Thankfully, most of the do-it- yourselfers (DIY) out there can find whatever appliance
parts needed to complete a majority of repairs. The ease of finding parts wasn’t this
easy just a few years ago, however. In fact, many of the manufacturers of these same
parts refused to offer for sale to the general public any part considered as proprietary or
meant for only an authorized repair company. The following article discusses how parts
availability and lower cost assists appliance repair companies in their quest for
The unavailability of parts frustrated many technicians and companies trying to earn a
living in the appliance repair business. The parts problem persisted for years until many
of the manufacturers such as Whirlpool, GE, and Frigidaire started to loosen up their
restrictions on the purchase of their parts. Still, however, PC boards and a few other
expensive parts will not find their way onto an appliance parts store shelf anytime soon.
Profit and Parts Availability
In the appliance repair business, profit margins on parts spell the difference between
keeping ample parts in inventory or buying them on an as-needed basis. The latter is
easier and involves less paperwork, but it’s the more expensive option regarding waiting
longer to get the repair finished if there is a wait time to receive the part. If the needed
parts happen to be good sellers and the margins allow it, it’s always a better idea to
keep those parts in stock to increase profits and decrease turnaround time.
Labor costs and parts costs combine to determine how profitable a certain repair
becomes. If the parts have sufficient margin, and the labor is within range, a good profit
from a typical service call is in the offing. On the other hand, if shipping of parts is
involved in completing the repair, any profit that was present is now most likely
diminished because now the cost of the return visit enters into the calculation. Factoring
these extra costs into the selling price might solve this problem and also provide a little
negotiating room if needed.
Keep Inventories Low
With appliance parts, it’s always best to keep inventories low because new, updated
parts sometimes become available and if your inventory is bloated with too many “old”
parts, you’ve lost your money invested. The idea, of course, is to keep in inventory
exactly the amount needed for month-to- month or quarter to quarter. On paper, this
sounds great, but in reality, it’s next to impossible to hit that mark every month or
Inventory High Usage Parts
Common sense tells us to keep only high-usage parts or high-moving parts. The first
task is figuring out just what constitutes a high-usage part. Manufacturers keep detailed
records of just such information. After all, it behooves them to do this because it makes
good sense to control the production of parts. It’s a good idea to contact them if you’re
having a difficult time determining how many parts to keep on hand.
With the number of parts stores holding steady, it’s obvious of the need for these
convenient stores in every city. The DIY community appreciates their existence and
judging by how much business they do annually there’s no end in sight for these
important staples of our communities.