Until 22 months ago, the parts department was split over five different dealerships. With the move to the new facility, wholesale took on a whole new meaning. With the centralization of the parts, it was possible to focus strictly on selling parts and nothing else.
The inventory is so large, Lemen pointed out, "we can actually assemble a few cars right here in the warehouse."
Galpin's vast inventory of collision- oriented parts includes everything from frames to roofs, headliners and quarter panels. The staff is cross-trained in all of Galpin's model lines. Fourteen people with many years of experience take the phone orders.
"We can demonstrate how parts work right here in our facility," continued Lemen. "An advantage of being associated with a dealership is that we get to see all the new car models before they get on the road. We study the new models ahead of time so we are well-informed when our customers come to us with questions."
A customer for about 15 years, Brett Yarmie, owner, The Body Shop in Simi Valley, is impressed by the extraordinary parts knowledge of the staff. "Sam, who works with my company, is on top of everything. If there is a question, he always gets back with information and options. And any member of the staff can step in, if Sam's not there.
"Galpin is very easy to deal with. The staff is very upbeat, knowledgeable about parts - and changes to parts. I can't think of a time when they have let me down. They've come through when others have failed," said Yarmie.
Twenty drivers deliver parts - at no charge - daily to Lancaster, Palmdale, Inglewood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley and the Pasadena-Monrovia area.
Continued Yarmie, "Timing is everything and with a schedule that includes four or five deliveries each day, parts arrive within a couple of hours, rather than a couple of days."
Unusual for a dealership parts department, Galpin is open from 8-5 on Saturdays, complete with free delivery.
One of Galpin's goals for 2007 is to aggressively develop its internet sales component. The web site is being enhanced and prepared to accept nationwide orders.
Lemen noted that Galpin had just signed up for OE Connection's CollisionLink endorsed by Ford. With CollisionLink, dealership wholesalers can transform their order processing experience using online automation accuracy to help eliminate parts returns. CollisionLink electronically sends shop parts orders to dealerships.
Parts departments can eliminate less productive, order-taking phone time and process parts orders faster and accurately using CollisionLink's automatic part validation and instant VIN-based error-checking.
For collision repairers, CollisionLink's more accurate parts order system helps speed-up vehicle cycle time, reduce supplemental ordering, eliminate returns, and enhance overall supplier relationships and order response time.
Galpin acquires parts through Ford's Truckload program where fast moving parts are sold by the truckload. Galpin extends the discounts earned by buying in bulk on to the customer.
ROE Parts program
Galpin also participates in Ford's new program which offers recovered original equipment (OE) collision parts as an alternative to non-OEM parts. The Recovered Original Equipment (ROE) Collision Parts program's primary parts categories include bumper fascias, hoods, fenders and doors.
ROE parts carry competitive list prices, and are clearly identified and branded as "Recovered." They carry the same service part warranty (excluding cosmetic damage) as genuine Ford replacement collision parts. The parts are identified by the same part number with a unique "BP" suffix, and classified in non-OEM categories on all major electronic collision repair-estimating systems. The cosmetic damage will be minor, in most cases, correctable as part of the standard part preparation processes.
Galpin Motors thanks their customers and vendors at an annual open house offering a night of fun, some giveaways, door prizes, information on new products and promotions. It affords an opportunity for customers to put a face to voices they deal with on a daily basis.
Furthermore, Galpin Motors reaches out to charities, local schools, hospitals, Good Will and New Directions for Youth. They endorse the "slow down in the neighborhood" program which encourages neighbors to be respectful of one another, keep streets clean and to drive slowly and cautiously.
"I've had a good relationship with the Galpin Ford parts department for over 15 years," stated Maurice Starrantino, Auto World, Valencia. "If we need a part that is not readily available, my rep will get back to me with information about finding it. We continue to deal with them because of how they have handled our account over the years.
"Galpin goes above and beyond what other companies have to offer."