Features & Interviews

Part to play: how parts have become a key offering for manufacturers and dealers

14 October 2021 #Features & Interviews

Parts provision, including new and recycled, is an increasingly important part of the commercial vehicle dealer’s role, helping boost turnover and profits.

Manufacturers say approved, genuine parts are manufactured to a high quality, thoroughly tested to deal with a range of conditions and include generous warranties and that parts installed by authorised workshops fit a truck perfectly.

Demolition and waste management specialist Collard Group recently completed a move to fit Genuine Volvo Parts across its fleet of more than 100 Volvo trucks, which it maintains in-house.

The operator sources its parts from local dealer Volvo Truck and Bus Centre South & East in Reading, which makes twice-daily deliveries to its site.

Roddy Taylor, Transport Director for the Eversley, Hampshire-based firm, identified that Genuine Volvo Parts could help increase uptime – replacing a company policy of sourcing non-genuine parts from factors.

He said: “We identified that certain non-genuine parts were failing a lot earlier than expected, leading to costly downtime, and putting more pressure on our workshop.

“We began using Genuine Volvo Parts for certain key components, and they performed incredibly well, leading to a noticeable uplift in reliability and performance.

“It sparked a process which has seen us steadily increase the mix of Genuine Volvo Parts we fit to our Volvos up to five years old; recently hitting 100 per cent for the first time.”

Genuine Volvo Parts are backed by a 12-month warranty when fitted by the customer, or 24-months in an authorised Volvo workshop, and continue to be available for at least 15 years after a model has ceased production.

Taylor added: “Availability and first-time pick rates are excellent. We phone our orders in, and the parts arrive on the next delivery – which is normally same day for most routine items ordered before 9am, or next day if it’s coming from the main Volvo parts facility in Rugby.

“On occasions the dealer has even sent a third delivery on the same day to help us out.”

Scania dealer Keltruck’s parts recycling centre is based at its dealership in West Bromwich and headed by Carl Joynes, Business Development Executive, Used Parts Operations.

Everything with the potential to be recycled from a pre-owned vehicle is removed, cleaned and checked before being added to the inventory on a racking system.

There are more than 3,000 used parts and 10,000 individual items on the books and items range from plastic trim items to front axles and even complete cabs.

Alongside its genuine new parts service, Renault Trucks has just opened a new recycling centre specialising in genuine second life parts of its vehicles.

The facility at its Reading depot carefully selects end-of-life trucks to meet sales demand and is the first fully authorised genuine parts recycling centre in its network.

Steve Astill, Group Parts Manager at Renault Truck Commercials said the site is perfectly positioned to meet the “growing demand for high quality, competitively priced recycled genuine parts.”

He added: “We know the service history of every part on every Renault truck that comes through the facility, which gives customers real peace of mind. Additionally, all major recycled components come with a warranty.

“Our qualified technicians work to exacting manufacture standards to remove the parts, which are cleaned, prepared and stored ready for sale.

“We try to sell as much as possible from the vehicles we process, however anything we can’t sell is disposed of through our waste conscious streams, correctly recycled right down to the copper from our wiring looms.”

Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz Vans dealer Rossetts Commercials has just opened a dedicated Trade Parts Distribution Centre in Crawley, believed to be the first of its kind in the manufacturer’s commercial vehicle network.

The dealer’s team of eight parts advisers and eight delivery drivers is drawn from across its four main sites and serve independent garages, fleet workshops, accident repair centres and others throughout Sussex, Kent and Surrey.

It carries broader and deeper stocks than previously possible at any one branch and includes 3,000 sq ft of storage space over two floors with parts worth more than £1.5 million.

Group Parts Manager Paul Mitchell, said: “It (the dedicated parts centre) has given branch-based colleagues an opportunity to breathe again, and to focus on delivering the enhanced levels of service that will enable them to grow their retail sales.”

According to Rossetts, its parts business has been extremely busy for some time, with trade sales accounting for a substantial proportion of its total turnover.

Earlier this year, Brian Currie Truck & Trailer also opened a facility on the Drayton Fields Industrial Estate in Daventry offering parts and workshop services across all marques of truck and trailer, under DAF’s TRP brand.

The Milton-Keynes-based dealer’s new facility is being monitored closely by the manufacturer’s wider dealer network as the company looks to develop TRP with Service Plus workshop locations elsewhere in the UK and Ireland.

Tom Osborne, Joint Managing Director at Brian Currie added: “Daventry has been on our wish list for some time, and we already know that our mixed-fleet customers want a dedicated all-makes parts and service offering under one roof.”

DAF has its TRP all-makes truck and trailer parts range available across its 135 UK and Ireland network, including 20 dedicated TRP Shops.

The TRP parts range now exceeds 90,000 individual items covering all makes of HGV, LCV, trailer, tanker and workshop consumables, with all parts covered by full DAF warranty.

Kevin Keenan, Operations Manager at Arcese, which runs a mixed fleet, said: “The TRP parts service from Brian Currie MK has to-date always been exceptional, but now, a dedicated service workshop on our doorstep is going to allow us to keep our vehicles in tip-top condition at an affordable cost.”

Truck manufacturers will continue to regard their parts offering as a key part of their overall aftersales package as well as, in the case of recycled parts, a commitment to be environmentally responsible.

Ultimately it makes excellent business sense to keep downtime as short as possible for customers and to offer premium parts at competitive prices.

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