3 Steps to Close the Gap Between Parts and Service Departments

It’s no secret that many dealerships experience a poor relationship between the parts and service departments. While these departments operate separately, dealerships experience the most success when they work together. When these departments are run smoothly, it can have many benefits for both departments, and the dealership as a whole. 

Instead of pitting these departments against each other, find ways to close the gap between them so that they achieve their goals. 

Here’s how you can close the gap between your parts and service departments in 3 easy steps. 


Step 1: Talk To Your Managers

As a general manager, you should be spearheading the process to bring parts and service departments together. However, you won’t be able to do it alone. If you’re going to effectively change the relationship between these departments, you need to listen to the concerns of your parts and service managers. They can help you determine the best way to keep both departments working together while still maintaining their respective responsibilities. 


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Step 2: Make a Plan

Now that you know the concerns of each department, it’s time to make a plan. There are a lot of factors to consider. While both departments have different responsibilities and goals, there has to be some overlap between them to ensure they are both following through with your dealership’s overall objectives

Making your plans should involve 4 key steps:

  • Create Goals (both individual and shared)
  • Coordinate Teams
  • Improve Cooperation
  • Open Communication

Creating Goals

Your service and parts departments have individual goals based on their day-to-day operations. Those should still be prioritized, but you should also determine what goals they share. 

Common goals should include things like:

Establishing these common goals can help both departments better understand how they can help each other. 

Coordinate Teams

Your departments need to work together effectively. Find ways to help teams coordinate with each other easily. Have regular check-ins between teams to see where each one needs help. Coordinate responsibilities between different teams so that everyone gets the same experiences and knowledge to help them solve problems in the future. 

Improve Cooperation

A big problem in the dealership is a lack of cooperation between the parts and service departments. Many departments run under an “every man for himself,” mentality. Instead of coming together, parts and service departments tend to compete against each other. This can hurt the dealership more than you might think. It can make it easier for them to make more mistakes since they’re trying to focus only on their goals and success, rather than looking at the big picture. Incentivize cooperation between these departments to keep them on track.

Open Communication

Your departments can’t be a great team without excellent communication. If something goes wrong, if there’s an inventory issue, if the wrong part turns up during a repair, your departments need to be on it! The most common cause of mistakes in the dealership is unclear communication or no communication at all. Encourage your departments to keep an open line of communication to keep errors low.  

Step 3: Put the Plan Into Place

Talk to your parts manager and service manager about the issues they see in their departments with these new SOPs. Listen to the concerns of department employees. They’re the ones on the ground doing the bulk work, so they need procedures that help them. 

Creating a new plan is half of the battle, seeing if it’s effective is the other half. Teams will need time to adjust and find out what works and what doesn’t. You should give your departments time to adjust, and be there to support them. 

Not Sure Where to Start?

Are you a parts manager who’s looking to bring parts and service departments together? Are you a general manager who wants to increase revenue between both departments? Download this free guide to learn how to sync up your dealership’s departments.

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