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The Value of Joining a Parts Managers Club

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Dan Krueger eagerly anticipates the second Wednesday of every month. Because, on those occasions, the longtime parts manager usually has a chance to hang out with peers, at a gathering for the Metro Detroit Ford Lincoln Parts Managers Club.

But make no mistake: this isn’t like the Loyal Order of the Water Buffalo that Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble used to attend; legitimate business discussions are held at the parts managers’ meetings.

And that’s why Krueger, who currently serves as the organization’s president, feels the club is so valuable. The Detroit-area group, which currently features 37 members, wouldn’t be in its 75th year if it lacked merit.

By the sound of it, Krueger, a parts manager for Tubbs Brothers Inc., would recommend similar parts managers clubs to his colleagues around the country.

“We have topics,” Krueger said of the gatherings. “We’ll have the Ford warehouse managers come in and [talk about] what the problems are, and what they’re doing to rectify it. We’ve had a supply-chain manager, when we’ve had the problems with orders. … Whatever’s relevant to problems we’re having.”

Not only do the meetings help dealership parts managers build relationships with manufacturers, they also allow the department leaders to network with other parts managers in their region.

While the meetings might not be as animated as those that Fred and Barney attended for their fictional club, the parts manager gatherings are nevertheless valuable, Krueger said.

That’s why he’s willing to drive two hours to the gathering each month.

A parts manager club, in Krueger’s opinion, “is a great resource. Because there’s hundreds of years of knowledge in that meeting; most of the parts managers in our club have over 15 years of being parts managers.”

And, “if you run into problems, you can reach out to them and see if they’ve run into that problem, and how you can get through it." 

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