From the Desk of Mike Anderson: Resources to Combat Collision Parts Supply Chain Challenges

From the Desk of Mike Anderson: Resources to Combat Collision Parts Supply Chain Challenges

I can’t speak with auto body shop owners, managers or estimators for long these days without the subject of parts supply challenges being raised.

The fact there’s a lot of parts backorders is just the reality we’re living with, and I can’t offer you any magic wand to change that.

What I can do, however, is point you toward some parts-related resources out there I think many people in the industry may not be using.

Let me start by saying long before any of our current challenges arose, I firmly believe every shop should be using some type of electronic parts ordering solution. When incorporated into good parts processes within your shop, these systems will improve the speed, accuracy and completeness of your parts ordering. Many will help identify availability of the parts you need.

But I also recognize even with these systems, you may still come up short identifying or locating the parts you need. So here are some additional resources you may not be familiar with in regard to locating parts.

One great website is www.partsvoice.com. It’s a free resource. You enter the vehicle information, the part number or numbers, and your ZIP code. Up pops a list of the dealers around the country who have that part in stock, showing you the number they have and when that inventory was last updated.

The website www.partsvoice.com is a free resource that allows you to enter a part number and get a list of the dealers around the country who have that part in stock.

Another great website is www.partseye.net. When you enter that web address, it takes you to SmartCo, whose “smart inventory program" is called PartsEye. Click on the “Parts Locator” tab at the top of the page, and you’ll be able to search the country for parts for Kia, Mazda, Subaru and several other lines of vehicles.

Want to find more websites like these? Go to my company’s website, www.collisionadvice.com, and click on the link to “free forms, links and tools.” Click on the “links” section, and scroll down to “parts.” In the OEM section, for example, you’ll find a long list of parts-related websites separated by automaker. We’ve tried to catalog all the websites we can find that can be used either to search for parts for a specific OEM, or to allow you to view detailed parts diagrams.

The “free forms, links and tools” section of the Collision Advice website includes a list of parts-related websites separated by automaker.

One of the first ones on the list, for example, is www.partslink24.com. It requires a paid subscription---on a daily, monthly or yearly basis---but enables you to see the exact same part diagrams the dealers have access to for any model of Audi, Porsche or Volkswagen. That can really help you identify needed parts when you’re writing an estimate.

As an aside, sites like these are why I’m a big proponent of using dual monitors when writing repair plans. You can have the estimating system on one screen, while looking at parts diagrams on the other.

The list of parts related sites includes www.fordparts.com, www.estore.honda.com, www.mazdausa.com, www.volvopartswebstore.com and many others---just a lot of resources I believe most people are not familiar with.

As I’ve said, these sites may not resolve all of your parts challenges. But they can be another tool in your toolbox.

Have you found other websites helpful in identifying and locating needed parts? Send me an email and let me know. We’ll check it out to see if we should add it to our list.

And hang in there. It sounds like parts supply chain issues won’t be fully resolved soon. But things should start to get better this year.

Mike Anderson

Columnist
Mike Anderson is a columnist for Autobody News and president of Collision Advice, a consulting company for the auto body/collision repair industry.

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