Minnesota company joins Power Heavy Duty network

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Midwest Bus Parts has joined Power Heavy Duty. Founded in 2000, Midwest Bus Parts is located in Big Lake, Minn., and is led by Derek Berning, president and CEO.

“Becoming a Power Heavy Duty member allows us to be more competitive and create stronger supplier relationships to better serve our customers’ needs,” says Derek Berning. “We disrupted the industry by being one of the first independent aftermarket parts distributors specializing in school buses. We started relatively small and there was really no precedent for our business model, which has allowed us to grow unimpeded by expectations.”

Midwest Bus Parts has thrived thanks to a focus on continuous innovation and improvement. Berning joined Midwest Bus Parts in 2005 after graduating college, working alongside his father, Adrian Berning, who founded the company in 2000. Together, they focused on growing the distributor by most every measure  customers, sales, employees, products, inventory and footprint, both digital and physical. In addition to establishing an online sales platform in 2012, the company recently moved to a larger facility with 20,000 sq.-ft., of warehouse space, the company says.

“The consistent growth and customer-first focus makes Midwest Bus Parts a great addition to the Power Heavy Duty network,” said Jim Pennig, vice president of Business Development for the VIPAR Heavy Duty Family of Companies. “They have a winning business strategy that is executed by an enthusiastic and highly knowledgeable team of bus-industry experts.”

Berning has led that team after the death of his father. “We’ve pressed really hard on hiring the right people and I think that it really shows in how quickly the company is growing,” he says. “We have well-trained employees that care about customers and that’s something we pride ourselves on.”

It’s an essential component that has made the company successful and has kept Berning passionate about the family business and his role in it, the company says. 

“The industry is constantly evolving, constantly changing. Parts are always improving and there are plenty of challenges, but they’re always fun to tackle,” he says. “But, really, it’s the people that make this industry worthwhile.”

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