Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 34

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

PROFIT BUILDER

USED BUT USEFUL

 Dealership offers recycled parts to help lower customers' repair bills

S

KEN WYSOCKY

ticker shock happens often in the
service department, when customers face an expensive quote for repairs they can't always afford.
University Toyota in Tuscumbia, Ala., has
found a cure for this malady: PartCycle, a
company that sells high-quality recycled car
parts online through a network of vetted suppliers, typically at a sharp discount compared
with OEM parts. PartCycle allows the dealership to keep repair business in house by offering customers a less expensive option.
"It definitely impacts our bottom line," said
Chris Britt, parts manager for the dealership,
which sold about 1,100 new and 430 used vehicles in 2016.
"Anytime we can sell a customer a part, we
make money, as well as keep work coming in
for our technicians," Britt said. "And customers feel good about it because they're able to
get back on the road."
Offering customers used parts was in the
dealership's game plan long before it started
using PartCycle last May. But it just wasn't
very efficient.
Finding parts often took too long, which gave
frustrated customers time to consider - and
act on - other options, such as taking the
work to independent repair shops, Britt said.
"I've easily spent the better part of a day or
more looking for a used part," he said. "I'd get
on the phone and start dialing local salvage
yards first. Then when you finally get ahold of
someone, it's always, 'Let me see what I can
find and I'll get back to you.'
"Or you get on the Internet and type in the
part you want, and you can spend a great deal
of time looking," he added. "Everyone under
the sun seems to sell them."

Fast, efficient
PartCycle is much faster and more efficient,
he said. Entering basic information about the
part and the vehicle in question on the PartCycle.com website reveals whether it's available from more than 55 professional automotive-parts recyclers nationwide. Those suppli-

PAGE 34

they own newer vehicles, they generally want
new parts," he said.
But customers with older vehicles generally
aren't interested in investing a lot of money in
repairs.
As an example, Britt cited a theoretical customer with a 2004 Toyota Camry that needs a
new actuator for an antilock braking system.
An OEM part might cost $1,900 to more than
$3,000, depending on the model. "But with
PartCycle, it costs about $150," he said.

foj@autonews.com

DECEMBER 2017

'Delighted'
A University Toyota employee consults the
PartCycle website in search of recycled
parts for customer repairs.

ers carry an inventory of more than 4 million
parts, according to Andy Alonso, the company's co-founder.
Shipping is free and parts usually arrive in
one or two days. Parts come with a 180-day
warranty and can be returned within 30 days
of the sale, Alonso said.
The website provides good-better-best price
points, along with such essential information
as the mileage on the vehicle from which the
parts were salvaged. In many cases, photos of
the parts are available.
To ensure the quality of parts, Alonso said the
company follows a strict on-boarding protocol.
"When a recycler reaches out to us or we
reach out to them," he said, "we interview people at the yard and talk about their practices -
how they dismantle a vehicle, how they test
the parts, how they document the condition of
the parts in their part-management system.
"There are 7,000-plus salvage yards in the
United States, and we're trying to reach and
find the top 200 quality-focused operations,"
he added. "We're building a market on the
premise of quality first."
Britt said University Toyota automatically
offers customers a used-parts option from
PartCycle along with an OEM option when it
develops quotes for repairs. Customers often
still opt to buy more expensive OEM parts. "If

In other cases, the part may not be all that expensive, but the cost of labor to install it is too
steep. As an example, Britt pointed to a customer whose Tundra pickup had warped cylinder
heads. The price of parts wasn't that high, but
the cost of having the heads machined and reinstalled drove it significantly higher.
On the PartCycle website, Britt found a
low-mileage engine. The upshot: Buying and
installing the PartCycle engine cost $1,600 less
than the quoted repair. "The customer was delighted with the outcome," he said.
PartCycle also has enabled the dealership to
develop strong business relationships with local body shops that seek lower-cost used parts
to satisfy price parameters set by insurance
companies, Britt said.
"Normally, we'd get knocked out of the running" for selling those repair parts, Britt said. But
with PartCycle, "we can be a one-stop shop and
complete orders for them."
Overall, Britt said he's pleased with PartCycle, especially since it allows the dealership to
retain business it otherwise might lose. It also
boosts word-of-mouth referrals, he noted.
"Customers say, 'Man, University Toyota went
the extra mile to get my car fixed and get me
back on the road.' That kind of word of mouth
on the street makes a world of difference, compared to customers who leave our shop and
tell a friend that we couldn't get a part or that it
was too expensive and now they're stuck.
"It's all about keeping the ball rolling and
keeping customers on the road," he said. "The
customer is happy and we still make a part
sale. Everyone is happy." 


http://www.Cycle.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017

Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017
Contents
Editor’s Letter
Service Counter
Legal Lane
Big verdict
Ho-ho-ho
Battery charge
Price is right
Tomorrow’s techs
Selling accessories
SEMA dreams
To the rescue
Profit Builder
Richard Truett
On the line
Letters
Real time
Feedback
After hours
Efficiency expert
Longer lasting
Shop Talk
Five Minutes With
Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover2
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Editor’s Letter
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 5
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Service Counter
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 7
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Legal Lane
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Big verdict
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 10
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 11
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Ho-ho-ho
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 13
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Battery charge
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 15
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 16
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 17
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 18
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 19
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 20
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 21
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Price is right
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 23
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Tomorrow’s techs
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 25
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 26
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 27
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Selling accessories
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 29
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - SEMA dreams
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 31
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - To the rescue
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 33
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Profit Builder
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Richard Truett
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - On the line
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Letters
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Real time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 39
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Feedback
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - After hours
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Efficiency expert
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Longer lasting
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Shop Talk
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Five Minutes With
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover3
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