One call, one stop, one salesperson
Van Nuys, Calif.—Galpin Motors, in North Hills, honored by Ford as the No. 1 volume car and truck dealer in the world for decades, has expanded its brand family over the years to include Lincoln, Honda, Mazda, Subaru, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Lotus, Volvo, Volkswagen and Kia, plus Galpin Auto Sports (GAS), its custom division, whose vehicles have been featured in magazines and on TV.
And, Galpin’s wholesale parts division, located in nearby Van Nuys, with a $4.8 million inventory that supplies the parts needs of all of Galpin’s dealerships, as well as those of independent mechanical and collision shops throughout Southern California, could be said to be No. 1 in the parts business.
Especially if you ask Mike Teeman, wholesale parts manager (WPM) with 22 years of parts sales experience, including 11 years at Galpin, nine as its Ford retail parts manager, and two as WPM. He is also a Ford Master Certified parts manager.
“I’ve worked in all parts department positions — driver, shipping/receiving, counter, and parts manager — and I have some service manager experience but I prefer the parts department,” he said, “and Galpin is No. 1 in my mind.”
Teeman said he’s worked for some great parts managers over the years who took the time to show him how to run a successful department and he’s taken a little bit from each one of them and created his own processes.
“I learn something new every day,” he said. “If you stop learning, or choose to stop learning, especially in the wholesale business, you’re going to fall so far behind your business will drown. I’m very analytical and a numbers guy. I love dissecting a parts department with reports and finding trends before they become obvious to anyone else,” he said.
Teeman said he hasn’t made any radical changes in how the 95 employees in his department do their jobs, choosing rather to build on the long established practices that have made his department successful through the years.
All 16 call center employees are cross trained on all of Galpin’s car lines, so customers don’t have to call one person for Ford, another for Honda, and so on, Teeman said.
“We’re a one-stop shop for our customers,” he said. “They could have multiple orders for different makes and handle it all with one salesperson on one phone call.”
Teeman said he also has four of the best outside sales reps in the business with the ability to help shops from the field. Each carries an iPad, so they always have the information needed at their fingertips.
“They can provide anything from dropping off parts to showing a shop how to use CollisionLink or RepairLink to providing technical information from a manufacturer, and it can all be done while they are in the shop. If they don’t know it, they find somebody that does and typically before they end their shop visit.”
One of the things that Teeman said sets Galpin’s wholesale parts department apart from others is that they take an interest in learning not only the wholesale parts business but learning their customers’ business.
“For example, what are collision shops going through with the insurance companies; what are they demanding from the shops, what are their KPIs. Knowing that information helps us to better service our customers and our large parts inventory supports that.
“We provide service that lets customers know that we care about them, their shop, and their customers. We understand that the end result is to get that vehicle owner back on the road and we do everything we can to make both customers completely satisfied.”
All local deliveries (within a 40-mile radius from the warehouse) are free of charge. The department has 30 delivery vehicles and 25 delivery zones in that 40-mile radius.
“Nine of those areas get at least three delivery runs per day, all of the others get at least two delivery runs per day,” Teeman said. “We also have a hot-shot delivery area that is a five-mile radius from our warehouse and those deliveries are non-stop all day long.”
Galpin uses Elite Extra for its dispatch and delivery tracking needs and offers customers a unique log-in that lets them see where their parts are at and provides an ETA on when they will arrive at their shop.
Most wholesale parts offers are from the manufacturers, Teeman said, including “some really good offers now from Ford, and VW has a great offer through the RepairLink program right now.
“We have done our own powertrain and brake offers for Ford parts that had good success, including matching dollar discounts, and we will be bringing those back very soon.
Teeman said he’s had a about a 16 percent year-over-year increase in wholesale parts sales and a good increase so far this year. Currently, collision parts represents more than 60 percent of sales but Teeman said Ford has new programs that are pushing mechanical parts sales.
“Our wholesale fleet business is growing every month,” Teeman said. “We just earned the business of two new fleets last month so we are excited to service them. We have a diverse range of fleet customers — construction, ambulance, municipalities, etc. Fleet business is something we’ve been focusing on since I got in this position and we will continue to grow it indefinitely.”
The way Teeman sees it, there are no challenges in the wholesale parts business, only opportunities, but you have to be dedicated to be in the parts segment.
“It’s not easy — and it certainly isn’t cheap,” he said. “We are fortunate to have great leaders in Bert and Beau Boeckmann who are committed to this business and can see the big picture.”