price-match aftermarket parts, then so be it. We will do whatever it takes.”
To stay strong against the competition, Hilyard also says that Weber Chevrolet simply steps up. “We do a really good job at staying competitive. We know that there are guys out there that have a bigger inventory and a wider delivery radius, but we take care of our customers who are right here in the St. Louis area, plain and simple. We do a better job, closer to home.”
Breece added, “Weber Chevrolet has been in business for over 100 years in St. Louis. We know the area and we know our customers. We will do whatever it takes to provide the best customer service possible.”