Although the scheme is for the North-east only, the group is considering similar centralised services for its national network of 91 dealers.
Essentially, Reg Vardy Parts Solution is the amalgamation of car and van trade parts franchise operations for Renault, Nissan, Rover, Fiat and Alfa Romeo previously run by 12 of its dealerships.
It delivers up to four times a day to crash repair centres, independent garages and other franchised outlets in an area stretching from Northumberland down into North Yorkshire.
While trade custom has been transferred to the new £200,000 centre in Rainton Bridge, all of the Vardy dealerships involved will continue to offer retail parts sales. A number of staff have been redeployed while three opted for voluntary redundancy.
Parts project manager David Crane says the company will be able to exploit economies of scale by operating from one centre rather than from individual dealerships.
“The key aspect is the massive improvement we can make in our range of stock,” he says. “This means we will have the part the customer wants available on our shelves much more often. If this is successful – and we have every confidence it will be – we would consider a national roll-out.”
Reg Vardy Parts Solution is headed by market area parts manager John Reay with a staff of 40, including a large telesales team, most of whom were redeployed from the dozen dealerships.
“We set up this business from scratch to concentrate on providing excellent service to our trade customers,” he says. “We are determined to be the best in the business bar none.”
Vardy's North-east Vauxhall dealers are not involved in the scheme.