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Thread: Dealer Showrooms

  1. #1

    Dealer Showrooms

    As a consumer the state of affairs at the Parts / Apparel show rooms is pretty sad. My local dealer used to be marginal , now completely useless. While they used to have a little oil / chain lube out they have a representative one of each . You walk up to the parts counter where as there were always 2 parts techs , you get a bike salesman. Ask for parts and one eye is in the computer, the other scanning for potential motorcycle customers. What happened to the day when there was a chemical rack , made your selection and plopped it on the counter. Now they have to find the part number , check stock in the computer, then walk back and get it. I guess thats the drawback of being a geezer, I remember the way it was.
    Luggage and apparel the same thing. Gondola A will have a tail bag for a GS, some hipster boots, a mug. Gondola B will have a tail bag for a Rt, top box for a Gs,some RR gloves and sneakers. You get the idea. I work for an International Truck dealer, same thing some recent marketing grads were sent out from corporate to redo the display area. Nobody has any idea what the parts numbers of the chemicals are, but it sure looks pretty and guess what the customers hate it
    Last edited by aclearspot; 05-15-2021 at 05:46 PM. Reason: word

  2. #2
    Which dealership are you describing?
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  3. #3
    Registered User STEVENRANKIN's Avatar
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    Welcome

    Welcome to the BMW boutique experience, same deal at the car dealerships as well. St.

  4. #4
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    I gave up on my local BMW dealer years ago. They apparently don't have a "parts guy", much less two. I guess they don't see the need since they don't keep an inventory of common parts.

    Typically it goes like this.

    Walk up to the unmanned counter, ring the bell, wait 2-3 minutes, ring again, wait some more. Maybe one of the sales people will see your plight and chase someone out of the back. So you need air and oil filters, and a couple replacement tupperware screws. They have the oil filter ($$$), need to order the air filter. Takes ten minutes to find the part number for the screws, while you browse through the limited selection of $$$ gear. (Nothing in stock in your rather ordinary sizes.) No surprise, the $crew$ also have to be ordered. "We'll call when the parts are in." A silent week later, you call them, wait on hold ten minutes, get a confirmation that the parts are in, and make a return trip, so you can again wait around for them to get someone behind the counter who can search for the order.

    Or, you can spend five minutes online, order the maintenance supplies from beemerboneyard or Amazon, the BMW-specific parts from MaxBMW, have the parts delivered to your door in a couple days, save some bucks and keep a couple hours of your life.

    It's not a difficult choice.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  5. #5
    Registered User RIDERR1150GSADV's Avatar
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    I am lucky that my local dealer is a 'mom and pop' operation and has things on the shelf like various oils and cleaning products, as well as a good selection of riding gear such as boots, gloves and suits and helmets.
    They don't stock all the sizes, who does these days, but will order items which will show up within a few days depending on when it is ordered.
    The dealer also has a good relationship with the BMW regional rep so that helps too. I do agree that not all dealers are like them which makes for an inconsistent dealer experience. That is not good marketing but nobody ever accused the Germans of being good at marketing either...

    This comes to mind....

    In heaven:
    Your cook is Italian.
    Your mechanic is German.
    Your policeman is English.
    Your lover is French.
    It is all organized by the Swiss.

    In hell:
    Your cook is English.
    Your mechanic is French.
    Your policeman is German.
    Your lover is Swiss.
    It is all organized by the Italians.

    MOA # 108516
    Current ride 2018 R1200 GSA Triple Black
    Past rides '04 R1150RT, '05 K1200LT, '06 R1150GSA, Ď17 R1200RT

  6. #6
    Registered User marcopolo's Avatar
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    I must say, the BMW dealers in the D.C. area are well stocked, and have knowledgable - and helpful - people at the counter, especially Morton's and Bob's.
    Mark
    2015 R 1200 GS Adventure

  7. #7
    I actually get really tired of reading these threads criticizing dealerships when the poster fails, or refuses to identify the dealership. If the criticism is accurate then we deserve to know which dealership is being criticized.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  8. #8
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Engle Motors in Kansas City always has a couple knowledgeable people at the parts counter.
    On oil I just tell them what I want and they get it off the shelf. Filters and spark plugs they usually double check the part number to be sure.
    They have a good supply of accessories you can look at and take out to your bike to see how it fits.
    They have a decent selection of apparel. No way they can stock every piece and size of BMW, Klim and Triumph apparel.
    Even if they don't have your size it's nice to be able to touch and look over the gear.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Engle Motors in Kansas City always has a couple knowledgeable people at the parts counter.
    On oil I just tell them what I want and they get it off the shelf. Filters and spark plugs they usually double check the part number to be sure.
    They have a good supply of accessories you can look at and take out to your bike to see how it fits.
    They have a decent selection of apparel. No way they can stock every piece and size of BMW, Klim and Triumph apparel.
    Even if they don't have your size it's nice to be able to touch and look over the gear.
    Indeed. Engles has been our dealer since 1984 and still, even though we now live 1,000 miles away.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  10. #10
    '14 R1200 GS Adv bigjohnsd's Avatar
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    As Paul said - If someone is going to post criticism on the web the readers deserve to know who is being criticized.

    Over the past 15 years since I sold my motorcycle dealership, there has been a significant change in the business model, all driven by the internet.

    Customers, "Us", want the best deal. We are seemingly not opposed to going to the dealers, trying on whatever we want to purchase, then going home and buying it from the cheapest place we can find online without ever giving our local dealer a chance to meet the price.

    Parts, Garment, and Accessory department inventory all "Eat Cash" and in any dealership/business "Cash/Cash Flow" is king!

    I don't know why Oil and other chemicals aren't available as "self-select items" it seems to me that would be the simplest way for dealing with the issue, how I did it, how I would do it.

    Parts - Which parts to stock - a huge quandry. There is a long-standing "Inventory Management Rule" in the Motorcycle/Automotive industry that states that you should stock an item that you have had three separate sales of in the previous 5 months - therer is an 80% chance you will sell another in the next 5 months. How many of those items one stock is predicated upon how many you have sold in the past 5 months. Most dealerships have an inventory management system that performs these calculations automatically, a recommended order is prepared and then reviewed by the Parts Manager to preclude a grievous error/expenditure. Parts Managers are generally assigned an "Inventory Cap" and if the parts inventory excedes this cap there are often negative pay plan indications. Also examined monthly is the Inventory Turn Ratio - most dealerships try to turn their parts $$ Inventory at least three times a year. Inventory Turn also affects the Parts Manager Pay Plan.

    Garments - Aside from apparel eating up your cash it goes stale very quickly. New styles come every quarter or season, old merchandise gets shopworn or out of style and must be deeply discounted to dispose of and to recover the cash invested therein. Parts and Accessory Managers have an inventory Cap and a Stock Turn target for Garments as well. Customers buy online for better selection and price.

    Accessories - For whatever reason, most accessories won't fit more than one model of motorcycle.
    Say what you want about "The Motor Company" but many of their accessories do seem to fit more than one model for more than one year.
    It is easy to go overboard trying to stock accessories and then have dusty packages sitting for years for bikes you no longer sell.
    With the current "Just in time" philosophy and a customer's predilection to buy online based upon price, it just doesn't make a lot of business sense for a dealer to stock a lot of accessories that are usually available in two or three days from his suppliers.

    It ain't like it was, glad I'm no longer in the business, much more difficult to satisfy the customer while still making enough profit to remain in business and feed the family.
    The only dumb question is the unasked question!

    Team Pterodactyl - When we ride, we ride!

  11. #11
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I actually get really tired of reading these threads criticizing dealerships when the poster fails, or refuses to identify the dealership. If the criticism is accurate then we deserve to know which dealership is being criticized.
    Thank you, Paul. I actually get really tired of people grousing about dealerships, period.

    It seems that whenever someone doesn't like something (anything) they take to the internet to vent their spleen. Off topic but this is especially evident in the "why can't BMW build..." threads.

    Both dealerships in my area conform to the corporate identity model and I have no issue with it whatsoever.

  12. #12
    Registered User
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    My local dealer Irv Seavers in Anaheim CA, is well stocked with plenty of bodies on hand to assist.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by bigjohnsd View Post
    As Paul said - If someone is going to post criticism on the web the readers deserve to know who is being criticized.

    Over the past 15 years since I sold my motorcycle dealership, there has been a significant change in the business model, all driven by the internet.

    Customers, "Us", want the best deal. We are seemingly not opposed to going to the dealers, trying on whatever we want to purchase, then going home and buying it from the cheapest place we can find online without ever giving our local dealer a chance to meet the price.

    Parts, Garment, and Accessory department inventory all "Eat Cash" and in any dealership/business "Cash/Cash Flow" is king!

    I don't know why Oil and other chemicals aren't available as "self-select items" it seems to me that would be the simplest way for dealing with the issue, how I did it, how I would do it.

    Parts - Which parts to stock - a huge quandry. There is a long-standing "Inventory Management Rule" in the Motorcycle/Automotive industry that states that you should stock an item that you have had three separate sales of in the previous 5 months - therer is an 80% chance you will sell another in the next 5 months. How many of those items one stock is predicated upon how many you have sold in the past 5 months. Most dealerships have an inventory management system that performs these calculations automatically, a recommended order is prepared and then reviewed by the Parts Manager to preclude a grievous error/expenditure. Parts Managers are generally assigned an "Inventory Cap" and if the parts inventory excedes this cap there are often negative pay plan indications. Also examined monthly is the Inventory Turn Ratio - most dealerships try to turn their parts $$ Inventory at least three times a year. Inventory Turn also affects the Parts Manager Pay Plan.

    Garments - Aside from apparel eating up your cash it goes stale very quickly. New styles come every quarter or season, old merchandise gets shopworn or out of style and must be deeply discounted to dispose of and to recover the cash invested therein. Parts and Accessory Managers have an inventory Cap and a Stock Turn target for Garments as well. Customers buy online for better selection and price.

    Accessories - For whatever reason, most accessories won't fit more than one model of motorcycle.
    Say what you want about "The Motor Company" but many of their accessories do seem to fit more than one model for more than one year.
    It is easy to go overboard trying to stock accessories and then have dusty packages sitting for years for bikes you no longer sell.
    With the current "Just in time" philosophy and a customer's predilection to buy online based upon price, it just doesn't make a lot of business sense for a dealer to stock a lot of accessories that are usually available in two or three days from his suppliers.

    It ain't like it was, glad I'm no longer in the business, much more difficult to satisfy the customer while still making enough profit to remain in business and feed the family.
    Thanks for this great response from someone in the know.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by RIDERR1150GSADV View Post
    I am lucky that my local dealer is a 'mom and pop' operation and has things on the shelf like various oils and cleaning products, as well as a good selection of riding gear such as boots, gloves and suits and helmets.
    They don't stock all the sizes, who does these days, but will order items which will show up within a few days depending on when it is ordered.
    The dealer also has a good relationship with the BMW regional rep so that helps too. I do agree that not all dealers are like them which makes for an inconsistent dealer experience. That is not good marketing but nobody ever accused the Germans of being good at marketing either...

    This comes to mind....

    In heaven:
    Your cook is Italian.
    Your mechanic is German.
    Your policeman is English.
    Your lover is French.
    It is all organized by the Swiss.

    In hell:
    Your cook is English.
    Your mechanic is French.
    Your policeman is German.
    Your lover is Swiss.
    It is all organized by the Italians.

    Lucky we share the same dealership.

  15. #15
    Booger Man boogerman's Avatar
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    defiance, mo
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    126
    We are lucky here in the StL area with Gateway BMW. First class dealership. Good supply of apparel too. You guys that call them stealers stop. They have to make a profit if the dealer is going to stay open. Is the company you work for charging for their services? Dealers are not not for profit businesses. Havenít been to ton of BMW dealers but ones I have have all been pretty good places.

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