In the competitive field of heavy-duty parts, vendors will often go the extra mile to land shops’ business. Everyone tries to stay on the cutting edge, but sometimes they end up offering the same perks as their rivals.
Take online catalogs, for example. These are nothing new; almost as soon as the internet officially became a thing, most parts stores had figured out how to post electronic listings of their wares. Since everyone’s online, the best way for a vendor to set themselves apart from the rest is to offer particular perks and features.
Let’s look at two popular parts stores: NAPA ProLink and O’Reilly First Call. At first glance, they’re pretty similar…but a closer look reveals they offer special perks to entice repair shops to buy from them exclusively.
Let’s take a deeper dive.
NAPA ProLink vs. O’Reilly First Call: The Basics
Both online catalogs have the same basic features any repair tech might look for. ProLink and First Call each let you look up parts by description, VIN number, job type, keyword, or even the part number if you happen to have it. Each catalog also pulls up complete parts information, including images. Plus, ProLink and First Call will both show you parts availability at your local store, distribution center, and hub.
You can place parts orders through both sites; each also features an estimator feature that allows shops to put together a quick quote.
Yes, they both offer some excellent perks, but the two sites have their differences. For example, the First Call lookup feature includes the ability to look up parts by license plate number. ProLink has a Buyer’s Guide that will show you a part and all the vehicles it will fit. NAPA’s catalog program also alerts customers to special deals and national store promotions, while O’Reilly’s has a section to check for shop specials and current campaigns.
Additionally, while each one has a “toolbox”—an online list of resources—some of the “tools” in them differ. NAPA’s includes a conversion calculator, access to a tech hotline, and line cards. O’Reilly’s version has flyers, as well, along with Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and product awareness info. First Call also has a Special Markets section for heavy-duty and fleets, paint and body, and even government purchasing.
What’s more, O’Reilly’s online catalog has two resource sections we couldn’t find in NAPA’s catalog. First, the Service Center Programs include marketing tools that O’Reilly’s customers can use such as roadside assistance and tire and other nationwide warranties. Second, First Call also has a tech training tab in the catalog that provides real-world training with the latest techniques and methods.
You Love Your Vendor, But…
Most shops have a tried-and-true vendor (or two!) that serve as their go-tos for any kind of part they need. Maybe it’s O’Reilly First Call; maybe it’s NAPA ProLink; maybe it’s an entirely different supplier. But how can you make sure you’re getting the best price?
If you sense a Fullbay plug coming, you’re correct.
Fullbay is designed to help you stay on top of your parts purchases and sales. How do you ensure you’re always getting the best deal from a vendor? By knowing what you’ve been paying before — Fullbay’s “Purchase Order History” is a gold mine of information; you can see what you’ve bought from a particular vendor, or how much you’ve paid for a particular part over time.
Oh, and you can order through the app, too. Pretty awesome, right? We think so, too. If you’d like to see how Fullbay can make all things parts go a little smoother for you (as well as see how Fullbay can help you run a more efficient, profitable shop!) then give our free demo a shot!