Dorset Auto Spares Ltd
Dorset Auto Spares is Dorset's biggest independent car parts supplier and industry training provider. Founded in 1987, it now boasts six branches, with the Head Office in Wimborne.
Dorset Auto Spares is a 'One Stop Shop' for many vehicle parts, accessories and consumables. It stocks products from the UK's 15 top automotive industry suppliers, and prides itself on being able to cater for all needs at short notice and in one delivery. As well as providing its customers with quality parts at competitive prices, Dorset Auto Spares also offers a range of workshop training programmes.
Dorset Auto Spares is a very forward thinking company that first embraced computer technology some 12 years ago. With its ability to manage stock and control sales, I.T. played a significant role in Dorset Auto Spares early success. However, as the business evolved, it soon found itself outgrowing the system. "The business undertook a major change in the 1990s" explains Managing Director and co-founder, Ian Walsh. "Our appointment as a Bosch distributor instigated many changes within the company and a shift in attitude. We changed the way we operated and concentrated on working with high quality manufacturers such as Bosch, Valeo, Kayaba, Motaquip and APEC. As a result, business grew rapidly and it wasn't long before we reached the limits of the software – it simply couldn't handle the volume of transactions."
With a growing branch network and an increasing turnover, Dorset Auto Spares turned to MAM in 2001. "We needed a system that could keep up with the business" recalls Ian. "Autopart ticked many of our boxes. Not only was it fast and scalable, it was also extremely simple to learn. The clarity of the system – particularly point-of-sale – was very impressive."
"It is the speed of transaction that is the main benefit we get from the MAM Autopart system" explains Ian. "The selling screen is fantastic and gives us all the advice and information required - at a glance. Customer information, parts availability, pricing – everything".
During the implementation process, Dorset Auto Spares had the point-of-sale screen customised to suit their circumstances. "It is now so easy to use" says Ian. "This makes it straightforward for existing staff to train new staff in its use. And its made even easier because all five of our branches have the same system".
Using the Autopart across all its sites helps Dorset Auto Spares maintain stock between its branches. "Having a common system across the branches gives us the advantage of stock-levelling across our sites and swapping stock as necessary. The system even blocks re-orders from suppliers when the same part is held by another branch" explains Ian.
"Raising or editing purchase orders is really simple using Autopart" says Ian. "Using a combination of manual ordering and automated day-end ordering, we've been able save considerable time. The ability to import price files from suppliers is also extremely useful."
In testament to the benefits Autopart has brought to its business, Dorset Auto Spares will be upgrading all five branches to the latest Autopart v20 software in early 2007. "The benefits to efficiency have been remarkable" concluded Ian. "To process the same volume of work without this system would mean at least three times the number of staff – and even then it is questionable whether the speed and accuracy would be there".