By Bucky LeFleur
Instant gratification – it’s something many of us look for. We can rent a movie in a matter of seconds, hail a ride in minutes or have a gift delivered to a family member overnight.
So when it comes to getting a replacement part for your vehicle – which could take a week or more, depending on the necessary repair – why can’t dealerships and service centers get the parts they need in hours instead of days? Now, they can.
With Hot Shot express parts delivery from Ford, orders are accepted for high-volume maintenance repair parts such as brakes, hoses and filters from a wider range of clients, including other dealers and independent shops, and are fulfilled within two hours. This gets customers back on the road faster while giving dealers the opportunity to expand their business by acting as wholesale parts distributors.
“Improving the customer experience has been top of mind for Ford and the entire Ford Customer Service Division operation,” said Frederiek Toney, president of the Global Ford Customer Service Division. “From initiatives such as Hot Shot express parts delivery to the 2016 relaunch of the Motorcraft parts brand to the 2017 introduction of the Omnicraft line of parts and innovative pilot programs such as the Smart Service Kiosk, everything we are doing revolves around providing better service to our customers and helping dealers grow their business.”
Hot Shot express parts delivery is not a new service, but the recent growth of the program shows Ford dealers are eager to adjust to the changing needs of consumers. In recent years, the number of U.S. Ford dealers offering Hot Shot service has gone from just a few to more than 300, says Andrew Idler, manager, Wholesale Operations, Ford Customer Service Division.
According to Idler, a typical dealer delivery system will have mapped-out routes with specified customers on the routes. Deliveries are usually on a more planned basis, once per week for example, and usually involve a truck filled with several orders. Hot Shot delivery promises delivery of high-volume maintenance parts within two hours, designed for an installer who has a vehicle on the lift and needs the part quickly to maximize bay space.
“With Hot Shot we’ve been able to speed up delivery times across the board,” said Jim Stahl, parts manager of Van Bortel Ford in East Rochester, New York.
And this on-demand approach has had a positive impact on dealer business.
“We began offering what we call the Hot Shot Highway in February of 2013,” said Stahl. “Reducing wait times allowed us to increase our customer base by 125 percent easily.”
Stahl added that the increase in customers also has boosted the bottom line for the business by roughly 20 percent.
Village Ford of Dearborn, Mich. was an early adopter offering Hot Shots parts delivery several years ago. The dealership recently added another driver to keep up with demand.
“We typically run 20 to 30 Hot Shot deliveries per day and between 100 and 150 each week,” said Andrew Kochan, parts manager of Village Ford. “These deliveries are going to 40 different customers including other dealers and independent shops…all are pleased with the service and many are amazed by our dedication to helping them better serve their customers.”