Year-over-year increases outweighed decreases on a roughly 3:1 basis, with the biggest improvements exhibited by two Mexican brands – each gaining over 30 points in Overall Satisfaction. In the U.S., the biggest gainers benefited from a “return to normalcy” as they managed to straighten out their supply chain systems.
It is interesting to note that the company with the most “best-in-class” ratings also has the highest satisfaction with Pricing. As discussed in our November 14th blog, we consistently see that parts managers are relatively more satisfied with pricing (relative to the rest of the industry) when they are satisfied with the rest of the areas in which the OEM supports them. Dealerships don’t usually like paying OEM parts prices, but it is easier to accept when they feel the OEM is doing a good job of supporting their needs.
So, what were some of the key process/people/policy changes that the biggest “movers and shakers” made over the last year? Some of these (which were documented in more depth with the participating OEMs) included:
- Reducing minimum piece prices for allowable parts returns
- Streamlining communications describing material return process and policies
- Improving fill levels by leveraging offerings of inventory management system, including conducting simulations and modifying stocking parameters
- Focusing on back order reduction by intense monitoring (e.g., detailed daily B/O reports), heightened focus on expediting, better planning for inventory needs (especially for accessories and promotional parts), and increased sharing of status (with brands, customer care, etc.)
- Offering faster order response time to smaller/remote dealers
- Upgrading speed and reliability of electronic parts catalog system
- Redesigning order hotline to assure each call/request is closely monitored and dealers are provided frequent updates on progress
- Most notably, one OEM opened a Canadian PDC, rather than supporting their Canadian dealers out of the U.S. This OEM experienced a 30+ point gain in satisfaction after this decision.