How to Use an Auto Parts Markup Matrix to Maximize Your Shop’s Gross Profit

With an auto parts markup matrix, you can create a streamlined process for marking up parts and grow your shop’s profit margin while staying fair to customers.

How to Use an Auto Parts Markup Matrix to Maximize Your Shop’s Gross Profit
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How do you order, manage, and mark up your parts?

If your shop isn't using at least one mark up matrix to get the most out of your parts sales, then you might be leaving a lot of money on the table.

In fact, auto repair shops have an amazing opportunity to maximize their profit margin on parts sales in particular. Especially when you consider the tools available to support and simplify the entire process. Gone are the days of using pen and paper or busting out the calculators.

Cloud-based shop management systems have made it easier than ever to not only manage your shop, but really get the most value out of the work you're already doing.

Using a parts matrix in particular is one of the most important aspects in making sure your shop is profitable. By building streamlined process for marking up parts, shops can ensure grow your shop’s profit margin while staying fair to customers.

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What is an Auto Parts Markup Matrix?

An auto parts markup matrix is a powerful tool for optimizing your parts pricing and increasing your gross profit.

When it comes to providing parts for a repair, auto repair shops can build multiple markup matrixes to determine the best markup percentage to apply based on different factors, like how much it costs your shop to purchase the part from your selected vendor.

In our latest Auto Repair Industry Index shops were achieving an average 35% with just 3 markup matrixes. There's a lot of room to grow their profits!

Why should shops use a parts markup matrix?

It might be easy for a shop to leave parts markups up to individual service advisors. However, this can result in widely varied processes based on each employee’s unique experience.

You want to build a consistent, reliable mark-up process to save your team time, while maximizing profit yet remaining fair to your customers.  

With a detailed parts markup matrix in place there’s no more second-guessing.

Instead of spending precious time figuring out the right markup for every single repair order, the perfect markup percentage can be applied every single time -- both saving time while maximizing profit margins on every repair order.

The Price is Right: Efficient Parts Shopping

Before you decide how much to mark up a part, you obviously have to buy that part (or find it in the inventory). When shopping for parts, getting good deals is important, but so is having an efficient process for finding those deals. Efficient shops strike a balance between quickly finding parts and snagging good deals.

There are various ways to quickly shop around and find the best deal on parts. Some shops still send their part’s person to the local auto parts shop or scrapyard to find those hard-to-find parts.

These days, many auto repair shops save themselves a lot of hassle by turning to shop management systems that enable them to swiftly compare prices from multiple vendors at once. With online parts houses, repair shops can earn back the time they would have spent sending someone to hunt down these parts and making these comparisons in person.

Mark Up Parts By Just the Right Amount

After comparing prices and deciding which parts to purchase, it’s time to find the markup “sweet spot,” where it’s a good deal for your customers and your business.

As a general rule of thumb, the more expensive a part is, the less you can mark it up.

Consider this: fast food companies make some of their highest profit margins off of their least expensive menu item—soda. If a cup of soda costs the fast-food company $0.25, charging a dollar for it gives them a 75% profit margin. But a 75% profit margin on a hamburger that costs the fast-food company $7 to make would hike up the price to $12.25, which is probably more than most customers are willing to spend.

If you double the price of a $10 wiper blade, the customer won’t bat an eye. But if you try to mark up the price of a $400 alternator by 100%, it’s a different story! The customer will balk at the $800 price tag and probably go ask another shop for a second opinion.

Reach the Right Pricing With a Parts Matrix

Marking up Parts with a Simple Calculation

A simple calculation is used when you markup parts in a certain price range by a specific amount.

But you can also use a compound calculation for parts markups. With a compound calculation, parts are marked up by different percentages within specific cost ranges. For example, if you sell a job for $20, you could mark up the first $10 by 10%, and the last half by 20%.

Marking up Parts with a Complex Calculation

While compound calculations are more complicated, using them for your markup matrix can give you an edge when it comes to increasing your gross profit margins. Some shop owners that use complex calculations in their parts markups have been able to increase their profit margin by about 8% to 10% when compared to using a simple calculation.

Find the Right Markup Matrix For Your Shop

Ultimately, each shop has unique needs and preferences, and it’s up to you and your team to determine which type of calculation to use when building your parts matrix. But no matter which calculation method you choose, an automotive markup matrix can be a game-changer.

By streamlining the process of marking up parts you can save time and keep your team happy while hitting your profit goals.

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