CPWD status, dedicated OSR help North County Ford achieve dramatic parts sales increase
Vista, Calif.— North County Ford became a Certified Parts Wholesale Dealership (CPWD) last year, which allows its parts department to offer lower pricing on thousands of Motorcraft mechanical parts to its customers.
“In 2015, Motorcraft adjusted pricing on more than 4,200 mechanical parts as part of its ongoing efforts to competitively align pricing across the Motorcraft product lines,” said Anne Tran-Malone, wholesale zone manager for Ford Motor Co., California Market. Tran-Malone said many more pricing actions will be announced throughout 2016 and Motorcraft is also consolidating part numbers to simplify its product lines, making it easier to order Motorcraft parts.
“Many products have been rebranded to Motorcraft, making more parts available through Ford and Lincoln dealers and Ford Authorized Wholesale Distributors (AWD), particularly for older model vehicles.
“Selected CPWDs are also looking to offer hot-shot delivery to independent installers and fleets, improving delivery time for both Ford and Motorcraft,” she added.
Darin Pearcy, North County Ford’s parts director, who has been with the Crowley dealership group since 1992, said parts sales have improved significantly since becoming a CPWD in December.
“The increase is primarily due to the efforts of my dedicated full-time outside sales rep (OSR), Alan Medina,” Pearcy said. “Alan comes from the independent repair world. He is very familiar with the needs of those customers and he’s bilingual.”
Tran-Malone added that part of the OSR’s role is to share product and market knowledge with wholesale customers.
Pearcy said he hasn’t changed the way he does wholesale much, but thanks to Medina, he now knows immediately if there’s a problem and any problem that arises is dealt with immediately.
“In the past, a problem might have just resulted in a shop calling someone else,” he said. “We’re now conquesting shops that left us and they are giving us another try because Alan asked them to.”
Pearcy said studies show that getting the parts to the shops fast is the most important factor in customer satisfaction, so he maintains about $1 million in parts and has an off-the-shelf fill rate of about 95 percent.
The department recently replaced 150 parts shelves with four Remstar computer-controlled vertical parts storage carousels, located a few steps away from the parts counter, which efficiently store and quickly retrieve parts, saving time and space.
Typically, shops receive a certain percentage off “list” which isn’t the best deal for the customer or the dealership, Pearcy said. Ford has encouraged all of its dealers to go to a “cost plus” structure instead.
Pearcy offers wholesale customers Motorcraft parts at cost plus 15 percent, because they are the most competitive, and cost plus 25 percent on regular Ford parts.
“The biggest savings for our wholesale customers is on the Motorcraft side because the spread between cost and list is so much greater,” he said. “So if our customers are charging their customers list for the parts, they’re doing quite well.”
Pearcy said North County Ford is becoming Powertrain Certified as well, “so we’ll be tripling our inventory and offering very good discounts on gas and diesel engines and transmissions that non-certified dealers can’t touch.”
Ford also offers two online parts-ordering programs for wholesale customers, FordParts.com and RepairLinkShop.com, but Pearcy said neither has garnered many of his customers so far.
“FordParts.com is more popular but only a small percentage of our customers use it,” he said. “Everyone is used to using the phone and it’s a habit that’s hard to break. Ordering online is much faster because they can place the order and get back to work instead of sitting on hold.”
The parts department has six Ford Master Certified counter sales people (three of whom work the wholesale parts counter), two shipping and receiving people, two delivery drivers, and one outside sales rep, said Pearcy, who is also Ford Master Certified.
“We have three delivery trucks, and access to additional drivers, including the OSR and Parts manager, and we specialize in a small, 12-mile radius delivery area for fastest delivery,” he said. “We also do hot-shot deliveries and have even delivered parts by taxi.”
Pearcy said the trucks follow specific delivery routes and are in constant contact with the dispatcher through Elite tracking service, which is a part of the CWPD certification program.
“We know exactly where the trucks are at all times and we can send a message right to the driver’s tablet if we need to get a hold of them.”