Parts Manager Rich Okonsky, Allen Samuels Katy store, explained the highlights of his shop’s success. “We have a huge inventory – over 1,400,000 parts in stock. Our warehouse alone delivers to over 200 cities – all free of charge. We have four wholesale guys with over 50 years experience working the phones in a dedicated room. A very important factor for our collision repair customer is our lenient return policy. Any part can be returned within 30 days with no restocking fees.”
Even little things make a difference. There arerefrigerators located throughout the offices where customers can get bottled water at their convenience (again at no charge).
Okonsky himself has worked for Dodge for about 13 years. “I started out selling wholesale parts, became assistant manager and now I am parts manager. My functions include overseeing stock and taking care of customer’s needs. Our philosophy is to take care of the customer. We totally believe in it. The customer comes first. We believe this is the secret to success.”
Company-wide the dealership puts on golf tournaments almost every weekend. Okonsky’s store donates small prizes such as hats and t-shirts to these events. The golf tournaments benefit I Have a Dream; United Way and Rainbow Kids – all charities for underprivileged kids.
Parts manager for S&W Collision in Lufkin, Stephanie Choat has done business with the Allen Samuels Katy store for over ten years. “We patronize the Katy store because they are very efficient in getting the right part to our shop right away. They have a good supply of parts we use regularly. Orders are delivered the next day, the staff is very easy to work with, and the return policy works well for us.
“Whether it is over the phone, internet or via fax, we never have to worry about our orders getting misplaced. They always go the extra step to give a call and acknowledge that the fax has been received. Even though Clint is my contact, the staff is all cross-trained and anyone can help at any time.”
The North Richland (Ft. Worth) Allen Samuels store is where the parts director for all of Allen Samuels Dodge Roy Benner hangs his hat. While each store is responsible for stocking its own parts, Benner’s functions include overseeing obsolescence, balancing the inventory between shops, and training management and staff.
“We reach out to our customers through every medium – phone, internet, direct sales. We are concentrating on developing procedures to make our services especially desirable to autobody shops,” said Benner. “We offer daily and overnight delivery of parts. If a shop is in town, parts are delivered the same day. Those shops further away receive parts overnight so technicians can begin work when the shop opens, rather than delaying another half-a-day before starting.”
“The reason our business is so successful is because we have the right part at the right time, an incomparably knowledgeable staff and the best delivery system in Texas. Three different delivery companies facilitate the overnight deliveries. There are six nighttime delivery routes in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, ten daytime delivery routes, and hot shots when necessary.”
Benner supervises five full-time sales people, with over 100 years combined experience, who are dedicated to taking phone and internet orders. Sixteen people in the warehouse pull, pack, and ship out orders.
One satisfied customer is Jimmy Don Burris, operating partner of Herb’s Paint and Body # 5 in Frisco. Burris was particularly impressed with the delivery options available from Allen Samuels.
“I especially appreciate the efficient delivery system associated with the Allen Samuels Parts Department. The North Richland store is 50 miles from our shop, but they serve us as if we were around the block – with two daily deliveries, hot shot delivery if needed, and middle of the night delivery so parts can be distributed when the shops open and jobs started sooner. All of this at no extra charge.
Burris further pointed out that the company is associated with Overall Parts Solutions (OPS) which offers many benefits to the shop because of its association with Allen Samuels. OPS supports collision repair facilities with their parts needs.
Allen Samuels is part of an exclusive group of hand-picked parts suppliers who are committed to the highest level of service in the industry. In conjunction, OPS provides ongoing customer service support to parts suppliers. This support encompasses customer service techniques, problem solving, and creating tailor-made services for shops, ensuring consistent, quality service from vendors.
Continued Burris, “And the benefits of the alliance with OPS are huge. OPS takes care of all our environmental issues, makes sure we are in compliance with OSHA requirements, and provides other services that save us time and money.
“Let me tell you how good the service is at Allen Samuels,” said Burris. “I don’t know the parts manager’s name! I never have to call with problems or complaints. In the 50 miles between our shop and the North Richland store, there are probably 40 Dodge-Chrysler dealers, but we stick with Allen Samuels because their inventory is substantial and parts are immediately available. We enjoy a nice discount and receive excellent service.”
Cream of the crop
The six-year-old Allen Samuels Austin store is home to Director of Parts Don Benner. The parts team came over to the Austin store and began to concentrate on building up business with area body shops.
“Nobody in this area that can provide what we at Allen Samuels can provide,” said Benner proudly. “We deliver all over Texas. We have a complete inventory of parts that move. They are all clean and up-do-date. There is a 100% turnover in the warehouse every nine months. Because of our size, we can (and do) buy from all 48 states.
“Our store has five of the finest countermen that exist. Because of the volume and quality of our work, we attract the cream of the crop to work for us. Our whole parts department knows that the customer is first and foremost. Without our customers we are nothing. We sell service here. Our number one element of success is that the customers are always first. I am proud of my entire team. It takes all of us to succeed.”