Thursday, 28 February 2002 17:00

Real VW parts arrive faster from new Texas distribution center

Written by Richard Neubauer

"Waiting on parts" will be a notation seen less often on the Volkswagen and Audis in your shop with the opening of a new, 366,000 sq foot parts distribution center (PDC) in Denton, Texas, just outside of Ft. Worth. Located practically next door to the Federal Express hub at the New Alliance Airport built by the Ross Perot organization, the "facing depot," as it's known in VW talk, will serve 72 VW and Audi dealers in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado and a part of Kansas. 

The new facility will enhance delivery in these areas because parts previously had to be shipped from Jacksonville, Florida. Other VW distribution centers are located in Ontario, California; Chicago; and New Jersey.
 In addition to being the facing depot for these Southwest dealers, the highly automated, air-conditioned warehouse will house "slow moving" parts for the entire country. This is important to Southwest body shops because those slow moving parts include many small interior items often needed for collision repair.

"We can ship emergency orders for slow moving parts via FedEx as late as 8 pm so they can arrive at the dealer the next day in most cases," said PDC Manager Mike Pavicich. VW dealers' regular daily orders in metro areas are customarily shipped on dedicated trucks and arrive early in the morning (often at 4 a.m. when the driver makes an unattended delivery) the day after they are ordered so that the dealer can deliver them to shops early in the day.

The new PDC employs 50 people and stocks $25 - $30 million of inventory including 25,000 - 30,000 fast moving parts and another 85,000 slow moving parts. Unlike some auto manufacturers who rely on larger wholesale dealers to be the parts warehouse for smaller dealers, VW has set up its distribution system so that every dealer can get the parts directly from VW of America and deliver them to shops on a timely basis.

"We've invested a ton of money here to make certain that we can get real VW parts into repair technicians hands when they need them," said Pavicich, who explained that the challenge at the PDC is to use all of the new technology effectively. "We've got this great automated picking system with a parts carousel that actually brings the parts to the people doing the picking. It's faster and more accurate, but it takes trained people to make it all work."

The new center opened November 1 of last year and some of the bugs are still being worked out, but Pavicich says that Southwest shops should already be seeing a difference in availability and delivery of their VW parts.

 

 

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