Partspersons perform ordering, warehousing, inventory control and sales of parts. Their duties also include identifying parts and equipment, searching for parts, shipping and receiving parts, providing customer service and advice, and maintaining records.
Partspersons work in various industries such as automotive service, commercial transport, heavy duty equipment, small engine repair, aeronautics, agricultural equipment and marine equipment. They may work at either wholesale or retail levels or with end users. They may work with a broad range of aftermarket parts or in a more narrow scale, supplying parts for a particular make of vehicle or product. The work environment for partspersons is generally indoors in a warehouse and at a service counter. Some partspeople may perform deliveries of parts to their customers. Partspersons generally work in teams that include retail service staff, sales staff and service technicians.
Although the activities performed by a partsperson are similar for all industries in which they work, the product knowledge required is dramatically different. Therefore, they require an up-to-date knowledge of the industry as well as technical knowledge and the ability to describe parts and their applications to customers. It should be noted, however, that the scope of this trade does not include the ability to apply this knowledge to diagnosing or repairing mechanical problems.
The computer and parts catalogues, both written and electronic, are the most important tools for the partsperson. Databases, online catalogues and inventory control systems are necessary for ordering and organizing parts and for retrieving information.
As with all trades, safety is important to partspersons. Hazards that are present in a warehouse environment include operating large equipment such as forklifts and handling hazardous materials. Key attributes for people entering this trade are: excellent interpersonal and customer service skills, computer application skills, problem solving skills, mathematical skills, manual dexterity and mechanical aptitude. Physical considerations for this occupation include considerable amount of time standing, walking and lifting. This trade appeals to service-oriented people. This career offers stable employment not highly affected by seasonal employment trends.
Experienced partspersons may advance to other positions such as sales representative, purchasing representative, parts department manager, store manager or store owner.
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