If you missed it last week, we have announced our finalists for the 2017 Truck Parts & Service Distributor of the Year award. This year’s finalists include four past finalists and a past winner, as well as one newcomer to the program.
As is the case for the fifth consecutive year, our finalists were selected through an open nomination period by the entire trucking community. We will spend this week briefly checking in with our 2017 finalists. Today we cover Drive Train Industries with President Jim Burke. This is Drive Train Industries’ second Distributor of the Year nomination, having previously won the award when nominated in 2003.
When was your business founded, and by whom?
Founded in 1945 by John J. Burke and Elder Rosengrin. John bought Elder out in 1954 and began running what was Brake and Clutch with his five sons.
How many locations do you have?
Nine locations. Denver (corporate headquarters); Colorado Springs, Colo.; Fort Collins, Colo.; Greeley, Colo.; Grand Junction, Colo.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Rock Springs, Wyo.; Casper, Wyo.; Gillette, Wyo.
How many employees do you have?
What is your company’s value proposition?
The cornerstones of our value proposition are quality, technical expertise and product availability. Our quality is driven by product that we remanufacture ourselves, thereby controlling the process, or by our support of name brand product. The race to the bottom that we have witnessed in the pursuit of the lowest price has not served our customer well in terms of quality.
We subscribe to the theory that a good parts supplier should be a good solutions provider and that often means having the expertise necessary to know how systems work and how parts function within those systems. We strive to maintain multiple “category experts” on staff so we can help our customers resolve problems rather than just replace parts.
Finally, everything counts for nothing if you don’t have the parts. We carry a very broad and deep inventory that includes many slower moving, hard to find parts. Constant input from our supplier partners and our dynamic replenishment system means we can respond to changing trends in customer demand.
In addition to parts sales, what other services do you offer?
We offer full on chassis services at several of our larger locations. Services include everything from engine overhauls to alignments and preventative maintenance.
Our Mobile Fluid Power division has the capacity to repair or replace pumps, PTOs, valves, hoses and cylinders. They also possess the know-how to assist customers in system design.
Drive Train’s heritage is rooted in component repair. We repair drivelines, transmissions, differentials, and brake components. We have a transportation related machine shop where we repair cases, carriers, restub axles and grind flywheels. We also reline brake shoes; both commodity numbers and specialty applications. Much of the product expertise within the organization is derived from that fact that we repair and remanufacture it everyday.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
First and foremost we differentiate on the elements that comprise our value proposition. We sell quality brand name product. The staff selling the product has the technical knowledge to be a solutions provider not just a parts reseller. We always attempt to stock the product required to complete a repair job not just the fast moving commodity items.
Another point of differentiation is the array of products and services we offer. No single competitor in our market offers as many different product categories, does the on vehicle service and has the ability to perform component repairs. We really do attempt to be a one-stop shop.
Why do you believe the heavy-duty aftermarket has nominated you for this award?
Drive Train makes a conscious effort to interact with our suppliers and peers in an endeavor to make some contribution to the industry. That participation doesn’t go unnoticed. The return on this investment is that we receive that energy and creativity back in multiples.