Running a Shop Leadership Finance+Operations

Handing Over the Heavy Lifting

How vendor consolidation can save you time and money.

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Cars on lifts in a shop

Witten by Sarah Kennedy

An experienced shop operator surely understands the importance of regularly examining the pricing structure of their overhead supplies; be it bulk oil, chemicals, automotive parts or even your internet provider, the list of vendors helping you keep your phones ringing and bays humming can be quite long. Letting old contracts remain unexamined can turn a once-great deal into a costly expense. A noticeable spike in your freon costs, for instance, may inspire you to start calling around. Pricing, however, shouldn’t be the only factor in maintaining a long-term relationship with a wholesaler. After all, with proper matrixing on your end, market fluctuations in parts overhead⁠—which can be completely natural and justified⁠—shouldn’t mean you lose money. Just as grocery store items change in price with the market, so should your services.

When it comes to vendor selection, you need to engage in a disciplined process that reinforces your business model: to properly and profitably maintain cars. Let’s explore how thinking critically about vendor relationships can help.

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