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.
The partsperson trade services a range of industries including motive power, appliance, heavy duty equipment and natural resources. For example, partspersons work in areas such as automotive service, commercial transport, small engine repair, aeronautics, agricultural equipment, marine equipment, electrical warehousing, plumbing and heating warehousing, refrigeration, stores facilities, tool cribs and parts recycling. They may work at either wholesale or retail levels or with end users. They may work with a broad range of aftermarket parts or on 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 or arrange deliveries of parts to their customers. Partspersons generally work in teams that include 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 upto- 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, electronic or other types of problems.
The computer and parts catalogues, both written and electronic, are the most important tools for the partsperson. Databases, online catalogues, inventory control systems, and digital media are necessary for ordering and organizing parts and for retrieving information. Extensive use of electronic catalogues requires partspersons to be precise in the use of terminology within specific industry sectors in order to locate correct parts in the catalogues.
As with all trades, safety is important to partspersons. Hazards include operating large equipment such as lift trucks 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 a 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 move into other positions such as sales representative, purchasing representative, parts department manager, store manager or store owner.
For more information, see Red Seal Trades – Partsperson