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Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco. Ed enjoys sports of all kinds and is a part time stand-up comedian.

 

He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

Tuesday, 07 December 2021 08:17

Gandrud Parts Center Works Hard on the Wholesale Side

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Parts Director Chris Slack at Ivan Gandrud Chevrolet knows how to win at the wholesale game by going for the gold when it comes to customer service. Parts Director Chris Slack at Ivan Gandrud Chevrolet knows how to win at the wholesale game by going for the gold when it comes to customer service.

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It’s called wholesale and if you’re not wholly dedicated to doing it yet, it can lead to a whole lot of headaches and lost revenue.

Companies that have tried to make it a side dish rather than an entrée have learned the hard way that if wholesale isn’t done right, it can leave a very bad taste in everyone’s mouths.

 

Jobs have been lost, promises have been broken and many tears have been shed over the years by dealerships who tried and failed to compete in the wholesale parts arena.

 

Wholesale is already a potentially perilous endeavor, but when you add in the fact there aren’t enough parts out there right now, it makes it even more difficult to succeed. Even the big chains say they're struggling to keep collision repair parts in their inventories. I keep hearing about cars sitting on shop floors waiting for that one part, so they can complete a repair and get the vehicle back to the customer.

 

It’s a vicious cycle with many repercussions and no immediate relief in sight. A worldwide semiconductor shortage has cut the production of new vehicles, which means that used cars have gone up in price significantly. This means people are being forced to keep their old ones much longer. In turn, these vehicles need more repairs, which are now increasingly being delayed by supply-chain obstacles.

 

Parts Director Chris Slack manages a department at Ivan Gandrud Chevrolet in Green Bay, WI, that employs 30 people, including eight counter people and three parts service technicians. They carry an approximately $5.5 million inventory, consisting of mechanical, collision and performance parts. They’re an authorized Mopar dealer that sells genuine Mopar parts online.

 

With 30-plus years of experience under his belt, Slack is succeeding in a very competitive marketplace. He’s well-known for being one of GM’s largest parts operations in the country, serving all of Wisconsin and part of Michigan with a fleet of 18 trucks.

 

Slack is a lifer when it comes to cars and parts. His first job was at a gas station when he was 13 and pretty soon, he acquired his own tools and became a tech. Things didn’t really work out for Slack as a mechanic, which led him into a different direction.

 

“Bad techs make good parts guys,” he said. “We can’t diagnose or replace the parts, but at least we know...


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