Volume 12, Issue 6 - November/December 2010

Driving Technology
understanding today’s business practices

Part Ordering Made Easy
by Rob Rust

Once upon a time, when an
independent shop owner or technician needed to provide a quote to a customer, he/she likely would have had to have taken the person’s phone number and promised to have given them a call back after looking up pricing for the glass part needed and doing the necessary calculations.

“Gone on are the days of multiple phone calls to multiple suppliers.”

In the near past, sometimes this has required a call to one or more distributors to find the most economical price for the part in mind. And, in more recent years, while much of this information has been available online, it’s required customer service representatives or technicians to visit multiple websites and comparison-shop them—all while the customer waits impatiently.

Changing Times
Now, step into 2010. Gone are the days of multiple phone calls to multiple suppliers. The auto glass business has actually become quite unique in that shop owners and technicians are now able to price products in real time using a variety of software systems—all while speaking to the customer on the phone. This not only eliminates callbacks to customers—but probably saves many of them as well, as they no longer have the chance to shop around and find someone else with a ready-made “deal” while you’re calling around for pricing from your suppliers, all to find out when you call back that the work has already been given to one of your competitors.

We live in an “I-want-it-now” world.

But none of that’s an issue anymore. Using the software available to us in today’s market, all of this can be avoided.
Modern software has the ability to gather those price and availability times and automatically select, markup and order those parts—all while the customer is still on the phone. This allows a higher close percentage—and fewer lost sales.

Installed on your office PCs, your Internet-enabled laptops and other devices allow techs or one-man businesses to search for part-pricing easily and from the field.

Rob Rust is the point-of-sale software sales manager for Quest Software in St. Johns, Mich. Mr. Rust’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.
© Copyright 2010 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.