Website auctions surplus parts, unsold service time

Jason Cannon April 22, 2013

SS_comTwo trucking industry veterans have launched a website aimed at putting wasted service hours and surplus parts inventory in the bank.

Surplus-Solutions.com is an online market place that links together buyers and sellers of surplus parts and labor.

Site co-founder Tom Brown, a veteran in sales for Caterpillar and others, along with his partner J.A. Kocan, Dealer Principal at Four Star Freightliner, say their site helps shops identify slow service times and helps them advertise the availability by offering discounted bookings to fill in the gaps.

“Unsold service hours are a perishable commodity,” Brown says. “If you’re slow for a period of time in the shop, you basically have two options: Send the techs home, or play them to clean something.”

What Brown’s site offers is a third option: discount the time during the slow period and fill it with customers.

For example, Brown says if you have 10 mechanics working 40 hours per week, you have to sell 400 labor hours to maintain 100 percent efficiency.

Shops that only sell 90 percent of those hours are losing 40 hours of labor sales per week. Assuming a burden rate of $70 per hour, the cost is $2800 per week, or $11,200 per month.

“Just a 3 percent increase in shop efficiency more than returns listing cost,” he says.

Site listings are open to both dealerships and independent garages. Brown said all submissions would be fully vetted to assure that all those advertising service are qualified to perform the work.

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