PMF reports on how Alan Skuse Car Parts benefitted from switching to Delphi Technologies for its steering and suspension requirements.
Alan Skuse Car Parts will be a familiar name to many garages operating in the South West. Established by Alan Skuse and his wife Trina in 1978, the business has grown from what started as a small operation out of their cellar to now encompass four outlets in Plymouth, Kingsbridge, Saltash and Ivybridge.
Although the business has enjoyed significant growth in terms of size, customer base and the sheer number of available products, it still operates with the same traditional values of quality and service that it was founded on. It is still a family-owned business, too, with the couple’s son Matthew in the role of Managing Director, and Alan, now in his 80s, still assisting clients that he has known from the company’s early days.
With loyal customers and an enviable reputation for supplying a winning combination of superior parts (the business will only supply components that meet or exceed OE-specification) and knowledgeable support, Alan Skuse Car Parts is understandably comprehensive when it comes to considering a new supplier.
In 2018, encouraged by its experiences with the company’s ignition, filtration and engine management products, the business took the decision to switch to Delphi Technologies for the supply of its steering and suspension components.
“We’d had some quality issues with our previous supplier, and this, coupled with our knowledge of Delphi Technologies and our customers’ positive perception of the brand and its products, was a key driver in making the switch,” said Chris Sandison, Buyer at Alan Skuse Car Parts.
“It was the right decision, too,” Chris continued. “The complaints stopped overnight, and the quality gave us added confidence to question any returns. If a customer called with an issue, then we knew there was a high probability that it had been caused by incorrect fitting, rather than a defect with the actual product.
“The level of applications fitted our requirements, but we also had to consider range growth. We have over 1,100 steering and suspension part numbers on our system, and the emergence of new lines helps us to keep serving our customers – it’s rare that that we can’t find a Delphi Technologies component to meet their steering and suspension requirements. Together with our commitment to holding a high level of stock, this means we can usually help customers straightaway.”
Since switching to Delphi Technologies, steering and suspension components have grown from accounting for 6% of the business’s turnover in 2018 to 8% in 2020, with the rise driven by increased sales as well as value. Last year, Alan Skuse Car Parts sold over 9,100 steering and suspension units, with stabiliser links accounting for 41%, track rod ends for 26%, ball joints for 14%, and suspension arms for 19%. Importantly, the array of products has allowed the business to enjoy decent returns on profit, and it reports that the Delphi Technologies parts sit favourably with what customers expect to pay for a quality item. Alan Skuse Car Parts receives its parts via FPS, which offers same-day delivery – as often as three times per day – and also benefits from no minimum order size.
Chris concluded, “The parts are certainly popular with our customers, and the racking on the floor where we keep our fast-moving items is a wall of blue. It certainly looks impressive! We’d recommend Delphi Technologies for anyone considering a new supplier, not just for the parts but also for the support. To be honest, we probably don’t take advantage of the training and information that is available to us as much as we should, but Delphi Technologies has always been very helpful when we’ve needed them. We’d certainly consider adding more of its products to other areas of our parts offering.”
Gary Taylor, Business Development Manager at Delphi Technologies Aftermarket, ensures that Alan Skuse Car Parts’ swap to Delphi Technologies steering and suspension components continues to run smoothly. Gary said, “We’re delighted to have helped such a well-respected motor factor to enjoy even more success via our ever-growing range of steering and suspension components. We understand that changing supplier can be a big decision, and we’re here to provide all motor factors, no matter how small or large they may be, with the parts and support they need for a smooth transition, and to help grow their sales, profitability and customer satisfaction.”