Did you know that not all auto parts suppliers are created equal?
Finding the right auto parts supplier is about a lot more than just having a source to order parts from.
Good suppliers offer things like superior customer service, a wider inventory, and help with ordering difficult-to-find parts. Wondering how to look for the best auto parts supplier? In this handy guide, we’ll break it down.
What Makes an Amazing Auto Parts Supplier?
No matter what you need the parts for, or how many you need, there are a few things that always make a difference. Let’s take a look at how the top suppliers set themselves apart.
The quality of the parts offered is even more important than the quantity.
It doesn’t matter if a low-quality part comes with a warranty – it’s not worth the hassle of using a part that’s likely to need replacement soon. Even if no extra money is needed for the replacement, time is still being wasted.
The best suppliers know which companies make good parts and which make bad ones. They do the research so the customer doesn’t have to.
The parts don’t just need to be high-quality: they also need to be available. What good is an auto part if you can’t order it? Your supplier should have a wide variety of stock that’s available at all times.
The best auto parts suppliers will keep their inventory up to date. If a supplier is often sold out of parts, they’re not likely to have what you need, when you need it.
3. Updated Website
Of course, parts will still go out of stock from time to time, or even be discontinued. It’s important that your auto parts supplier updates its website regularly so what’s shown online accurately matches what’s available.
An outdated website might have a lot of out-of-stock items that you can no longer order. It may also be clunky and difficult to use during checkout, confusing to navigate, or disorganized in appearance.
In today’s business world, the way a company looks online is critical. If a supplier doesn’t give much thought to updating its online presence, it probably doesn’t give much thought to customer service, inventory, and other important things.
Suppliers with the greatest attention to detail online will be able to give the best service.
They should also give you an idea of who they are on their website. Suppliers that give details about their team, customer service approach, and more online, like BOW Auto Parts, are more likely to deliver than those that offer little to no information.
4. Fast Delivery
How fast can your auto parts supplier deliver? Getting the parts where they need to be quickly is an important quality in a supplier.
Many people rely on their cars for day-to-day living. If they can’t get the parts for repairs in a timely manner, it can negatively impact their ability to get to work, travel, or run errands.
If the supplier doesn’t currently have a part in stock, they should be able to source it from a different distribution center to meet the customer’s needs. No one wants to wait for car repairs – the faster, the better.
5. Good Prices
Car repairs are already costly for the labor alone. Why would anyone want to pay more for expensive parts on top of that?
A good auto parts supplier needs to have competitively low prices. That doesn’t mean they need to be the lowest prices around: after all, people will still pay for quality. However, overcharging is a surefire way to lose customers.
When choosing a supplier, be sure to compare both price and quality. The place with the cheapest inventory might also have low-quality products, but a higher price isn’t always better. Usually, the best suppliers fall somewhere in the middle.
6. Employee Training
Good suppliers also need to have good employees to give the best service to customers. Some suppliers put extra focus on employee training to go above and beyond what other companies can offer.
The more well-trained the staff is, the better service they can give. Staff members need to become auto parts experts so they can help customers find exactly what they need.
When you walk into the supplier’s location or call their customer service line, the staff member you talk to should also have a strong general knowledge of auto parts. Good customer service is important, but it’s not enough. It needs to be coupled with a strong knowledge about parts in general.
This means they need to have hands-on knowledge about car repair. Knowing the different parts on the market does little good if the employee doesn’t know how to use them. The best suppliers have employees with enough knowledge to come up with creative solutions to difficult auto problems using the parts available.
7. Point of Sale System
Not only does a supplier need to have a responsive, easy-to-use website, but they should also have a good in-store point of sale system (if they’re a brick-and-mortar business).
Faster software means faster, easier checkout and less chance of errors. Options like scanning the VIN of a vehicle into the system allows employees to quickly pull up information about availability and inventory.
If a supplier can’t connect to the internet while you’re in the store, you’ll have a much harder time finding what you need. The best suppliers can help you find and order parts that they don’t currently have, and should be able to tell you how long it will take for a part to arrive.
8. Good Customer Service
Good customer service is the cherry on the top of a great auto parts supplier.
Although some people may choose to do business with a supplier that has inferior service but hits all the other marks, a supplier that gives a pleasant customer experience is more likely to keep customers.
Need Auto Parts?
If you need to source auto parts, pay attention to the supplier you get them from. Once you find a great supplier, you can trust them to meet your auto parts needs again and again.
Looking for auto parts? Make sure your supplier meets all the criteria on this list, and then check out our post on DIY repairs here so you’ll know how to put those parts to good use.