Tuesday, 5 November 2019

From field to your plate - Why do we only fit parts we supply?

You'd be forgiven for mistaking the above as a picture from space, but if you live in rural Herefordshire you will have identified it as a humble Potato. This actual one was leftover from the recent harvest of the field behind my house in Kingsland, but I would like to use it demonstrate some very important points for garage businesses like ours at www.oldfieldsgarage.co.uk.

Occasionally we get asked by customers if we would fit a part they have supplied and we have to explain that we don't fit customer supplied parts and this blog is intended to highlight some of the main reasons why. 

The right suppliers. We carry out a lot of work behind the scenes to carefully select suppliers who provide us with the right level of service at the right price and the quality of parts that meet and exceed the job requirements. We work with those suppliers to enable us to receive brilliant levels of service. Did you know that we have 20 + deliveries a day from just a handful of key suppliers? In some cases parts are sourced and available same day from over 60 miles away. If we don't support these suppliers, they won't be here in years to come. 

Traceable. Now I know where the above Potato is from, but it's very rare for us to trace exactly where things we consume are from. Imagine if that Potato was plastic? Our parts are sourced through a traceable supply chain so we know they aren't fake. Fake parts are becoming more prevalent and this can result in placing you, your family or your vehicle at risk of being unsafe or potentially causing unnecessary damage. 

The right parts. Our suppliers have invested £££s in systems that help minimise parts being sent incorrectly. We're all human and parts can be supplied incorrectly. Sometimes this is our fault. Sometimes this is our suppliers fault. Sometimes this is a manufacturers fault. The end result however, is that it's down to us to try and resolve. If we do have issues, we spend the time working with them to resolve the issue at no additional cost - sometimes this can take hours of time. 

Good old fashioned customer service. Parts issues are usually resolved the same day with minimum disruption to our customers. Where they can't be resolved the same day you will be kept informed and up-to-date with progress with a likely timescale. Subject to availability, we may even be able to offer a courtesy car to keep you mobile. 

Parts and labour warranty. When we fit parts we provide a minimum 12 months, 12,000 miles warranty against manufacturing defects. This includes parts AND labour. Our chosen suppliers often support us with parts warranty and also contribute towards the labour aspect and we pay for the remainder. We accept that where there is a shortfall that it is ultimately down to us to resolve. 

Investing in our future. Finally, we need to make a profit on parts. As a family business with the second generation now leading the way, we'd really like to be here for years to come. This isn't unusual or a terrible thing, every business needs to make a profit to be able to grow, invest in tooling, equipment, training & employ people from the local area. With profit we pay taxes, support local school and community events and ultimately put ourselves in a position to survive. 

Selling parts is a by-product of the work we carry out. Whilst we work with suppliers to ensure our monthly £££ spend means we benefit from trade prices, we realise that in some cases we are not able to supply parts at the same price as you'd buy online. 

Think about the cost of a Potato and then how much you pay for your meal. You wouldn't take this Potato to your local chip shop now would you? The same scenario can be applied to pretty much any business. 

I hope this explains why we only fit parts we supply, if you'd like to understand more please get in touch with me. 

Thanks for reading, Tim