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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Automotive Partspersons (1522)

Automotive partspersons perform ordering, warehousing, inventory control and parts sales. Their duties also include identifying parts and equipment, searching for parts, shipping and receiving parts, providing customer service and advice, and maintaining records.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read short notes, e.g. read reminders about parts to be ordered and detailed descriptions of defective parts on warranty claim forms. (1)
  • Read installation, handling, storage and first aid instructions on a variety of product labels and packaging, e.g. read instructions on the storage and use of refrigerant gases. (2)
  • Skim memos from suppliers and co-workers, e.g. read memos from suppliers for details of price and product changes, new parts and special promotions. (2)
  • Read short product descriptions and application notes in manufacturers' catalogues and service bulletins. (2)
  • May read website articles and trade publications, e.g. read publications to understand trends, new product lines and changes within the automotive industry. (2)
  • Read manufacturers' warranties, e.g. read manufacturers' warranties to learn about limits of coverage, documentation requirements and the process needed to file claims. (3)
  • Read instruction manuals for the use of computerized tools and equipment, e.g. read user guides to learn how to enter information from parts databases. (3)
  • Read recall notices from manufacturers and distributors that explain defects, list vehicle makes and models affected and outline procedures for repairing, replacing and returning defective parts. (3)
  • Read a variety of manuals, e.g. read the organization's policy manual to learn about employee benefits and read repair manuals for instructions on how to remove and replace parts. (3)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Read product labels, parts tags and bin labels for a variety of data, e.g. locate parts names and numbers on product labels and find vehicle information numbers on dash labels. (1)
  • Complete parts tags for returned goods by entering parts numbers and names. (1)
  • May view sketches drawn by customers to identify required parts. (1)
  • Study pictures and assembly drawings to identify parts of similar size, shape and function and to determine the placement and assembly of parts. (2)
  • Read invoices and work orders to identify requested parts and confirm customer addresses and contact information for delivery and shipping. (2)
  • Locate data in lists and tables, e.g. scan inventory lists and bills of lading to determine if parts are in stock and to verify that all parts ordered have been received. (2)
  • Complete shipping forms, e.g. enter dates, receivers' and senders' addresses and telephone numbers, and select the type of service required, such as rush delivery. (2)
  • Study parts lists and catalogues, e.g. study complex parts lists to locate part numbers, costs, availabilities and specifications. (3)
  • Study specification tables to determine operating capacities and specifications for a variety of products, e.g. identify the temperature range of various thermostats and the voltages for miniature lamps. (3)
  • Complete purchase orders, invoices, repair estimates, returned goods reports and warranty forms, e.g. enter customer information, dates, part names, serial numbers and descriptions, quantities and unit prices on invoices and warranty forms. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write personal reminders and short notes to co-workers, e.g. write notes to remind themselves about customers' requests and tasks to be completed. (1)
  • Write emails to suppliers and customers, e.g. inform suppliers of incomplete orders, give them reasons for returning defective parts and request their assistance in tracking shipments. They inform customers that special orders have arrived and respond to requests for product information and availability. (2)
  • May write reports to describe events leading up to workplace accidents, e.g. write about injuries and events when completing reports for workers' compensation boards. (2)
  • May write step-by-step procedures for new employees, e.g. note the steps involved in accepting product returns, processing customer credit notes and entering products into inventory. (2)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy
  • Accept payment for goods purchased using cash, cheques, debit and credit cards, and make change. (1)
  • Measure various parts and products, e.g. measure the length of exhaust pipes, windshield wipers and hoses. (1)
  • Compare measurements of parts to specifications, e.g. compare reconditioned parts to manufacturers' specifications to ensure proper fit. (1)
  • Estimate quantities, weights and angles, e.g. estimate the number of small items, such as bolts, washers and cotter pins, remaining in bins. (1)
  • Calculate mark-ups, discounts and surcharges, e.g. calculate promotional discounts, environmental surcharges and mark-ups on wholesale prices. (2)
  • Reconcile daily sales invoices with cash, cheque, debit and credit card transactions. (2)
  • May create schedules for delivery drivers, e.g. develop schedules that list delivery locations, promised delivery times and travel times. (2)
  • May estimate the time required for parts deliveries and pick-ups. They consider distance, time of day, road conditions and the drivers' knowledge of the delivery area. (2)
  • Estimate percentage of wear on parts, such as tires and brake pads, by visual inspection. (2)
  • Calculate refunds and credits for parts returned under warranty, e.g. determine the replacement cost for damaged tires according to percentages of tread remaining on them. (3)
  • Calculate invoice amounts by multiplying part quantities by unit prices, applying customer discounts on sub-totals, adding appropriate taxes and calculating totals. (3)
  • May compare shipping costs offered by different companies to determine best prices, e.g. compare costs per kilogram and per kilometre and factor in additional surcharges and fees. (3)
  • Calculate the capacities, dimensions and weights of automotive parts, e.g. calculate the storage capacities of fuel tanks. (3)
  • Manage inventories of automotive parts and bulk supplies. They count inventory on hand and compare the counts to computer records. They calculate the monthly turnover rates of parts and supplies to determine if sales have increased, decreased or stayed the same. (3)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • May listen to public address announcements and voicemail from customers and suppliers. (1)
  • Speak to customers, e.g. respond to inquiries about the availability of parts and products. (2)
  • Discuss ongoing work with co-workers, e.g. respond to questions about the availability of parts and estimated delivery times for special orders. (2)
  • Talk to other parts people at car dealerships, suppliers and automobile wreckers, e.g. phone parts people in other organizations for information about unfamiliar products, part substitutions and prices. (2)
  • Contact suppliers and staff at distribution centres, e.g. speak with suppliers to place, clarify and verify orders and to determine shipping costs. (2)
  • May direct delivery drivers to pick up and deliver products and parts from a number of different locations. They may outline driving directions using maps and sketching routes. (2)
  • Discuss inventories, retail displays and other matters with managers and supervisors. (2)
  • May provide instructions to apprentices, e.g. explain to apprentices the technical aspects and terminology of the occupation, procedures for locating parts and customer service skills. (3)
Thinking Help - Thinking
  • Cannot access databases because of computer malfunctions. They locate necessary data in print catalogues and call manufacturers' and suppliers' help desks. (1)
  • Cannot locate parts. The parts are showing in computer inventories but are not in the allocated bins. They check adjacent bins and areas for reserved stock and ask co-workers if they have removed the parts from inventory. They place rush orders for the parts and adjust inventory counts. Occasionally, they cannot find the parts listed in catalogues or databases. They ask co-workers for assistance, call manufacturer help desks and search other catalogues for substitute parts. (2)
  • Are unable to deliver and pick up parts because of absent drivers, late shipments, damaged parts and faulty inventory records. They arrange for courier services and ask co-workers to make deliveries and pick-ups. They contact suppliers to correct shipments and request expedited service. They order replacement parts for those that are damaged. (2)
  • Lack the information they need to accurately source parts requested by customers. They ask customers for specific data, such as make, model and year of the vehicle and the presence or absence of other identifying features. They may draw sketches and show the customers assembly diagrams to help identify parts. (2)
  • Approve and reject warranty claims. They examine the proof of purchase for the date and review the manufacturer's warranty criteria. (2)
  • Select shipping methods. They consider customers' delivery preferences, product dimensions and weight and associated costs. (2)
  • May determine customer discounts. They consider customers' buying habits and mark-ups on the products they purchase. (2)
  • Judge the condition of salvaged and refurbished parts. They consider the part's function, age and year of manufacture and inspect the part for visual signs of wear and tear. (2)
  • Assess the quality and suitability of parts for various applications. They consider how the parts will be used, how easy they are to install and prices and warranties prior to making recommendations and advising customers. (2)
  • Plan and carry out tasks, such as ordering, shipping and receiving parts and entering and organizing inventory. They may be interrupted by co-workers seeking help but are able to return to their duties without reorganizing job tasks. (2)
  • Locate information about warranties by reading warranty agreements and speaking with manufacturers' representatives. (2)
  • Locate parts for customers and co-workers by referring to parts lists and catalogues, calling suppliers and checking inventory. (2)
  • Encounter dissatisfied customers. They listen to customers' complaints, ask customers how they would like the situation resolved and negotiate appropriate solutions. For example, they may exchange or replace defective parts, expedite deliveries, issue refunds and credit notes or offer discounts. (3)
  • May judge the effectiveness of retail displays. They review product turnover data, customer traffic patterns and queries and seek co-workers' opinions. (3)
  • Locate rare and unusual parts and substitutes for parts that are no longer manufactured. They ask co-workers, colleagues, suppliers and manufacturers for advice. They study print and online catalogues and databases. (3)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • Operate point-of-sale equipment, such as electronic cash registers, bar scanners, scales and touch-screens. (1)
  • May use calculators and personal digital assistants (PDAs) to calculate invoice amounts. (1)
  • Operate hand-held devices, such as laser radio terminals, to enter data, scan bar codes and transmit information to online databases. (1)
  • Use the organization's sales management and billing software to create invoices and enter debits and credits. (2)
  • Use communication software to send and receive email, e.g. request information on parts, confirm the status of orders and inform customers that special order parts are now in stock. (2)
  • Use Internet browsers to access manufacturers' and suppliers' websites to identify parts and check availabilities of parts in online catalogues and databases. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access blogs and Web forums where they seek and offer advice about the sourcing of hard-to-find parts. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by suppliers, employers and organizations, such as the Canadian Automotive and Repair Sector Council (CARS). (2)
  • Search the organization's and manufacturers' databases for parts availabilities, locations and wholesale and retail prices. They search for parts by entering vehicle makes, models, years and parts types required. They enter and update customers' contact information. They record numbers and types of products added to and removed from inventories. (3)
Additional information Help - Additional information Working with Others

Automotive partspersons work closely with co-workers, such as shippers and receivers, drivers, service managers and trades people, to ensure customers' needs are met. They work independently when providing service to customers, placing and responding to telephone calls, searching inventory databases and processing orders. They may integrate job tasks with co-workers when lifting heavy parts and counting inventories. They may assist with the training of new employees.

Continuous Learning

Automotive partspersons are continually learning in order to remain current with advances in their industry. They may read product bulletins and take courses offered by manufacturers and sector councils. They may take training provided by suppliers of specific parts, such as ceramic brakes. They may take training for their organization's inventory and sales software and for other topics, such as customer service.

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