General Motors AC Delco Dealership Parts Manager Survey
During the past few years General Motors has seen its AC Delco parts decline to its dealership body. Losing this business to direct AC Delco warehouse distributors and other parts providers has adversely affected GM’s bottom line profitability. GM must uncover the reasons for the defection of its dealer body to other sources of parts, especially AC Delco parts. As a result a survey has been created to assist General Motors identify the issues that cause dealership parts managers to purchase AC Delco parts from other sources other than General Motors.
In order to uncover and identify the reasons GM dealerships are purchasing AC Delco parts from other sources instead of from GM, a survey will be created and sent to random parts managers at various dealerships throughout the country. The survey will contain various types of questions eliciting various responses measured on several scales. Several factors will be keyed in on. First, does a GM dealership purchase all their AC Delco parts from GM. Secondly, how much in dollars do dealerships purchase AC Delco parts through local AC Delco distributors? Third, identifying the factors that contribute to the reasons the GM dealerships purchase AC Delco parts from AC Delco distributors and not from General Motors are identified.
Asking a simple yes-no question to begin the survey sets the tone of who does or does not purchase all their AC Delco parts from General Motors. The question is a “simple straightforward question” which does “not have to be operationally defined” (Sekaran, 2003, p.184, para. 2). As a result, the answer reveals a nominal answer.
Identifying how much AC Delco business General Motors is losing is identified again by asking for a range dollar figures on how much an average months worth of AC Delco parts purchases are bought from non-GM sources. By asking this type of question, a nominal measuring scale can be used which can “assign subjects to certain categories or groups with no intrinsic value” (Sekaran, 2003, p.185, para. 4). Assigning groups of varying parts purchase amounts allows the researcher to reveal the varying degrees of AC Delco part’s purchase defections. This question then can be compared to others that use the ordinal and interval scale as measurements to find correlations on how much parts sales are lost for what reasons.
The third factor to be identified is the cause of why GM dealerships are purchasing AC Delco parts from non-GM sources. By asking parts managers to rank the importance of certain factors of AC Delco parts distributors such as price, availability, discounts, return policy and customer service, a quick ordinal scale of measurement is produced which “rank preferences or usage of various brands or products by individuals” (Sekaran, 2003, p.190, para. 4). This is important as the researcher now has the ability to begin to get into the parts managers thought process of what is actually important for one in deciding how and where to buy their AC Delco parts. In addition to the ordinal scale measurement type questions, questions that result in an interval scale answer is also important. Understanding that the interval scale which “is a measured variable that can be tapped on a five point scale, which can thereafter be summated across the items” reveals how important certain items or statements are overall to a subject or in this case a parts manager (Sekaran, 2003, p.191, para. 2). This measurement is derived by asking parts managers to answer, on a five point scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree, seven statements regarding General Motors’s abilities, pricing, and procedures on AC Delco parts. The response will quickly give a numeric value on the true feelings of what a parts manager is thinking in relation to what the AC Delco supplier is doing for ones business.
Sponsors of research and data collection through the use of a questionnaire “should ask for a study to be done to better the purpose of the organization” (Sekaran, 2003, p.260, para. 2). General Motors intention in producing this survey is to identify areas of opportunity to improve its AC Delco parts sales to the General Motors dealership body, which has been in decline for the past several years. The parts managers and dealership names will be kept confidential and not released. Furthermore, data and responses will not be “misrepresented or distorted reporting” during the study to enhance or detract from the final results (Sekaran, 2003, p.261, para. 1). The result will be an ethically, accurate, and concise survey from a sample population of General Motors dealership parts managers whose opinions and thoughts are provided in “truthful and honest responses” (Sekaran, 2003, p.261, para. 2).
Sekaran, U. (2003). Research methods for business: a skill building approach, fourth edition. Wiley, Inc. A Pearson Educational Company.