Understanding the Roles in the Fixed Ops Department of an Auto Dealership

  • Published on January 8

When was the last time you were in your local dealership and not just the showroom? You know, the back end of the dealership, known as the Fixed Ops Department. The Fixed Ops Department is its own ecosystem that requires a well-structured team to ensure smooth operations and customer satisfaction. Having a well-structured Fixed Ops department is crucial to the success of a dealership. The Fixed Ops department is not only responsible for maintaining and servicing their customers’ vehicles, but they are also responsible to make sure that the team has the right parts to get your vehicle back on the road as quickly and as safely as possible.

In this article, we wanted to give you a breakdown of the top positions in the Fixed Ops department and give you an idea of their responsibilities inside the dealership. This should give you a better understanding of everyone involved to help get a customer’s car back on the road.  

Fixed Ops Director:

The Fixed Ops Director is the captain of the ship. They oversee the entire service and parts department. The buck stops with them. Their primary responsibilities include setting department goals, managing budgets, and ensuring that the team is operating efficiently. They also work closely with other department heads, such as the Parts Manager and Service Manager to coordinate efforts and drive profitability for the dealership. The Fixed Ops Director plays a crucial role in making strategic decisions and implementing policies to enhance customer satisfaction and increase revenue.

The most successful Fixed Ops Directors set a pre-shift meeting everyday where the entire fixed ops department meet to discuss what is on the schedule for the day or what will be coming up. This allows the team to be prepared for the day and makes the entire team efficient. This helps eliminate surprises, prepares them for each job, getting the customer’s vehicles on the road sooner, and opening up bays to allow more drop off services.

Parts Manager:

The Parts Manager is one of the department heads that reports to the Fixed Ops Director. They are responsible for maintaining a well-organized and efficiently run the dealership’s parts department. They manage inventory, order parts, and ensure that the right components are available when needed. Collaborating closely with the service department, the Parts Manager facilitates and provides the technicians with the necessary items for them to complete the job seamlessly. They also establish relationships with suppliers to negotiate terms and pricing for parts, all while maintaining the highest standards of quality. They play a crucial role to help with the bottom line of the gross profit of a dealership.


Service Manager:

Service Managers is another one of the department heads that reports to the Fixed Ops Director and they are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the service department. They supervise service advisors and technicians, ensuring that customer vehicles are serviced promptly and completed with accuracy. They are also incharge of setting the schedule for the service techs, making sure that they have everything they need for their tickets, as well as making sure the safety of its employees. They work closely with the Parts Manager to make sure the parts needed for any service job is in house and easily accessible for the techs to retrieve to complete the job. The Service Managers are also responsible for staff training on the new vehicle models as well as help professional development of their staff while creating a positive work environment. 

Service Advisor:

The Service Manager, another key department head reporting to the Fixed Ops Director, plays a pivotal role in overseeing the day-to-day operations of the service department. Their responsibilities encompass the supervision of service advisors and technicians, ensuring the prompt and accurate servicing of customer vehicles. The Service Manager takes charge of scheduling service techs, guaranteeing they have all necessary resources for their tasks, and prioritizing the safety of the department’s employees.

Collaboration with the Parts Manager is important, as the Service Manager works closely to ensure that required parts for service jobs are readily available and easily accessible for technicians. This seamless coordination enhances operational efficiency and contributes to timely job completions. Additionally, Service Managers take on the responsibility of staff training on new vehicle models, fostering professional development within their team, and cultivating a positive work environment. Their role underscores their importance in maintaining a high standard of service, employee satisfaction, and overall excellence within the service department

Parts Counter:

The Parts Counter is responsible for assisting customers in identifying and acquiring the right parts for their vehicles. They possess in-depth knowledge of the dealership’s parts inventory and can quickly locate and provide the necessary items needed for any project. They also handle inquiries, process orders, and provide pricing information to customers. Their role is essential in ensuring that customers have a seamless and satisfactory experience when seeking replacement parts, whether in person, on the phone, or on line.


Technicians are the skilled individuals who perform vehicle repairs and maintenance and they are the backbone of any service department. Their expertise is crucial in diagnosing and fixing various issues that come into their station. They use diagnostic tools and follow manufacturer guidelines to provide high-quality service. It is important that they are continuous training and staying updated with technological advancements are essential for technicians to excel in their roles.

As you can see, the Fixed Ops Department comprises multiple and crucial roles, where everyone is contributing to the overall success of the dealership. Understanding the distinct roles within the Fixed Ops Department helps create a cohesive team that is dedicated to providing top-notch service and ensuring customer satisfaction. When these positions work together seamlessly, auto dealerships can thrive, offering both quality service and a positive customer experience, while helping increase the dealerships gross profit! Whether you’re a customer seeking service or someone considering a career in the automotive industry, knowing these roles will give you a better understanding of the inner workings of a dealership’s Fixed Ops Department.