Navigating the UAW Strike: A Guide for Parts Departments
United Auto Workers (UAW) has initiated a strike against the Big 3 US automakers—Ford, GM, and Stellantis—affecting about 13,000 workers. This could result in ripple effects that disrupt operations at multiple assembly plants and, by extension, dealerships. This guide provides strategic recommendations for dealerships and their parts department to navigate this challenging period.
Recommendation 1: Communicate Transparently With Customers
Managing customer expectations regarding potential delays in parts and accessories shipments is essential. We recommend that you:
- Implement a site-wide banner on your web store and dealership website.
- Update social media channels with similar messaging.
Sample Text for Banner:
"Due to ongoing negotiations between UAW and automakers, we anticipate shipment delays. We appreciate your understanding."
Recommendation 2: Leverage Obsolete Inventory
The strike may lead to inventory shortages, affecting your ability to drive revenue. You can counterbalance this by promoting obsolete and slow-moving inventory. We recommend that you:
- Identify and denote obsolete items in your inventory.
- Create promotional codes and feature these products prominently on your website.
- Utilize abandoned cart emails to showcase these products.
- Consider eBay as an additional channel for moving this inventory.
- Read more on how to reduce obsolescence:
Recommendation 2.1: Consult on Inventory Strategy
To maintain an efficient inventory strategy during the uncertain period:
- Consult with your Customer Success Manager (CSM) or Support Team to review or set up an effective inventory management system.
- Read about The Importance of Automatic Inventory Uploads.
Recommendation 3: Activate Inventory Control and Notifications
Maintaining communication with customers about inventory is key to maintaining a positive customer experience despite the ongoing strike. To ensure real-time inventory management and effective communication with customers:
- Turn on inventory control settings in your RevolutionParts control panel.
- Set up automated messages for items that are out of stock or delayed due to the strike, similar to the banner in Recommendation 1.
- Configure your in-stock and out-of-stock lead time.
Recommendation 4: Focus on High-margin Vehicles and Parts
The strike may lead to supply disruptions that disproportionately affect certain vehicles and parts. To combat this, focus on maximizing profitability by emphasizing high-margin vehicles and accessories, which might be less affected:
- Identify the high-margin vehicles in your inventory, including used ones. This will allow you to adjust your sales strategy accordingly.
- Develop promotional campaigns to accelerate sales of these vehicles before the strike impacts availability.
- Determine which high-margin accessories are least likely to be impacted by the strike and integrate them into your promotions. Consider bundling them with vehicles to incentivize purchase.