You told me what?

Jan. 1, 2020
In response to Mitch Schneider's "Hate to say 'I told you so'" article suggesting that car manufacturers and dealerships were offering deep discounts, I say bring it on.

In response to Mitch Schneider’s “Hate to say ‘I told you so…’”  article suggesting that car manufacturers and dealerships were now offering ‘deep’ discounts to service centers and installers, as a parts store, I say bring it on. Now why would I taunt or otherwise cajole the big guys into entering my world? Simple. They cannot do what I can do. Never could, did or will.

Schneider alluded to the fact that he should be happy because he can now offer a replacement part that has the same form and fit, but he was concerned for us jobbers because what we are currently offering would not be good enough to compete with the dealerships. To ease his mind, I have decided to act like a dealership or manufacturer, while offering even deeper discounts. Here is what is going to happen.

1.     All special order items will now be non-returnable. Sorry you didn’t need it.
2.     Other returned items will carry a mandatory 25 percent restock fee.
3.     Delivery will be sporadic and unpredictable.
4.     Quoted prices will not be guaranteed. It was that price the last time we had it, but not today. It was superceded.
5.     I will demand the VIN number, even if it’s something I can figure out without it.
6.     If there are instructions in the box on how to install or test a product (a lot of aftermarket products contain them), I will remove them before shipping.  In fact, I will recommend that all aftermarket manufacturers cease and desist all effort to actually help, thus further reducing the cost of my product.
7.     I will change all of my part numbers to at least 16 digits, which will make the service writers very happy and their jobs much easier, indeed.
8.     I will supersede all items at least 3 times yearly.
9.     A 12 month/12,000 mile warranty will be my new standard, even if I could do better. If you are over your mileage by 30 miles, I will insist on the service center buying a new one.
10.  I will only fax diagrams that are virtually unreadable. I might have to invest in a few smudge crayons to accomplish this.
11.  Even if I am in a good mood, I will treat you like I am in a bad mood and ultimately  far more superior than any of my service centers.
12.  I will now sell to the fleet accounts at the same low-low price I am selling to you.  I know you worked hard to get that business, and I appreciate the opportunity to take it from you.  Thanks.
13.  Anything older than  15 years will now be obsolete.  Be sure to tell your customers that their car is too old, and you can no longer get a lot of critical items they might need.
14.  I will no longer provide cataloging to assist you in looking up parts you might stock. I guess you’ll just have to remember what it fits. ting program.

PAGE 2

And after all of these internal changes, I will assure you that you should have a part with the same form and fit.
I have 7 bays of my own, and techs of my own. I am tired of hearing techs and installers — even some of my own guys — say they buy dealer parts because of form and fit. Hell, a lot of aftermarket manufacturers actually make the original that was on the car to begin with.

Have you ever heard the oft ill-used term sloppy seconds? As jobbers, we have dealt with the dealerships for years. Many have been great customers, and these long-term relationships have given me great insight as to how a dealership parts department works. It’s nowhere near as customer oriented as a typical jobber store. I’ve been there, done that, and if service centers thinks that they’ll get the same level of service from them, they are but merely confused by the packaging. Remember, we jobbers have seen the dealership with their clothes off already, and the form and fit weren’t that good. 

In the end, if I acted like a dealership, I’d make more money and have less headache dealing with returns, warranties and an ever-increasing inventory. All of my service centers get a part that looks like the original, and make less money due to stiffer policies from their dealerships. Wow! Sign me up. 

I think Schneider’s column was an attempt to get us jobbers to do more for the service centers and installer business. To that implication, I have my own ‘I told you so.’ In 10 years, 75 percent of all independent jobbers will have bays, and the service center as we know it today will be almost non-existent. I’m telling you it’s happening now, but only a fraction of the reasoning is because of form and fit. It’s mostly because of profit.

In response to Mitch Schneider’s “Hate to say ‘I told you so…’”  article suggesting that car manufacturers and dealerships were now offering ‘deep’ discounts to service centers and installers, as a parts store, I say bring it on. Now why would I taunt or otherwise cajole the big guys into entering my world? Simple. They cannot do what I can do. Never could, did or will.

Schneider alluded to the fact that he should be happy because he can now offer a replacement part that has the same form and fit, but he was concerned for us jobbers because what we are currently offering would not be good enough to compete with the dealerships. To ease his mind, I have decided to act like a dealership or manufacturer, while offering even deeper discounts. Here is what is going to happen.

1.     All special order items will now be non-returnable. Sorry you didn’t need it.
2.     Other returned items will carry a mandatory 25 percent restock fee.
3.     Delivery will be sporadic and unpredictable.
4.     Quoted prices will not be guaranteed. It was that price the last time we had it, but not today. It was superceded.
5.     I will demand the VIN number, even if it’s something I can figure out without it.
6.     If there are instructions in the box on how to install or test a product (a lot of aftermarket products contain them), I will remove them before shipping.  In fact, I will recommend that all aftermarket manufacturers cease and desist all effort to actually help, thus further reducing the cost of my product.
7.     I will change all of my part numbers to at least 16 digits, which will make the service writers very happy and their jobs much easier, indeed.
8.     I will supersede all items at least 3 times yearly.
9.     A 12 month/12,000 mile warranty will be my new standard, even if I could do better. If you are over your mileage by 30 miles, I will insist on the service center buying a new one.
10.  I will only fax diagrams that are virtually unreadable. I might have to invest in a few smudge crayons to accomplish this.
11.  Even if I am in a good mood, I will treat you like I am in a bad mood and ultimately  far more superior than any of my service centers.
12.  I will now sell to the fleet accounts at the same low-low price I am selling to you.  I know you worked hard to get that business, and I appreciate the opportunity to take it from you.  Thanks.
13.  Anything older than  15 years will now be obsolete.  Be sure to tell your customers that their car is too old, and you can no longer get a lot of critical items they might need.
14.  I will no longer provide cataloging to assist you in looking up parts you might stock. I guess you’ll just have to remember what it fits. ting program.

PAGE 2

And after all of these internal changes, I will assure you that you should have a part with the same form and fit.
I have 7 bays of my own, and techs of my own. I am tired of hearing techs and installers — even some of my own guys — say they buy dealer parts because of form and fit. Hell, a lot of aftermarket manufacturers actually make the original that was on the car to begin with.

Have you ever heard the oft ill-used term sloppy seconds? As jobbers, we have dealt with the dealerships for years. Many have been great customers, and these long-term relationships have given me great insight as to how a dealership parts department works. It’s nowhere near as customer oriented as a typical jobber store. I’ve been there, done that, and if service centers thinks that they’ll get the same level of service from them, they are but merely confused by the packaging. Remember, we jobbers have seen the dealership with their clothes off already, and the form and fit weren’t that good. 

In the end, if I acted like a dealership, I’d make more money and have less headache dealing with returns, warranties and an ever-increasing inventory. All of my service centers get a part that looks like the original, and make less money due to stiffer policies from their dealerships. Wow! Sign me up. 

I think Schneider’s column was an attempt to get us jobbers to do more for the service centers and installer business. To that implication, I have my own ‘I told you so.’ In 10 years, 75 percent of all independent jobbers will have bays, and the service center as we know it today will be almost non-existent. I’m telling you it’s happening now, but only a fraction of the reasoning is because of form and fit. It’s mostly because of profit.