Jacobsen introduces new dealer network inventory system

The equipment manufacturer says the spare parts intranet will connect each of the company’s dealers, improving fill rates.

March 25, 2010
Supplier News
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Jacobsen has introduced a new tool that it says has helped improve its fill rate for service parts. 
The new electronic tool allows each dealer in the Jacobsen network to upload their parts inventory, which is then viewable on a private intranet so that all Jacobsen dealers can check availability across the group.
“We have consistently maintained a strong 97 percent fill rate of service parts over the last few years, something Jacobsen customers and dealers have taken note of,” says Britton Harold, Jacobsen’s product manager for parts and accessories. “But sometimes the 3 percent that goes on backorder can present a challenge. Some of those parts that make up this minimal shortfall can have long lead-times or, in some cases, are just hard to get because of the quantities needed or the prohibitive cost of producing a one-off item.”
Although Jacobsen dealers routinely and regularly contact each other when trying to source parts not in stock, there was no quick reference system, similar to a central bulletin board, to help source the urgently required items quickly. 
“We couldn’t efficiently pull the parts from dealers, if we didn’t know what parts they held. Our customers were disadvantaged until we were able to finally get that part in,” Harold says. “Working with a small group of our dealers – Wilfred MacDonald, SV Moffett and Golf Ventures – we created a new tool which allows each dealer to simply upload their parts inventory to a private Web site (intranet) that every Jacobsen dealer can utilize. They simply search for the part and the returned information contains the dealer location, contact information and the quantity available at that location.
“The result has been excellent and we have been able to reduce the number of backorders by making it easier for dealers to fulfill their orders from within their collective inventories. The new tool also provides customers with a ‘second chance’ to locate factory discontinued items, which might still be in stock, outside of their local dealer’s area,” he says. “While this new system won’t help with every long lead-time part, it has certainly helped reduce the time for many customers to get the part they ordered.”
Mike Moore, parts manager at Wilfred MacDonald, Jacobsen’s dealer in South Hackensack, N.J., says the new system will improve efficiency. 
“The Jacobsen dealer network has always been a strong group of independent customer service providers, who look to each other when discontinued or backordered parts are needed for customers. The previous method of contacting each other, either by phone or email, has worked, but at best has been haphazard and time consuming,” Moore says. “As more dealers come on board and utilize the new centralized tool, they see two immediate benefits; they will instantly enhance their local customer service, while reducing labor costs to find those much needed parts.”