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Simplify Automotive Inventory Management & Avoid Backlogs

On an average day, you can only stuff so much information into your brain. Wouldn’t it be ideal to not memorize codes or scroll through monster, uncategorized lists to find what you need?

When you free up that valuable head space for customer interaction and problem-solving, your auto repair shop thrives. When it comes to automotive inventory management, leave that to your auto shop software.

As a result, you prepare and present estimates faster, sell more services and get your parts in the door sooner. That dazzles customers with your professionalism so they feel inspired to deliver a five-star review.

How do you do it? Let’s identify the points where shops hit a backlog and look at how to work around them.

1. Train your staff to manage automotive inventory better

For years, shops have tried to balance having the parts your techs need without overstocking. Yet, no formal college program trains staff on how to forecast the right supplies to match each shop’s unique needs. That means shops have to do it themselves.

Investing in training early pays off with more accurate orders and less strain on the whole shop. While auto inventory management can seem simple, keeping track of your parts requires many skills. Once you find a flow that works, you’ll see the difference in your KPIs daily.

Some shops hire parts managers but most shops have smaller teams and cannot afford that luxury. Instead, they rely on their automotive shop software to help them plan their workflow.  

Begin by onboarding new staff to your system or training all staff on a new auto parts inventory management software. By doing so, you give them the confidence that will help them succeed. That small investment will pay off with smooth shop operations. 

 2. Avoid stock shortages

When a shop runs short on parts, everything grinds to a halt and customers wait longer to get their wheels.

Instead, cloud-based automotive inventory management software allows you to check your ever-changing stockpiles. That way, you rarely run out of the parts you need most and the shop keeps running productively.

With Shop-Ware’s auto repair inventory management software, shops can automatically track parts on repair orders within one of three states:

  1. Not on premises, not on the way
  2. On the way
  3. On-premises

Next, stocked parts that are kept in inventory get sorted by:

  1. Below stock, not on the way
  2. On the way
  3. Stocked at the proper level

Each status is color-coded so staff can understand the complex picture.

3. Track automotive inventory storage

When you have large inventories, just tracking and storing where parts can throw a wrench in your overall profitability.

Setting up proper processes and ensuring everyone follows them leads to a well-managed inventory. For starters, place the most commonly used parts in the most accessible areas. That takes care of the physical space, but what about communicating where orders stand?

Within Shop-Ware’s auto repair software, ‘past services’ recommendations start your repair order faster. This feature feeds up pricing and parts information right at the top of your screen based on a client’s last visit. Next, check all industry-leading suppliers then update pricing with one click.

From then on, you can see the parts order status on each repair order. You can simply view the order status on individual repairs to see what’s missing and order directly from its exclusive Native Parts Catalog

All day every day, parts statuses update live in real-time, as changes occur on each repair order. Staff can see the part status across all repair orders in the shop or within your assigned group. That way, they know when to dispatch jobs as ‘ready to start,’ which need parts, and which need immediate attention.

4. Integrate with the right partners

Another vital step counts on connecting with online vendors so you have more options to buy the parts you need. Seek out auto repair estimating software that pairs up with leaders like PartsTech, WHI NexPart, MyPlace4Parts, Parts Authority, and WorldPac on SpeedDIAL. 

With an integrated system, like Shop-Ware, you avoid repeat lookups and get straight to the part in the catalog that you need. Ideally, you can add new vendors at any time.

5. Move past the parts matrix

For years, auto repair shops relied on rows of values that they manually computed to set prices. Now, that process has been automated as the industry-first tool, the Parts GP Optimizer.

It automatically seeks and attains a shop’s parts gross profit by using powerful cloud-based computing. The software collects and reviews an unlimited amount of inventory and sales data to create a custom, “optimized” markup curve. 

In short, you tell the Optimizer your desired parts GP percentage and it sets your pricing to hit the target. Without any extra effort on your part, it flexes that curve automatically as your parts sales mix naturally changes.

With these five steps, you can streamline operations and have parts ready when you need them most. When staff get to work, without delays, it pays off with less stress for you and your customers. 

About the Author


Shop-Ware creates auto repair shop management software that transforms auto repair shops into more profitable businesses. Started by an auto repair shop owner in 2013, its enterprise-grade shop management system offers cutting-edge auto repair software that improves efficiency. With this auto shop management software, automotive repair becomes more transparent and earns the trust of your shop’s customers. Shop-Ware’s shop management software harnesses the power of modern communication via photos, videos, texting, and live chat, plus auto inventory management. As a result, its automotive repair software solves problems, increases sell-through, and generates more efficiency and profits.

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