Nov 26, 2015

Heavy Duty Diesel Parts Manager

Heavy Duty Diesel Parts Manager

“Parts guys are a dime a dozen,” the general manager snorted from behind his desk.

Larry stood up, pulled a dime from his pocket, and threw it towards the GM.

“There’s a dime. Go get yourself a dozen parts guys,” Larry said. Then he added, “I quit.”

Larry Miller was managing the parts department at a dealership. He was trying to get more funding for his underpaid team. The general manager had no clue the value a good parts guy provides. So Larry left and took several guys with him.

Miller went on to own not only dozens of dealerships, but an NBA franchise too. He had an incredible memory, and until his death in 2009 he could still rattle off parts numbers from a 1974 Toyota.

Parts Manager in a Heavy Duty Shop

Good parts guys are definitely not a dime a dozen. They are critical to running a heavy duty shop efficiently. Nearly every repair requires some parts.

When all goes right, you almost don’t notice the work involved from the parts manager. But if something goes wrong — even with one part on a big repair — it can hold up the whole job.

Parts Manager Doesn’t Have to be Full Time

Depending on the size of your shop, you may not have a full-time parts manager. It’s common for one person to fill the parts manager and service manager roles. With the right software in place, this is very doable.

Parts Manager Handles a Lot of Money

The parts manager directs a lot of spending in a shop. He is in charge of inventory. That means he controls how big inventory gets, and how well it is protected from theft (aka shrinkage). A bigger inventory costs the shop more. This is because it takes up space in the shop, could impact insurance rates, makes theft more likely, and it ties up the owner’s cash.

The parts manager also orders non-inventory parts for repairs. If he’s careful, he can find a good deal and make the shop a better margin on the part sale.

Parts Manager and Efficiency

A good parts manager helps the shop run at a high efficiency. If he is good at getting parts quotes quickly, and then getting parts ordered and received quickly, it keeps the technicians more productive. They are able to turn wrenches more and stand around less.


Don’t undervalue a good parts manager. They control a lot of your money, and have a direct impact on the shop running efficiently.

We’ve built tools into Fullbay that make the job of a parts manager even easier, so he can focus on saving you money on parts and pushing the shop to a higher efficiency. Spend 30 minutes with us discussing Fullbay and see if it might make sense to implement in your shop.

Jacob Findlay