Thursday, 21 June 2012 17:15

Allan Vigil Ford: Huge Inventory Alone Is Not Key to Success

Written by Larry Williams
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This month’s Autobody News’ featured dealership is Allan Vigil Ford in Morrow, GA. This locally-owned dealer has been in business for almost 30 years. The parts manager is Rusty Stewart and his parts department is one of the top Ford wholesalers in the nation. This is also one of the largest Ford parts departments in the nation, currently number 22 in sales, and on the rise. Rusty told me that they are the top power-train parts dealer in the area. Over $3 million dollars in inventory in a 60,000-square-foot warehouse assures his customers their orders will be filled the same day. Rusty knows that inventory alone cannot make a quality dealer, and backs up this impressive operation with the best personnel available. His parts department is staffed with 37 of the best people he can find.

For his wholesale customers, he has 10 of the most experienced, professional, and dedicated countermen, all of whom take a special interest in servicing collision repair.
When you call 877-789-5415, you might talk to Buzz Boyd; with  50 years experience, or Clint Yancey with 39 years, David Stapp with 14, Gerald Knowles with 50, Larry Wright with 42, Miles Dean with 35, Sean Collins with 18, Tim Oxford with 14, Virgil Hendricks with 43, or Wayne Flake with 30 year experience.

This is an amazing collection of talent, with over 300 years of combined parts experience! With a crew like this, dedicated to giving the best service possible, their customers always get the right part. Getting the “right part at the right time” is Rusty’s secret to success. He started out as a customer himself, and knows exactly how critical parts service is to completing the repairs on time. Rusty told me he remembers the time a small, seemingly unimportant part held up a $5,000 repair. He now considers every part equally important to his customer’s success. This is the reason for his impressive inventory— Rusty wants to deliver every part needed on the first delivery. With service like this, his customers can streamline their repair systems by reducing delays and maximizing their profits.

Once again, I hear a success story based on service—and not just on profits. This theme of customer service, long-term relationships, and a partnership with their customers is a “constant” with our leading wholesale dealers. I have talked to some other parts managers who have a negative attitude toward their wholesale business, and they always mention (lack of) profit first. Yes, these dealers will sell you their parts, but where is their service? A business that concentrates on pricing above all else has no heart, no soul, and eventually, no customers.

The last three years have been hard on our business, but with dealers like Allan Vigil Ford, always giving the best service possible, we will all survive and grow stronger. We are a service industry, taking care of our customer’s needs, and those who put service first—ahead of price—will always come out on top.

Allan Vigil Ford
6790 Mt. Zion Blvd
Morrow, GA 30260


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